Seven Things that Can Make or Break a Sweater
by Margaret E. Fisher
I’ve wanted to read this book ever since I saw Clara’s review over at Knitters Review. It took me a while to get around to buying a copy, though, and now that I have? Was it worth it?
The focus of this book is seven, specific things that can make a huge difference to the quality of your sweater knitting. They’re not mind-blowing things. No secret tricks that only the author knows. No Ninja mind-tricks that force your knitting to behave. They’re not even fancy or complicated things.
They’re just skills that make a difference. Simple, basic skills that are all too often ignored or skipped or lazily done, so that what could be a fantastic knit ends up just being so-so.
I won’t tell you all of them, but I will point out (hint, hint) that choosing the correct cast-on method, and executing it properly makes a big difference on a project. So, too, is the way you finish off your knitting, or add any shaping to the piece as you go. Stuff like that. You might think that you’re doing all these things correctly, but … are you?
The first half of the book goes into each of these mystical “seven things" in great detail, leaving no yarn unturned in the quest for perfection. Or, at least, understanding why one technique works better in some cases, and other techniques work in others. Not to mention understanding the very best way to make, say, a left-leaning decrease, and WHY.
I so love books that explain the “why."
The second half of the book is a collection of seven sweater patterns, starting with the “Seven Things" baby cardigan, that brings all the techniques you just read about into play. Now, I’ll admit that I’m not in love with all of these patterns (though that baby cardi is adorable), but ultimately, they are not what makes this book worth while.
Reviewed by Deb Boyken
Deb has been knitting since 1987 and has accumulated quite a collection of knitting books over the years. Her website,
Knitting Scholar, can be found at http://knittingscholar.com .