Are you interested in finding reading materials and craft instructions that focus on any of the following topics?
- Cable knitting; aran knitting
- Cable knit sweater patterns for men and women
- Sock knitting patterns that incorporate cables
- Aran knitting patterns for accessories like hats, gloves, headbands, cowls, scarves, boot toppers and leg warmers
- Cable knitting patterns to make projects for the home and kitchen: blankets, potholders, placemats, curtain tiebacks and glass cozies
If so, you’re going to want to take a look at an inspiring, in-depth book called The Cable Knitter’s Guide: 50 Patterns, 25 Projects, Countless Tips and Ideas. This book covers all the topics mentioned above, and it includes projects, patterns and instructions you can use to knit a variety of projects featuring knitted cables.
What You Need to Know About This Knitting Book:
Author: Denise Samson
Publisher: Trafalgar Square Books, North Pomfret, Vermont
Copyright Date: I’m reviewing the English language translation of the book, which has a copyright date of 2016. This book was first published in the Norwegian language in 2015.
Book Format: This is a hardcover book. In addition to the usual photos and text, the book includes QR codes you can use with your mobile device to easily view the author’s library of cable knitting video tutorials. If you don’t have a mobile device, you’ll still be able to view the videos; the book gives you detailed information about how to locate them online.
Number of Pages: 178
Cover Price: $24.95 US dollars
The Focus of This Book:
Author Denise Samson has the goal of empowering you to become a cable knitting expert. Her book doubles as both a knitting stitch dictionary and knitting pattern book. This is an exciting combination that is sure to inspire any crafter who has an interest in learning how to knit cables. The book opens the doors for you to design your own cable knit projects if you want to; however, you have the option to skip the design process and get right to working on Denise’s lovely, carefully-thought-out projects if you’d prefer to leave the adventure of designing to someone else.
The Best Things About This Knitting Instruction Book
The design work in this book is fantastic. The projects are all attractive, but the showpiece of the book is a spectacular throw that incorporates all 50 of the cable patterns. The throw gives you an excellent excuse to knit up swatches of every single cable pattern in the book.
I found this book truly inspiring. It was interesting to me to see each cable pattern presented simply on its own in the front of the book — and then I enjoyed being able to flip to the specified pages to see how Denise had incorporated each cable into one or more finished projects presented in the back of the book. I was fascinated to see how she combined many of these cables together into sophisticated, stylish creations that would make for impressive finished projects if you were to complete them successfully. There’s a nice mix of patterns: sweaters, socks, headbands, accessories, throws and more.
The author Denise’s voice is encouraging, and she transforms an intimidating topic into an approachable one. Her instructions are clear and usable, and her projects are outstanding. If you want to learn to knit cables, I think you’re likely to succeed if you draw on your own determination plus the material in this book.
I’ll add my own voice of encouragement to the mix in case you are doubtful of your own abilities to learn this skill. Learning to knit cables is not as hard as it might seem. At age sixteen when I learned how to knit, one of my first knitting projects was a man’s cable knit sweater. I remember being stunned at how many people made comments along the lines of “You’re knitting cables? Aren’t they really hard to do?” There’s this perception that cables require mysterious, hard-to-master knitting skills. Let me assure you that cable knitting is not unfathomable rocket science. I managed to figure out how to do it as a teenager, working from a book that is far less clear, far less interesting and far less approachable than this one is. I wish this book had been available when I was learning to knit. I am glad it is available now, and I encourage you to take advantage of the information it contains.
This is almost like getting two books for the price of one. At 178 pages long, this book is longer than many of the other competing knitting books that are currently available. Many of the other knitting and crochet pattern books in my library contain 20 -25 projects and a minimum of technical information. In contrast, this book has 25 projects PLUS all the cable stitch pattern instructions, PLUS the QR codes for the instructional videos. The cover price is the same as the cover prices on the other pattern books that have fewer pages and less technical information. That makes this book an exceptional value for anyone who is interested in learning the technique of cable knitting; you really get your money’s worth out of this book.
On top of that, the broad variety of patterns gives you bunches of different choices for lovely things to make. Whether you want to knit accessories for the home or wearables for children or adults, there are many interesting choices included.
This book includes instructions for a fascinating technique that involves wrapping yarn around stitches to create textured patterns that resemble aran-knitted panels. If you don’t already know how to do this, The Cable Knitter’s Guide offers you a fantastic opportunity for learning the technique.
Although I have known how to knit cables for upwards of 25 years now, I learned a great deal from reading this book. I also really enjoyed the presentation of the book. I compare virtually all other knitting books against my favorite classic knitting texts including Barbara Walker’s and Marion Foale’s. I’ve owned wonderful books by both of the above authors and still found that this book is a refreshing addition to my knitting library. I’d gladly recommend it to longtime knitters, even those who have been collecting knitting books for years.
The charts in this book are large and clear. I found them readable despite the fact that my eyeglasses prescription is more than three years out of date.
Other Observations About This Book
This is not a perfect book, but in my opinion the pros definitely far outweigh the few cons. I’d be a bad reviewer if I didn’t point out the small number of disappointing things I noticed about this book.
The thing that stands out to me as being the most noticeable disappointment is that a few of the photos have blurry areas. A couple of examples:
- The book includes a pattern for multiple pairs of gorgeous cabled socks. The photography is sufficient for showing you the details on almost all of them, with one noteworthy exception: The photo portraying the ribbed band at the top of one pair of socks is blurred, making it a challenge to see the details. I trust the pattern and my own abilities enough to feel comfortable knitting the socks anyway, but a less confident knitter might not.
- There’s a lovely set of cable knit accessories that includes a hat, cowl, mittens and leg warmers. The book includes several photos that show multiple pieces from the set, but there’s only one picture that I could find that shows the leg warmers. Unfortunately, that shot shows the model jumping into the air, and the leg warmers appear blurry. It’s a fun, lively photograph that adds elements of spontaneity and joy to the book — but it would have been nice to have at least one other picture showing the leg warmers close up so we could better see the details.
Overall, I found the photography in the book to be lovely, inspiring and helpful.
I would not hesitate to recommend this book to other knitting enthusiasts. I’m delighted with my copy of it, and I think it will appeal to a majority of other knitters too.
Where to Buy This Book:
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This page was last updated on 8-18-2019.
About Your Book Reviewer: Amy Solovay is a freelance writer with a background in textile design. She has been crocheting and crafting since childhood, and knitting since she was a teenager. Her work also appears at AmySolovay.com, ArtsWithCrafts.com and Crochet-Books.com. Amy sends out a free knitting and crochet newsletter so interested crafters can easily keep up with her new patterns and tutorials. If you’re already an Instagram user, Amy also invites you to follow her on Instagram.
This page was last updated on 8-18-2019.