Template knitting—Ann Budd's Handy Book series
Posted on September 15 2021
The yarn was calling your name, so you bought it. Maybe you picked up the skeins at a sheep-and-wool festival, maybe you found them in your local shop, maybe they've been in your stash for so long that you no longer remember where they came from.
And now you want to get the yarn on your needles. It's time for a new project. What to knit? Are you waiting (and waiting and waiting) for the perfect pattern to come along? When it does, do you find that the gauge doesn’t quite work?
Ann Budd and her Handy Books to the rescue. These invaluable guides to knitting hats, mittens, socks and other accessories, all manner of sweaters, both bottom up and top down, can help you put yarn to needles. The patterns are templates, basic shapes to knit as is or tweak as you see fit. Each is given in sizes from toddler to large adult. Sweater patterns are given for every neckline and sleeve construction you can think of, in gauges from 3 to 8 stitches per inch.
The pattern for each project is written step by step. The numbers you need, based on your yarn and needle combination, are given in chart form. Highlight your gauge, and you’re ready to cast on.
But wait. You’d like a cable up the front? You love seed stitch? Adore stripes? What about a Fair Isle border at hem and cuff? With a template pattern, you can easily incorporate your own wants. This is the moment to dive into your stitch dictionaries or dig out your books of Fair Isle patterns. Ann provides a foundation. You provide the embellishment.
Would you like to see an example? Here's Ann's classic raglan pullover, which she calls McClave. The sweater is from her Handy Book of Sweater Patterns. But for her Stone Wool version, she turned the pattern upside down and knitted it top to bottom. What makes this basic sweater distinctive are the stripes she added to the yoke.
So, yes. YES. You can do this kind of thing, too.