Artisan, 2004. 978-1-57965-244-9
Synopsis: Knitting has become a hot hobby for many middle schoolers, high schoolers, and college students over the years – so much so that it is no longer considered an old lady hobby. This book features 35 easy patterns for hats, scarves, ponchos, bags, sweaters, blankets, and one-day projects for knitters of all levels; top ten problems and how to solve them; basic stitch how-to’s; guide to selecting yarn and everything you need for your projects; and other resources for knitting help, starting your own knitting club, and knitting for charity.
Why I picked it up: I have a friend who is having her first baby in January, and I thought some knit blankets and hats would be a perfect gift.
Why I finished it: While the book may appear to be geared more toward girls, there are boys on the cover and in many of the pictures throughout the book, proving that knitting and crocheting aren’t just a girl thing. The pictures, illustrations, and little tips are super helpful, especially if you are a visual person. The authors also recognize that not everyone will get it from the instructions, so they made a point to insert some helpful websites to browse for videos and patterns. Lots of the activities are relatively simple and fun, but can also produce some frustration (as with any project). Making sure to practice and getting the basics down definitely reduce the desire to give up, and the authors even suggest to make test swatches (little blocks of practice knitting) before starting a project so that you can get the feel of the stitches and needles. I’m looking forward to getting started on my first scarf – even if it doesn’t turn out the way I think it will.
Other related materials: Knitgrrl: Learn to Knit with 15 Fun and Funky Patterns by Shannon Okey; Kids Knitting: Projects for Kids of all Ages by Melanie Falick; Find Your Style and Knit It Too by Sharon Turner; Not Another Teen Knitting Book by Vickie Howell; Kids Crochet: Projects for Kids of All Ages by Kelli Ronci; Knitting (Quick Starts for Kids!) by Peg Blanchette; Get Hooked: Simple Steps to Crochet Cool Stuff by Kim Werker; Charmed Knits: Projects for Fans of Harry Potter by Alison Hansel; The Boy’s Doodle Book: Amazing Pictures to Complete and Create by Andrew Pinder; Click: The Ultimate Photography Guide for Generation Now by Charlie Styr