Thursday, February 28, 2008

Review: Speed Knitting: 24 Quick and Easy Projects

Looking for projects that are quick to knit? Speed Knitting: 24 Quick and Easy Projects by Kris Percival features simple designs knitted in bulky yarn. The book begins with an overview of yarns and knitting tools and ends with an overview of knitting techniques and resources with 3 chapters of patterns in between.

The patterns are divided into accessories, apparel, and gifts. Accessory patterns include a scarf, scarf and hat set, a scarf-hat (i.e. a hat with connected scarf), belt, messenger bag, wrist warmers, and mittens. Apparel includes a poncho, capelet, shrug, shawl, vest, ballet sweater, summer shift, men’s sweater, and halter. Gifts include a couch throw, pillow cover, baby shower set, dog sweater, cat mat, toddler tank top, baby blanket, and toddler tank dress.

The techniques section covers the techniques needed for the projects in the book. The instructions and illustrations remind experienced knitters how to do a technique. Novices will find too little detail in the written steps and too few illustrations to understand how to perform many of the techniques. If you are new to knitting, make sure you have a good knitting reference.

The title “Speed Knitting” intrigued me. There is a definite appeal to finishing things more quickly. However, most of the patterns are not designs I will ever make. Bulky yarn is great for making hats and an occasional afghan. But in my opinion, bulky yarn is too thick for the other types of accessories and garments I might make. Consider your own tastes before you buy this book. Better yet, borrow it from your library and take a detailed look before you decide.

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