“ Genre: Non-Fiction book / Author: Zoe Mellor / Paperback / 256 Pages / Publisher: Hamlyn / Released: 2007 „
This is a book I originally came across at our local library when I first got interested in knitting. I borrowed it so many times that I asked my in-laws to get me a copy for Christmas last year. However, when Christmas morning came I was sorely disappointed as they had tried to get it for me, but it was out of stock as it was not being printed. It then became my mission to source a 2nd hand copy at a reasonable price, and although it took me about 6 more months to do so, eventually one was available for only £15, which is practically the RRP, compared to the £30+ other sellers were charging.
It was fortunate timing really as my library no longer seem to have a copy, and I can now drool safely into my own copy while choosing what to knit for the special children in my life.
I have been knitting about 18 months in total, and what I would say about the patterns in this book is that if you grasp knitting, then there is sufficient written instruction in the pattern for someone who is about intermedate level. I found my first pattern I attempted, a lacy sweater for my little niece, had a lovely pattern, but it did take me a long time to master, and I had to keep unpulling bits. Even now, I am knitting a Robin Hood cable knit jacket for my two boys, and I am still having to double check parts of the pattern to check it is going ok.
For me, what makes this book quite special is it contains 50 unique and adorable patterns aimed at children from babies to about 4 years old. I am using it to make something for my 5 year old, as I am just knitting it a little longer than the pattern suggests. Any older than this though, you would also have to extend the pattern width ways, which while entirely possible if you know what you are doing, but I feel that is quite an asvanced thing to be doing.
The patterns are for both boys and girls, and is divided into themes of similar patterns. As with all good craft books, there is an introductory chapter looking at how to select yarns, what colours you might choose to use, and how to make the items a suitable size and sew the pieces together to make it look really professional when you finish. Zoe also covers technique on resizing her patterns, and how to make nice edgings and selecting buttons that suit your finished item.
We are then took through the patterns, with each design having a colour picture, a written set of instructions for the pattern, and also, any motifs on the pattern are shown as a little coloured grid chart to help you work out what colour each stitch should be to make that pattern.
We are taken through jumpers, dresses, romper suits, hats with scarves and gloves to match, and there is also a section devoted to nursery items such as knitted dolls, blankets, bunting, cubes, bags, cushions, and even a puppet theatre with hand puppets.
When I first got the book out, I knew that I wanted to make about 40 of the items in the book, because there is such a wide variety of items to make, and also in the style of the item. One thing might require me to do a zip, another has buttons, another has a cable pattern, another has fair isle knitting. As someone who gets an incredible thrill and satisfaction from mastering a new skill within the craft, I can see that this book will teach me all these different skills, which I will then be able to use in other patterns, or hopefully start designing some of my own knits too once I know the basics.
The things I have made have turned out looking like the pictures, and it is definitely helpful to the intermediate knitter like myself to have so many pictures as you can see straight away whether your own work looks like it should. I feel it is the ideal mix between simple explanation and beautiful patterns to make it a favourite of mine.
My only disappointment is I felt it was better at patterns for girls than boys. The boys patterns are perhaps more baby-fied, or a bit dated to me, whereas the designs for the little girls would look as nice 10 or 20 years in the future. Things like fair isle and flowered patterns don't seem to date as much.
Although this book is hard to track down, it was definitely worth the wait, and I will not be parting with my copy.
You want to keep your baby stylish and safe all year round, and with "The Big Book of Kids' Knits" you can do just that. Choose from a huge range of irresistible designs including everything from Cashmere bootees and a Pirate sweater to the heavenly Starlight blanket to help your little treasure dream the night away. As well as cosy clothing, "The Big Book of Kids' Knits" provides you with great ideas for decorating the nursery, including knitted toys, party flags and colourful play cubes for softer seating. All skill levels are accounted for and clear instructions are given on how to increase or decrease pattern sizes to fit growing babies and toddlers, with different colour suggestions for girls and boys. With "The Big Book of Kids' Knits" you will be able to create beautiful designs using natural materials that you'll enjoy knitting and your children will love to wear.