Modern Top-Down Knitting is a collection of feminine, city-chic designs from Kristy McGowan, created using the famous top-down construction method originated by knitting legend Barbara G. Walker. The conception of this book is not unlike that of Julie and Julia: McGowan was living in New York City for many years, working jobs that ranged from book editor to yarn shop manager, when she stumbled upon Barbara Walker's renowned tome Knitting from the Top. This is a book that forever changed the way knitters look at sweaters. McGowan was awestruck by the techniques that she learned in Walker's book and loved the perks that this construction provides: one can try on the garment as she works, make adjustments, customise length and best of all, there are no seams to sew up at the end (a task that most knitters loathe). Enamored by Walker's work, McGowan wrote her a letter, which resulted in an ongoing correspondence and eventual journey to Florida to meet the 79-year-old legend in person. But for all of the techniques that Knitting from the Top brought to light, Walker's designs had not stood the test of time and looked completely outdated. Inspired, McGowan took it upon herself to design a modern woman's wardrobe based on using what she had learned from Walker. And that is just what you will find in Modern Top-Down Knitting - feminine dresses, tunics and skirts that are anything but fussy; elegant cardigans and pullovers that drape beautifully; and stylish hats, gloves and accessories that will surely become must-have items in colder months. Also included are step-by-step photo tutorials for the top-down techniques used throughout - an improvement over Walker's book, which only included written instructions. McGowan also offers her own techniques for finishing garments with special trims and linings - everything from crocheted edgings to velvet trim sewn onto the hems of dresses - so that every piece looks just as good on the inside as it does on the outside. Photo tutorials for these techniques are included as well.
Kristy McGowan is an up-and-coming designer who has worked closely with Suss Designs, helping with yarn development and designing patterns, and has freelanced for Morehouse Farm. Formerly an editor at Farrar, Strauss & Giroux, she holds a doctorate degree in Sociology from Syracuse University.