Book Review: Knockout Knits

I was very excited about Knockout Knits by Laura Nelkin and really wanted to like it.  I wouldn’t call myself a good knitter by any means, but I have knit scarves, hats, mittens, and some blankets so I’m not a total novice either.  This book is for people who are advanced knitters.  The simplest patterns are for “advanced beginners” and they’re for things that I didn’t want to make like cuffs.

There is a glossary at the back of the book that describes what all the abbreviations mean and some of them had a picture to go with the description, but I didn’t find the images very helpful.  There was at most 1 image per description whereas many of the descriptions had more than 1 step.  Also, some of the pictures didn’t seem accurate.  For example, the m1R (Make 1 Right) is described as “With the left-hand needle tip lift a strand between the needles from back to front, knit the lifted loop through the front.  This creates a right-leaning increase.”  The picture, however, shows the strange going from front to back.  Even something as simple as a slip stitch required detailed instructions.  I read the instructions for the I-Cord 4 times and still don’t get it.  The redeeming feature is that she has a website with videos and there are little symbols next to the instructions that have videos posted on the website.  Personally, I want my knitting books to tell me what I need to know without having to switch between different mediums.  Who is going to go constantly from a book to a computer or tablet while trying to knit?

The knit items look really cute (I’m saying this based on the pictures, obviously I didn’t make any of them).  If anyone wants to make me one of the lovely lace shawls or the cloche hat, I would love it.

I went back and forth about how to rank this book.  Maybe I’m just not good at deciphering all the knitting instructions …  Is it me or is the book truly confusing?  Even if we take the part about the instructions out of the equation, I think that a knitting book should have patterns that cover more of a variety of difficulties.  Also, the book doesn’t seem very organized.  It’s split up into 3 sections: the first is called wrapped stitches at play, the second is for lace and the third involves beads.  However, within the sections, there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to the patterns.  The section with beads starts with an advanced beginner pattern then goes to several intermediate level patterns before returning to an advanced beginner pattern again.

There should be something on the cover or in the description on the dust jacket about how this is a book for proficient knitters.  There also needs to be more pictures to cover the various steps in the instructions.  I preferred the Stitch ‘n Bitch knitting book .. and for people who are no longer beginners, they have a Go Beyond the Basics book.

I received a free copy of this book from Blogging for Books for my honest review.

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