I have been sewing with knits for decades. Back when I had a ready to wear line, I used 90% or so knits, because when you're selling your designs to a wide range of people, a lot of fit issues are taken out of the equation when you are talking about knits. So it really was the best way to sell my things to the public at large.
But when I started teaching sewing and working with beginners, I realized what a struggle it is for new seamstresses to handle the fabric. It stretches all over the place, you need a fancy machine to put things together, you need another fancy machine to hem anything, and on and on. I had all of that stuff - the industrial cover stitch machine, etc - but most home sewers don't. And why would they? Those are specialty machines that you really don't consider buying until you get a handle on the knit basics. Though warning, once you're bitten by the knit bug, it's hard to shake, and a cover stitch machine is usually in your sights before too long!
Because many of my patterns were knits, I of course have a closet full of designed patterns for knit items, and yet I've yet to release them to the public because it isn't just as simple as dealing with wovens. There is a lot to learn and know when you get started and you need to take your time with it.
Enter the best thing to happen to the scene - The Colette Guide to Sewing Knits. Seriously, this book is the bomb. First off, I am so proud of Sarai and her team for putting it all together and bolding going where no one else has yet, and I'm excited for Alyson who authored the book, for reaching a whole new fan base with her extensive knowledge of the topic of knits.
I didn't really need this book, but I didn't hesitate for a second at the chance to pre-order it along with both of the two new Colette Patterns designed for knits. Why? Because seriously, in my pile of 100's of books, this book doesn't exist in my stash. The closest thing I have is Wendy Mullin's Sew U Home Stretch, but there is honestly no comparison in these books. Wendy's book is much more project-based and doesn't fully explain the how and why required to really understand sewing with knits. The Colette Guide to Sewing Knits explains it, then takes it up a notch.
I love information in a well organized chart, so I was thrilled to see super handy pages of charts on how to handle stitch length, what fabrics are best for what projects, and on and on. Don't have a serger or a cover stitch machine? No worries! Not only does it thoroughly explain and demystify both of those (seriously, the serger section is better than my machine's manual!), but it also covers all the things you need to know about sewing knits on a conventional home machine as well.
It also gives you some ideas on how to take your projects to the next level with stretch lace, trims, and elastics. And if you need inspiration, there are some pretty photos of models in the first two Colette knit patterns in there too.
I seriously cannot recommend this book enough if you have any desire at all to work with knits. Seriously! Go get it!