Sunday, 27 January 2013

Bundana begins... Knitting AND "Knitty Gritty" by Anita Patel Book Review

After getting over the initial shock of being pregnant and dealing with the fact that, like this Sunday morning, sitting here reflecting with my laptop, a coffee and BBC Radio 6 will soon be a thing of the past- I have decided to get some organisation going and pick up some new skills ready for the arrival of bambino.

Knitting, I actually started this whole crafting revolution through knitting. I subscribed to the "Art of Knitting" magazine and had 15 issues sent to me. I was busily knitting away doing the obligatory granny squares using different techniques, then got taught how to use a sewing machine and haven't knitted since. Instant gratification won over the 'slowly-slowly' approach of knitting.

Now being 'with child' I have felt the need to not only sew some clothes and soft furnishings but also knit some, too. So I picked my copy of "Knitty Gritty" by Aneeta Patel and quickly realised that the patterns that I had previously disregarded (i.e. all of them) were now relevant to me! Projects include: baby booties, baby hats, baby cardigan, and mittens, I need some of them now. I admit it, before when I bought this book a year ago, I looked at the methods and instructions of this book as reference but I had not a notion of doing any project within it. Now, I have obviously had a change of heart and body and find myself happily and eagerly completing the baby makes. Oh how times change. 

Excellent instructions
This first project I have done is Project #2 - Baby Booties. Aneeta Patel is a very competent teacher, who obviously has been asked and dealt with every quibble of the newbie knitter. Before you've even thought of your query, it is answered in the instructions. Excellent stuff from the writer, I will be picking up the next instalment of her books which is aimed at the knitter who has learnt all of the skills from this book and ready to knit in the round, Fair Isle knits etc. Exciting stuff, but I am nowhere near that yet.

This book is however not without fault. Some of the projects are gargantuanly bad. The knitted ‘Necktie’ is just terrible. Clever and colourful photography has made it a pleasant picture in the book, but if you take it out of Prettyville and into Reality Falls... this is just a lead-balloon of a job which I can honestly say I will NEVER make. Other failures, really, are the ‘Phone Home’ based on flip mobiles with aerials bearing in mind this book was revised and republished in 2010, I think this project was out-of-date even at time of first press is 2009.


Computer says 'No'

However, I would still give this book a go if you are interested in learning to knit. You will learn to knit and knit with good technique. If you make a mistake, the answer will be there for reference and you can develop your skills gradually after harnessing one skill at a time. I am now knitting the baby hat from the book. So the skills I learnt from the booties (decreasing stitches) are in use and I am picking up another skill of 1x1 rib knit for the hat border. I'm using Frog Button # 3, the green wool from the booties and some of the Tweed Aran Wool for bambinos' cardigan. A winter newborn set, if you like... bambino will be 3 months old in November.

So, I whipped up two booties (of just about the same size) and added my Friday purchases of the frog buttons. I am delighted with them. I love the fact that the knitting is so portable. I even completed one bootie on the way from Galway to Dublin yesterday, on the motorway, radio on... it was bliss. I must however add that I do not suffer with travel sickness as a rule, so I am lucky there. 

My creative juices are flowing even more now! I don't know what is but seemingly the more that I do- the more I want to do. I now have brainwaves of sanding down pine furniture and white-washing and changing doorknobs! The outlet of creativity is fully open, now all I need to do is learn to draw. I am appalling.

So here are my booties, gender-free as I do not know what we are having yet! My model is my teddy bear made by my older brother in Home Economics when I was born, so he is nearly 28 years old. Meet 'Hammerhead'...

Skills learnt: Decreasing stitches
Cost: €2 for the buttons, everything else I already had.
Time taken: 3hrs




  1. So cute! You'd probably love the Anna Maria Horner book'New Beginnings' it's all baby/child sewing and some lovely practical stuff!! I saw it a while back in the Works for £5.99!

  2. Very cute:) I love a garter stitch pattern for something quick to knit. I've started using Ravelry recently - have you checked out some of the fab patterns there? Although browsing it swallows up alot a time that could be used knitting instead!

  3. This is ridiculously cute! Love them :D :D :D


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