Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Take-Along Knitting from the Editors of North Light Books

I've been knitting and crocheting for a long time. In recent years, I've started to enjoy making smaller, "take-along" projects more and more. It's nice to finish a project in a matter of hours or maybe a weekend. Not the weeks (sometimes months!) of work that can be the reality when making larger, and/or more complicated items.

On a recent online book browse, I noted this book and thought it sounded like a great find: Take-Along Knitting. 20+ Easy Portable Projects From Your Favorite Authors with a variety of patterns that included: hats, socks, totes, baby items, gloves, slippers, a pair of knitted wire earrings....

I was hoping this book would be my inspiration to try some new knitting projects. And ones that would still be quick to finish and enjoy!  I tend to gravitate towards beginner's and advanced beginner's patterns for the most part.

As shown in this recent post, hats are something I really enjoy making. I've been hoping to try some new hat patterns with a bit more of a challenge. Branch out from the basics a bit but still without being too difficult or time-consuming to complete.Well, I can't say much about the hat choices in this book, after actually having it in hand. Yes, there are lots of hats but none that I found appealing. And not one beret to be had in the mix.

Some rather difficult sock patterns that look like they'd be anything but portable in terms of take-along instructions. The earrings looked kind of intriguing but I couldn't find a finished size for these and the instructions again appeared to be rather complicated.

Several scarves, rather ho hum...The felted tote on the front cover looks great but the finished size on this one is very small- about 11" square. Way too small when it comes to any tote I'd be carrying. And with felting, you really do need some accurate measurements to begin with, before the item is felted (ie: shrunk to completed size).

The ballerina slippers are just plain ugly! I have seen knitted ballet-type slippers elsewhere that were so pretty, but these are just a footlet type pattern with a straight buttoned strap over the instep. Not attractive, judging by the photos.

I did note an adorable set of baby bibs and a cute baby sweater but that's about all that stood out, looking through these patterns. There is also a good reference section at the beginning of the book with knitting basics thoroughly explained including good diagrams, so that's a positive. But overall, not the book I had hoped for. And definitely nothing out of the ordinary or very original here.

This book is going back for a refund. Any suggestions for a better "quick knits" book choice? Do share!  :<)

Overall rating for this book: Fair. 2 out of 5.


  1. I can't help ya out book wise cos as you know I have no creative talent at all lol I just wanted to tell ya I love the colour of the beret you have on in your avatar when you comment on my blog. It's such a jaunty happy colour!

  2. I love that bag, though. Did you try it?

  3. Hi, Ger,
    I found this interesting as I've been on the lookout for children's scarf and mitt patterns to crochet. (I can't really knit) I was interested to hear that you're on the look out for smaller projects too. I tend to check the free patterns on the internet, and am subscribed to one, that provides patterns quite regularly.

    I also saw a nice book under the Company's Coming series (usually they publish cookbooks) - with crocheted slippers, some were quite nice, but some only so so. I wonder if they would have some books with knitting projects as well.

    I have been thinking of making scarves for my small group of children for Xmas.

    I also like the tote bag in the pictures you've posted - nice colours.

    Good luck with your projects - I also loved the berets you made recently.

    P.S. About the question you asked when I typed my name on Terry's blog, it was a typing error. LOL


  4. I tried once truly for a scarf it ended with the shape of a skirt??????I'm useless

  5. ps new e-mail is lorrainerenaud@Bell.net :)

  6. Hi Cathy, I thought of your darling granddaughter when I was looking at the baby patterns in this book. You really should try knitting or crochet, I think you'd love it. And what a great "model" the little LiaBug would make for your creations.

    Hi SandyL, No,too small as I said above. My tote bags have got to carry more than a wallet and a lipstick! LOL

    Hi Brenda, I know there are a lot of freebies for patterns online. I am on Ravelry and visit Lion Brand, Knitty....quite often. But I still enjoy having a book to refer to and a number of projects to pick from that I like. I don't think the CC book would be something I'd be interested in but thanks for the suggestion. I'm going to keep looking.

    Hi Lorraine, That's interesting. A wrong turn with the needles somewhere I guess.

    Happy Knitting, G :<)


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