Thursday, April 26, 2012

200 Knitting Tips, Techniques & Trade Secrets

Title: 200 Knitting Tips, Techniques & Trade Secrets
Author: Betty Barnden
Publication Information: Quarto, Inc. 2008. 160 pages.

Book Source: I am a knitter. So, I pick up knitting books on my trips to the library. This one caught my eye on the library shelf.

Favorite Quote: "There's always something new for a keen knitter to discover."

200 Knitting Tips, Techniques & Trade Secrets is, as the title suggests, a book about knitting. The book is organized into sections dealing with different aspects of knitting - equipment, patterns, garment design, basic techniques, advanced techniques, knitting in the round, creative techniques, and assembly. Each section is further divided into short sections dealing with specific topics. Topics range from reading a pattern to choosing a garment shape for your body shape, from stitch patterns to hand dyeing yarn. Each topic includes descriptions, color illustrations, ideas to try, and tips to avoid or fix common mistakes. Please note that while the book does have some stitch patterns, it is not a pattern book.

The book has many positive aspects:
  • overview of a wide variety of knitting topics
  • topics addressing not just how to knit but why and what to knit for different needs
  • short independent sections addressing discrete topics that allow the book to be used as a reference
  • detailed table of contents and index
  • glossary and abbreviation list
The book targets both novice and experienced knitters. I am not sure where I would put myself in that range - not a novice but not experienced either. I found the descriptions of each section contained enough detail for me to incorporate the technique into my knitting. Other knitters may have a different reaction. Overall, an okay knitting reference book.


  1. Thank you for this review - it was really helpful! Myself, I am trying to read 500 books this year. Do you have a set of favorites you just love? I'd like to know some titles so I can try them - we seem like the same kind of reader. I found your blog from a review you wrote on My nickname there is poppysbabies.

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by. 500 books this year - I am impressed. I average about 5-10 books a month. Sometimes more and sometimes less depending on what else is going on in life.

      I have some recent favorites reviewed on this blog: The Memory Palace (reviewed 9/2011), The Night Circus (reviewed 10/2011), the Hunger Game series (reviewed 1/2012), The Snow Child (reviewed 2/2012), The Gilly Salt Sisters (reviewed 3/2012). Have you read any of these and if you have, what did you think?

      This blog is relatively new for me. You can find some older favorites by tracing my reviews on Please share some of your favorites. I would love some suggestions as well.

      Also, I love your "about me" statement on PBS!

    2. I love mysteries and real-life adventures. I don't mountain climb, but I really enjoy books about mountain-climbing - like "Into Thin Air" or "Touching the Void." I also enjoy autobiographical humor books - like "The Egg and I" by Betty MacDonald and her other lesser-known book "The Plague and I" (wonderful!). And finally I love fictional books that have a genuine ring of truth about them like Amy Tan's "The Kitchen God's wife" or the Benjamin January series set in 1820's New Orleans by Barbara Hambly.

      The only one of the books you mentioned that I have read is the 1st book of the Hunger Games. IT was good, but more like a movie script than a deep-feeling novel. But I'll certainly try the others!

    3. Sorry for the delayed response. Life got in the way of reading and writing.

      I have read Into The Wild and Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer. Both really interesting. I should put Into Thin Air on my list to read as well. Thanks for the recommendations!

      I have not read too many autobiographical humor books, but Ann Quindlen's Lots of Cake, Plenty of Candles is on my list to read. Along with her life lessons, I could see the humorous side of life in that book. Have you read it?

      For books with a story and a dose of reality, have you read any books by Lisa See. My favorite was Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. Also Alan Brennert's books, Honolulu and Moloka'i. I absolutely loved Moloka'i.

      I also just read a historical action adventure titled The Book of Lost Fragrances (look for the review in the next few days). It covers the world of Paris perfumery, Egyptian lore, and the Chinese/Tibet conflict all in one book.

      Thanks again for stopping by and sharing your recommendations! Happy reading.