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The Handknitter’s Yarn Guide
Nikki Gabriel

Search Press
24 February 2012 / ISBN 9781844487509
How-To Books/Knitting
Amazon US - UK

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde

There are lots of books on the market containing knitting patterns, but too often the yarn mentioned is not one you can obtain. What can you use instead? What would the item look like if made up in something you already own? What can you do with that job lot of yarn you bought at a craft show? You need a book on yarns to help you out.

Here it is, a nice big square format book filled with more yarns than I ever knew existed. They are all broadly grouped as to whether they are animal, vegetable, man made, textured or just plain unusual. Each type of yarn (eg silk, polyester, linen etc) is thoroughly explored. By the time you read the whole section, you ought to have all your questions answered. Find out what it blends well with, how to care for it one made up, its general qualities, sustainability, pros and cons and what it is usually used for. You can discover what needles to use with what ply, weight per ball and gauge tension per a set size of sample as well as the "chest" section, which tells you how much yarn to buy if knitting a top without a pattern per size. If your ball has lost its band, you can even work out how to work with it -- all very useful.

Illustrated throughout with helpful photos of the yarns and containing a glossary of terms, a section on calculating substitutes for a yarn you cannot obtain, understanding ball bands, needle sizes and more. There are no patterns in here or knitting know-how; but you can find those in so many other places. If you knit, this is a vital book to own, and the first of its kind I have seen. A useful purchase for anybody who knits, whatever their level of expertise.

You find out more about UK reviewer Rachel Hyde at her blog: Green Thoughts
Reviewed 2012