The Knitter’s Companion Deluxe Edition w/DVD. by Vicki Square, Interweave, 2010.
This is a handy little book that would be an asset to any knitter. It is a knitting reference book, with a non exhaustive but nevertheless wide range of topics, from basic to complicated. Some of the topics covered include the basics of knitting (continental/English methods, slipped stitches, yarnovers, gauge and reading patterns and charts), specific techniques (cast-ons, joins, increases, decreases, bind-offs, blocking, seaming, hems, borders and edges), some decorative techniques (beads, buttonholes, duplicate stitch, French knots etc). There are other sections of the book, but the one I like the best is on preparing to knit, which includes tables and information about yarn and needle sizes, metreage/yardage estimates for sizes of garments, and abbreviations. I love being able to quickly look up a stitch abbreviation, or how to do the Kitchener stitch or to remind myself mid row how to do a left lifted increase.
It is small format, hard cover and wire bound, which I love because the pages stay open where I leave them, and it won’t get trashed in the bottom of my knitting bag or handbag. Each technique or instruction has either an illustration, table or a photograph, which combined with the layout of the pages makes the information really easy to find and use. There are also tip boxes throughout the book, with practical hints and tips on how to apply the techniques.
There is a pair of accompanying DVDs in this latest issue of The Knitters Companion, with over 5 hours of practical instruction and demonstrations of all of the techniques described in the book. The book and the DVD are a useful pair of resources, I have used the book to quickly look up how to do a certain kind of increase, and then later sat and watched the DVD for a more detailed demonstration on how to catch in a float when fair isle knitting. This book and DVD set do not cover every technique or consideration that a knitter will ever encounter, but it is a very useful reference for common knitting techniques and would be a worthwhile addition to a knitter’s library.
About the reviewer: Kate is a busy mother of four with many craft projects on the go, including, but not limited to, crochet, knitting, sewing, dyeing, paper making, spinning, felting and bookbinding. Kate has challenges in the areas of finishing things, saying no and craft supplies storage. She also has a very very patient and tolerant husband.