I found this gem, KnitSpeak by Andrea Berman Price, on my last trip to my local Borders. The first thing that caught my attention was the bright pink hardcover with accents of neon green. The second appeal came with its portable, compact size, perfect to take along inside your knitting bag.
The book is a comprehensive guide, from A-to-Z on the Knitting language. Who would have thought that you needed to learn a new language to be a knitter? As a second language speaker (first language was Spanish), I can attest that learning a new language can be a bit difficult, not impossible, but difficult. Learning the language can make life enjoyable and you will be able to communicate with many others--the world opens up.
This little book can accomplish the task of opening doors/friendships to a whole new world. If you are a new knitter or loom knitter, you have undoubtedly seen a typical pattern that look more like Greek than English, or you have seen a chart and your eyes just rolled upwards and your head adamantly said--there is no freaking way I can read thing! I know. I said the same thing when I first learned to knit. Mim can attest to my terror of charts. I avoided them like trying to avoid my visit to the gynecologist.
Knitting has its own language, formed with abbreviations such as p, k, k2tog, yo, skpo, just to mention a few. The first time you encounter these abbreviations, your heart starts beating and small beads of sweat begin rolling off your forehead, you hands tighten on the needles and the once loose knit stitches have become iron on the needles. KnitSpeak can make your life into the world of knitting or loom knitting a lot easier. The guide starts you off with a lesson on reading knitting patterns, this section is indispensable when starting off on your knitting or loom knitting journey. There are a few things that have double meaning, others that require a little knowledge to know what they mean "knit as other side, except reverse all shaping" being one of them. Look no further, pick up this little book and find out how to read a pattern and what all those foreign words mean.
Need help with knowing what the little * or the [ ] mean? We don't come with this knowledge in our arsenal, nor is it something that we learned as little kids in school, however, they are ever present in knitting instructions/patterns. Andrea goes over symbols and abbreviations and their meanings. Along with the words, the book is beautifully illustrated. The illustrations are clear and easy to understand.
At the very back of the book you will find an index with imperative information such as sizing, yardage (estimated) needed for different items, substituting yarn, and even fixing errors.
Overall, this little gem packs a punch! I highly recommended it to new knitters, or knitters who need a little help looking up some information. I also highly recommend this book to loom knitters. We (meaning loom knitters) use many of the same terminology, abbreviations, symbols, and pattern reading is the same, thus this book can become one of the most used books in your looming library.
This reviewer gives it 5 sweaters: