KNITTING WITH GIGI by Karen Thalacker, illustrated by Mindy Dwyer
Genre: Kid’s craft (ages 6-13)
Knitting with Gigi is an awesome kid’s book for any child (or adult!) who wants to learn to knit. There are good instructions and wonderful illustrations to help learn the basic cast-on (starting), knit stitch, decreasing (making it a different shape), and bind-off (ending). Some knitting books are very difficult to learn how to knit from, but the instructions in Knitting with Gigi are very clear. 8 kid-friendly projects make up the second half of the book, all of them easy to follow and perfect for a beginner.
Gigi also has a website where kids can join the “Gigi’s kindness corps” and knit for those in need. Her website also includes videos of instructions to get to “the next step” so to speak. The videos explain the purl stitch, different cast-on methods, and techniques of finishing. By the time a young knitter has finished the projects in the book and watched and learned the information in the videos, they will be ready to go further into the knitting world.
I want to point out a wonderful thing that Gigi (who speaks in verse) has said: “Practice makes perfect will never apply. We all make mistakes, no matter how hard we try. So be of good cheer and do not despair. With time and some care you’ll have something to wear.” Every young knitter should hear this—and experienced ones, too!
The only thing I wish this book had touched on (but didn’t mention) is gauge. Gauge is important because everyone knits differently (example: I knit loose with wool and tight with double pointed needles, so my hat or mittens or whatever else I made might not fit, even if i followed the instructions 100%) so sometimes yarn or needle changes have to be made to make sure things fit. The patterns in the book were not dependent on gauge, (which is probably why it wasn’t brought up) but it is still an important thing for any knitter to learn.
Recommendation: boys and girls ages 6+. Adults could learn to knit with their kids with this book too!
**Thank you to Martingale and Company for providing my review copy!**