First, my copy doesn't look anything like the photo here. It has a wonderful covered spiral that is very appropriate for use while you're actually knitting. I've been carying this one around with me ever since I got it. Since I've forgotten what my GM and Aunties tried to teach me when I was little, and I just recently picked up this obsession again, I consider myself to be self-taught, or book-taught. I just never learned advanced techniques, and I really need the pictures to show me what to do. There are no classes available in my little out of the way town. The lovely little church-lady expert that helps me out, well, I just don't want to bug her at 1 AM! In no time, I was doing more professional looking garments, and making items that my family will actually wear in public. They're "custom made and designed" now, not just home-made.
The book includes Cast-ons and Bind offs as well as all kinds of increases, decreases, seams, picking up stitches, borders and bands. It even has about 8 different kinds of buttonholes. Then there's the techniques that I had never heard of before: I-cord, and knitted shoulder pads, and a very unbiased discussion on the different uses of flat knitting versus circular knitting. And finally, the worksheets help get you on the right path to keeping track of what you plan on doing. An index is the only thing missing from this book.