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As the title suggests, this book offers a whole range of projects which, on the face of it offer plenty of possibilities for a knitter looking for gift handknits. However, on closer inspection, the gift ideas aren't really very inspired and to be honest, most knitting magazines offer gift idea sections which offer better ideas and are often free with the magazine, so you could be just as inspired for far less cost!
The book's projects are broken down into time chapters: less-than-two-hours, two-to-four, four-to-six, six-to-eight and more-than-eight, which is a very useful way of offering the ideas - ideal for organising your hand-knit gifts when you have a bit of a rush on (hence the 'last-minute' title, I guess). However, the quicker projects include making pompoms, linen tassels and felted pot-holders, all of which are pretty dull patterns which do not really offer value for money when you consider what the book costs, particularly knowing that most of the good knitting websites offer basic patterns like this for free (that's if you really call making pompoms and tassels hand-knitting)!
Some of the longer projects are useful but mainly confined to hats, scarves, wristlets etc. There's also a tea cosy pattern but I'm not sure about the suggested cashmere yarn, given what a tea cosy is and does I don't know anyone who would want to be given a tea cosy that they'd have to handwash given the number of drippy tea pots on the planet. Of course, it does state that it can be knitted in any worsted weight (DK) wool, but it begs the question as to why it's in cashmere to start with!
There are some cute toys for longer projects too, plus blanket, sweater, shawl and camisole patterns but really all of the patterns are very basic and to me the whole collection is not worth the cover price of the book. There are useful hints and tips of course but these are similar and not necessarily as well explained as other knitting books which are a fraction of the cost. Overall the book is quite disappointing.
Do also be aware that this is a very US based book in respect of terminology and yarn-speak, with some of the recommended yarns being available largely in the US rather than the UK. Overall I'd say this is possibly a nice book to receive as a gift if you're a fairly new knitter and don't have many basic patterns yet but it's not a book to go out and buy for yourself without having a good look at a copy first to see whether it is what you really want. That way, you can then make an informed decision on your purchase by comparing it with some of the other knitting books currently around which do offer more in the way of inspiration for considerably less money (based on the retail recommended price).