Reading Knitting Pretty: Simple Instructions for 30 Fabulous Projects by Kris Percival

Knitting Pretty was published in 2012 by Chronicle Books. It is aimed at absolute beginners. The 30 projects are easy and quick to knit.

A recent encounter with a friend who wanted to knit a scarf for her son studying overseas made me realize how challenging knitting is to someone who has never knitted. My main issue is my assumption that once she is able to knit and purl in one lesson, she will not forget it. She forgot.

She always have questions like: How do I hold the needles? Like a spoon? A knife? Which hand do I use to hold the yarn? Insert the right needle where? Where is the yarn supposed to go again? Why is there a hole in the middle of the row?

I can refer her to the Internet and Youtube. There are many helpful information for new knitters there. The problem is new knitters may find it all too overwhelming and time-consuming. Where do one start? With what? A lot of the free knitting patterns online states they are for beginners but some can still be too difficult.

Knitting Pretty contains a balance of how-to information and project ideas. My friend would have benefitted from having this book on hand to refer to when she needed to.

Not all the projects are pretty but I don’t think pretty refers to the projects. I think it refers to how new beginners feel about their knitting. Almost all beginners feel awkward fumbling with their needles and yarns. Kris’ aim is to help beginners feel pretty while knitting.

The main gripe I have with the book is the lack of pictures of the finished projects. One clear picture per project should be a basic requirement for a knitting book. 🙂

Kris includes super helpful information regarding basic knitting know-how that a beginner may start facing such as dealing with dropped stitches, increasing, decreasing, seaming. I like that she mentioned 3 different seaming methods.

The 30 projects featured in the book are organized according to 6 categories:

  1. First Projects for true beginners such as a bookmark, a dishcloth
  2. Old Favourites such as a ribbed scarf, sculpted hat, mittens and slippers
  3. Adorable Knits for Kids such as a sock puppet, baby blanket, baby booties
  4. Modern-Day Accoutrements such as cozies for electronics, headband, purse and bag
  5. Creative Home Decor such as pillow case, beer cozy, paperweight, curtains
  6. Tops for all Types such as a poncho, shawl, halter and sweater

One of the projects I quite like is the Change Purse. Difficulty level: 2. It could be completed quickly too.

Knitting Pretty - Change purse
My little bulky yarn change purse

I learnt something new from her instructions too. Most purse knitting patterns I have come across start with the body of the bag. The cover or flap is mostly the last part. Kris’s change purse starts by knitting the flap and buttonhole first. The pattern is fairly basic. Knit a long strip in garter stitch. Fold the strip so that the part with the buttonhole overlaps the rest by an inch or two. Seam up the sides, weave in the ends, attach the button, and VOILA!

Knitting Pretty makes a great gift for an absolute beginner knitter. I believe it is also a useful book for knitting teachers or instructors to use with their students.

Where to find Knitting Pretty: Simple Instructions for 30 Fabulous Projects

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Happy knitting!

Happy knitting!

knitting pretty

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