Review by Maggy Woodley from Red Ted Art
I am a great fan of Mollie Makes and I am a great fan of Knitting, I also have two kids (aged 7 and almost 6) and I want them to be able to knit one day too. To be fair the 7 year old has already mastered knit stitch (or is it purl..? Oh I forget). My youngest has had a go too, but needs some more practice. So I thought taking a peak at this book would be super handy. I don’t expect a 6 and 7 year old to use this book on their own of course, but I was hoping that it had enough information, tips and cute projects, not only to help jog my memory, but also to start getting the children more interested in knitting beyond the classic childhood scarf project. I would like this to be their book in say 2 - 3 years time (yes that is long term planning, but that is how things are done in my house). So, what did we think of it?
The kids got their hands on the book first. My 6 year in old in particular loves nothing more than sitting in a corner and browsing craft books for hours on end and this book was treated no differently. She even called her big brother over saying “come come, look at this with me”, which was followed quickly by series of “oohs” and “ahhhs” from both of them, so it gets a big tick from the kids.
What did I think of it? After taking the book away from the kids (which basically means unearthing it three days later from under a duvet or a pile of cuddly toys), I managed to have a look. I always look at two things: what technique or teaching is going on versus how different, cute or easy the projects are. It has a whole section of techniques, which has both clear images and descriptions, all of which made me very happy. I love how it shows you different techniques e.g. the Continental Cast On versus Thumb Cast On. This is really important to me as I find that I have often learned things a little differently to the mainstream, so when I teach my kids, I want them to be able to use this book too without getting confused, even though we generally do things a bit differently. This book recognises that there are a variety of different techniques and that they are all okay! It also has a very handy section about correcting mistakes, afterall this is a book for beginners. As an experienced knitter I am able to do small cheats to fix mistakes for my kids, but eventually I want them to learn how to be able to do this for themselves. I love that this book recognises that mistakes will be made and that it is ok, it is not the end of the world, it’s just part of learning and you can still complete your project! Hooray!
On to the projects; for beginners I like to see lots of simple and short projects, and the little Christmas Tree Decorations are just perfect. They can give you a sense of achievement, without taking weeks on end to complete and they are great for using up odds and ends of wool. I also like the number of quirky little projects the book contains such as the Felted Pot Trio which I think would make a wonderful, fun gift! My kids have already put an order in for the super cute and easy Kawaii Kittens (aren’t they adorable?!). Alongside the more unusual and fun projects you also find the traditional scarves, beanies, ear warmers and wraps, but even they seem quirky and a bit different.
This is a lovely book, I think if you have a 10 year old (*cough* or a grown up beginner too of course *cough*) that has started to knit, this book along with a bundle of wool, would make a wonderful little gift.
Mollie Makes: How To Knit: Go From Beginner To Expert In 20 New Projects
By Mollie Makes
Published by Pavilion Books