As a preface to this review, I want to point out that this books’ author runs an affiliate program, so that people can earn money selling copies of her book. I want to make it clear that I am not involved in that program, nor will I be in the future. (Damned ethics.) I don’t earn any money if you buy Sweater 101.
Sweater 101 is the PDF version of Cheryl Brunette’s bestselling book, which sadly went out of print. It is now available for sale from the author’s website. I’ll just cut to the chase and tell you to go buy it now. NOW.
Cheryl offers a spiral-bound print version of the book for $32.95, or a downloadable electronic version for $29. I think you want to pay the extra few dollars and get the paper copy.
Ebooks are awesome, particularly reference ebooks. Why should a book take up all that room on your shelf when all you do is look something up once in a while? Nevertheless, a 120-page ebook presents a formidable challenge for those of us who like to step away from our desks once in a while.
All you really need to know is that this is a 120-page book about knitting sweaters. It’s not a 120-page book of sweater patterns. It’s about knitting sweaters. Brunette focuses on giving you the tools you need to knit sweaters. I love her.
Here is what happened when I opened the ebook:
1. I read the introduction and smiled.
2. I read “The Goals of Sweater 101″ and nodded in agreement. Yes. People need this.
3. I read “Tools that Enhance Sweater 101,” saw that the first item on the list was a hand-held calculator, and resisted the urge to applaud.
4. A few pages later, I read something (about how a drop-shoulder sweater is meant to be seamed) that made my eyes go unfocused as I realized how much simpler my life would have been, had I known this tidbit earlier.
5. On the next page, I read something (about how to program your calculator to memorize your stitch gauge) that made my eyes go unfocused as I realized how much simpler my life would have been, had I known this tidbit earlier.
6. I had to go make a pot of coffee before continuing further.
If any aspect of knitting a sweater – all of it, or just a tiny bit of it – is mystifying to you, then you need this book. It demystifies everything about sweaters, from the very basic (gauge) to the complex (equations for determining decrease rate).
I’m just going to lay it out there and say that every knitter should read this book. Even if you’re already designing and knitting your own sweaters from scratch without a pattern, there’s probably something in here you need. (Are you really drafting your own sleeve cap calculations for set-in sleeves? Or do you do what I do, which is to cheat and use the info from an existing pattern? Cheryl will show you how to draft your own sleeve cap from scratch.)
Just to give you a hand, Brunette has included schematics for thirty different sizes, from child’s size 6 months to men’s size 50. Each of these sizes includes schematics for drop-shoulder, set-in sleeve, and raglan sleeve versions. And with all the other information, you won’t have any trouble adapting the schematics to suit you.
Trust me. You need this. A+!