When Bad Things Happen to Good Knitters: An Emergency Survival Guide by Mario Edmonds and Ahza Moore may be the knitting books with the best name since Knitting with Balls. It's also a thoughtful book with a lot of good information to set knitters off on the right track and to help them when they stray from knitting perfection.
Starting the Right Way
The beginning of the book has a lot of good information on how to prevent "bad things," including a great section on how to build a knitter's tool kit to keep handy whenever you're knitting.
In addition to a copy of the book, the ladies suggest always having a tape measure, scissors, stitch markers, stitch holders, safety pins, a needle sizer and other necessities. These tools don't take up a lot of space in your knitting bag but you'll be glad you have them should an emergency arise.
There's plenty of talk about gauge and why and how to knit a gauge swatch, as well as information on choosing yarn and making sure you buy enough for your project, one mistake that has spelled doom for countless knitters.
The importance of a good foundation is also emphasized, so there are several pages devoted to different ways to cast on and why you should bind off loosely.
Information on choosing the right pattern for your skill level, deciphering pattern instructions and basic skills like increasing, decreasing, creating cables and changing colors will help prevent the frustration knitters often feel when the pattern doesn't fully explain the terms it uses.
Fixing and Finishing
The second half of the book gets down to troubleshooting, helping knitters with such problems as how to keep stitches from falling off the needle when you put your work down, how to deal with twisted circular knitting needle cables, how to join a new ball of yarn and how to deal with twisted stitches.
Readers will learn how to pick up a dropped stitch, knit in the round with two circular needles, figure out why your knitting is getting wider or narrower when it shouldn't be and more.
You'll also find plenty of pep talks and encouraging words like, "Knitting is meant to be enjoyed, not to work your last nerve."
The final section deals with the all-important finishing tasks, including different ways to weave in ends, seam knitting and graft stitches. It also explains how to deal with emergencies of fit, such as a too-short sock, a too-long sweater or a sweater that won't go over your head or a hat that won't fit over your ears.
It's even got advice for when you decide you don't like a project after you've already finished knitting it.
While this book could use a few more illustrations to explain some of the fixes, it's a good, small book to keep in your knitting bag for when you absolutely need to know right now how to fix a problem with your knitting.
Publication date: February 2007.