________________ CM . . . . Volume XIII Number 7 . . . . November 24, 2006


Quick Knits. (Kids Can Do It).

Judy Ann Sadler. Illustrated by Esperança Melo.
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 2006.
40 pp., pbk. & cl., $6.95 (pbk.), $14.95 (cl.).
ISBN 1-55337-964-0 (pbk.), ISBN 1-55337-963-2 (cl.).

Subject Headings:
Knitting-Juvenile literature.
Knitting-Patterns-Juvenile literature.

Grades 3-9 / Ages 8-14.

Review by Lizanne Eastwood.


Quick Knits, written by Judy Ann Sadler and illustrated by Esperança Melo, is the newest addition to the “Kids Can Do It” series. I asked my 12-year-old daughter’s opinion about this book. She is a veteran knitter, having learned at the young age of six, and reads knitting and crocheting books voraciously. Her skill level far surpasses most adults, myself included, yet she found this book informative, well laid out, and filled with enough funky projects to keep young, hip knitters interested. She wants to make the “cool” roll-brimmed hat and the backpack.

     Even myself, the clutziest handicrafter alive, was tempted to pick up a pair of large needles and chunky, over-sized wool to make a Fuzzy Foot Mat. The large needles and thick wool size aid in both allowing a novice knitter ease of handling and the ability to finish a project quickly.

     Knitting is all the rage amongst children, young adults and celebrities alike. It is a wonderful form of relaxation, socialization (knitting circles are cropping up in schools and homes across the country) and a wonderfully practical learned skill. This new book from Kids Can Press will inspire children ages 8 and up to start knitting. The projects are called “Quick Knits” because they all take little time to complete. The range of quick-knit projects will happily inspire even accomplished knitters.

     Quick Knits is extremely easy to navigate. The table of contents lists the skills learned in a progressive manner, easiest to most difficult, and then lists the projects in the same way, starting with a scarf and finishing with an easy-knit sweater.

     The instructions in Quick Knits are very simple, easy to follow and beautifully laid-out. A photo of each project is modeled by a youth (both boys and girls!) and the step-by-step instructions are numbered and clearly illustrated, with an up-close view of the stitches and needles. All the basics are covered – the  materials and tools required, casting on, knitting, purling and casting off. Increasing, decreasing and picking up dropped stitches are all described clearly and concisely. There is even a section called “fixing it.” How to deal with unraveled stitches, unraveled rows and how to un-knit what has already been knit.

     Projects include a sassy scarf, crazy cuffs, a roll rim hat, earflap hat, drawstring backpack, a wee wallet, a puffy pillow, a fuzzy foot mat, silly slippers and even a quick-knit sweater. These projects are sure to appeal to the trendy and the young at-heart, and recipients of any of these projects would be impressed with the knitter’s skill and taste in projects.

     Schools in Europe incorporate handcrafts such as knitting into their curriculum, setting aside time each day for children to practice their knitting while listening to teachers read aloud. I think Canadian schoolchildren would benefit from such a practice.

You’ll want to make two of everything: one for yourself and one for a friend! Soon you’ll be part of a worldwide, ancient society of knitters whose skills have been handed down through many generations. Keep the knitting bug alive by setting up a knitting club to share ideas and tips, and show your not-yet-knitting friends how to get started. Happy knitting!


Highly Recommended.

Lizanne Eastwood is a Family Literacy Coordinator with the Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy, a casual library employee and a homeschooling parent of two active teenagers in Grand Forks, BC.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
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