When the publishers ‘Collins and Brown’ put me on their reviewers list, my first choice of book had to be ‘Ultimate Knitting Bible’. My knitting skills can only be described as a basic ‘a hat and scarf knitter’. I can knit a pattern of stocking stitch but only using one colour of wool. Now, after having the book for two weeks, I can knit stripes and moss stitch, increase and decrease properly instead of using my own hotchpotch method and have gone on to buying a more intricate and detailed knitting pattern.
‘Ultimate Knitting Bible’ is written by Sharon Brant, who with twelve years of working with Rowan certainly knows how to write an easy to follow manual. The book is a good weight, with thick pages and most importantly large diagrams that are easy to follow. The book begins with ‘Getting Started’ explaining the many types of knitting needles and equipment and what they are used for. It then progresses into different types and thicknesses of yarn and later explaining the many abbreviations used on knitting patterns (something that has put me off many a knitting pattern).
What I have noticed about this book when I have shown it to other very keen knitters is that it seems to always bring the reaction of “I didn’t know that”, for example, the many different ways to ‘cast-on’. As you work your way through the many attractive colour coded chapters, it becomes clear that ‘Ultimate Knitting Bible’ is an essential reference not only for beginners, but for experienced knitters as well. It must be made clear that this book does not have projects to make; it is purely a guide and a reference. It does however have little practise patterns to knit small squares of what you have learnt so far. For experienced knitters, some of the sections include advice on making your own patterns, construction of outfits, gathers and flares, shaping and how to knit ‘ Fair Isle ‘ (something I still feel I would need to be shown!)
A nice touch at the rear of the book is a chapter on ‘How to Crochet’. Starting right from the basics of how to hold your hook and yarn, to how to create a crochet finish to your knitting.
All in all, I can thoroughly recommend this book. It is easy to follow and looks attractive as a coffee table book to flick through. For me personally I would still need help with some of the more difficult practises. However, as a guide and a reference, the ‘Ultimate Knitting Bible’ is perfect.