Circular Knitting Redefined: Leave Those Straight Needles Behind
by Kara Gott Warner
The concept behind "Circular Knitting Redefined" is that you can make open-front knits such as cardigans while working in one piece. Part of the issue with knitting is that sewing multiple sections together can yield a less-than-professional look unless you are an expert finisher. Also, knitting in one piece is fast and of course, fun.
The book covers the basics of "back and forth" knitting, which is how you do cardigans and retain an open front, "bottom-up"--standard method for making tunics and pullovers, top down (a way to do sleeves and yokes and to fit while you are knitting) and "knitting in new directions" which includes sideways knitting and picking up along a piece to change directions--as in a yoke on top of a tube-shaped body piece. There is some seaming of parts, but the sewing is minimized by the circular knitting and knitting-up (knitting onto a part rather than sewing it on.)
There are 40 projects in the book, from shawls to shrugs, to tunics, hats, gloves, scarves and a very beautiful cabled tote bag. There are some kids' knits including pants, and accessories (felted bag, the tote I mentioned) and a zippered man's hoodie. MANY techniques are covered; entrelac, mosaic, cables, lace, felting, shaping. I plan to make the "Restauranteur's Shawl"--a sleeved shrug that looks like one of those throw-on sweaters you wear all the time. Sizes for women range from XS to XXL (up to 48-52 inch chest, depending on the project.)
The photos are large and clear, and there are schematics to show you the flat construction of the garment to give you an idea of how you are going to knit up the garment. The only thing I did not like were the choices of yarns and color schemes of many of the knits. I found a lot of the multi-colored yarns kind of ugly. But that is no reason not to buy the book, as you can find yarns of your own, swatch them and select a color scheme that pleases you more.
On the whole, I give this book a hearty five stars as any beginning or intermediate knitter will find something of value here to knit, whether a shell or toddler outfit, and the more experienced knitters will use these patterns as templates to customize the shapes to new designs of their own
Reviewed by Joanna Daneman
Joanna's twitter page can be found at http://twitter.com/jayelldee where you can see what she's reading now.