Knitting doesnít have to be about clothing or accessories. Thereís a place in every knitterís life for home dťcor, and for knitted toys as well. The editors at Sixth and Spring know this, and their latest tome, 60 Quick Knit Toys, intends to provide instructions for those wishing to make playthings. This paperback book is well photographed, and at $17.95, well priced for the number of patterns included. Overall, itís a good collection for those interested in making toys.
While the bookís copy suggests that the patterns are intended for children, this doesnít have to be the case. Some of the patterns, such as Nesting Dolls, Peace Van, or Guitar, would make cute whimsical gifts for anyone who likes amigurumi. Pillows can also be adapted for teens or for adults. With sixty included patterns, itís easy for the knitter to find something appropriate for the recipient.
If you are knitting for children, know that the instructions take the age of the children into account. The editors are sensitive to toy safety issues, and have given instructions for avoiding choking issues (embroidered eyes instead of buttons, for example.) Some of the toys have small parts that may come off if not well-sewn, and animals with loop fur might be problems for baby fingers. If youíre worried, these are patterns that should be avoided; items such as the Antelope Ring Toy wonít present these kind of problems.
The book is written with the assumption that the knitter will use Cascade Superwash yarn for these patterns. Superwash is a good, sturdy wool yarn which retails for around ten dollars a ball. This creates a price tag of roughly forty dollars per toy, which might be pricey. Yardage is given for each ball of yarn required, and so itís possible to substitute less expensive yarn, but be sure to swatch to make sure that the new fiber will work for the pattern.
Unfortunately, there are some mistakes in the guidelines. The Castle Set, for example, shows blocks with a slip-stitch pattern; while the slip-stitch directions are included, the instructions for making each block leaves out when and where to use them. Fortunately, figuring this out is intuitive given the picture Ė but itís a shame that the editors didnít fact check more carefully. As is always true, itís important to read through each pattern carefully before beginning.
Those who donít like sewing, beware: there is quite a bit of seaming for these patterns. If you study the pattern closely, you might be able to figure out ways of re-creating the projects with less seams, but this can be a hassle. Fortunately, there are other patterns that are mostly or all one piece, and so there are options even for the non-sewing crowd.
Overall, this is a nice set of patterns for those who knit for kids or like knitting whimsical pieces. The issues with the pattern instructions provide the biggest drawback to the collection. Those who are willing to troubleshoot as they knit will probably enjoy working with this book.
Disclaimer: I was given a review copy of this book. I received no other compensation for this review. I have paid for all purchases of Cascade Yarns with my own funds.
60 Quick Knitted Toys: Fun, Fabulous Knits in the 220 Superwash Collection from Cascade Yarns. Sixth and Spring, New York, 2017. ISBN 9781942021445