Lily Chin is known as a knit and crochet designer with her own line of yarns, and she's sharing some of the secrets she's learned over more than 25 years as a knitting pro in her book Lily Chin's Knitting Tips & Tricks: Shortcuts and Techniques Every Knitter Should Know.
The book's subtitle makes a bold promise, but it delivers. This book is full of tips and techniques that will make knitters of all skill levels better and more efficient knitters, or at the very least will get you excited about the mysteries of knitting all over again.
A Knitting Education
There are tons of books that aim to provide tips to knitters, but most of them cover the same general ground without providing a lot of new insights.
Not so with Lily Chin. Her book is an amazing collection of knitting tips you probably haven't heard. While Chin isn't willing to say that all of these techniques are her invention (she describes many of her techniques as "unventings" like Elizabeth Zimmermann did), they're certainly the sorts of things you don't see in every knitting tip book.
The book is divided into five general categories: needles and yarn, the basics, getting started, as you knit and finishing.
Within these categories are a wide variety of topics, from how to work with yarn in cones to using math to come up with the right measurement for your long-tail cast on, working with ribbon yarns, setting in sleeves on garments and many more topics.
Even knitters with a good grounding in the craft are sure to find some tips here they hadn't heard or hadn't tried before. For instance, there's good information on how to use a gauge swatch to estimate yarn needs for a flat piece of knitting, which I never would have thought of (Chin is even more obsessed with gauge swatches than I am).
There are examples of using duplicate stitch to cover up a bunch of mistakes, including turning a knit into a purl or vice-versa and changing the cross of a cable, which I had never considered before.
There's a clever tip involving elastic with dots on it to easily space buttonholes, a technique for making neater buttonholes and a way to knit buttons into the fabric as you work.
If you've ever thought there had to be a better way to bind off (using a crochet hook, for instance), a way to cast on that looks more like a bind off or a left-slanting decrease that looks more like a knit two together, you'll find that information and more in Lily Chin's Knitting Tips & Tricks.
This is a great book for anyone who is interested in learning more about how knitting works or ways to make your knitting a little more efficient or to learn some tricks to impress your knitting friends.
It's a book you'll want to have in your collection if you want to tweak you knitting skills and find new ways to do things. You might not use all these tips in your knitting, but knowing about even a couple of these cool knitting hacks is well worth the price of admission.
Publication date:October 2009.