Book Review: Last-Minute Knitted Gifts

May 23rd, 2006 | View Comments

Cover of Last-Minute Knitted Gifts

Author: Joelle Hoverson & Anna Williams (Photographer)
Publisher: Stewart, Tabori, & Chang
Rating: 4.5 Skeins
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I fell in love with the cute green pouch on the cover, bought the book, and the rest is history. This is a gorgeously laid out book with elegant, eye-catching projects. The yarns are fancy, but the knitting generally stays simple. This book is targeted at new knitters, but I think more experienced knitters may also find themselves inspired by a project or two.

The first thing in this book is a fantastic section on color theory, discussing the basics of color, the relationships between colors, and how to choose colors for a project. The attention that the authors pay to color is apparent throughout the book, from the knitted items’ rich colors to the beautifully composed photographs. There are many other knitting books on the market that could benefit from the authors’ eye for color.

Next is a section on the different natural fibers found in yarn, where they come from, how they behave when knitting, and how to care for them. Beginners will find this a welcome addition to the book.

After a foray into knitting tools and pattern basics (there is no section teaching how to knit; for that I recommend a book like Stitch ‘N Bitch), we find the patterns broken into chapters based on how long they take to knit—for a very fast knitter. I find that doubling the given times results in a fairly realistic estimate for a project.

My favorite projects include the Angora Baby Booties (less than two hours), very cute, with no short-rowing required, The Purl Scarf (four to six hours), simple ribbing in a luscious combination of wool and mohair, and the Hourglass Sweater (more than eight hours), an elegant but homey boat-neck sweater.

First edition users beware: there is a rather long list of pattern mistakes that have been corrected in later printings.

The book finishes with some ideas on wrapping handknit gifts. The appendix includes instructions for some more advanced techniques used in the book, like the three-needle bind-off or picking up stitches.

I would highly recommend this book to any beginning knitter. Not only is this book a great introduction to intermediate level knitting, but it’s also a great introduction to yarn, and the different ways that yarns can be combined and knitted to make a wide variety of different projects.

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CogKnition posted this on May 23rd, 2006 @ 12:12am in Book Reviews | Permalink to "Last-Minute Knitted Gifts"

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