Monday, 23 April 2012

Lovely Knits for Little Girls - reivew

Book Depository Dublin City Public Libraries

Now as Ravelry doesn't have this title I searched for the author Vibe Sondergaard and found Labour of Love which features at least three of the patterns from this book, so below that's the patterns I've linked to below, and the reviews on suggest that it's the same book  (so beware the offer from Amazon for the two together!).  The other suggestion to me that one may be a localisation of the other is that the needle sizing in Lovely Knits for Little Girl is solely in US sizing.

ETA: Taunton Press confirmed in the comments that this is indeed the case, they bought the US rights for Labour of Love and renamed it Lovely Knits for Little Girls.  

I got this title from Net Galley in exchange for a review.

This one I asked for, because, although I don't have any kids myself, I do have a 2 year-old niece, so I looked at this as an opportunity to get some patterns for her, I also used the opportunity of visiting Galway and meeting her mum to get her to have a look and offer her opinion.  To be honest there was nothing that she was urging me to knit, some it ranked a maybe.  I would have liked a few more more general wear pieces, a little more utility and a little less ornamental.

The book is beautifully shot and very well laid out.  Sized for 3-8 year old's.this is a book more for events than for everyday.  I could see several of the projects as being used for weddings or communions. 

The photographs are in colour, there are no schematics and they're made in pieces with side seams for the most part.  This was an e-book which required Adobe Digital Editions to read, I didn't come across an ebook copy on Amazon.  I also came across Lovely Knits for Little Girls in Hoggis Figgis in Dame Street and was quite impressed with the quality.  Looking through the book I'm not absolutely sure about the needle size listed, you might have to work with the gauge to get it right and if I was to knit some of them I'd be very tempted to knit some in the round or for some cardigans, as one piece, front and back to the armholes.  The patterns are mostly quite complex but there are a few that are more simple.

Starting with a Sweater section, the first is the Clara Alpaca and cotton sweater, described as a simple stocking stitch sweater with flared sleeves.  It's a statement piece, those sleeves are almost too big but it's a look that might suit a moment. Uses Rowan Alpaca Cotton and US 6 needles (listed as an Aran weight with 4mm needles)

Ruth Aran and Bobble Sweater, this is the pattern on the cover of  Labour of Love, short sleeved with  blackberry stitch and cabling, the sleeves are puffed and have a pattern running down them.  It's an a-line top.  Uses UK Alpaca DK and US 6/4mm needles.

Carolina high-neck sweater with ribbon.  An all-over cable pattern with an oversized look and a wide neck.  Knit in Rowan Lima with US 8  & 6 needles (5mm and 4mm), a worsted yarn.

Nora wide Aran Sweater with ribbon - Knit in Debbie Bliss Eco Aran with US 3 and 6 needles (3/3.25mm needles and 4mm needles), this is a trapezoid shaped jumper, which fastens at the back with a ribbon, a pretty simple honeycomb pattern covers this raglan jumper.

Matilda Round-neck Textured Sweater - using Rowan Cashsoft DK and US 6 & 10 (4mm and 6mm) needles this is an interesting jumper using texture, it's a raglan top, would probably work well in the round!

The next section is Cardigans, starting with Zoe Fan Stitch Jacket.  Knit in Rowan by Amy Butler Belle Organic Dk using US 6 (4mm) needles.  A fan stitch pattern decorates this one and it's fastened with a ribbon.  The bottom edge curves slightly the body is worked to the armholes and then worked as pieces from there.

Sofia Elf Cardigan with Fabric when I first looked at this one I almost missed the fabric piece, this requires sewing a gathered peplum with a slightly complicated piece that rises at the back.  The designer suggests that you could fasten with buttons and change the fabric.  Knit in Debbie  Bliss Eco Aran with US size 3 and 6 (3/3.25mm and 4mm needles)  This could also work as a shrug without the fabric.  It has some interesting details.

Elvira Frost Flower Cardigan - inspired by the Frost Flower stitch pattern this is knit in Mirasol Sulka (a bulky weight yarn) with US 8 & 10 needles (5 & 6mm) with short raglan sleeves, this fastens with one button on the front.

Maggie Grandpa Cardigan - an oversized cardigan with shaping and long-length sleeves, raglan shaping, this could last someone a few seasons.  Knit in Rowan Lima (a worsted weight yarn) with US size 4 and 8 needles (3.5mm and 5mm)

Marie Cardigan with Lace Edges - this uses Garnstudio Drops Alpaca (a fingering weight yarn) used doúble throughout, with US 3 & 6 needles (3/3/25mm & 4mm needles), this has a curved front and lace in the body and edging, the author suggests that you can use plain stocking stitch in the  body and only lace in the edging "cast on a few less stitches".  The cuffs are with the same lace as the edging.

Rosita Warm Wrap Cardigan is the cover pattern on the Lovely Knits variation. Knit in Rowan by Amy Butler Organic Aran with US 7 (4.5mm needles) it starts at the center back, it's an interesting garment.

Dresses and Tops is the next section.
Penelope Garter Stitch vest - this has a gather in the back, knit in one piece and only the shoulder seams sewn.  Using Mirasol Miski (a worsted weight yarn), and US 6 & 8 (4mm and 5mm) needles.

Holly Warm Loopy Vest, using loop stitch this is a mock fur jacket, with curved fronts uses Rowan Drift (a super bulky yarn) using US 11 (8mm needles). Knitted in one piece and fastened with a ribbon at the neck.

Bertha Shoulder Wrap is a shoulder wrap or caplet that is quite a classic style.  Knit in Louisa Harding Millais (a super bulky yarn) with US 8 (5mm) circular needles. Fastened in the front with a ribbon.

Isabel Cable and Little Branch Dress is a long-jumper short-sleeved style dress with a cable and bobble pattern that forms a tree and flower pattern. Knit in Rowan by Amy Butler Organic DK with US 3 & 6 (3/3.25mm and 4mm) needles.

Emilia Mohair Lace Dress - Rowan Kidsilk haze (laceweight) used double with US size 6 (4mm) needles.  There are no photographs of the dress full length. The author also suggest that it would need something to counter the transparency of the dress.  It has cap sleeves.

Skirts and Snoods is the next section.  Flora Layered Skirt is the first pattern, a skirt with layered leaves, knit in individual layers, knit in Louisa Harding Albero (worsted weight) with US 6 & 3 (4mm & 3/3.25mm)

Mia Raspberry Mini Skirt - using blackberry stitch knit in Rowan Pure Wool DK with US 3 & 6 (3/3.25mm & 4mm) needles.  This would need leggings to counter the somewhat see-through nature of the stitch.  It can be also worn as a cowl.

 Skye Big Wool Snood or Mini Skirt knit in Garnstudio Drops Eskimo (Bulky weight yarn) with US 10.5 & 11 (6.5 & 8mm) needles.  This is shaped with a large cables to the middle.

 The final section is Charming Accessories.  Starting with the Laura Frost Flower Hat and Poncho, again using the Frost Flower pattern, this uses only a few repeats in each piece.  Knit with Rowan Cocoon.  Bulky yarn using US 8 &10 (5mm and 6mm) needles, both seamed.

Naya Garter Stitch scarf and hat with eyelets - using Rowan Amy Butler Belle Organic Aran with US 6 and 7 (4 and 4.5mm needles) alternating colour and using a lace pattern, you could do this in one colour  but I'm not sure that it would be as effective.

Lastly the Olivia Mohair Scarf with Bobbles.using Rowan Kidsilk Haze (laceweight) used double throughout; using US 6 (4mm) needles, worked from the long-edge to the center.

Overall it underwhelmed me.  If you are looking for patterns for an event where you have a pre-teen girl this could be a good book, I wouldn't regard it as great for everyday wear.  Then again it would depend on the girl.


  1. I wish there were more patterns for everyday wear for kids. The older Alice has gotten, the less there has been to make for her. maybe I should just design some of my own!

    1. You may just have to! These only go to 8 really anyway.

  2. I think I borrowed this book from Lucan Library. It looks cute, but I didn't feel like making anything from it, I have three girls 4, 6 and 8.


  3. Lovely Knits for Little Girls and Labour of Love are the exact same book. The Taunton Press bought the US rights and we have re-titled our edition. This book should not be available on Amazon.UK and we have taken steps to remove it. Thank you for alerting us to the problem!

    1. Thanks for that info, I've changed the UK Amazon Link to Labour of Love to reflect this. I've also added a bit to the review to reflect this information.

  4. I bought this book without seeing it in the flesh, and while they are beautiful, they are mostly impractical (handwash only delicate yarns and my daughter do not mix!) but lovely.

    I tried to knit the Bertha Shoulder Wrap but was thrown by the multiple yo's then purl 15 togethers. I thought I was going to have a stroke trying to purl 15st together, but even using a crochet hook it all went a bit wrong. I intend to try again though, as the wrap is gorgeous and the Millais yarn is nice.

    1. Glad you like my review.

      Oh I hate multiple purl togethers, sometimes they're so hard to do. I did a shawl with nupps and I wanted to throw it across the room a few times.

  5. I'm just reviewing this book for my blog now, and I agree with you and all the comments here. The photos are beautiful and many of the ideas are lovely, but they're definitely not practical everyday wear. I found the "high fashion" photos made the clothes seem even less practical for an active child.

    Either way, it's a bit too advanced for me. I'm still just a step up from being a beginner knitter (or maybe I'm still a beginner really) and this wasn't quite user friendly enough for my level.

    1. Glad you like my review! I have issues with the impracticality of some girl's clothing at the moment. Some of the patters would be great for special events but I can't imagine my active 3 year old niece wearing it.

      Honestly once you get the basics down nothing is too complicated, you just get faster doing it over time really and have to consult less reference works! Then again I have a tendency to see something I want to knit and throw myself at it and hope it all works out in the end. Sometimes there's too much ripping involved in that!