Try new knitting methods and enhance your skills with this enjoyable book of techniques and patterns
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A YEAR OF TECHNIQUES by Arnall-Culliford Knitwear (£20)
THIS INFORMATIVE, accessible book is the culmination of a project from the Arnall-Culliford Knitwear team, where online subscribers received a knitting tutorial each month plus a pattern from a popular designer. The idea behind the project was “there’s always something new to learn,” whether you’ve been knitting for just a few months or for many decades.
A Year of Techniques is an excellent way to try different methods and improve your skills. The 12 chapters cover a wide range of techniques, and contain in-depth photographic tutorials. (Accompanying video tutorials can be viewed on the Mason-Dixon Knitting website at www.masondixonknitting.com.)
There are two cast-ons in the book to try. Judy’s Magic Cast-On is demonstrated by a pretty blanket designed by Tin Can Knits, and is written in four sizes from baby to big. The pinhole cast-on method, meanwhile, is accompanied by a sweet mouse toy with stranded colourwork details from Ella Austin.
Knitted-on edgings are explored, and the technique is used on a chic cloche hat by Romi Hill. Another hat, ‘Ruschia’ by Woolly Wormhead, incorporates shortrow shaping in garter stitch. Garter stitch grafting, meanwhile, is used to create the ‘Wood Warbler’ cowl by Martina Behm.
For those looking to improve their Fair Isle skills, there is a chapter on yarn dominance, with the chance to try out stranding on a lovely pair of two-colour mittens from Shetland designer Ella Gordon. Steeking, another useful Fair Isle technique, is covered in detail, and is used on Mary Jane Mucklestone’s delightful ‘Oorik’ colourwork tank top for babies.
The mysteries of intarsia are made clear in chapter 2, where Bristol Ivy presents a striking, shaped colourblock shawl. Afterthought heels and thumbs are explored, as are heel turns - perfect for knitters who’ve never tried making their own socks. Rachel Coopey contributes a modern sock design using simple lace to great effect. There’s also a chapter on following charted cable symbols, plus a cosy cabled scarf design by Sarah Hatton.
Even if you consider yourself as an experienced knitter, the chances are you will find more than one interesting technique in this book which you’ve yet to master - and the chance to own 12 stylish patterns from top designers makes this book even more appealing.
Each technique is accompanied by a pattern for an accessory
A Year of Techniques is published by Arnall-Culliford Knitwear, priced £20 for the print book plus complimentary e-book. To order, visit www.acknitwear.co.uk