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Knitting Book Reviews

Knitspeak
by Andrea Berman Price

This book is basically a dictionary of common knitting terms and is surprisingly comprehensive. I think it would be an invaluable tool to a new knitter but even those who of us who have been around the block a few times can find benefit in having it on our shelf. I will be the first to admit, I don't always immediately recognize all knitting terms and I have been knitting for almost 5 years.

This book has some basic explanations on translating from "knitspeak" to what the the rest of the world would understand. I was especially struck by the comparison of knitting directions to a computer program language. It's not something I had thought about before but having had to learn some coding in my life, I immediately saw how it was so with the short syntax with commands and the meaning in punctuation.

I also liked the basic overviews it gives on topics that are not always covered for beginners- an overview of the components of a typical pattern , common conventions used to give directions for different sizes, similar shaping, pieces with shaping reversed or ones with a fill-in-the-blank format. I also like that it lists the knitting instructions that designers usually assume the knitter knows and therefore does not write - things like bind off in pattern, block before seaming and the like.

The actual dictionary part has a few pages of symbols and then an A-Z section. And it is very thorough, defining abbreviations, common terminology, and other words you will find thrown around by knitters. It's quite detailed and all the explanations are geared towards the neophyte.

Overall I was really impressed with this little book. It's chock full of information and is sized to fit in a knitting bag (approx 4"x6"). It's the perfect reference for all knitters to carry around when they need a little reminder on how to do something. It even has a ruler printed on the back side of the cover in inches and cm.

Reviewed by Allison Linehan

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

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