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Summer
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
581 Posts

Posted - 05/18/2003 :  8:06:48 PM  Show Profile Send Summer a Private Message
First the mushy stuff The knitting fever has hit me hard. I just started seriously knitting in March, and now it's like I can't get enough! I want a basement full of yarn and a library full of books. (I blame all you folks in the KR forums for this! ) The forums here are great, everyone is so helpful and I learn so much from these forums. I come here all the time using the search function to try to find answers, more than I look in the one real reference book I have. You guys are the best group of people out there! Alas, there are some questions that require instructional books so I'm once again asking for your help.

I have no interest in socks or hats (yet) but am instead fascinated with sweaters. I see stitch patterns that I'd love to make a sweater out of but you can't really search for a pattern by a fancy stitch pattern, so that means I have to design my own. My first thought was to take my measurements, draw a chart like I've seen in magazines and books, knit a swatch with the stitches I like, then try to create my own sweater based on how many stitches in the swatch. In my mind it sounds so easy, but I know it's not because there are going to be sleeves to set in and decreases to make, etc.

So I need a book. I think I'm down to two choices, either The Knitters Handy Book of Patterns or Sweater Design in Plain English. Does anyone have an opinion on which is better or if there is an even better one they'd recommend? What I want is something that will teach me how to figure two different stitch patterns in a sweater (like maybe I want the yoke to be a lacy pattern but the rest of the sweater to be in stockinette, and that's two different gauges), how to make one in a stitch besides stockinette or garter, how to figure out where the decreases/increases go like for sleeves, how to place a design in a sweater (like a cat on one side of a cardigan so it's not lopsided or something), etc. Maybe I'm asking for too much from one book haha The book stores I've been in don't have either of these books for me to preview unfortunately and it's hard to tell which gives more useful information.

Recommendations?

Jill

full88moon
Warming Up

64 Posts

Posted - 05/18/2003 :  8:47:07 PM  Show Profile Send full88moon a Private Message
I have both of those books. The Knitters Handy Book of Patterns is just that, a book of patterns for sweaters, hats, mittens, etc. in different gauges. It's for when you want to make something simple but don't really want to do all the math for it. Sweater Design in Plain English, however, is a book for teaching sweater design so I think that's probably more like what you're looking for.

Katherine
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full88moon
Warming Up

64 Posts

Posted - 05/18/2003 :  8:47:07 PM  Show Profile Send full88moon a Private Message
I have both of those books. The Knitters Handy Book of Patterns is just that, a book of patterns for sweaters, hats, mittens, etc. in different gauges. It's for when you want to make something simple but don't really want to do all the math for it. Sweater Design in Plain English, however, is a book for teaching sweater design so I think that's probably more like what you're looking for.

Katherine
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full88moon
Warming Up

64 Posts

Posted - 05/18/2003 :  8:47:07 PM  Show Profile Send full88moon a Private Message
I have both of those books. The Knitters Handy Book of Patterns is just that, a book of patterns for sweaters, hats, mittens, etc. in different gauges. It's for when you want to make something simple but don't really want to do all the math for it. Sweater Design in Plain English, however, is a book for teaching sweater design so I think that's probably more like what you're looking for.

Katherine
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full88moon
Warming Up

64 Posts

Posted - 05/18/2003 :  8:47:07 PM  Show Profile Send full88moon a Private Message
I have both of those books. The Knitters Handy Book of Patterns is just that, a book of patterns for sweaters, hats, mittens, etc. in different gauges. It's for when you want to make something simple but don't really want to do all the math for it. Sweater Design in Plain English, however, is a book for teaching sweater design so I think that's probably more like what you're looking for.

Katherine
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full88moon
Warming Up

64 Posts

Posted - 05/18/2003 :  8:47:07 PM  Show Profile Send full88moon a Private Message
I have both of those books. The Knitters Handy Book of Patterns is just that, a book of patterns for sweaters, hats, mittens, etc. in different gauges. It's for when you want to make something simple but don't really want to do all the math for it. Sweater Design in Plain English, however, is a book for teaching sweater design so I think that's probably more like what you're looking for.

Katherine
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Marg in Mirror
Permanent Resident

Canada
3205 Posts

Posted - 05/18/2003 :  9:12:41 PM  Show Profile  Visit Marg in Mirror's Homepage  Send Marg in Mirror a Yahoo! Message Send Marg in Mirror a Private Message
I have neither of the books you mentioned. Instead, I have gone with these two:

1. Design and Knit the Sweater of Your Dreams by J. Marsha Michler (Krause Publications) -- in which Ch. 2 is entirely about pattern sts

and

2. Knit it Your Way by Cynthia Yanok Wise (Martingale & Co.), which is more about making yarn substitutions than about designing patterns, but which I figured was a good adjunct (and which was on sale at Chapters/Indigo Online for $4.95 CDN at the time!!!).

Perhaps you could try a preview from your local library?

-- Marg in Calgary

TLWKOTB
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Marg in Mirror
Permanent Resident

Canada
3205 Posts

Posted - 05/18/2003 :  9:12:41 PM  Show Profile  Visit Marg in Mirror's Homepage  Send Marg in Mirror a Yahoo! Message Send Marg in Mirror a Private Message
I have neither of the books you mentioned. Instead, I have gone with these two:

1. Design and Knit the Sweater of Your Dreams by J. Marsha Michler (Krause Publications) -- in which Ch. 2 is entirely about pattern sts

and

2. Knit it Your Way by Cynthia Yanok Wise (Martingale & Co.), which is more about making yarn substitutions than about designing patterns, but which I figured was a good adjunct (and which was on sale at Chapters/Indigo Online for $4.95 CDN at the time!!!).

Perhaps you could try a preview from your local library?

-- Marg in Calgary

TLWKOTB
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Marg in Mirror
Permanent Resident

Canada
3205 Posts

Posted - 05/18/2003 :  9:12:41 PM  Show Profile  Visit Marg in Mirror's Homepage  Send Marg in Mirror a Yahoo! Message Send Marg in Mirror a Private Message
I have neither of the books you mentioned. Instead, I have gone with these two:

1. Design and Knit the Sweater of Your Dreams by J. Marsha Michler (Krause Publications) -- in which Ch. 2 is entirely about pattern sts

and

2. Knit it Your Way by Cynthia Yanok Wise (Martingale & Co.), which is more about making yarn substitutions than about designing patterns, but which I figured was a good adjunct (and which was on sale at Chapters/Indigo Online for $4.95 CDN at the time!!!).

Perhaps you could try a preview from your local library?

-- Marg in Calgary

TLWKOTB
Go to Top of Page

Marg in Mirror
Permanent Resident

Canada
3205 Posts

Posted - 05/18/2003 :  9:12:41 PM  Show Profile  Visit Marg in Mirror's Homepage  Send Marg in Mirror a Yahoo! Message Send Marg in Mirror a Private Message
I have neither of the books you mentioned. Instead, I have gone with these two:

1. Design and Knit the Sweater of Your Dreams by J. Marsha Michler (Krause Publications) -- in which Ch. 2 is entirely about pattern sts

and

2. Knit it Your Way by Cynthia Yanok Wise (Martingale & Co.), which is more about making yarn substitutions than about designing patterns, but which I figured was a good adjunct (and which was on sale at Chapters/Indigo Online for $4.95 CDN at the time!!!).

Perhaps you could try a preview from your local library?

-- Marg in Calgary

TLWKOTB
Go to Top of Page

Marg in Mirror
Permanent Resident

Canada
3205 Posts

Posted - 05/18/2003 :  9:12:41 PM  Show Profile  Visit Marg in Mirror's Homepage  Send Marg in Mirror a Yahoo! Message Send Marg in Mirror a Private Message
I have neither of the books you mentioned. Instead, I have gone with these two:

1. Design and Knit the Sweater of Your Dreams by J. Marsha Michler (Krause Publications) -- in which Ch. 2 is entirely about pattern sts

and

2. Knit it Your Way by Cynthia Yanok Wise (Martingale & Co.), which is more about making yarn substitutions than about designing patterns, but which I figured was a good adjunct (and which was on sale at Chapters/Indigo Online for $4.95 CDN at the time!!!).

Perhaps you could try a preview from your local library?

-- Marg in Calgary

TLWKOTB
Go to Top of Page

SandyD
Chatty Knitter

216 Posts

Posted - 05/20/2003 :  1:32:19 PM  Show Profile Send SandyD a Private Message
Hi Jill,

Marg's suggestion about checking the library for knitting books before buying is a real good one. We have inter-library loan where I live so have access to about 30 different libraries, which is fortunate because my local library does not acquire new knitting books as readily as the others.

Also, are there Borders near you? I have about 5 Borders within reasonable driving distance of me, and can check out their inventory on-line at Borders.com and then go to the Borders shop that has the book I'm interested in, and check it out personally. (Also, I don't feel as guilty doing this to the bookstore since if I buy the book, I get it from the Borders.com site which is now a partner with Amazon, so I still get the 30% off).

These two methods have allowed me to preview before purchasing, so have kept my knitting bookshelf down to only what I really want and saved me money!

I own Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns (got it for Xmas from husband, so surprised he deigned to support my knitting obsession!) and I used it recently to make a set-in sleeve for a sweater whose pattern was more of a drop shoulder. So it was convenient to use the book's table for arm hole opening in body and corresponding sleeve cap shaping. However, the only sweater style it has is the straight up and down, set-in sleeve variety, and only whole number gauges, so if your gauge is say 4 1/2 st/in you have to extrapolate between 4 and 5 st/in.

I have checked out Sweater Design in Plain English and liked it, chatty, friendly style with useful info.

Also, do you have Deborah Newton's "Designing Knitwear". I'd checked it out so many times from my library, I finally bought it last month. Definitely worthwhile. The author goes through her personal system of designing, from swatching different stitch patterns, sizing to completed project. And she does have a guernsey tunic for example that has a different knit/purl pattern for the yoke than the body, and dealing with the different gauges in one sweater. This is more a book of learn how to design by example, rather than a cookbook method with templates, body diagrams, or tables that you can readily make your own pattern from.

Another book is Lily Chin's "Urban Knitter". I know this book has gotten a lot of flak for its tone and I don't own it. But I remember one of the projects dealing with one of the HYUK wanting to use a certain stitch pattern and Lily incorporating it into a design and discussing how she handled the continuity of the stitch pattern where shaping is involved (around neck line, armhole and sleeves).

Also, one last vaguely remembered reference, one of the Threads volumes of reprinted knitting articles had one on designing a sweater with many multiple gauges. It was a visually impressive piece, all in white with various blocks of different textures. If you want, I could find out which volume it was, or another KRer may readily know.

Good luck with the sweater design, sounds like you're on the right track!

Sandy (knitter for 3 years, still trying to knit the "killer" sweater, perfect blend of yarn, pattern, fit and looks good on me--yeah, right, might as well wait for the constellations to be in alignment !)

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SandyD
Chatty Knitter

216 Posts

Posted - 05/20/2003 :  1:32:19 PM  Show Profile Send SandyD a Private Message
Hi Jill,

Marg's suggestion about checking the library for knitting books before buying is a real good one. We have inter-library loan where I live so have access to about 30 different libraries, which is fortunate because my local library does not acquire new knitting books as readily as the others.

Also, are there Borders near you? I have about 5 Borders within reasonable driving distance of me, and can check out their inventory on-line at Borders.com and then go to the Borders shop that has the book I'm interested in, and check it out personally. (Also, I don't feel as guilty doing this to the bookstore since if I buy the book, I get it from the Borders.com site which is now a partner with Amazon, so I still get the 30% off).

These two methods have allowed me to preview before purchasing, so have kept my knitting bookshelf down to only what I really want and saved me money!

I own Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns (got it for Xmas from husband, so surprised he deigned to support my knitting obsession!) and I used it recently to make a set-in sleeve for a sweater whose pattern was more of a drop shoulder. So it was convenient to use the book's table for arm hole opening in body and corresponding sleeve cap shaping. However, the only sweater style it has is the straight up and down, set-in sleeve variety, and only whole number gauges, so if your gauge is say 4 1/2 st/in you have to extrapolate between 4 and 5 st/in.

I have checked out Sweater Design in Plain English and liked it, chatty, friendly style with useful info.

Also, do you have Deborah Newton's "Designing Knitwear". I'd checked it out so many times from my library, I finally bought it last month. Definitely worthwhile. The author goes through her personal system of designing, from swatching different stitch patterns, sizing to completed project. And she does have a guernsey tunic for example that has a different knit/purl pattern for the yoke than the body, and dealing with the different gauges in one sweater. This is more a book of learn how to design by example, rather than a cookbook method with templates, body diagrams, or tables that you can readily make your own pattern from.

Another book is Lily Chin's "Urban Knitter". I know this book has gotten a lot of flak for its tone and I don't own it. But I remember one of the projects dealing with one of the HYUK wanting to use a certain stitch pattern and Lily incorporating it into a design and discussing how she handled the continuity of the stitch pattern where shaping is involved (around neck line, armhole and sleeves).

Also, one last vaguely remembered reference, one of the Threads volumes of reprinted knitting articles had one on designing a sweater with many multiple gauges. It was a visually impressive piece, all in white with various blocks of different textures. If you want, I could find out which volume it was, or another KRer may readily know.

Good luck with the sweater design, sounds like you're on the right track!

Sandy (knitter for 3 years, still trying to knit the "killer" sweater, perfect blend of yarn, pattern, fit and looks good on me--yeah, right, might as well wait for the constellations to be in alignment !)

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SandyD
Chatty Knitter

216 Posts

Posted - 05/20/2003 :  1:32:19 PM  Show Profile Send SandyD a Private Message
Hi Jill,

Marg's suggestion about checking the library for knitting books before buying is a real good one. We have inter-library loan where I live so have access to about 30 different libraries, which is fortunate because my local library does not acquire new knitting books as readily as the others.

Also, are there Borders near you? I have about 5 Borders within reasonable driving distance of me, and can check out their inventory on-line at Borders.com and then go to the Borders shop that has the book I'm interested in, and check it out personally. (Also, I don't feel as guilty doing this to the bookstore since if I buy the book, I get it from the Borders.com site which is now a partner with Amazon, so I still get the 30% off).

These two methods have allowed me to preview before purchasing, so have kept my knitting bookshelf down to only what I really want and saved me money!

I own Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns (got it for Xmas from husband, so surprised he deigned to support my knitting obsession!) and I used it recently to make a set-in sleeve for a sweater whose pattern was more of a drop shoulder. So it was convenient to use the book's table for arm hole opening in body and corresponding sleeve cap shaping. However, the only sweater style it has is the straight up and down, set-in sleeve variety, and only whole number gauges, so if your gauge is say 4 1/2 st/in you have to extrapolate between 4 and 5 st/in.

I have checked out Sweater Design in Plain English and liked it, chatty, friendly style with useful info.

Also, do you have Deborah Newton's "Designing Knitwear". I'd checked it out so many times from my library, I finally bought it last month. Definitely worthwhile. The author goes through her personal system of designing, from swatching different stitch patterns, sizing to completed project. And she does have a guernsey tunic for example that has a different knit/purl pattern for the yoke than the body, and dealing with the different gauges in one sweater. This is more a book of learn how to design by example, rather than a cookbook method with templates, body diagrams, or tables that you can readily make your own pattern from.

Another book is Lily Chin's "Urban Knitter". I know this book has gotten a lot of flak for its tone and I don't own it. But I remember one of the projects dealing with one of the HYUK wanting to use a certain stitch pattern and Lily incorporating it into a design and discussing how she handled the continuity of the stitch pattern where shaping is involved (around neck line, armhole and sleeves).

Also, one last vaguely remembered reference, one of the Threads volumes of reprinted knitting articles had one on designing a sweater with many multiple gauges. It was a visually impressive piece, all in white with various blocks of different textures. If you want, I could find out which volume it was, or another KRer may readily know.

Good luck with the sweater design, sounds like you're on the right track!

Sandy (knitter for 3 years, still trying to knit the "killer" sweater, perfect blend of yarn, pattern, fit and looks good on me--yeah, right, might as well wait for the constellations to be in alignment !)

Go to Top of Page

SandyD
Chatty Knitter

216 Posts

Posted - 05/20/2003 :  1:32:19 PM  Show Profile Send SandyD a Private Message
Hi Jill,

Marg's suggestion about checking the library for knitting books before buying is a real good one. We have inter-library loan where I live so have access to about 30 different libraries, which is fortunate because my local library does not acquire new knitting books as readily as the others.

Also, are there Borders near you? I have about 5 Borders within reasonable driving distance of me, and can check out their inventory on-line at Borders.com and then go to the Borders shop that has the book I'm interested in, and check it out personally. (Also, I don't feel as guilty doing this to the bookstore since if I buy the book, I get it from the Borders.com site which is now a partner with Amazon, so I still get the 30% off).

These two methods have allowed me to preview before purchasing, so have kept my knitting bookshelf down to only what I really want and saved me money!

I own Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns (got it for Xmas from husband, so surprised he deigned to support my knitting obsession!) and I used it recently to make a set-in sleeve for a sweater whose pattern was more of a drop shoulder. So it was convenient to use the book's table for arm hole opening in body and corresponding sleeve cap shaping. However, the only sweater style it has is the straight up and down, set-in sleeve variety, and only whole number gauges, so if your gauge is say 4 1/2 st/in you have to extrapolate between 4 and 5 st/in.

I have checked out Sweater Design in Plain English and liked it, chatty, friendly style with useful info.

Also, do you have Deborah Newton's "Designing Knitwear". I'd checked it out so many times from my library, I finally bought it last month. Definitely worthwhile. The author goes through her personal system of designing, from swatching different stitch patterns, sizing to completed project. And she does have a guernsey tunic for example that has a different knit/purl pattern for the yoke than the body, and dealing with the different gauges in one sweater. This is more a book of learn how to design by example, rather than a cookbook method with templates, body diagrams, or tables that you can readily make your own pattern from.

Another book is Lily Chin's "Urban Knitter". I know this book has gotten a lot of flak for its tone and I don't own it. But I remember one of the projects dealing with one of the HYUK wanting to use a certain stitch pattern and Lily incorporating it into a design and discussing how she handled the continuity of the stitch pattern where shaping is involved (around neck line, armhole and sleeves).

Also, one last vaguely remembered reference, one of the Threads volumes of reprinted knitting articles had one on designing a sweater with many multiple gauges. It was a visually impressive piece, all in white with various blocks of different textures. If you want, I could find out which volume it was, or another KRer may readily know.

Good luck with the sweater design, sounds like you're on the right track!

Sandy (knitter for 3 years, still trying to knit the "killer" sweater, perfect blend of yarn, pattern, fit and looks good on me--yeah, right, might as well wait for the constellations to be in alignment !)

Go to Top of Page

SandyD
Chatty Knitter

216 Posts

Posted - 05/20/2003 :  1:32:19 PM  Show Profile Send SandyD a Private Message
Hi Jill,

Marg's suggestion about checking the library for knitting books before buying is a real good one. We have inter-library loan where I live so have access to about 30 different libraries, which is fortunate because my local library does not acquire new knitting books as readily as the others.

Also, are there Borders near you? I have about 5 Borders within reasonable driving distance of me, and can check out their inventory on-line at Borders.com and then go to the Borders shop that has the book I'm interested in, and check it out personally. (Also, I don't feel as guilty doing this to the bookstore since if I buy the book, I get it from the Borders.com site which is now a partner with Amazon, so I still get the 30% off).

These two methods have allowed me to preview before purchasing, so have kept my knitting bookshelf down to only what I really want and saved me money!

I own Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns (got it for Xmas from husband, so surprised he deigned to support my knitting obsession!) and I used it recently to make a set-in sleeve for a sweater whose pattern was more of a drop shoulder. So it was convenient to use the book's table for arm hole opening in body and corresponding sleeve cap shaping. However, the only sweater style it has is the straight up and down, set-in sleeve variety, and only whole number gauges, so if your gauge is say 4 1/2 st/in you have to extrapolate between 4 and 5 st/in.

I have checked out Sweater Design in Plain English and liked it, chatty, friendly style with useful info.

Also, do you have Deborah Newton's "Designing Knitwear". I'd checked it out so many times from my library, I finally bought it last month. Definitely worthwhile. The author goes through her personal system of designing, from swatching different stitch patterns, sizing to completed project. And she does have a guernsey tunic for example that has a different knit/purl pattern for the yoke than the body, and dealing with the different gauges in one sweater. This is more a book of learn how to design by example, rather than a cookbook method with templates, body diagrams, or tables that you can readily make your own pattern from.

Another book is Lily Chin's "Urban Knitter". I know this book has gotten a lot of flak for its tone and I don't own it. But I remember one of the projects dealing with one of the HYUK wanting to use a certain stitch pattern and Lily incorporating it into a design and discussing how she handled the continuity of the stitch pattern where shaping is involved (around neck line, armhole and sleeves).

Also, one last vaguely remembered reference, one of the Threads volumes of reprinted knitting articles had one on designing a sweater with many multiple gauges. It was a visually impressive piece, all in white with various blocks of different textures. If you want, I could find out which volume it was, or another KRer may readily know.

Good luck with the sweater design, sounds like you're on the right track!

Sandy (knitter for 3 years, still trying to knit the "killer" sweater, perfect blend of yarn, pattern, fit and looks good on me--yeah, right, might as well wait for the constellations to be in alignment !)

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phlame
Permanent Resident

USA
1559 Posts

Posted - 05/20/2003 :  3:49:42 PM  Show Profile Send phlame a Private Message
quote:
The knitting fever has hit me hard. I just started seriously knitting in March, and now it's like I can't get enough! I want a basement full of yarn and a library full of books. (I blame all you folks in the KR forums for this! )


You are going to get exactly what you deserve. You know we will be happy to help you perfect your stash of yarn and books...and give up cooking and cleaning for knitting!

Shirley

Too much is not enough!
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phlame
Permanent Resident

USA
1559 Posts

Posted - 05/20/2003 :  3:49:42 PM  Show Profile Send phlame a Private Message
quote:
The knitting fever has hit me hard. I just started seriously knitting in March, and now it's like I can't get enough! I want a basement full of yarn and a library full of books. (I blame all you folks in the KR forums for this! )


You are going to get exactly what you deserve. You know we will be happy to help you perfect your stash of yarn and books...and give up cooking and cleaning for knitting!

Shirley

Too much is not enough!
Go to Top of Page

phlame
Permanent Resident

USA
1559 Posts

Posted - 05/20/2003 :  3:49:42 PM  Show Profile Send phlame a Private Message
quote:
The knitting fever has hit me hard. I just started seriously knitting in March, and now it's like I can't get enough! I want a basement full of yarn and a library full of books. (I blame all you folks in the KR forums for this! )


You are going to get exactly what you deserve. You know we will be happy to help you perfect your stash of yarn and books...and give up cooking and cleaning for knitting!

Shirley

Too much is not enough!
Go to Top of Page

phlame
Permanent Resident

USA
1559 Posts

Posted - 05/20/2003 :  3:49:42 PM  Show Profile Send phlame a Private Message
quote:
The knitting fever has hit me hard. I just started seriously knitting in March, and now it's like I can't get enough! I want a basement full of yarn and a library full of books. (I blame all you folks in the KR forums for this! )


You are going to get exactly what you deserve. You know we will be happy to help you perfect your stash of yarn and books...and give up cooking and cleaning for knitting!

Shirley

Too much is not enough!
Go to Top of Page

mtchen
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
564 Posts

Posted - 06/11/2003 :  4:02:09 PM  Show Profile Send mtchen a Private Message
I also have both books and agree with what the others have said...

The "Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns" has basic patterns in different measurements, presented in table/list format, and is useful if you want to knit basic pattern sweaters (i.e. pullover or cardigan) in a stitch pattern of your choosing, with any yarn you want.

But as for designing your own "style" of sweaters, "Sweater Design in Plain English" should be your book. It is quite like Maggie Righetti's other book "Knitting in Plain English" as far as the conversational tone is concerned, and is more about the strategies and tips to designing well-fitting sweaters (for example, it goes into describing people's body types and what kind of sweaters would suit what body type). It does not, however, contain patterns for all sizes/gauges...You can take a look at the Table of Contents for this book here:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0312051646/ref=lib_rd_ss_TC01/102-7259618-5337765?v=glance&s=books&vi=reader&img=4#reader-link

I would say the latter book has more of an imaginative element to it. However, the former book is practical if you want to know the actual approximate numbers for sizes and shapes (but note that the sweater pattern portion takes up less than half of the pages of this book, while the rest of the book is on other knitted items like scarfs, hats, tams, socks, mittens, gloves, vests...etc.).

I've also seen Deborah Newton's "Designing Knitwear" and that one looks very comprehensive and detailed...

I would say, for your purposes, you should get "The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns" because you mentioned wanting to make basic sweater styles in different stitch patterns.

Hope this helps!

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