Thursday, January 10, 2013

Book Thursday: Finishing School a Master Class for Knitters

Book:               Finishing School a Master Class for Knitters
Author:            Deborah Newton
Book Rating:    4 of 5 stars

Everyday I look for ways to improve my crafts, because of this I have acquired books on different topics from books on how to sew better fitting trousers, to new metal smith techniques, even books on better make-up application. When I become interested in something I dive straight into the deep end, forget about the kiddie pool, I want to be in with the big kids, drown in knowledge.

This year I am swimming further into the deep end. I want to improve my knitting finishing technique. Things end up looking good when I complete a project, but I know that I can do better. So that is where the book "Finishing School A Master Class for Knitters" comes into play.

According to the description on Amazon "Deborah patiently takes her student-readers step by step through the ins and outs of blocking, seaming, edging, and embellishments, giving them the confidence and skills to create professional-looking knitwear." I thought that this book would be the perfect start for quest to become a better knitter.

The book has 161 pages and it is broken down as follows:

Chapter One: Finishing 101 - In this chapter the author talks about how to review a pattern to see if it is one that you should do, making a swatch, how to use a schematic drawing and what to have in your "Finishing Toolkit".

Chapter Two: Blocking Basics - The topic pretty much explains itself. She teaches you how to block, different blocking techniques and how it affects your work.

Chapter Three: Seaming - Here she teaches you different ways to seam your pieces.

Chapter Four: Edgings - All about trims and how to helps you work. It is not only about making it look pretty. In this chapter she teaches you how the  edgings function on your knitting project.

Chapter Five: Buttons, Zippers, Pockets & More - It is all about the finishing detail. Here she teaches you about the types of buttons, how to pick the right button and buttonhole to make for the button you will use. Picking a zipper and installation steps. How to embroider and a bunch of other techniques. She does not go into great depth into each section but she gives you the basics to get you started.

Chapter Six: Special Finishes - Here she goes beyond knitting. Such as hot to felt, install a lining, Daring, steek, repurposing and a few other techniques.

Chapter Seven: Patterns - Here you have twelve patterns that you can make to test your brand new learned or improved skills.

Last Page: Casting On - Here she gives you three ways to cast on your project; Long-Tail, Cable and Backward loop cast on.

Over all I like the book. Easy to read and understand. Clear photos and I love that she gives very detailed direction without rambling. Straight to the point. I can see this being my go to book when I am finishing a project.

The workshops and tutorials help you practice your knew techniques with further  detail before you jump into your project. Finally, the cheat sheets, these are tips and tricks scattered through out the book to make it even easier to complete your projects.

One thing that I noticed was that she spoke only of sweaters (with the exception of a scarf early on in the book). I am sure you can put into practice most of her techniques on other projects, but it would have been nice if one of the projects was a hat or gloves (though she does give you a nice cheat sheet tip for gloves and mittens) for us visual people.

Have you read this book? What do you think of it?

Until next time, Happy Knitting!

~Knitting Chica

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