First, the facts:
Author: Melissa Leapman
Published by: Potter Craft, 2012
Type: Patterns and Design
Get Your Knitting into Shape: Fully Fashioned How-Tos
Knitting as a Foreign Language: Knitting Charts 101
Knitting to Flatter
2. Step Away from the Edge
Designer Workshop: Making Simple Stockinette Garments Look Extraordinary
3. Designer Details
Designer Workshop: Enrich Your Knits!
4. Figure Flatterers
Designer Workshop: Knit a Fine Figure
The In-Depth Look:
This book begins:
“It’s all in the details! The use of what designers call fully fashioned shaping marks the difference between an ordinary ho-hum sweater and an undeniably spectacular fashion garment. … Many handknitters already use shaping details in their garments: decreases for armholes, necklines or sleeve caps, and increases for sleeves. We don’t cut our pieces into shape, we knit them into shape! But most knitters do not understand how shaping works or how to use simple increases and decreases to add visual interest to their garments.”
And that’s what it comes down to, isn’t it? It’s not just about having one preferred method of shaping a garment, but knowing which one will not only work best, but will look best–especially if there’s a certain look you want, or a style you’re trying to emulate.
One of the nicest things about knitting is that the basics are simple to learn. And yes, you can get by forever with just one increase and one decrease under your belt–just like you can manage with just one cast-on and cast-off method.
But … why let yourself be limited?
Because one of the other nice things about knitting, one of the amazing things, is that the possibilities are endless. The right technique can take a garment from something ordinary that will keep you warm to something that will keep you warm but look extraordinary while doing it.
The author continues,
“In these pages we will explore simple fully fashioned techniques and how to apply them to create interesting designer elements and flattering shaping details in garments for any body shape. You will learn that just adding a few extra details can take a project to an entirely new level of sophistication.”
The book breaks into four parts: basic increase/decrease techniques, applying them to basic stockinette stitch pieces, using them for true designer details, and using them to make garments truly figure-flattering. Each chapter begins with instructional pages to elucidate the techniques, and then follows with actual sweater patterns to demonstrate. Each design (ranging from sleeveless tops through heavy jackets–and one skirt for good measure) comes with a guide suggesting the figure types it will look best on, as well as construction notes.
Overall, I liked the designs in this book quite a lot–stylish without being too weird. (Oops. Not that ultra-fashionable garments are weird. I would never say that. But I AM saying that these are NOT.) They look accessible and wearable and comfortable and I wouldn’t say no to any of them in my wardrobe.
It’s not really surprising. I’ve liked Melissa Leapman’s designs since her Cables Untangled book, and haven’t been disappointed yet. This latest book is not only filled with 19 nice designs, but lots of useful information to go with them.
You can check it out at Amazon.com.
This review copy was kindly donated by Potter Craft. Thank you!
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