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Wendy Knits [Paperback]

Wendy Johnson


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Book Description

April 25 2006
In this warm, wise, and witty memoir, Wendy D. Johnson takes a look at her lifelong obsession with "casting on" as she chronicles her journey from a crudely self-taught, left-handed beginner to one of the world’s most prolific knitters—not to mention premier knitting bloggers.

From the virtues of learning how to knit the perfect sock, to the compulsive need to stash exquisite skeins of yarn in every crevice of one’s home, this is the perfect book for every knitter. Wendy also offers tips for avoiding errors, thoughts on knitting gifts for others, and more than twenty original patterns for knitters of every level of expertise: from the ridiculous and irreverent (a cell phone cozy) to the absolutely sublime (your very own luxurious Nordic style pullover).


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Plume (April 25 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452287324
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452287327
  • Product Dimensions: 20.2 x 20 x 1.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 381 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #970,607 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  19 reviews
74 of 79 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A knitting book that is destined to occupy a prominent place on your nightstand! April 28 2006
By Suzanne - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Pour yourself a copy of coffee, sit down in your favorite chair, and get ready to spend some delightful time "chatting" with Wendy Johnson, a knitting wonder and a downright warm and friendly individual. That is exactly how I felt when I started reading Wendy's wonderful book during an incredibly hectic week in my life. Even though I had a million deadlines to make, I couldn't put Wendy's book down, so I just kept reading and smiling as each chapter put into beautiful and often times humorous language all I have ever felt about knitting.

This book has it all. It is written in a style reminiscient of Elizabeth Zimmerman's incredible books Knitting in the Round and Knitter's Almanac. Like Zimmerman, Wendy shares her abundant knitting wisdom gained over a lifetime with her readers. Those of you have enjoyed her blog over the years as I have will be pleased to know that most of the book is new material; Wendy does not simply repeat a lot of information from her website. Instead, she gives insight into her background before WendyKnits and gives her readers a behind-the-scenes look at her knitting acitivities and adventures that provided the content for her blog. She also shares a wealth of knitting information including tips about knitting techniques, types of knitting equipment, and discussions of knitting traditional garments. Her tips on Fair Isle knitting in particular are invaluabe and are even expanded a bit from her coverage of it on her blog.

She also provides great patterns for a range of knitters from all levels. Beginners could build their skill-level by starting with her easier projects and then move up to the more sophisticated garments such as her incomparable traditional Swedish two-color garment, Ingrid. Her pattern instructions are incredibly clear with the added bonus of being presented in both chart and written-direction form so that knitters have a choice. The chart symbols that she uses are my favorite kind since they are simple and easy to read.

If you are looking for a wonderful knitting narrative to give you hours of enjoyment with the bonus of great patterns in an easy-to-read format, this is the book for you. My only recommendation would be that if you are interesed in looking at glossy, colorful photos of beautiful sweaters, check out Wendy's blog in addition to buying her book because the photos in the book are in black and white (and they are still gorgeous!).

This book will definitely occupy a prominent spot on my night stand so that I can read it over and over again to hear Wendy's delightful humor and insight on the subject I love best -- knitting.
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great info in a bargain-basement format Feb. 19 2007
By Lois Lain - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Anyone who's familiar with Wendy Knit's popular blog will know exactly what they're getting from this book. What disappointed me was the quality of the book, and the pattern choices. With the number of gorgeous, full-color knitting books on the store shelves, this one definitely pales in comparison. The photos of the finished objects are in black-and-white, and are so dark they're hard to see any detail. Add to that the fact that the patterns themselves are rather bland and blah, and you may want to think twice before purchasing this book. But if you love Wendy (and who doesn't??) go ahead. Then write to her publisher and tell her you want the next book to include color photos. I'd glady pay a few more bucks for a better-quality book.
76 of 85 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars She Did It! April 28 2006
By Peg in DC - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
She did it! -like the song from My Fair Lady about Professor Higgins - Wendy did it -she did it!

Got Wendy Knits yesterday and read Wendy Knits yesterday - reading it was like eating cheetos - I couldn't stop! - even tired and blearly eyed - I had to keep reading - what...what was going to happen next? I had to find out!

I absolutely LOVED her chapter on knitting socks - from the way she describes how she got interested in knitting socks, how she designs them (the dimensions and specs) to fit a person's foot to the end of the chapter when her friend asked for the pair that Wendy had made for her when... but wait, I don't want to give it away.

I've been reading Wendy's Blog for years, so I knew that Wendy is a real knitting mensch. Now, you get to know that too - she's extremely generous sharing her knowledge and experience with knitting with her readers - you'll laugh, you'll cry and you'll learn from her mistakes. And, most amazingly, Wendy in Wendy Knits captures the adventure, the excitement, the exploration, the discovery and the creation that is knitting! BRAVO Wendy - you did it! Her's is the first knitting book I've read that really is all about that! It's not about the finished object, although there are wonderfully written and clearly charted patterns for scarves, socks, sweaters, shawls and cat toys and cat beds - and good clear B&W photographs of real women (and cats) (and even Wendy!) modeling the different knitted pieces -and good clear instructions for different techniques - lace, cables, color work - using different types of yarn - wool, silk, alpaca - and even a discussion of the many folk traditions of knitting - aran, gansey, fair aisle, Norweigen and Swedish - But the bottom line is that this book is about what makes knitting so important to many people these days - it's about the search, the adventure, the discovery, the design, and the creation that knitting is! And, last, and maybe most importantly, you'll learn all about the great Lucy - but, I will say no more...

BRAVISSIMO Wendy! And you, reading this review which has gotten to be much longer than I intended, curious knitter that you are or may yet be, these are your marching orders should you choose to accept them: get this book, do not delay, do not pass go and collect [...]- and do get ready for a fun time - with or without a marguerita [...].
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Got me Knitting Again Sept. 7 2006
By starrgirl - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book and credit it with reviving my interest in knitting. After reading the numerous reviews here, I knew it would be worth the purchase price and I bought it for the toe-up sock pattern. Wendy wrote that section in such a way that I can now take measurements and make socks for anyone and they look good and they fit. The short row toe and heel were a nice discovery for me. I also took her advice on yarn selection (superwash for socks) and needles (Brittany Birch) and have enjoyed those purchases as well. Additionally, I liked the fact that Wendy's book features normal sized women wearing her designs in the book so that I can get a realistic idea of how they will look on the average woman. I appreciate that approach and know that the patterns will reflect the same thoughtfulness. I look forward to knitting more things in the real world with Wendy. I would like to have given this a rating of 4+ stars, which wasn't available since I'm reserving 5 stars for things that one just can't live without. This book is a good solid purchase and you will get a lot out of it if you like to knit.
26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wendy Knits deserves 5 stars and more April 27 2006
By Barbara Bretton - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I'm a daily reader of Wendy Johnson's blog and have been eagerly anticipating the release of Wendy Knits: My Never-Ending Adventures in Yarn. This was definitely an overnight shipping purchase. I'm delighted to say that Wendy Knits not only lived up to my expectations, it left them in the dust. I absolutely loved it. Every page. Every story. Every photo. Every pattern. Wendy Knits is warm, funny, brimming with the sane advice and elegant designs I've come to associate with Wendy Knits on-line . . . not to mention the wicked humor. Put down that extra ball of Kureyon and buy this book! You'll be glad you did. --Barbara Bretton, knitter and writer

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