Thursday, 10 February 2011

Review of Special Knits by Debbie Bliss



BookDepository Link; Ravelry Link

Types of patterns: Baby and toddler clothing

Number of Patterns: 22 patterns

Split of patterns: tank top (2); blanket (2); jacket/cardigan (9); jumper (4); toy (1); dress (2); shawl (1); bag (2)

Size Range: 6-36 months

Colour/Black & White: Colour photographs throughout

Schematics: no

Target Audience: some are pretty simple but the ornamentation would require a lot of care and attention to detail.

How to knit guide: no

Experimental/Classical/Modern: pretty classic stuff

Comments: This stuff is really for the person with a lot of time or the parent planning to bring a baby or toddler to a special event. Theres a lot of ribbon, embroidery, ties and other fiddly work in these.

Eyelet Vest - a tank top with eyelets and a ribbon running through. Knit in Baby Cashmerino

Garter Stitch Blanket - cast on multiple stitches in Aran weight yarn, keep knitting.

Ribbed Jacket - this is a pretty basic wide-collared jacket, with an optional ornamentation on the fastener, knit in Aran weight yarn

Hooded Sweater - pretty basic, knit in aran yarn

Embroidered Kimono, knit in Debbie Bliss Prima this has contrasting edging and ribbon ties and floral embroidery all over

Ribbon Edged cardigan - knit in baby Cashmerino this has a ruffle-edged ribbon sewn into the edge. some nice stitch detail but the photographs don't really show the garment clearly

Rabbit - a toy rabbit knit in Cashmerino aran

Alphabet Sweater - aran weight yarn, cables and an embroidered letter in the front

Check and Cross stitch Jacket - knit in Debbie Bliss Prima (a dk yarn), this looks cute but the book doesn't show a full frontal shot of the garment. Some nice detail in what I can see, embroidery adds to the colourwork.

Ribbon-tied dress, knit in baby cashmerino with a ribbon tie, faux wraparound front.

Shawl knit in baby cashmerino, with a subtle body pattern and border that's slip stitched on, this is a nice piece.

Picot Dress and bag - a tunic really rather than a dress with Debbie Bliss' almost trademark moss stitch on the bodice, knit in Baby Cashmerino, the bag is worked in the flat and seamed up with a ribbon tie, would also be good for lavender or herbs, it would be pretty easy to work this in the round

Velvet-edged jacket, a fairly plain jacket edged with narrow piped ribbon, knit in Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino

Fair Isle Top- decorated with bands of fair isle and beads (which are sewn on afterwards!) this has a slightly square neckline and would be a good introduction to fair-isle for someone looking to try it. Knit in Baby Cashmerino

Bow-tied Bolero is knit in baby cashmerino and would be ideal for a wedding.

Beaded Cardigan - knit in baby cashmerino, the beads are sewn in afterwards.

Sampler Blanket - knit in Baby Cashmerino is is a sampler style baby blanket with cross stitch on completion

Organza-edged cardigan, a fairly simple cardigan is edged in organza ribbon, knit in Debbie Bliss Prima

Hooded Kaftan - a kaftan has some embroidery highlights, knit in Debbie Bliss Prima

Carrying Bag - knit yards of moss stitch sew with a lining. Knit in Cashmerino Aran.

Argyle cardigan - argyle motifs decorate the bottom of this cardigan knit in baby Cashmerino

Argyle Slipover - a tank top with the argyle motifs decorating the bottom, both together would make a baby-sized twin-set, also knit in Baby Cashmerino.

Overall it's not bad, however Debbie Bliss seems to be terribly allergic to knitting things in the round, where it would eliminate some of the seaming. I would also question the sewn-on beads, you would have to be extremely careful sewing them on! It's not a bad book but not my favourite.

Buy/Borrow: If I had a child and was going to be going to a special occasion I'd be tempted by this book, the knits are pretty simple but the additions add a lot to the pattern. A quick look at the Ravelry projects showed me that many of the projects with ornamentation had it left off. It could make some very pretty gifts but I'm not sure that it would be for everyone. I'd borrow it first to see if it's for you. I'd say that most people would knit one or two patterns out of this and a second project would probably be the rabbit or sampler blanket.

Where found: Dublin City Public libraries has recently got some copies in. (old copy)

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