Book Review: Ann Budd’s Top-Down Sweaters


Did you hear that?

Maybe you didn’t hear me hollering like a crazy fool.

It’s with good cause that I would holler.  I just took advantage of Knit Pick’s big ol’ sale and got myself a copy of Ann Budd’s new book “The Knitter’s Handy Book of Top-Down Sweaters.

First things first.  You know what I love the very most about any Ann Budd book?  The Spiral-ness of it.  Right?  How many times are you using a book and the thing closes on you?  I do not need any distractions at all because if I look away too long from something I may fall asleep.  Like a dog with squirrels only they don’t fall asleep.

This book features making sweaters from the TOP down which means a couple of things:  less finishing work, you can try it on and get a better fit, and less finishing work.  (Haha, finishing work can be such a pain.)  I love to make a sweater that just keeps going without a lot of parts sitting around.  I can just keep knitting.

There are four sweater styles featured in the book (I think Raglan is my favorite today).  Ann has figured out for us what we need to do to make a sweater for pretty much anybody using whichever yarn you have.  There are charts for measurements of all body types and then you refer to what gauge you are getting with your choice of yarn.  You also pick your sweater type.  Maybe you want a cardigan.  No, wait…a pullover.  (This kind of reminds me of those fun books that were around when I was a kid that allowed you to change the people and what they were wearing by flipping the top, middle, or bottom sections of the page to create new people.  It’s a stretch, people, but stay with me.)

Another bonus are the helpful tips for doing techniques like which cast-on method would be best for which situation, which type of button band or button hole is ideal, what is the best cast-off method in each situation, and how in the world does one do some of those leaning decreases?  The diagrams are very clear to help you figure out these things.

There are also specific patterns in the book for sweaters so you can just start there if you’d rather not pick and choose at first.  The photography in the book is so clear that you can count the stitches on the models.  (If you’re into that)

I know I said Raglan was my favorite style, however, my favorite specific pattern in the book is the Brioche Basic.  When you get your own book (snort), turn to page 155 and take in the goodness.  I’m very excited about Brioche.  The word sounds like ice cream to me.  It’s not, though.

All in all, another terrific gift to us all from Ann Budd.  Have you seen her other books by chance?  If not, why are you still sitting there?  (Check out “The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns” (has mittens, gloves, hats, and more), “The Knitter’s Handy Book of Sweater Patterns” (not Top-Down), and maybe “Sock Knitting Master Class”.  She’s a good egg.

I would love to hear about your projects that you’ve made using Ann Budd’s pattern!  Drop me a note sometime.

Spiral-ly yours,

-Here’s my Pot ‘O Gold-this moment




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