Here comes a book review, hang on to your seats!
First of all, let me say I am by no means a ‘professional reviewer’ of books and you are most welcome to disagree with the opinions I express here.
The book I am going to write about came to be in my possession because Ali of Very Berry Handmade was doing a giveaway and, out of pure luck, I won. I couldn’t believe it, I never win anything in these giveaways! Er… a week later I also won a Fairy Portal in another giveaway. Huh. Shutting up now (there will be a post on said Portal someday).
When the book arrived I was super excited, because I am indeed a beginner knitter and any help I could get would be amazing. I couldn’t wait to get started. Of course, there’s a fine line between wanting to do something and actually doing it, so I am sad to say I have yet to begin any project. There’s two I have my eye on, so let’s see if I get to try them out soon.
Simple Knitting – 30 Quick-To-Knit Projects for Stylish Accessories, by Ros Badger, is a fun-looking book, with a nice hardcover. I like sturdy-looking technical books because I think they should withstand all possible uses one might have for a often-consulted publication. It’s UK-based (Octopus Publishing Group) and has very nice product photography; the paper is a medium weight, non-glossy recycled kind that makes me think of indie publications for some reason. The muted colours this type of paper bring also feel very right to me, because glossy just brings to mind High Fashion magazines and I don’t think this is what the author had in mind.
One word of advise if you plan on purchasing this book: do a good online research first. I have seen this book sell for £10 in one site and almost £17 in another.
There are quite a few projects to try out, and basic techniques are also explained (which is great, considering this is a book for beginners). I will have to say though, knowing these techniques already, I didn’t find the photos very easy to understand. Maybe it was me, but it feels like they missed a few steps and thus some information was lost; If I didn’t know how to knit and purl already, I might have had trouble understanding exactly how this was done. Here’s a page of said instructions:
A word on a small, yet personally very useful detail: Sue Badger did finally help me understand the some of the differences between yarns – ‘fingering,’ ‘sport-weight’ and ‘worsted weight’ meant nothing to me until I read her ‘Choosing Yarn’ section. Is it any wonder I choose yarn according to how pretty I find it to be and become disappointed when it’s no good for the project I had in mind?
Here is one of the projects I want to try. I will fail miserably, I’m sure, but to no fault of Ms Badger’s.
So, all in all, my opinion is, if you are an absolute beginner and want a wide range of projects to try, this book is quite good for that – there are beanies for men, simple and less-simple scarfs to make, the ever-present mittens and even a tote bag. However, I would advise you to also subscribe to one or two knitting channels on YouTube, so you make sure you have a better understanding of the knitting techniques mentioned.
Is it a perfect book? By no means, but it’s still very nice indeed and will keep you busy for a whole season should you try all the projects in it.