Super Easy Knitting for Beginners by Carri Hammett

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Super Easy Knitting for Beginners by Carri Hammett

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Buy Super Easy Knitting for Beginners by Carri Hammett at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Crafts
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: A well-crafted introduction to knitting skills with patterns to use as your skills improve. Recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 144 Date: August 2022
Publisher: New Shoe Press
ISBN: 978-0760379875

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I learned to knit in the nineteen-fifties: it wasn't a choice, it was a requirement. Girls learned to knit and to embroider and boys did wood and metal work. My knitting was accompanied by a lot of criticism and quite a few tears: it was a long time before I realised that there was a pleasure to be had in the skill. Nearly seventy years later it's the only thing that keeps my hands at all supple. The turning point was a booklet published by Patons which gave all the basics and some patterns. I've been looking for something simple to recommend to people who'd like to master the skill. So, how did Super Easy Knitting For Beginners work out?

In seven chapters we learn the basics of knitting: each chapter covers a skill, tells you what you'll need, such as the type of yarn and size of needles and you're encouraged to make a practice swatch even if you've no intention of making the project for which you're given the pattern. There's also further online content to help you.

The yarn recommended - and used in some of the patterns and swatches - is Cascade 220. It's 100% wool which is more forgiving for a beginner and not exorbitantly priced. I've found it available online but not in such outlets as Hobbycraft. If you're looking for a substitute then you'll find yarnsub helpful. The site will also give substitutes for other yarns in the book. I liked Carri Hammett's advice on choosing needles: many of my needles originally belonged to my mother but they wouldn't necessarily be the best tools for a beginner as they're heavy and quite slippery in use.

I've always used different methods for casting on but I tried Hammett's method. It takes a little mastering but does provide a good edge and base to work from. Instructions for knitting and binding off (or casting off, as it's called in the UK) are good. I particularly liked the instructions for joining in a new ball of yarn. The first project is a scarf and it's interesting to see how playing about with the weight of the yarn and the size of the needles changes the finished look. Imagination is encouraged at a very early stage!

Skills are introduced gradually and in a way which gives you confidence. For your second project, you could be making a baby blanket which introduces the purl stitch and stockinette (I know it as stocking) stitch. The blanket is rather beautiful and would make a lovely gift. Increasing and decreasing it is taught by making a felted Christmas tree. It's ingenious and a very clever way to teach the skills and you'll even learn how to felt.

Knitting in the round seems to frighten novice knitters. I learned on double-pointed needles but circular needles make this a simple skill. The hat pattern starts on circular needles but changes to double pointed for the decreases at the crown. As for the patterns, the one I'm most likely to make is the leaf-edge shawl which is pretty and useful. With a little practice, you could be making this soon after you learn the basics. I could also be tempted by the striped cotton bathroom rug as it might be the only way of getting the precise colours I want in the shower room!

By the time that you get to the end of the book, you'll feel confident in your knitting and be able to tackle some quite difficult and demanding projects, such as the lace curtain panels complete with curtain rod casing. If I had to quibble about the book it would be that there are rather a lot of scarves - but that is me being very picky!

I'd like to thank the publishers for letting Bookbag have a review copy.

As your skills improve, you might benefit from The Knitter's Dictionary: Knitting Know-How from A to Z by Kate Atherley. Need some mittens to go with your scarves? We can recommend The Mitten Handbook: Knitting Recipes to Make Your Own by Mary Scott Huff.

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Buy Super Easy Knitting for Beginners by Carri Hammett at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Super Easy Knitting for Beginners by Carri Hammett at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.

Buy Super Easy Knitting for Beginners by Carri Hammett at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Super Easy Knitting for Beginners by Carri Hammett at Amazon.com.

Super Easy Knitting for Beginners by Carri Hammett Check prices, read reviews or buy from Foyles. Foyles currently charges £2.99 (first class £3.99) for orders under £25, over which delivery is free. You may also click and collect from a Foyles bookshop at no charge.

Super Easy Knitting for Beginners by Carri Hammett Check prices, read reviews or buy from Waterstones. Waterstones currently charges from £2.75 for orders under £20, over which delivery is free. You may also click and collect from a Waterstones bookshop at no charge.

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