I promise the writing here won’t be all cat all the time. We’re still getting to know each other and he and the penguins beg for my attention, so why not give it to him here? He’s not been feeling well the past few days, so we had a nice snuggling session this afternoon as a break from work. I’m happy, he’s happy. It was quite a snuggling weekend with the first snowfall of the season here in the North East. We are now North of the city (what city? there is only one, even if where I live now may or may not be called one) so we saw a nice heavy dusting. I stocked up on paperbacks at my favourite Japanese Used Book Store Thursday and when I wasn’t napping I had some fun rereading.
But first, the new books:
I have a weakness for Anderson’s books. I feel head over heels in love with every project even if I rarely get around to knitting many of them. Plus hard cover and double ring spiral binding with lots of beautiful clear photographs. What’s not to love?
I also do love me a good hand made toy that is cute and easy to make. Itty-Bitty Toys, her newest book, is no exception. I was thankful to have a first read through of it on the train, yet sorry for my current knit-in-progress as I kept complaining mentally to it that while it is beautiful (baby alpaca), it just wasn’t as cute as any of the projects in the book. I’ve started to prefer to knit toys as gifts unless a clothing item is specifically requested as toys are outgrown less rapidly.
The shapes of the toys Anderson includes here are simple yet each is different enough that I felt each pattern earned its page space.
The technique section at the start surprised and delighted me. It starts off assuming you know how to knit and if you don’t it sends you to some useful websites. The techniques that are included are more advanced skills necessary for successful completion of the projects. The explanatory diagrams seem clear to me and the tip section is quite valuable and includes a very good reminder on the choking hazard that poly pellets can pose to young children or pets (my addition).
Which projects caught my eye? All of them for their simple beauty. While I wouldn’t knit it for my deep dislike in working with boucle yarns, I think the lamb is over-the-top cute. The cover feature, giraffe is mighty bright and cheerful and makes me smile every time I look at it.
Some of the designs are cute takes on classic stories and I love how they provide ample opportunity for creative play. For example, the princess and the pea projects has as many mattresses as you wish, the princess’s clothing, and a pea pod. I can think of many fun play-time activities– blankets can become flying carpets, the princess a doctor or whoever she wishes, and the peapod could be used in a kitchen or planted in a garden. So many ideas for creative child play from one project pattern. Not to mention a great way to act out while reading a story to a child.
I do also like the reversible toys and can think of a few other combinations I’d like… excuse me, I have a yarn stash that’s begging to be knitted into toys.
My wardrobe consists primarily of cardigans. I love them. I love their versatility and how I can quickly dress most of them up or down. I tend to prefer simple shapes but like when I can add a hint of my personality to them. That is often difficult with store bought cardigans and to date I’ve only knitted a few of my own. I’m looking to change that so I borrowed this book from the library for inspiration. Harding does not disappoint, though I wish there were more photos of each garment. I do like that most patterns are shown knitted using two vastly different yarn choices, highlighting how easy it is to create a completely changed look. What is nice is that the sizing includes ease allowance which are quite useful in assisting in deciding which size to knit. I’m not sure I’ll knit many of these cardigans with the included instructions, no matter how beautiful they are as I am not a piece knitter. I prefer my garments as seamless as possible, and will definitely use many of the shapes and details for inspiration — sleeve length changes, different edgings — there are many examples to provide creative starting points.
I reread this over shabbat and it was fun. I picked up the first and third book in the trilogy so I will have to find the second one so I can read the whole series again. It’s interesting upon reread and having just come off NaNoWriMo to have this the first whole read, I’m finding the story development interesting and educational. Simple writing lessons I know, but didn’t care about for the month of November.