Fearless Knitting Workbook Review

Fearless Knitting Workbook Review
Many of us learned to knit from a parent, grandparent, or friend; others of us picked up the craft on our own. I belong to the second group, and learned by trying different patterns and making swatches. If I had known that the Fearless Knitting Workbook was available, you can be sure I’d have bought myself a copy and worked through it. Even as a seasoned knitter, I learned some new tips from perusing its pages.

Author Jennifer Seiffert divides her material into seven sections. The first, entitled “General Advice,” is well worth reading no matter your current knitting ability. Topics covered include choosing needles for arthritic hands, tips for knitting better gauge swatches, the importance of stitch mount, and assessing mistakes. I can almost guarantee that everyone will learn something new here; at the very least, there’s good reference information to review.

The interim chapters concern themselves with creating swatches, each intended to demonstrate a new skill. Today’s fashion interest in patchwork means that these squares can later be sewn together to make an on-trend scarf or wrap. However, newbies will learn from just knitting the squares, even if they then rip them out. The instructions are given in both “knit-speak” and everyday English; with explanations and tips added. I recommend reading through each section before beginning and then using it as a reference as you knit each square.

Seiffert covers basic knitting and purling, shaping techniques, cables and crossed stitches, lace, and knitting in the round. This is perfect for a beginner’s learning curve, as Seiffert’s explanations are thorough and helpful. My only criticism is that the book doesn’t cover more. I would love to see a second volume, following the same pattern, that talks a knitter through such techniques as entrelac, brioche, and mitering, all complex procedures that would benefit from comprehensive discussion.

I also appreciated the photography and graphs, which are both on the larger side. This makes them easy to read and study. I hadn’t thought of enlarging graphs to make them more readable; some readers will laugh at my lack of common sense, while others will nod knowingly.

As suggested earlier, the projects mostly consist of practice squares; however, there is a basic cabled hat and scarf set that would make a beautiful gift. Also of note are the pillow cover instructions, which offer another way to use the different squares. Between these projects and the ideas given for a DIY scarf, this book has the beginning knitter covered for a good half a year of step-by-step instruction.

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Interweave Books or with Jennifer Seiffert. I purchased a used copy of this book from an Amazon affiliate.

Seiffert, Jennifer. Fearless Knitting Workbook: the Step-by-Step Guide to Knitting Confidence. Interweave Press, Loveland, Colorado, 2009. ISBN: 978-1-59668-149-1

You Should Also Read:
Swatches and Gauge
Casting on for Beginners
Four Great Lace Patterns for Scarves or Shawls

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