Big Knits, Big Needles Book Review and Pattern Excerpt

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Big Knits Big Needles - Book Review - DK

Title: Big Knits, Big Needles
Helgrid van Impelen
Published By: Dorling Kindersley, September 13, 2016
ISBN: 9781465453983

Big Knits, Big Needles

Filled with pretty and inspiring designs, Big Knits, Big Needles includes more than 20-projects for sweaters and tops, as well as, matching accessories (cowls, wrist warmers, leg warmers, hats and scarves) for you to knit.

Get more than 20 patterns for tops & sweaters PLUS matching accessories - Big Knits, Big Needles! Click to Tweet

The basic techniques section includes step-by-step instructions and clear images to demonstrate how to make these projects. The basic techniques which have been included are:

  • Casting on
  • Casting off
  • Slipping stitches off the needle
  • Slipping stitches
  • Reading charts
  • Measuring gauge
  • Altering patterns
  • Increasing
  • Decreasing
  • Cables
  • Horizontal inset pocket
  • Pom-poms
  • Working on a set of five double-pointed needles
  • Finishing
  • Cast-off horizontal buttonhole
  • Joining seams
  • Steaming and pressing

The Tips for Success section on page 11 is very helpful and includes important information about yarn quantities, seams, needles sizes and chunky yarn weights.

The projects included in this book will be quick to knit because of the size of the needles and the type of yarn you are using.

The pretty patterns included are separated into three sections, City Knits, Country Style and Home Comforts. Many of the main projects also have matching accessory patterns – making lovely sets for you to knit.

City Knits

  • Cosmopolitan Color – ribbed sweater and matching mittens
  • Uptown Style – open coat and tie belt
  • Casual duo – color-block sweater and long scarf
  • City slicker – poncho and wrist warmers
  • All wrapped up – casual wrap
  • Urban chic – top and matching cowl
  • Streetwise cool – block-stripe cardigan

Country Style

  • Rustic charm – hooded jacket and toggles
  • Spring break – long top, cowl, wrist warmers and hat
  • Shades of fall – long coat with cable pattern
  • Winter warmers – poncho, hat and leg warmers
  • Subtle neutrals – sweater, hat and child’s shoulder warmer
  • Woodland walk – casual ribbed jacket
  • Nature lover – mini vest
  • Riverside ramble – body warmer

Home Comforts

  • Lazy days – sweater and scarf
  • Sheer elegance – wraparound cardigan
  • Soft and silky – jacket and matching scarf
  • Relax to the max – hooded coat
  • Snuggle up – sweater with broad stripes
  • Light as air – sweater with giant cable
  • Easy earth tones – long coat and child’s sweater
  • Luxurious lace – poncho and leg warmers

Charts, pattern diagrams and written instructions are included for each of the patterns. Tips have been included too – and are presented in outlined boxes within the patterns themselves.

The difficulty levels are clearly indicated and range from 1 to 4 yarn balls (1 being easiest and 4 being most difficulty).

Read my review and make this beautiful Winter Warmers set excerpted from Big Knits, Big Needles! Click to Tweet

I would like to thank DK Canada for providing this excerpt from Big Knits, Big Needles:

Winter warmers

P O N C H O  W I T H  H A T  A N D  L E G  W A R M E R S

Poncho with Hat and Leg Warmers Excerpt Approved by DK Canada


One size

Style: generous

Hat: to fit head size 21–22 1⁄2 in (53–57cm)



  • 10 balls Lana Grossa Alta Moda Super Baby (66yd/50g; 67% wool, 30% Alpaca, 3% nylon) in dark red (col. 20) for poncho, 2 balls for hat, and 3 balls for leg warmers
  • US15 (10mm/UK000) circular needles, 24, 32, and 40in (60, 80, and 100cm) long
  • US13 (9mm/UK00) and US15 (10mm/UK000) double-pointed needles
  • Safety pin or spare yarn
  • 1 cable needle
  • 1 fur pom-pom



10 stitches and 15 rows in stockinette stitch on US15 (10mm/UK000) needles = 4in (10cm) square.



Stockinette stitch | In rounds: knit all stitches.

Rib borders | Knit 2 purl 2 alternately.

Diamond cable | Work from the chart on page 71 over the 14 stitches between the arrows. The figures to the right refer to the pattern rows. On wrong-side rows, work the stitches as they appear. Starting from the bottom, keep repeating rows 1–28.

Cable pattern | Working from the chart on page 71, begin with the 6 stitches between the arrows. The figures to the right refer to the pattern rounds. On the rounds in between, work the stitches as stockinette stitch. Starting from the

bottom, work rounds 1 to 16 once, then repeat rounds 9–16 four times (48 rounds in total). Then work rounds 49–78 once.



The poncho is knitted in one piece in rounds from the bottom up, with a cable running down each arm.


Rib border | With the 40in- (100cm-) long US15 (10mm) circular needle cast on 164 stitches and work 4in (10cm) in knit 2 purl 2 rib.


Stitch layout for the cables | After the border, allocate the stitches as follows: 68 stitches stockinette stitch for the back, 14 stitches for the left arm with diamond cable pattern from the chart, 68 stitches stockinette stitch for the front,

and 14 stitches for the right arm with diamond cable pattern from the chart. Mark the beginning of the rounds where the back meets the right arm. Work one round as described.


Decreases | Decrease by knitting together the second and third stitches and the third-to-last and second-to-last stitches of the stockinette stitch back and front (i.e., 4 stitches in each decrease round). Work the decreases at the start of the back and front as slip 1, knit 1, pass slipped stitch over (see page 134) and those at the end as knit 2

together. Decrease in 2 successive rounds, then work 1 round without decreasing and repeat. This means that the number of stitches is reduced by 8 for every 3 rounds. Continue decreasing in this way until 52 stitches remain.


Roll collar | After an 18th round of the chart, when the work measures about 19¾in (50cm) and 52 stitches remain, change to knit 2 purl 2 rib for the roll collar. When the collar measures 9½in (24cm), cast off all stitches loosely.


Finishing | Darn in all the ends.





On the set of US13 (9mm) double-pointed needles, cast on 52 stitches and distribute evenly. Work 12⅝in (32cm) in knit 2 purl 2 rib (26 ribs).

Decrease for the top as follows:

1st decrease round: purl together the two stitches of all the purl ribs (39 stitches remain).

Work 1 round without decreasing.

2nd decrease round: knit together the two stitches of all the knit ribs (26 stitches remain).

Work 1 round without decreasing.

3rd decrease round: knit 2 together, purl 2 together to end of round (13 stitches remain).

Knit 1 round.

Cut the yarn, leaving a long end, thread it through all the stitches, draw the top of the hat together and fasten off on the inside. Attach the pom-pom.



The leg warmers are knitted from the knee down.

On the set of US15 (10mm) double-pointed needles, cast on 40 stitches and allocate the stitches as follows:

6 stitches from the chart, *purl 2, knit 2*, repeat from * to * twice more, purl 2,

6 stitches from the chart, *purl 2, knit 2 *, repeat from * to * twice more, purl 2.

Work rounds 1–16 of the chart with these repetitions 3 times in all.

On round 53, reduce each of the cables to 4 stitches by knitting 2 stitches together twice, and continue working from the chart.

When work measures 13½in (34cm), cast off all stitches loosely. Darn in all the ends.

Make the second leg warmer in the same way.



The poncho can also be worn with the diamond cable pattern at the front and back, as shown in the photo

on page 68.

Chart and Diagram for Winter Warmers Poncho with Hat and Leg Warmers Excerpt Approved by DK Canada

The designs are pretty and stylish and because they are worked on large needles they are quick-to-knit projects. The instructions and techniques section make it possible for even beginner knitters to complete many of these projects. There is a wide-range patterns included for main projects and matching accessories. You will be able to find something pretty to make for yourself or to give as a gift!

You can check out the other great books available at DK Canada here:

DK Blog Squad 150

You can purchase your own copy of Big Knits, Big Needles  directly from Amazon.

Shopping from Canada:

Shopping from the U.S.:

Shopping from the U.K.:

All images are used with permission from DK Canada Books. For more information about DK Canada Books – visit their WebsiteFacebook or Twitter!


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  1. Oh how I wish I knew how to knit. The Winter Warmer Poncho looks so inviting and pretty. Maybe someday I will take the time to learn knitting and hope I remember to get this book.

  2. Hi Linda, No I have not tried the patterns personally in the book. I would contact DK directly to ask them to clarify the pattern you are working on. Here’s their email address: They should have notes on the pattern if there have been any changes made by the Designer. Or, they should be able to reach out to the Designer to ask if the instructions are not clear. I hope this helps a bit! Rhondda

  3. Have you tried the projects? I find the patterns are vague. I’m working on Urban Chic, and I’m not understanding the decrease sequence for the shoulder slope. It seems like a lot of decreases to be be done in 2 rows, unless I’m misunderstanding, which I probably am! Any help available?
    Thank you and stay well,

  4. ooooh….this book is on my wishlist! Great review and super love the except provided!!!

  5. I love the idea of this because I only know how to knit, purl cast on, off and drop stitches!

    A project with big needles makes it easy to see what your doing and learn new things while making something pretty!