Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Closely Knit

Amazon.co.uk link BookDepository Link Ravelry Link

Types of patterns: garments and household stuff

Number of Patterns: 34

Split of patterns: mostly women but some men and children

Size Range: Women: 32-40; Men 36-48

Colour/Black & White: Colour throughout

Schematics: For garments there is a sketched schematic with a variety of information that might help sizing up or down

Target Audience: Beginner with some experience, some of these pieces will stretch you a bit

How to knit guide: No but the glossary is actually helpful and has paragraphs about the techniques rather than a one liner.

Experimental/Classical/Modern: Modern classics

Comments: Helpfully the timer for length of time to knit the projects is actually in the contents page, also the glossary is useful and quite clear, with some of the projects there's some tips for if you're stuck for time.

The first chapter is devoted to mothers with 5 projects.
First a Bird's Nest Pincushion, cute
Lacy Hanging Picture Frame, not my thing but fine for what it is.
Mohair-Blend Square Pillow - pretty basic stuff, maybe not the best present for a person who doesn't like fluff all over the place
Cashmere Ruffles Scarf - Interesting almost leaf-shaped scarf. Short rows make this interesting and it would be a good thing to learn short-rows with.
The Cabled Cardigan finishes the chapter. Wide sleeves with a ruffle, ruffled hem and buttoned to the neck with a cable down the back, it's fitted. My biggest gripe with this pattern is that there is no photograph of the back featured, only of a portion of the back so there's no idea how this cable works overall with the garment.

Next is a chapter on Daughters:
Lace-tipped striped scarf and hat starts the chapter, exactly what it says, cute but for me it doesn't quite work.
Vintage Knee Socks. This does appear to have some shaping built in, a diamond pattern along the leg and a plain foot.
Cuddle Bear - big fat bear-ish toy with dungarees that can be removed. The proportions don't work for me.
Cap-sleeved eyelet top - tank top with cap sleeves, another poorly photographed project. Starts with ribbing, then lace pattern, then ribbing at the waist and more lace. Sleeves are plain, not bad but I'd like to see a full photograph of the garment
Tree of Love Wall Hanging - Big ass inartasia project with miles of appliquéd i-cord and some embroidered words. Recipient would need a wall with space for a 21" (or 53cm)Square piece. Before launching into this one you would need to be certain that this would suit the person involved.

Next chapter is Sisters:
Multi-direction scarf and hat: modular work, these are interesting but in some ways not interesting enough to catch my interest to try them
Embroidered flower socks: Picot edging adds to the plain socks and then some lazy-daisy embroidery along the leg.
Pinwheel pillow uses short row shaping and an edging with a cable, this piece is one of very few that made me think about making it.
Bright Stripes Throw - garter stitch throw over 125 stitches in wool, edged with a picked up border, the stripes would take away from the miles of knitting involved.
Tiered Skirt, accented with ribbon this is one that could either have you lynched or loved. Skirt is designed to sit below the waist on hips, elasticated waist, again not shown clearly in the book in a photograph.

Men in our lives are up next
Juggling balls start the ball rolling. cute.
Urban Beanie, Snug fitting with small earflaps
One-by-one ribbed scarf - designed to be knit with Noro this is a pretty simple rib scarf.
Man socks - socks in worsted weight yarn, remember these don't always work for people who don't wear boots or heavy socks regularly.
Simple Sweater - worsted weight simple round-necked jumper with fitted sleeves. Honestly I prefer the ones with something to keep my interest. This would be perfect for a film-marathon!
Rustic Sweater Vest- V-necked tank top in dk weight yarn. Again plain

Wee Ones is the next chapter
Square-top hat and mitts are pretty simple small baby gifts.
Kangaroo vest is a 12 month to 18 month inartasia pattern.
Heart-Patch Pants - again for babies these are baby pants with hearts on their knees
Ducky Cardigan is a pretty plain cardigan with ducks on the pockets highlighted with some embroidery. Not very big these would possibly be good for people starting at colourwork
Patchwork Blanket - five strips make this up which are later sewn together, a single apple breaks the tedium, I feel a need to mention that it's 32"x40" (81cmx102cm) knit on 2.75mm needles, 48 stitches per strip. While the original design has you pick up stitches along the edge, I'd be inclined to crochet the edge.

Last chapter is Friends:
Heart Pin - cute small project.
Earflap Hat - the earflaps are actually cabled, making them somewhat interesting and in a contrast colour, the hat is pretty plain
Striped mittens - pretty much what they say, knit flat and sewn up the side at the end.
Pocket Tote - Knit on 10mm in a bulky weight yarn this isn't felted but possibly should be, it mentions optional liner for the bag, probably more sensible to line this than not.
Birdie Felted Patchwork Bath Mat - felted mat with other felted stuff appliqued.

I did really want to like this book but somehow it just didn't impress me enough to want to buy it. It's not a bad book but the projects just didn't sing to me. YMMV. I know that some of the projects intrigued me but not enough to make me want to knit them for me or anyone else. I'd be more interested by the Patterns in Knits to Share and Care than this one. I'm not impressed with the photography either, it seems to miss out in showing some of the details which are part of why you'd want to knit something in favour of arty shots which makes me wonder what's wrong with the project.

Buy/Borrow: Borrow and if you like them, buy.

Where found: Dublin City Public Libraries has a few copies.

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