on March 4, 2005
Every project in this book is attractive, tasteful, and adorable! (Well, almost -- I don't love that weird half sweater dress thing toward the end.) I have completed several of them already and can't wait to do others. So many knitting patterns are tacky and overly busy, but not so in this book.
If you are a beginner and want progressively more challenging projects that are clearly explained, this is a great book. The instructions are clear and if you were to complete the patterns in this book in order, you would emerge a very capable, skilled knitter! It starts with very basic knitted rectangles, adds purling, then shaping, then multi-color (instartia and stranded), then cables, then felting...it has a little bit of everying! Also, because these are baby projects (that is, quite small), you finish quickly and can move on to the next thing.
This is my favorite book in my knitting library.
on January 3, 2006
I work in a baby and kids, only, yarn shop. And, let me tell you, I LOVE this book for customers and students. For the advanced student, there's only a few projects in there that really challenge the knitter, but they are some of the greatest patterns out there!!! (For instance, babies go ga-ga, literally, over the felted balls. I keep some in the store for the babes to play with, and many of the little ones barely let them go. Customers tell me this is true for the balls that they've made for their own children. ALSO - that little aran is one of the best patterns out there, in my opinion. It's accessible - I taught a customer how to read and understand cable patterns using this pattern as the guide.)
As for beginners, this book is fantastic. Because I deal with a lot of moms and grandmoms, I've had many students learn to knit directly from this book, and then to continue to use the book as a reference source, and for continually challenging patterns.
I won't hide my adoration for Melanie Falick and Kristin Nicholas. In my opinion and experience, they are 2 of the most understandable and creative women out there in the textile arts publishing business. Melanie for her editting skills (she brings together some greeat designers) and her writing skills (great at clarifying things and making them fun to read). And, Kristin is a fabulous illustrator. Between this book and KIDS KNITTING, I have taught dozens of people how to knit, how to increase their skills, and then sent them off with a reference book I feel confident in; Kristin's images are easy to read and her patterns are cute and fun!!
on July 23, 2005
I have had this book for a few years and whenever I hear that a friend is pregnant I pick it up and choose a project for the new 'addition'. This book is great because it gives good instructions for beginners, starting with basic stitches, then keeps adding on with more advanced techniques. I feel that you could use this book as a beginner and learn most everything you need just by progressing through, from casting on an knit/purl to cables and felting. The best part is that all of the projects are very cute and doable. These are things you actually want to complete (unlike my first ever knitting project, a dumb old washcloth, which I did so I could learn the basics, all the while feeling like I was wasting my time).
The only negative about the book (and this is only a negative if you are a more advanced knitter) is that the patterns are too wordy! It would be nice if they kept the wordy part for those who like specific, conversational instruction but also had a 'quick' version of the pattern, showing just the stitches, so it wouldn't be so tedious for more advanced knitters to get through the instructions. That said, I would recommend this book above all others for beginners.
on November 14, 2002
In my opinion, there are both pros and cons to this particular knitting book (as with any, I suppose).
First, this is full of several, really adorable baby styles--and even if you're a beginner, the instructions are easy to follow. For the same reason, experienced knitters might find this book a little simplistic. But, being relatively new to knitting myself, the patterns in this book were the ones with which I first tackled several techniques that had seemed daunting before: circular knitting with double-pointed needles, intarsia patterns, and fair-isle knitting.
I have made several cute things for my nieces; a little hat with ear-flaps, mittens connected by a cord, the MOST adorable (and practical) booties I have ever seen a pattern for (the "stay-on booties"), a little roll-edge sweater with a heart on the chest, a snowflake nordic pullover... There are others I still want to try, like a felted wool diaper bag, the "mommy" sweater, etc. As well as some patterns I'll likely just pass up and never use. Another good aspect is that nearly all of the patterns are written for several sizes--newborn through toddler.
That said, there are also some not-so-good things about this book. Some of the things I was VERY glad I tried first with cheap, practice yarns. I found myself modifying some aspects of the patterns to improve upon them with other techniques I had already learned (via "Knitting for Dummies"). Don't get me wrong--you can get by with ONLY this book if you want to; the patterns are simple enough that if you're looking to make a simple baby blanket for a baby shower or something (there are several patterns) and you've never knitted before, you can manage. But for extra "expert" touches, another reference is a good thing. Another bad point: rather than naming gauge yarns (e.g. worsted, dk, sport weight, etc.) they list the SPECIFIC yarns they used on each pattern--and they're not exactly run-of-the-mill. This is a bit of a bugger if you want to use a different brand, or material of yarn. I got around this without too much problem; looking at basic weight (e.g. 50g = 150yds) and material used (knowing that cotton yarn is going to weigh more per yard than wool yarn) and using gauge swatches to make sure it would turn out okay, I experimented with wool blends, cotton, and others with success.
So step with slight caution, but I would buy this book again having used several of the patterns inside it already. I will add, too, that the things I have made were received with great delight by friends and family.
on August 14, 2002
I bought this book as my first project book. It is inspiring to read through over and over again and is beautifully photographed. The book is both a pattern and instruction book, divided into a chapter for each type of new stitch or technique, starting with the garter stitch, then stockinette, etc..., and each chapter has several adorable, classic patterns using only the stitches and techniques learned in that chapter or previous chapters - which is SO helpful for someone first learning how to knit. I've made several projects from this book and found the pattern instructions to be extremely first-time knitter friendly, especially in comparison to alot of other pattern books out there. The biggest reason being that the PATTERN instructions are written out instead of abbreviated, which makes a world of difference to someone concentrating on mastering stitches rather than deciphering instructions. The projects include several styles of baby hats, two different booties, several blankets, a "mommy sweater" & diaper bag, several toys, and a bunch of very classic sweaters.
The only complaint I have is that some of the TECHNIQUE instructions are a bit confusing even with the diagrams - instead of simply saying, "...put the right needle through the loop from front to back...", there is a whole paragraph of "...turn your hand slightly left with palm facing up and bring your index finger around and face it towards the left needle then twist your hand back around...blah blah blah..." So my solution would be to also pick up a copy of "Knitting for Dummies", for reference during those times when one explanation isn't enough.
on November 9, 2006
I don't need any more books on knitting. Really. I prefer to hit the library to browse. After checking this out, reading through it and having it around the house for 3 weeks, I was reluctant to give it back. The patterns start simply and work their way up in complexity. They're not kitchy, the colors are soothing, and the patterns are timeless. A very solid book. The only reason I'm not giving it 5 stars is that if you are an experienced knitter you can probably find or make most of the patterns. But for a beginner/intermediate, this is a fantastic way to branch out. Written explanations are also excellent!
on May 23, 2005
Clapping needles to Melanie Falick! The directions are so well written in this book. The author accurately anticipated the steps where a new knitter may have questions and provided further details in parenthesis. Also, there is a glossary with well illustrated directions for finishing. I was able to sew together a sweater with drop sleeves solo for the first time.
on July 24, 2004
There are a couple of really cute things in here, but the directions were too wordy and long. And 100% cashmere for a baby blanket? Not in my world, at least. Not enough originality to the patterns.
I went to the library and checked out the book. I copied a couple of patterns I might attempt (I loved the baby aran sweater). I just didn't think it was a worthwhile addition to my personal knitting library.
on November 25, 2005
I first checked this book out from the library and loved so many of the patterns, I bought it online. I am a beginner knitter, and I just finished my first "Baby's First Ball" on page 55. I must say, It was quick and fun once I got the hang of it. I thought it was a very good first project for someone who couldn't remember how to knit & purl, with a little ambition. I did not have a lot of luck with their knitting technique illustrations, so I had to watch a couple videos online and my Mother-in-law helped too. The next time I knit the ball, I'm not going to felt it, and use a soft yarn instead. Another cool thing, is that you can use scraps too. I am going to try knitting a washcloth next. That was why I originally checked out the book (saw it on a craft show). I am tempted to give this book four stars becuause of the basic knitting instructions, but if you are reading this, it means you are also capable of visiting one of the many knitting websites with far better instructions and videos anyway. I would certainly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for cute, classic baby patterns. Have fun!
on September 28, 2004
This book gives lots of inspiration for those looking to knit for baby.
The patterns are easy to follow even for the knitting novice. These are considered heirloom projects so most of the yarn called for requires wool or cashmere because of there durabilty. You can easily substitute lower quality yarn if you desire, use your imagination.
The toys and diaper bag patterns are a nice addition to the book. I have made several of the bears for friends so far and they love them!