Saturday, 28 March 2015

Knit Your Own Farm - Book Review

Rowan pure wool 4-Ply and kidsilk haze 

Hen - from Knit Your Own Farm by Pavilion Books


Chick - from Knit Your Own Farm by Pavilion Books
White Rabbit - from Knit Your Own Farm by Pavilion Books






Rowan yarns supplied by Coats Craft UK 

Knit Your Own Farm

ISBN 978-1-909397-88-0
RRP £12.99
Published by Pavilion Books 2014 

one of the Best in Show series by Sally Muir and Joanna Osborne

Content

176 Pages
25 exclusive knitting patterns of 25 different farm animals/birds etc.
Hints and Methods of knitting techniques
INDEX 
Resource information (knitted with Rowan Yarns)


Introduction

Sally Muir and Joanna Osborne (the authors) run their own knitwear business. They state that they’ve provided a smallholding of animals to knit; and they have indeed. The authors identify the farm creatures that are easy making (and perhaps can be made with left over yarn from a bigger project). They talk of those patterns that, more or less, require one colour. They mention the Cockerel and the Turkey having multiple body parts to assemble and explain this the reason why these farm birds are the most complicated to complete. The authors also express hope and expectation that their patterns be used only as an example only, and acknowledge that there will be differing versions based on their patterns and ideas.





Range of information

25 mammals and birds can be made related to traditional farms, farmyards and farmhouses of the Northern Hemisphere particularly; there is a little grey Rat too! Each project opens with the completed, knitted creature photographed in stylized settings with a little intro written in informal, feature writing style. Turn the page and each project leads in with Measurements, then the required *Materials, followed by the full pattern and some extra images. Various knitting techniques and making up tips are outlined and abbreviation is explained under METHOD (page 172) these have to be adopted to successfully complete the majority of the animals, birds etc 9/10

kidsilk haze - Essence and Cream by ROWAN 



Quality of information

To test the quality of the information firsthand I trialled three patterns: the Hen, the Chick and the Rabbit. All three creatures which we famously connect to our spring/Easter season and each one made from beautiful pure 4 ply wool by Rowan Yarns, the fluff achieved on the Chick and Rabbit was the addition of Rowan Kidsilk Haze (doubled up). Rowan kidsilk haze is 70% super kid mohair 30% silk. It is strong, yet gorgeously soft and fluffy - ideal for the main body of the Chick 
(Rowan Kidsilk Haze in Essence 663) and the White Rabbit (Rowan 4-ply Snow 412  and Rowan Kidsilk 634 Haze in Cream - knitted together). I’m not a beginner, but then I’m not hugely expert in knitting either. The information was thorough. I think I may have gone wrong once or twice, but I was able to adjust and adapt the pieces and disguise errors in the ‘making up’ so results were pleasing and proves the patterns work 10/10





Layout

The format is very good, but the text is quite tiny, so it is better to have piece of scrap paper alongside for noting down where you’re up to as there is not really room in the margins of the pages to do this. Most patterns are spread over six pages including photography. Some, like the Highland Cow and the Sheep, are spread over eight.
This is a rectangular shaped, craft and hobby book with a hardback cover measuring 22.5 L x 17.5 H approx. Pages have a satin finish. At least one full paged image is included for each project. Full colour photography throughout and the images are good quality 9/10


Conclusion

These are not suitable as toys for young children because the patterns include pipe cleaners which are essential really to add strength and stability to each figure, but if you feel inclined to make animals for displaying purposes, or if you would simply like to possess a farm full of 25 different creatures - then why not a knitted version? And for anyone who likes that idea then this is just the book.

*yarn requirement is always one, two, and three or more, from ranges by Rowan Yarns (sometimes just small oddments required)

Hen is made using Rowan Fine Tweed in Dent 373 and small amounts of 4-ply Kiss 436, 4 ply-Gerbera 454

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