If, this year, you are committed to a handmade Christmas, this book could be a just the inspiration you need to get started. Knits to Give¬†is a collection of 30 gift ideas from top knitwear designer Debbie Bliss.
The book is divided into five sections ‚Äď For Her, For Him, For Baby, For Kids, For the Home ‚Äď and all the projects are designed to give maximum joy whilst taking the minimum of time and fuss ‚Äď no project should take longer than a week to make, with some as quick as just a single evening. The book is designed to cover all abilities.
If, like me, you only give presents that you actually want yourself, then this book should provide you with a few solutions to what to give close family as well as friends. I particularly like the covered bangles, because they look quick and stylish. The striped pencil pot covers are fun, and there are some great projects ‘For Him’ – I love the skinny Moss Stitch Tie, the Rice Stitch Scarf is a refreshing change from all those stripy scarves men have had for Christmas in the last couple of years, the Fingerless Gloves are a must for our touch screen generation, and the Walking Socks are fab – I might try these just as Wellie tops rather than knitting the whole sock.
I like the fact there is a preface to each project which shows how you can flex the projects with use of different colours and yarn. This element is an important part of today’s crafting movement. Projects need to morph with what you have to hand and what you need the end result to be.
As for the instructions themselves, very clear, well laid out and easy to follow. There has been no pressure to squeeze a pattern onto one page – there are a good number of photographs per project that give a very clear idea of what the end result should be.
There is a great emphasis on the ‘Gift Giving’ element within this title with a ¬†section at the front on gift wrapping ideas. There are some nice suggestions here such as including a couple of extra buttons, with a buttoned garment, or laundry instructions. As usual, its all in the detail.
The pages are softly shaded and the photography and styling pretty, and I am sure they are the right appeal to the person who is going to enjoy knitting and giving these projects.
Any niggles? I would have liked some of ¬†the ‘For Her’ projects to be more fun – for example, the charmingly mismatched Kids Stripey Long Socks would be fantastic as an adult pattern – I would think Johnnie Boden would be proud to have those in his range. I think the front cover photograph is a bit to very dull, and there are much better images within the book. And lastly, I must have looked at the Home Is Where The Heart Is Cushion photograph 5 or so times puzzling why it was called that, because all I could see was the shape of an arrow rather than a house shape. Possibly just me, I never could do those Magic Eye tests in the ’90’s.
That aside, I want to make at least half the projects in this book, and I want to start right now. I could have listed far more of the highlights, (such as the Moss Stitch Table Mats, the Party Shrug, the Cabled Arm Warmers) but then the post becomes a list and not a review….I can’t see anything overly technical in the book, I am confident that what I need to know is explained clearly because I ¬†trust Debbie Bliss to deliver good design and thorough instructions. As a committed stitcher, who is no knitting expert, I know I am going to use this book and that I am going to enjoy giving the things I have made from it.¬†Knits To Give is published by Quadrille and is available to buy here