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The Essential Guide to Color Knitting Techniques

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The Essential Guide to Color Knitting Techniques

The Essential Guide to Color Knitting Techniques by Margaret Radcliffe.

Storey Publishing.

Margaret Radcliffe's The Essential Guide to Color Knitting Techniques is a staggering collection of advice, tips and design possibilities for all of the major types of color knitting, and a few you might not have tried or even heard of.

In addition to the basics like working with multicolored yarn and knitting stripes, and classics like Fair Isle and intarsia, the book also covers techniques like entrelac, shadow knitting, mosaic knitting and several others, offering techniques, information, patterns and projects to try using all these colorful options.

Color Knitting Answers

Radcliffe is probably best known as the author of the awesome knitting instruction and tip book The Knitting Answer Book. While The Essential Guide to Color Knitting Techniques has a much different format from that earlier book, the aim is the same: to answer as many as possible of a knitter's questions about color knitting.

She does this by providing in-depth chapters on color basics, stripes, pattern stitches, multicolor yarns, stranded knitting, intarsia, other techniques, finishing touches and a design workshop that helps knitters modify existing patterns and design garments from scratch using color knitting techniques.

Readers will find a wealth of information on all of these subject areas, including:

  • how to experiment with colorways to find the best mix for your project
  • how to knit single-row stripes, neaten up stripes worked in ribbing and disguise the color jog in circular stripes
  • different ways to design with stripes
  • how to use colors in slip stitch patterns, by working into a previous row, knitting chevrons and more
  • ways to use different stitch patterns with multicolored yarns to achieve pleasing effects
  • how to correct mistakes, shape knitting and add texture in stranded knitting patterns
  • how to work intarsia in the round (yes, it is sort of possible)
  • why you might want to include shaping around your intarsia motifs
  • how to use helix knitting (changing colors every round) in knitting projects
  • how to design shadow knitting motifs
  • different ways to work mosaic knitting charts
  • working twined knitting with two colors
  • how to manage yarns and read charts for double knitting
  • how to build motifs in modular knitting, including entrelac

Embellishing, Designing and More

The book goes on to explore finishing touches that can be used to add even more color and texture to a knitting project, such as decorative cast ons, bind offs and edgings, braids, I-cord and ruffles.

There are also tips for creating neat edges, blocking and seaming and dealing with yarn ends, among other topics.

The design workshop covers such topics as sweater architecture, gauge, shaping, and the importance of borders and cuffs.

A glossary of techniques covers a range of cast ons, increases, decreases and other techniques, such as making buttonholes and knitting backward.

An extensive, chapter-by-chapter bibliography helps knitters who want to delve into a particular technique more deeply.

Tons of patterns stitches, sample instructions and patterns for projects are included throughout the book to help knitters learn and use the skills described in the book.

The patterns included are reversible striped scarves, a bag worked in multiple colors in a windowpane stitch, socks and a bag worked in multicolored yarns, a hat worked in stranded knitting, mittens worked in the helix technique, ruffled socks and I-cord coasters.

These patterns are great for people who are new to the color knitting techniques described, allowing them to get their feet wet on projects that mostly aren't very big but allow them to get a good grounding in the basics.

Bottom Line

If you like knitting with color, or you want to learn more about different ways to add color to your knitting projects, you need a copy of The Essential Guide to Color Knitting Techniques. I'm often skeptical of the word "essential" being used in the title of or description for a book, but in this case I think it's an apt term.

There are books that delve much more deeply into individual techniques found in this guide, but I don't know of another book where so many techniques are described so well all in one place. Add in tons of color pictures and a sturdy hardcover binding and this is a book you're sure to return to again and again for education, inspiration and tons of techniques to try.

Publication date: December 2008

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Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
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