First, the facts:
Title: Little Red in the City
Author: Ysolda Teague
Published by: Ysolda Teague, 2011
Type: Patterns and Techniques
1. Tools for Successful Sweaters
The In-Depth Look:
It’s taken me longer than I’d like to review this for you, and it’s all Ysolda’s fault. She put so much good information in this book, it took me a while to read all of it.
That’s because there is a ton of good information in here.
Ysolda says in the intro, “Through many conversations about choosing a size, substituting yarns, taking measurements and adapting shaping, the key thing that emerged was that most knitters would like to feel more in control when making garments, like they had a better ability to visualise what they wanted to create and actually end up with what they planned. Before getting to the patterns, the book goes through some things that I hope will help you get the results you want from both these patterns and any other garments that you want to knit.”
Then, as promised, the book dives right into the “Tools for Successful Sweaters” section, which is pretty amazing. A lot of the details are things you’ve likely heard before–the importance of swatching, how to pick your yarn, how to adjust a pattern for fit, how to properly take measurements, things like that. Those are followed by very specific details about technique–cast-ons, short rows, buttonholes, and so on. All this before you even get to the patterns.
And then the patterns themselves–they are a charming variety of sweaters and vests, but they’re not simple little patterns. They go into detail of not only how to make them, but they also explain the story behind the sweaters–why they’re put together as they are, how to make changes, where to make adjustments. They explain why the recommended yarn has all the right characteristics for the sweater so that, if you want to use something else, you’ll know what to look for. There’s lots of detail in here.
Visually, this is one of the most charming knitting books I’ve seen in a while. It’s got photos and sketches and even photos with sketches IN them to make a point. There are little illustrations in the margins, and hand-written headers. Even the charts are a mix of computer-generated numbers and characters laid over a hand-drawn grid. It’s a pleasure to look at. (Kudos to the design team!)
In addition, a purchase of the paper book comes with a free PDF download (using a code hidden under a scratch-off sticker inside the back cover). Talk about making it easy to reference when you’re away from home, or easy to get a print-out of just the pattern you’re working on.
Ultimately, I love this book and only regret that it took me so long to TELL you about it.