I felt completely lost.
When I went to my local knitting shop (the dearly departed Noe Knit :( ) to pick up the pattern, I was so embarrassed of my newbie-ness that I was terrified to ask the shop ladies any questions -- I just kind of threw an old, on-sale issue of Interweave into my bag, grabbed some yarn, and ran to the cash register. I *did*, however, ask if the i-cord called for in the pattern was something I needed to buy. (Ha!) And the ladies who were working the desk were very nice in pointing out that no, no I did not.
Anyway, what I'm trying to say, is that as a newbie sweater-knitter, I probably could have used a book or a pattern that really broke things down for me. It would have cut out much of the deer-caught-in-headlights look I had the entire time I was knitting, and I would have learned a great deal. And, had my first sweater been a cardi, I would have greatly benefited from the book we're going to talk about today.
My First Cardigan Workbook by Georgia Druen is a new Annie's book that breaks down cardigan knitting into its simplest form. A "self-guided tutorial", it includes 8 patterns for very simple, top-down raglan cardigans and loads of great information for beginners about the importance of making a gauge swatch and blocking, techniques, etc. The clever thing about this book, I think, is that the 8 patterns come in four sets of two, with each set containing both a baby cardigan and its adult-sized counterpart. Each set includes a different and slightly more complex technique, such as cabling, fair isle and lace. What's fantastic about this is that you can "practice" on the smaller baby version, gain some confidence, and then move on to the adult version. Because of the simplicity of the designs, the adult versions are really not more complex than the baby versions, just a little bigger.
And the designs are pretty cute. (Speaking of cute, the little girl modeling the baby sweaters is killing me!)
The beginner sweater - Baby Blocks...
And its adult counterpart, Basket Weave Basic...
Kisses & Hugs, which throws in some cabling...
And its grown up version, Classic Cables...
And, I think Baby's First Fair Isle is particularly sweet...I love the color combo they used.
As has been my experience with all Annie's books, the layout, technique instructions, and length are just perfect. This particular book is spiral bound and also features a format that allows you to write in the stitch counts for your size, making it truly workbook-like.
OR, if you'd like to win your very own copy of this book, either to try your hand at cardigan-knitting or, if you feel like you're a master already, give it to a friend who's just starting out, leave a comment here telling me a) how many cardigans you've made (an estimate is ok :) ) and b) the best way to contact you. You have until 11:59pm Pacific time next Friday, April 5th, and I'll draw a winner on Saturday afternoon.
Happy weekend, everyone!