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Last-Minute Knitted Gifts Hardcover – October 1, 2004
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About the Author
Anna Williams is a freelance photographer based in New York City. Her work appears frequently in Martha Stewart Living, Oprah Winfrey's O magazine, Food & Wine, Gourmet, Real Simple, In Style, Elle Decor, and other national publications.
Top Customer Reviews
The book opens with the assumption that the reader already knows something about knitting but does cover such basic ground as gauge, equipment, and yarn types. It does this is in a concise but complete enough way. Then there is an extensive section on colour that manages to cover the basics in a non- condescending way and add some useful takeouts such as suggesting that we twine yarns together to see how they look rather than just hold the skeins adjacent.
...and colour really is Hoverson's thing - you can tell this even without being aware of her background as a fine arts student and stylist. The colours and photographs are stunning. Probably my favourite is some fluorescent, fuzzy, red bootees on a citrussy background - stunning combo.
The patterns are grouped into sections based on how many hours to complete the item - maximum of 10. They range from basic to interesting, nothing super challenging - it is after all, about instant gratification. There are items for the home, for children, men and women. You can sense the guiding hand of Melanie Falick in the editorial - there are echoes of Weekend Knitting throughout. Despite this, the two books complement rather than compete with each other. Hoverson has a younger, edgier aesthetic.
For my money the book is more about inspiration than a desire to get stuck in to any of the patterns. Having said this, there are a number of really useful stash busters such as fingerless gloves, some neat new takes on scarves and throws, and some cute bags - including a felted yoga mat bag.
Overall, I'm thrilled with this book, it's one I know I'll return to often for inspiration and renewal. Joelle Hoverson makes only passing references to her shop Purl, but it's enough to make me yearn for a trip to New York!
There do seem to be some problems with the pattern directions--I am an intermediate knitter, and so I could catch some of them, but other patterns just left me flummoxed. I'm also not a super-fast knitter, so most of the time estimates were way too low for me--a three-hour project might take me six, for instance.
Another problem for people at all levels is that most of the patterns use luxury yarns, and some are used in quantities that are far too expensive for the sort of quick pick-up gifts this book purports to offer. Substitutions aren't always easy to make unless you are sufficiently experienced to figure out gauges and yardage--or have access to a yarn store with helpful personnel willing to figure it out for you.
That said, there are some gems in this collection: the pashmina cowl (which I made with a less expensive but still very soft alpaca/silk blend), the hats, and the handwarmers do make nice gifts. I also appreciated the streamlined, classic styling--no kitschy reindeer intarsia or riot grrl bikinis here, making this a welcome contrast to many other knitting books out there now.
In short, I recommend this book to more experienced knitters who want to make elegant gifts and don't mind splurging on some lovely high-end yarns. The rest of us might want to reconsider.
That said, I can see two areas for improvement that prevented me from giving a 5-star rating: First, the photography, while beautiful, is sometimes less than helpful for the knitter. Sometimes items are shot in such isolation that it's difficult to envision them on someone, sometimes there are no shots of the whole garment laid out so that you can see the final shape. Sometimes shots are not of the whole item at all, even if they are modeled.
Second, there are quite a few mistakes in the patterns. Joelle has posted all the pattern corrections on the Purl website, though, so as long as you're aware of them it's no problem. You can find the corrections here:
All in all, a tremendous first effort by a talented designer. Highly recommended.
A lovely, unique book!
Although many of the patterns are beautiful, they should have been tested/edited more closely. I spent a lot of money on this book and expect the patterns to correct. It's not unusual to have 1 or 2 errors in a book of this size but this one seems to contain an inordinate amount.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a beautifully written hard bound book with many fairly easy original patterns.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
What I liked about this book was that it had some very interesting projects especially the Alpaca yarn throw . I may attempt that one nice large needles! Read morePublished 4 months ago by email@example.com
The book is Great. It'seems full of wonderful patterns. And I was thrilled to find it at Amazon. Such quick delivery.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
great knitting ideas that are timeless. The instructions are well written , easy to follow and allow for suggestions of types of yearns to use for your gifts. Read morePublished 5 months ago by christine a covie
Very good idea book, nicely done pictures, and projects had been grouped by time involved which was a great way to present the patterns. Read morePublished 8 months ago by coooooooooooooool
This is an attractive knitting book, filled with all kinds of quick to make projects including: baby items (LOTS of those), scarves, tank tops, home decor items, packing... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Geraldine