Tigard Knitting Guild Book Review

Cast On Bind Off 54 Step-by-Step Methods
by Leslie Ann Bestor
reviewed by Sue Lambert

Ms. Bestor's Cast On Bind Off is a compact, soft covered, spiral bound book. It measures approximately 6" by 7" which makes it the perfect size to fit easily into a knitting bag. The spiral binding allows the book to lie flat when open so convenience of use is a big plus.

The book is divided into 9 different categories of cast ons and 5 different categories of bind offs. There is only one method for working each technique presented. Ms. Bestor explains the characteristics and uses for each technique, includes a list of alternate names by which the method may be known, and lists any additional equipment needed in addition to yarn and knitting needles. There are multiple color photographs demonstrating how to work each technique as well as close up photos of the front, back, and the edge of each completed cast on or bind off technique. The font size and the line spacing make the print easy to read. Special tips titled "Getting It Right" are included where applicable in colored boxes.

Ms. Bestor lives in Massachusetts and is a knitting teacher and store manager of WEBS, America's Yarn Store. She is also a published designer. She states in her introduction that like most of us she used the same CO and BO technique for all her projects until as her knitting skills expanded she decided to look at other methods which might work better for some projects. Her purpose for writing the book was to present a number of alternate methods so that as our own knitting skills grow, we will consider some of the other options.

The photographs of the steps for working each technique are on the small side but for the most part are helpful in understanding how to work the technique. The book's index is very complete. Overall it is a user friendly book.

I really like this book. I purchased it for my own library and have used it several times. I would recommend it to anyone who desires to have a good portable reference for cast ons and bind offs. However if you feel that 54 methods is not enough you may be interested in the future review of Cast On, Bind Off 211 Ways to Begin and End Your Knitting by Cap Cease.

One important note about Leslie Bestor's book is that it is now available as an e-book for both iPads and Androids which is more portable than the printed version. The digital versions cost around $12.

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