Knitting in Plain English

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9780312353537: Knitting in Plain English

The first edition of this indispensable classic gave knitters easy-to-follow (and fun-to-read) advice on producing the knits of their dreams. Drawing on decades of experience as a knitting instructor and designer, Maggie Righetti offered step-by-step directions on avoiding common mistakes and getting out of tricky spots.

Now, in this completely updated and revised version, Righetti gives readers what they've asked for: advice on making all different garments, working with new patterns and different kinds of yarn, and even an introduction to her own legendary history. Neither aggressively hip nor bafflingly encyclopedic, Knitting in Plain English offers basic principles that will make any project---from a basic blanket to an intricate sweater---rewarding.

Having Knitting in Plain English on the shelf is like having your own knitting teacher available to help at all times with any thorny problem.

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About the Author:

Maggie Righetti, a certified knitting and crochet instructor, is the author of Crocheting in Plain English and Sweater Design in Plain English. She lives in Southern California.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Chapter One You Can Always Tell What’s Wrong with the Garment by the Way the Model Is Posed or, Slender Five-Foot-Ten-Inch Models Look Good in Anything It happens every June and it happens every January. It happens so regularly you can count on it. Every June and January, starry-eyed and eager craftspeople invade their friendly local yarn supplier bearing fresh-off-the-press copies of the needlework periodicals that are blossoming with elegant and enchanting visions of projects to make, sweaters to create—and potential disasters. Part of the knitting instructor’s job is to help people understand the techniques necessary for them to complete the project they have chosen to make. Simply by seeing hundreds of garments both in progress and completed means we knitting instructors become painfully aware of what knitted fabric will and will not do. And after fitting and adjusting hundreds of articles on hundreds of different kinds, sizes, and shapes of people, we have become absolutely certain of what shapes knitting will take and what shape the human body will not. So every June and January (and often in between) I gather these starry-eyed and eager knitters around the worktable, and using their new periodicals as texts, I hold an impromptu class called “You Can Always Tell What Is Wrong with the Garment by the Way the Model Is Posed.” It’s a fun class with lots of giggles, ah-has, and exclamations such as, “So that’s why it never looked right!” Listen in and join the class. I’ll assign you our homework before we begin: Pick up your newest periodical filled with knitting designs and look at the photos. That’s all. Just look—and then think about them. Your homework is to look for yourself, think for yourself, and learn to recognize for yourself when something is not quite right. With as many patrons around me as I can gather, the lesson starts. Pointing at the cover, I say: Be aware—beware—of any garment whose model is not standing in a normal relaxed position. A good-looking, well-designed, properly proportioned garment can easily stand scrutiny. It looks good straight on and on straight. The model could just stand there and you’d want to make the garment, sure in the knowledge of what the finished product would look like. A sweater worth making has nothing to hide. But what if the model is posed in an exaggerated way so you can’t see the neckline or the wrists or both shoulders? The picture above is a perfect example (see fig. 1.1). You can only see one shoulder. The neckline is covered up with a very attractive blouse. But you aren’t making the blouse—you are making the sweater, and you haven’t the foggiest idea how the neck is finished or where it is supposed to sit on the human body. One wrist is covered by a bracelet; the other is hidden in shadow. The model is posed as if she were stretched out in front of a roaring fire, all cuddly and warm. Heaven help her, though, if she’d tried to get up and walk to a window to look out. Her sweater would probably drop to her knees, judging by the way the bottom of it is hidden in folds. You’d have no idea whether it was a case of a tiny model and a sweater too big for her, or if the waistline was intended to be the hemline. You really need to know what you’re making, what it’s supposed to look like, and how it’s intended to fit before you begin. If you don’t know these things, how will you know if you are doing it right? If you can’t see the whole garment, don’t make it! Next, we all agree, is a picture of a striking handbag (see fig. 1.2). The model is posed in a knit dress, of course, yet this large handsome shoulder bag is the focal point. If this is a knitting book whose instructions are trying to sell the yarn for a knit dress, why cover it up with a luscious handbag? A veteran of misleading photos of knitting projects, whom my class calls Grandma, immediately spots the inconsistencies. “She carries that handbag because the shoulders don’t fit. Just look at the picture—you can’t see the left shoulder at all. It’s turned away and out of the picture. The right shoulder is covered up with the strap of the bag. What’s more, the bag covers her waistline. If the dress looked good, they wouldn’t have to hide it. Now, if it had raglan sleeves and if the waist were brought in somehow, it’d be good-looking. But they can’t fool an old lady like me with a huge handbag.” She has learned to separate the fiction from the reality. Younger, less experienced knitters quickly learn to detect the inconsistencies between the photograph and the finished product. One points out that the dress is vertically striped and that all the stripes are the same width from top to bottom. “So where did the width at the waist and bust go?” A retired salesclerk responds with a laugh. “Well, honey, in the old days when I was selling dresses, if it was too big around the waist or in the bust, we’d just hold it together in the back while the customer was looking in the mirror. That’s the old clothespin-in-the-back trick.” The knitters in the class know that they can’t walk around with a clothespin in the back, and they won’t make this “cannot work” project. On the next page of the magazine is a study of a sweet young thing in marvelous golden tones (see fig. 1.3). Her hair is spun gold, the sweater tawny gold, and the chair golden brown. We can’t tell where one begins and the other ends. It is all one golden glow. The class oohs at the lovely illusion. It is a great mood photograph. But as far as information about the sweater pattern it is trying to sell, it is a big loss. I ask the class, “Honestly now, can you visualize yourself in the sweater? Where will the neckline fit around your neck? Where do the shoulders rest? Does it have shoulders at all? Where and how does the garment end? If you make it, you may find out—to your dismay!” The class ah-has. We flip to the next page. You could order the jewelry from the next photo and know exactly what you would be getting (see fig. 1.4). The sweater, however, is another matter. The class has caught on and learned the lesson well. They ask me to forget the jewelry and tell them about the sweater. I begin. “It has a collar.” “What kind?” they ask. “I can’t tell, but it has sleeves.” “What kind?” “I can’t tell.” “How long are they?” they ask. “I can’t tell, but I don’t think that they are long,” I answer. “How long is the sweater? Where does it end?” “I can’t tell, but I can tell you that if I try to tuck a sweater into a gathered skirt, I look like a barrel.” “Why don’t they show the shoulders?” “I don’t know. I don’t want to make the sweater, but I do want to know how I can order the jewelry.” Because we can’t order the jewelry, we turn the page (see fig. 1.5). “That’s cute.” “Which one, the sweater or the hat?” “Both!” “How can you tell the sweater’s ‘cute’?” “What is it made of?” “I can’t see. Get a magnifying glass.” “It’s made of some sort of fuzzy stuff.” “I’d rather make the hat.” “Well, you’ve got to admit the hat is a real showstopper.” “Are there instructions for it?” “Look on page seventy-eight.” “No hat instructions.” “How about the sweater?” “It has instructions.” No one can tell anything about the sweater; there isn’t even a graphic drawing. Granny says, “If the sweater was worth making they’d show it to us. It’s called ‘attraction by association.’ Because the hat is pretty, you just naturally think the sweater is pretty, too.” We turn to yet another page, still looking for something to make (see fig. 1.6). “A coat—I need a short car coat.” “I’ve always wanted a knitted car coat.” “Too bad they didn’t put that one on a slender model—she looks dumpy.” “She is skinny. Look at her cheekbones and neck. It’s the coat that’s dumpy and huge.” We look at the instructions. They say “small, medium, and large.” There is no indication of how small “small” is, nor how large “large” is. There are no drawings, charts, or measurements included in the instructions. We don’t know if it was merely that there was only a slender model available for a large coat when the picture was taken or if the garment was intended to be large and dumpy. Since we don’t know what size to make, we can’t make the car coat either. Since this book was first published in 1986, manufacturers, magazine and pattern book publishers, and designers have changed their ways. Photos picture the finished garment in a truer light; schematics and drawings of the pieces of the article are usually shown; measurements of both the completed parts and the article are often given. What a change! If this chapter in the original edition made any difference, I’m pleased. In the same way we go through the whole periodical, the students getting wiser all the time. Never again will they make a garment they cannot see clearly. Never a garment that has places covered up. They also learn to look at the article with a critical eye, to see that the item fits the human body as it exists and not be taken in by a pattern written strictly by the book. God was not consulted about the variety of human shoulders to be covered. It’s not easy, but if you recognize the problem, it can be solved. Try to picture yourself in the garment. Would your broad shoulders fit in those set-in sleeves, or do you need a raglan or drop sleeve for the sweater to fit well and look good?† In pictures, the pr...

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Descrizione libro Griffin Publishing, United States, 2007. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. 2nd ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book. Whether you ve been handling knitting needles for years, or just thinking about picking them up, Knitting in Plain English should be your Bible. Drawing on twenty years of experience as the knitting lady in various yarn stores, Maggie Righetti provides sound instructions for beginners and sensible solutions for experienced knitters. Topics and techniques include: picking a pattern that s right for you, determining gauge, how to knit and purl plus instructions for fifteen additional pattern stitches, how to make invisible increases and decreases, five different methods of buttonholing, how to short-row for a perfect fit, working with more than one colour of yarn, how to weave invisible seams, picking up dropped stitches, how to hand-wash and block your finished garment, plus much, much more. From equipping your knitting bag to knitting a sweater, Maggie Righetti explains it all simply and clearly. Each technique is illustrated with easy-to-follow, step-by-step drawings. Complete with a detailed glossary of knitting terms and six learning patterns on which to practice, Knitting in Plain English is an invaluable sourcebook no knitter will outgrow. Author s previous books include: Crocheting in Plain English . Codice libro della libreria AAS9780312353537

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Descrizione libro Griffin Publishing, United States, 2007. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. 2nd ed.. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Whether you ve been handling knitting needles for years, or just thinking about picking them up, Knitting in Plain English should be your Bible. Drawing on twenty years of experience as the knitting lady in various yarn stores, Maggie Righetti provides sound instructions for beginners and sensible solutions for experienced knitters. Topics and techniques include: picking a pattern that s right for you, determining gauge, how to knit and purl plus instructions for fifteen additional pattern stitches, how to make invisible increases and decreases, five different methods of buttonholing, how to short-row for a perfect fit, working with more than one colour of yarn, how to weave invisible seams, picking up dropped stitches, how to hand-wash and block your finished garment, plus much, much more. From equipping your knitting bag to knitting a sweater, Maggie Righetti explains it all simply and clearly. Each technique is illustrated with easy-to-follow, step-by-step drawings. Complete with a detailed glossary of knitting terms and six learning patterns on which to practice, Knitting in Plain English is an invaluable sourcebook no knitter will outgrow. Author s previous books include: Crocheting in Plain English . Codice libro della libreria BTE9780312353537

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Descrizione libro Griffin Publishing, United States, 2007. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. 2nd ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book. Whether you ve been handling knitting needles for years, or just thinking about picking them up, Knitting in Plain English should be your Bible. Drawing on twenty years of experience as the knitting lady in various yarn stores, Maggie Righetti provides sound instructions for beginners and sensible solutions for experienced knitters. Topics and techniques include: picking a pattern that s right for you, determining gauge, how to knit and purl plus instructions for fifteen additional pattern stitches, how to make invisible increases and decreases, five different methods of buttonholing, how to short-row for a perfect fit, working with more than one colour of yarn, how to weave invisible seams, picking up dropped stitches, how to hand-wash and block your finished garment, plus much, much more. From equipping your knitting bag to knitting a sweater, Maggie Righetti explains it all simply and clearly. Each technique is illustrated with easy-to-follow, step-by-step drawings. Complete with a detailed glossary of knitting terms and six learning patterns on which to practice, Knitting in Plain English is an invaluable sourcebook no knitter will outgrow. Author s previous books include: Crocheting in Plain English . Codice libro della libreria AAS9780312353537

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