April 17, 2007

Very Easy Circular Knits

Very Easy Circular Knits by Betty Barnden takes the mystery out of knitting in the round.

Betty Barnden shows with clear pictures and easy-to-follow directions how to knit with circular needles in her book Very Easy Circular Knits: Simple techniques and step-by-step projects for the well-rounded knitter.

It seems that most standard knitting patterns are written to accommodate knitting flat pieces and then seaming them together. For example, a sweater is often constructed by knitting the front and back separately and then seaming them together along with the sleeves.

For those of us that hate seaming and want to limit its use in our knitting as much as possible, it can be frustrating having to convert patterns to one for knitting in the round. Also, some techniques and stitch patterns are knitted differently in circular knitting vs. flat knitting.

Well, Betty takes the mystery (and frustration) out of circular knitting. Not only does the book show you how to cast on and knit in the round. It also offers tips and step-by-step instructions for knitting all types of items including bags, gloves, mittens, socks, and sweaters.

She also offers advise on knitting stitch patterns differently. In flat knitting stockinette is knitted on one side of the fabric and purled on the other side. However, when knitting in the round, you only have to knit. Betty shows you this and also how to knit other stitch patterns such as garter, reverse stockinette, ribbing, seed stitch and more.

There is also a great chapter on color work techniques in circular knitting. Betty shows how to do Fairisle in easy to understand language with great, informative photos.

The projects are arranged in order of techniques discussed in the book that go from basic to more challenging. The final pattern is a sweater pattern that can be knit for all members of the family.

I like a few of the patterns in the book including the sock pattern, glove pattern, drawstring purse pattern, and toy collection which has a kitten puppet, teddy bear puppet, mouse, and snake.

The sock pattern is especially nice because it takes you through turning the heel and knitting the instep row by row.

So if you are looking for an introduction to circular knitting but have been intimated by the thought of knitting in the round, Very Easy Circular Knits by Betty Barnden may help get you past these fears. It has great looking photos and graphics. Plus the step-by-step instructions are great!

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