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A real ‘all you need to know’ book

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In an earlier post, I mentioned The Knitting and Crochet Bible. Now I am going to dedicate a whole post to this excellent book. The Knitting and Crochet Bible claims to be ‘ The Complete Handbook for Creative Knitting and Crochet’, and I am inclined to agree with it. The book is written by Claire Crompton and Sue Whiting and its details are on Our Resources page if you are interested. I had better say now that I can’t crochet, so half of the book is utterly wasted on me and therefore, this will be a rather one-sided review. However, when I get around to learning, I have a great resource ready and waiting. A lot of the time, I skim through the ‘Bible’ just to look at the pictures, of which there are many. The knitting section is divided into Getting Started, Creative Options, Exploring Choices, Stitch Library and Projects.

The Knitting and Crochet Bible

The Knitting and Crochet Bible by Claire Crompton and Sue Whiting

The Getting Started section is what you would expect, basic instructions. After that, it begins to get interesting. In the next two chapters, techniques such as fair isle, cables, circular knitting, lace knitting etc are introduced with appropriate instructions. Later, more options like embroidering knitted fabrics, beaded knitting and tassels and fringes are explained.

Next is the Stitch Library, where over one hundred stitches are presented with instructions, charts and pictures. They range from basic knit and purl stitches, to Gansey patterns, texture stitches, cables, lace and edgings. Some of them are so complicated, that I get confused just reading the patterns, let alone trying with wool and needles!

Finally there is the projects sections, which is my favourite. There are projects using the techniques described earlier in the book, so that you can try out different options as you learn them. I find this very handy, for example, once I had grasped how to knit a motif and strand wool at the back of the fabric, I could use the pattern to knit a sachet with a heart motif. The sachet was supposed to hold lavender, but I put bath bombs in it to to give as a gift (you’ll be hearing more about the bath bombs in later posts). I have my sights set on bigger things though; I am going to try to knit a fair isle patch as the front of a cushion, but I may need to save up for a bit first. The pattern uses eight colours of wool and I will need fabric for the back, plus a cushion pad for stuffing it at the end! I also fancy knitting the cable throw but I might need a bit more practice in cables before I start.

Knitted purse

Knitted purse with a heart motif, made from a pattern in the book.

The more I read The Knitting and Crochet Bible, the more I love it. I suppose I am a bit biased because it was my first knitting book, but still! Actually, as a first knitting book, it is a good choice as it covers everything from how to hold the needles, right up to the complexities of intarsia knitting. All in all, a useful companion book with clear, well-written instructions and excellent illustrations and photographs which would be a handy book for the first-time knitter or the experienced wool worker.


Photo Credit: for the picture of the knitting book, with thanks!


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