Drop-Dead Easy Knits came yesterday via UPS. It’s my latest pick from Blogging for Books. I’m not the greatest knitter or even crocheter in the world, I freely admit that. But I love yarn, working it up, playing with it, buying it… Yeah, I have a problem. When I saw this title available for review, snatching it up was a no-brainer. Remember that “not the greatest knitter” comment? It’s true. I have a really, really hard time reading patterns. I can watch someone knit or crochet and learn better.
The first sentence in this book’s description from the inner cover promises “Finally, a knitting book featuring fantastic projects that don’t require you to study a pattern for hours…” I’m in!
I liked it. It isn’t without a few problems, and I’d probably not pick it up at first glance because of one of those things (which I’ll detail in the next sections of this review.) But there are several patterns I’m planning to try when I have time, and they do seem fairly easy to follow. I’d recommend it.
Well… It could be prettier. I’m not overly fond of the subdued colors used throughout the book, but especially on the cover. Also, the title is a bit lackluster. The book doesn’t stand out, and the mediocrity in that first impression really does this book a disservice.
Meat and Bones:
The book isn’t huge. It’s rather slim and convenient, and it contains about thirty patterns. They range in difficulty from mindless to relaxed to attentive. I actually really like that ranking system – and I’m mostly in the mindless skill-set category. None of the patterns are outlandish, most are common, easy projects, and that’s exactly the premise of the book. There is enough variation in them that there’s something for almost anyone here.
Most of the patterns I was interested in–the simple things like scarves and hats–seemed pretty straightforward. They were detailed and the instructions not overly complicated, as the blurb promises. I was not disappointed in that at all. If you’re a new knitter or like me, you have trouble following patterns, you should check this one out.
The not-so-good side of things… I’ll start with the colors. Now, I like flashy, bold colors and jewel tones. I don’t mind soft and muted colors, but if they’re going to be used, they should at least do the pattern they’re demonstrating some favors. I don’t feel like these color choices did that. They dated the book, and in fact, I had to check the original publication date to see whether it came out in 2016 or was a reprint. In particular, the colors used for a throw and a pillow just felt wrong and made it hard to see the work. I’d love to see the book redone with new pictures, new colors. Something more modern, less dated.
Chapter dividers were another area that didn’t sit exactly right with me. Maybe it’s user error, but every single chapter-heading page had me stopping for a second to see what the pattern was like. The chapter number wasn’t large and bold, was offset to the side and away. Each chapter is named something, for example Chapter One is “Cold Hands, Warm Heart.” This added to the confusion. You turn the page and see the chapter name first as though it’s the pattern name, with the chapter number as an afterthought way up out of the way. In each instance this page is opposite a full-page picture of a pattern contained within the chapter. It’s entirely possible this is just a peculiarity of mine, but it felt odd.
My biggest complaint with this book was that on some of the first pages of new patterns, there’s no picture to accompany the pattern to show you immediately what you’re looking at. You have to turn the page to find the picture and see what you’re making. That there was room on each pattern title page for a picture, albeit a smaller one, was just more perturbing.
None of that diminishes the fact that the book is solid. It just irritates me because it could be laid out a little better and it would be a stunning book. I hate the wasted potential.
I would easily and readily recommend Drop-Dead Easy Knits to friends and family who knit, but not as a “you have to purchase this book NOW” title. It’s a solid book, one that could easily be overlooked because of its too-subtle colors and unobtrusive title. With a few adjustments, it could be a stunner in looks, a bit of flash to match its content.
I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.