Sunday, August 3, 2014

Great Little Gifts to Knit: 30 Quick and Colorful Patterns, by Jean Moss

I was happy to see this book offered for review on NetGalley because I've come to love knitting and I'm always looking for new ideas. I'm not sure when I'll stop thinking of myself as "just a little bit past a total beginner" (maybe when I finally get the hang of circular needles?) but I have managed to make quite a few gifts, mostly dolls and toys. This book looked like it was right up my alley.

Because I requested it from a review site instead of browsing it in a store or library, I wasn't able to flip through it first to see if I liked the look of the projects themselves. To be honest, I'm not sure I did. They all seem easy enough (for the most part...I think I could handle the majority of them) but I just don't think they're to my personal taste.

There are a lot of old-fashioned "grandma's knits" types of things here -- bobbly baby booties, oversized mittens, big wool socks, drawstring bags-- that may appeal to some, but seemed dowdy to me. The photos are nice, but the projects just didn't seem current enough. Of course, if the same items had been photographed on a twenty-something wearing giant black glasses and skinny jeans, it might have at least captured some hipster appeal (not that I'm the target demographic for that either...).

Personally, I just didn't respond to them. The muted jewel/earth tones reminded me of the late '70s and early '80s, and not in a good way. Maybe it was the turban-style winter hat pattern that did it. Or the multiple patterns for fingerless gloves (really, how many do you need?). Or all those leg warmers. Or whatever 'wristlets' are.

And one or two of the projects just seemed strange, like the infant knitted "cocoon" with matching hat for mom. I can't imagine I would have ever used that if someone had given it to me when my own baby was born. Or the knitted tea cozy with giant flouffy tassels coming out of it. I just...I didn't get it.

Like I said, it's just a matter of personal taste. Since I didn't buy this book (I had access to a digital copy of the book for review purposes), I didn't feel I'd wasted any money on patterns I probably wouldn't use, or at least ones I wouldn't use without a lot of tweaking. But if I had been buying it, I'd definitely have wanted to browse through it first just to be sure, which I suppose is true of any craft book like this. Or better yet, borrow a bunch of books from the library (or from knitting friends who don't mind) and then purchase copies of the ones I truly love.

One thing I will say about this book is that even though I didn't respond to the ideas in this book, they did all seem to go together. In other words, I hated them all in the same way, if that makes sense. So chances are, if you like some of the pictures from the book (you can see some great photos in Jenjoyce Design's fantastic review of the book, as well as its product page on KnitPicks, or of course the author's website), you'll probably like all of them.

Great Little Gifts to Knit:
30 Quick and Colorful Patterns
by Jean Moss
Published by Taunton Press
Publication Date: September 2, 2013
View on Amazon

Source: NetGalley

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