Knitted Gifts – Ann Budd

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Knitted Gifts – cover

I’m conflicted about this 144 page book published by Interweave Press in 2009. It’s definitely a book of patterns – some good, some bad and some that you have to ask – why? There are a few I like, but not sure it’s worth keeping the book. The cover hat and mitts are really nice and a good selling point for the book. I do have many good things to say about Ann Budd and her editing/designing, but what was her contribution to this 37 project book?

In the end, I think I’ll move this one along. I can’t justify it’s space on what I’m hoping will be a much reduced shelf of essential knit and crochet books.

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Knitted Gifts – back cover

There are some fantastic designers who contributed to the the book. Then I have to point out two projects on the back cover are in the category that I called “Why?” The knit hobby horse (really!) and the ballet-style slippers (sort of OK).

ribbed_socks

Easy Ribbed Socks

I thought I’d start off with a project I like.

scarf

Lace Scarf by Nancy Bush

Love this project. It might be one that I might even make. Nancy Bush is a real pro at traditional designs.

felted_oven_mitt

Felted Oven Mitts

This project is a great way to use up leftover 100% wool or rough wool that you might not want for a wearable.

napkin_ring

Fair Isle Napkin Rings

The napkin rings are something that doesn’t seem to be a terrific project. I couldn’t quite figure out the order of the projects. Didn’t seem like the groupings were by easy, intermediate, etc or by quick, more involved, etc. Strange to be sure.

glossary

Glossary

Interweave Press is really good at featuring clear illustrations of techniques. The 6-page glossary is a good addition to the book.

 

 

Knits for Pets

Vogue Knitting Knits for Pets

Vogue Knitting Knits for Pets – cover

I have a bunch of the Vogue Knitting On the Go! series books. I looked over this little one and decided that it would be good for the blog and needed to be removed from my shelves. It’s not a bad book, but not relevant to me. Here’s a run down.

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Knits for Pets – Back cover

Illus

Start with basic how-to’s

Not surprising that VK would have good illustrated how to drawings. I recognize many taken from VK The Ultimate Knitting Book that I worked on many years ago. Nevertheless, good info for starting the book.

dog_bed

Great photos and instructions

As expected, VK produces wonderful images and clear instructions in all their books. I wouldn’t make such an involved project for any doggie, but it’s truly a masterpiece of Fair Isle knitting.

pillows

Dog and cat inspired pillows

I did think these might make a wonderful gift for my animal-loving daughter. Really cute.

dog_bag

Dog Bag for doggie on the go

Same daughter has a little dog and said this would make a lovely gift for her. Seems like a lot of work and involves plastic canvas to keep its shape.

dog_sweater

Glamour Pup

I might give this pattern a try before I let the book fly away! I wouldn’t use the novelty yarn, but something a little simpler.

So why let go of this one. For one some of the projects are silly (not shown in this blog): Dog hat that reminds me of the Pussy Hats made for the Women’s March wearing; a couple of dog sweaters that don’t seem to fit well; a dog poncho in orange and purple (really?!); and mutt mittens.

Good try VK, but not for me! Onward with my knitting journey!

 

https://www.amazon.com/Vogue-Knitting-Go-Knits-Pets/dp/1933027045/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1518816057&sr=8-1&keywords=Vogue+Knitting+Knits+for+Pets

Knitting Pretty

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Knitting Pretty by Kris Percival

Another little book today. Even though it’s little, it has taken me awhile to get this into my blog. Knitting Pretty by Kris Percival (published in 2002 by Chronicle Books) is an easy to read and easy to use book. I have some negative comments, but generally it’s a nicely done  120 page volume.

Thumbs up or down: I liked the top down sweater at the end of the blog post, but most of the patterns are too simple for me. I’m going to pass on this book and keep my shelf space for more important books.

Knitting_Pretty_bc_cvr

Knitting Pretty – Back Cover

There is the usual “Getting Started” and “How to Knit” chapters

illustrations

Knitting – American Style

The American Style “How to Knit” page shown in the book has very small illustrations ( all illustrations are similar and all too small). Could you really learn from these illustrations? The next page is the Continental Style with no illustrations – yikees! Plus I wonder if a beginner would get the difference between the two styles and why to choose one over the other.

instructions

Simple Garter Stitch Scarf

After all the “How-to” pages – through page 40, the first projects were simple and noted by a “1” in a circle. Clever graphics. The instructions tell you what you need to know and what page to refer to for a refresher on the technique – very clever. I like the step-by-step numbered instructions.

mittens

Warmest Mittens – level 4

I include this project only because I’ve been working on mittens this winter and looking at various patterns. There isn’t a section which shows how to cast on and join for double-pointed needles. Not the easiest for someone who is using the book as a novice although there are lots of places where one could go to find the technique on the internet.

swatches

Simple Squares

The swatches used to check gauges have other uses. This spread talks about ways to use squares, but the patterns are a bit vague.

sweater

Simple Sweater – Level 5

Knit in the round from the top down, this is a nice sweater. It’s made in a chunky yarn which would make it a faster-to-knit project. The lack of how to knit with circular needles makes it again a bit of a stretch for a novice.

 

 

http://www.amazon.com/Knitting-Pretty-Instructions-Fabulous-Projects-ebook/dp/B00HSXBZ8I/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1459799819&sr=1-1&keywords=knitting+pretty

 

Amigurumi World

 

Amigurimi World

Amigurimi World

Inside this book I found an email that I had written in 2009 about the book with the sub-title “Seriously Cute Crochet”. In the email (written when I worked for Red Heart), I suggested doing a feature in our newsletter on the book. I said that it was full of “so-cute” projects. Now 6 years later, I’m less inspired by the book. It is still “cute”, but would I make any projects – doubtful.

Simply because I’m not going to use the book, I’m giving it a Thumbs-down.

Amigurumi World - Back Cover

Amigurumi World – Back Cover

The projects are really well-thought out and designed, but I wondered about the $18.95 cover price. You can now get it on Amazon in a Kindle version or a used copy for far less.

Crochet Guidelines

Crochet Guidelines

The General Guidelines in this compact book are seriously clear and well-done and would be perfect even for a novice crocheter.

Abbreviation and Glossary

Abbreviation and Glossary

The nice page of abbreviations features a project that I thought to be the “cutest” in the book – Eggzactly!

Fruity Project

Fruity Project

Just one of the projects with easy-to-see photos. When necessary the author has also included back views, especially where animals have tails not obvious in front views.

 



 

http://www.amazon.com/Amigurumi-World-Seriously-Cute-Crochet-ebook/dp/B00FQWB1C8/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1450298584&sr=1-1&keywords=amigurumi+world

Handknit Holidays – Another Melanie Falick book

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Another Melanie Falick book – Handknit Holidays seemed like a good one to review. I thought for sure that this one would be an easy in and out book and I could pat myself on the back having removed another book from the sagging bookshelf. The first section featuring all sorts of holiday designs made me think that this was just another book of patterns that don’t interest me. Delving further into the book, I changed my mind. I might later change my mind but for the first pass this book is staying.

Looking on Amazon, looks like this book published in 2005 is available in a digital format.

Final answer: Thumbs Up!

 

What’s good? The photos are “Melanie worthy”, good clear layout of patterns plus a good section at the end on Special Techniques and Abbreviations (although no illustrations). Betty Christiansen who’s work I’ve admired worked on this book with Melanie.

handknit_bc Back Cover

What follows are a number of patterns that made me think twice about “deep sixing” this volume.

diamond_throw Community Afghan – the intro suggest this as a project for a group. Squares are all knit in garter stitch.

hoodie Cardinal Joy Hoodie – Given in 3 chest sizes, it’s pretty hard to figure out the actual size child this would fit. Hoodies are perfect for kids of all ages and this one (I’d do without the pocket design).

socks

Log Cabin Socks – This look like they’d be really fun to knit. I’m not sure if they’d be practical to wear with shoes, but would be great under boots.

triangle_scarf

 

Snowy Triangle Scarf – The modular construction of this scarf (and hat) looks like a really knitterly project. Nice way to try out the technique without making a really big project.

http://www.amazon.com/Handknit-Holidays-Knitting-Year-Round-Christmas-ebook/dp/B009SYI0BU/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1410039446&sr=1-1&keywords=handknit+holidays

Knit 2 Together

Knit 2 Together by Tracey Ullman and Mel Clark (STC Crafts/Melanie Falick, 2006)knit2tog_cov

I’ve been singing “And Another One Bits the Dust” all morning. What does that tell you about this book? I didn’t like it, but I didn’t hate it. It has a few redeeming qualities, but not enough to earn a spot on the  Nancy J Thomas bookshelf!

Final answer: Thumbs Down. This book is not going back on my shelf. Thank goodness! I’m making headway (or slight headway).

Let’s start with the back cover.

knit2tog_bc

Take a look at the “bloomers” on the right called Witches Britches are probably the worst pattern in the book. Who would wear them? The suit on the left is OK, but I’ll be honest that it won’t fit my lifestyle or the many of the people that I know.

I should talk a little about why it’s an interesting, well-formed book. First lets start with Melanie Fallick. She doesn’t publish bad books. Knit 2 Tog has rhyme and reason for being. It has fun essays by comedian, Tracey Ullman. It has good technique info from Mel Clark. The book has tricks and tips throughout. It’s has an understandable layout and decent photos of the projects.

I think the patterns are the book’s downfall. Not so unusual, but a fact. I found two patterns I will most likely copy and knit. Otherwise I shake my head and say – no, no, no. No Knit Two Together to wear with a friend. No Gym Slip Dress in extra fine Merino. No Baby Cape. No Sailor Pants in 100% cotton – Really!

The book ends with Knitting Basics that have small photos in circles (not easy to understand if you are a beginner) of lots of easy techniques. I think other books do it better. Illustrations are better than photos for how-to info. I do like Mel’s Picks for recommended reading. A good list!

Baby Baseball T with mitts

Baby Baseball T with mitts

Santa Cruz Hoodie

Santa Cruz Hoodie

The the two patterns above are the ones that  I like. Both are pretty fast knits on a DK (baby) and Chunky (hoodie) yarns.

Below are two additional patterns that I’d rate as a thumbs up.

Luxe Neck Warmer

Luxe Neck Warmer

Mel's Mouse Family

Mel’s Mouse Family

 

http://www.amazon.com/Knit-Together-Patterns-Stories-Knitting-ebook/dp/B008ZR9484/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1409429116&sr=1-1&keywords=knit+2+together