Knitting Book Reviews

Knitting Cuff to Cuff
by Susan Guagliumi

This book focuses exclusively on an interesting sweater composition - sideways-knit garments. That's not to say seamless. Seams are still needed on the sides and the underarms.

There are 12 different sweaters to demonstrate the wide variety of styles and variations one can utilize using this single construction technique. There are pullovers, cardigans and a shrug with different stitch patterns and details. Shapes are generally squarish but some have some waist shaping.

If you are not familiar with this construction here is how it goes. A sweater is done in five steps - knitting the right sleeve, knitting to neckline, shaping the front neckline, knitting back and left shoulder and knitting the left sleeve. In this method, it means your edges match (as opposed to cast-on vs cast-off). There is a good discussion on the authors preferred method of starting and finishing - scrap knitting. This is a provisional cast-on that she prefers because of it's ease and the regularity of the stitches. Basically you knit a few rows with scrap yarn before switching to the main fiber. She states its easier to pick up stitches. This method can also be used as a stitch holder. The live stitches can also let you join the seams later without bulk.

Directions seems very thorough with step by step directions, stitch charts and schematics. Sizing is a bit odd with garment width instead of the traditional bust but it's easy to multiply by two. In most cases, sizes from 34" to 52" are given. Yarns are of higher quality - Noro, Mountain Colors, Colinette, Manos.

I don't know if I would knit one of these but the concept intrigues me. This particular garment is the most interesting piece to me. It is constructed from two identical pieces and seamed on the outside with I-cord. It looks very elegant.

My recommendation is that if you are interested in this technique, check out the book. The author explains things very clearly and also pays attention to the details giving mini treatises on each throughout the book. And pictures are clear, large and useful. There are even machine instructions if that floats your boat as befits the authors background.

Reviewed by Allison Linehan

Allison's blog, Neophyte Knitter, can be found at
http://gumdrop.typepad.com