Sep 19, 2012

Review | Knitter's Handy Book of Top-Down Sweaters

I own a signed copy of Ann Budd’s new book, The Knitter’s Handy Book of Top-Down Sweaters.

I was lucky enough to win it in a giveaway Ann sponsored to celebrate her birthday. I told her the truth: this book was at the top of my wish list. Here are the reasons why.


I’ve already confessed that finishing knitwear is not my greatest strength, so top-down sweaters with minimal finishing appeal to me.

In this book, Ann repeats the successful model she used in The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns. She offers clear explanations of different top-down designs, a range of patterns you can knit as written, and the charts and schematics to adapt these or any other top-down pattern to another size or gauge.

The book is comprehensive and well-organized, and it covers the four most common top-down styles. It includes 12 patterns, some designed by Ann and some by well-known guest designers, like Pam Allen, Anne Hanson, Jared Flood and Veronik Avery.

  • Is well-organized and easy to use
  • Features clear, readable writing
  • Covers the four most common top-down designs
  • Follows a consistent structure for each chapter
  • Provides invaluable charts and basic directions for each style in multiple sizes and gauges
  • Features lovely and informative photos
  • Includes references, resources and a useful index
  • Lays open and flat due to the spiral binding


Bottom Line

I’ve read the book cover to cover, but have not yet knit any of the patterns or used the charts. This isn’t a reflection on the book, it reflects my current knitting mindset. I’m focused on finishing the Moore sweater, and lately, I’ve been seeking patterns with the goal of knitting them as written. (Hahaha!)

I have far too many knitting books. Some I love, some I like, some I never use. If someone told me I had to get rid of all but a handful, this book would make the "keep" list. Top-Down Sweaters is a great reference book, particularly if you love to find a basic design to modify and make your own.


  1. Agreed! This is a great book, and I'm studying it now, trying to choose which pattern to tackle first.

  2. Good to hear, Diane. Let us know what you decide.

  3. At the moment, I'm debating between the Retro Peplum and Brioche Basic. Subject to change, of course!


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