Introduction

t m have great enthusiasm for knitting and for sharing the craft with others. Because you've picked up this book, it's clear that you share at least some of my enthusiasm. It's hard to put a finger on what it is about knitting that pulls us in. Maybe it's the simple, repetitive motions, and the feel and look of the fibers and fabrics that we create; or maybe it's the chance to share in a long tradition that cuts across boundaries of age and background. It's also pretty cool to be able to point to a garment and say "I made that beautiful, warm thing with some string and a couple of sticks!" Whatever it is that attracts us, knitting is something that you can return to your whole life, making all kinds of projects — and friends — along the way.

I love teaching people how to knit. And, even more, I love teaching them to knit the things that they want to knit. Putting this book together challenged me to come up with straightforward patterns with broad appeal and lots of room for improvisation. I charged myself with two goals: to make designs that would flatter lots of different people, and to think carefully about keeping the shapes simple, relying on basic shapes like rectangles, cylinders, and triangles to create patterns that are knittable and easy to understand.

I hope that you take the patterns in this book and make them your own. Even if you're new to knitting, you can still make design decisions, whether it's the color combination you choose or the yarn and stitch pattern you decide to knit. I firmly believe that every knitter can be her own designer. So, I try to provide opportunities for you to master not only knitting skills but also skills that you need to understand why things are the way they are in a pattern — and how to change them if you want to.

Whether you're a brand new knitter, a seasoned stitcher, or someone returning to the needles after a long absence, this book gives you lots of great patterns to choose from and plenty of help along the way. Knitting Patterns For Dummies is filled with classic knits that won't go out of style — and they're all presented in an easy-to-follow format.

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