Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Book review Knits to Give by Debbie Bliss

The book arrived from Quadrille Publishing with perfect timing.   I intend to include a small hand made present in each person's stocking at Christmas and this book is full of fabulous ideas.You know how it usually goes? you get a gorgeous new knitting book and you just don't know where to start.  Which project will you knit first?  And when you finally choose, despite owning The Stash Beyond Life Expectancy you never have the right yarn at the right time.

Problem solved with Knits to Give from Debbie Bliss.  Thirty project presents, all of which (so the author says) can be knitted in a week and many require only odd balls from your stash.  As a  lover of Debbie Bliss yarns I have a lot of oddments and some larger batches of her yarn in stock.   But the joy of little projects like this is that you can also use oddments of other yarn as exact sizing and tension is less crucial for a little scarf or a tie.

At first glance I couldn't decide between a fabulous stole

or bracelets

and even bought the yarn to make this shrug for The Little Model.

But I decided to begin with the bracelets and use (I hope Debbie will forgive me) some stash yarn (I'll make the shrug and the stole later).  I'm rather pleased to find a suitable project for my sari yarn.  The moss stitch version shows off the glowing colours to perfection.  I chose cotton left over from Knitting a Name for the other two.

My only problem, cheap bangles (from Primark) do not go over my large hands.  I wonder, has all that knitting and crocheting caused hand enlargement?

No matter DD1 will be delighted with them.

I also carried out a little consumer survey of the book at my Friday knitting group.  We were a little thin on the ground last week but Claire loved the baby blanket (but agreed with me that this project would take more than a week unless you had no children to collect from school, no meals to prepare and no job to go to).

Jenny loved the tea cosy and Cary-Ann the blue rabbit baby bootees and the zebra.

The instructions are all so well set out and easy to follow.  And I know I always go on about beautiful quality paper and cleverly photographed projects but a book can be a thing of beauty in itself, can it not?

Thankfully there is only one cushion.  Once that would have been a serious omission in any book of small craft projects but honestly, enough already! Leave us room on our arm chairs and sofas to sit and on our beds to sleep!  Instead the home section includes (in addition to the teacosy that Jenny covets) a pot of pansies and table mats.  The other sections are For Him, Her, Baby and Kids

Its a scrumptious book and if my only criticism, apart from my knitting speed not being up to knitting the baby blanket (or the stole) in just a week, is that one or two projects use a prodigious amount of yarn (7 balls of aran for a pair of socks)  I still recommend it to you.

You will pour over it if you tend to dream over beautiful photographs and of being the goddess of hand made

You will use it a lot if making your own presents is your thing

And you will love it if you simply seek the joy of making beautiful things in delicious yarns.




strikk handknits said...

lovely review - very rounded and including all information like the knitting group market research too :-)

Caroline said...

Oh no... I want to get this book now, and I have more knitting books than time to knit...