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    « What were you wearing 14 years ago today? | Main | Three happymaking things »

    Boys' Knits review & book giveaway!! NOW CLOSED

    The competition is now closed and the lucky winner was Anna :)

    As you probably know, I have three gorgeous boys. If you are also lucky enough to have boys in your life you will possibly have noticed that there are very few knitting patterns for boys that are not festooned with trains or dinosaurs!

    So I am very happy to be included in the blog tour for a new book from Cooperative press: Boys' Knits by Katya Frankel.

    This charming book has 16 patterns - all sweaters, hoodies, cardigans, vests/tank tops and all boy-approved! Quite apart from the designs (which are lovely), the book itself is a really knitterly one! The descriptions of techniques are great, the photos show the actual garment not just the cute kids - and I love that the photos are taken outdoors, on bikes, playing rather than standing in a studio.

    I got the chance to ask Katya three questions about the book; this is what she said.

    Which patterns have your boys asked you to make?

    "I was so focused on finishing the book that I forgot what it was really about - my son’s jumper. Being completely engrossed in the process of trying to keep the designs interesting to work on and simple enough to wear with a limited number of fancy details and not all stocking stitch. And so, I was about 95% through the designs and pattern writing, when my son asked me what I was going to knit for him and then Landon was created. The very last addition to the book. You can’t possibly say ‘I’ll do it later’ when kids ask you to knit something for them, you just find out what colour they want and do it. Then, obviously, put it in the book."

    How much input did your boys have into the designs?

    "Boys, quite a few boys too, got a lot of say in what this book should have by letting me know what sweaters they’d love to wear. Actually, that’s not completely true, first they told me everything about what this book shouldn’t have. There was a long list of no-no’s. And for people that almost never go out clothes shopping with their parents, you’d be amazed at the length of the list. There were some straight-forward no-no’s like scratchy jumpers or tight polo necks and some much trickier to work with such as - not different to what other kids wear! Only afterwards they told me some about what their favourite sweaters would be like. The best thing is, designing from scratch you could take your pick, go as wild or as timid as you can be with design elements. Accidental cables, no collars, bright colours - anything goes."

    What's next?

    "I’m right in the middle of finishing the follow up book on head-to-toe accessories. It was a lot of fun putting designs together for this book as well."

    I think it's fair to say that I like this book. A lot! I showed the book to Billy & Joe, and said that if they wanted me to knit them a jumper, I would. There were no shortage of requests actually. Joe decided that he wanted Dax 

    and Billy chose Deckard.

    All of the designs are seamless knits (as far as possible) and they are knit bottom up with the sleeves knit separately and joined at the chest. This is not a construction I've used before but it has allowed me to add some length to the body of Bill's top where it was needed without any fuss. 

    I cast on Dax first, as I had some yarn in stash that would suit, and because it features my favourite cable! I cast on Deckard this weekend, when Billy's choice of yarn arrived. It grows FAST. I am currently on the 1st sleeve for Dax, and have started the 2nd sleeve for Deckard. I can't wait to show you the finished tops, with modelled pictures but for now I'll have to show you WIPs.

     Deckard, knit in Sublime Chunky merino tweed.


    Dax, knit in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino dk

    The kind folks at Cooperative Press have offered to gift one of my blog readers the pdf of the book. If you have boys in your life - or non flowery girls, this is a great book to have in your library. To be in with a chance of winning, please leave a comment telling me what's your favourite design in the book and why, or who you would knit it for. The comments will be open for a week (until Tues 9th Oct), then I'll use a random number generator to pick a winning comment. Please remember to tell me your Ravelry/Twitter name or email so I can get in touch if you do win, and so we can email that book to you as soon as possible. Good luck!!

    The other dates on the blog tour are listed below - there are some awesome blogs to browse though too!

    21 September - Kat Goldin of Slugs on the Refrigirator
    25 September - Julia Vaconsin
    28 September - Joeli Caparco of Joeli's Kitchen
    2 October - Jacqui Harding of Happymaking Designs
    5 October - Michelle Miller of Fickle Knitter
    9 October - Carol Feller of Stolen Stitches
    12 October - Joanne Scrace of Not So Granny
    16 October - Anniken Allis of Confessions of a YarnAddict
    19 October - Mari Muinonen of MadeByMyself
    24 October - Woolly Wormhead
    30 October - Ann Kingstone
    2 November - Ella Austin of Bombella
    9 November - Jill Zielinski of Knitterella
    14 November - Kate Oates of Tot Toppers

    and dates to be confirmed for

    Petit Purls
    Heather Kinne of Highland Handmades


    Reader Comments (18)

    I think I'd knit Baley first – my son would look great in it!

    October 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRhian

    What a great book of 'real boys' patterns. I'd like to knit for my friend's boys now that my own are too big, sadly :(

    October 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSandra

    I have to say my non-pink girl loves them too!!

    October 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnna

    I think they are great for non-pink girls!!
    Can I just remind people to make sure I can get in touch with you! You can tell me your Ravelry/Twitter name or leave your email address or website when you comment. Thanks!!

    October 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJacqui

    I like the Dax and I would knit it for my nephew.

    October 3, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersara nixon

    There are so many great patterns in this book, it's hard to choose one. If I had to, I would choose Dax.

    October 3, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteraffiknity

    In their rugged appeal and simplicity these are absolutely beautiful designs and so practical! I love how the author polled the boys because that it so important and I think their comments reflect all the issues that I have with so many boys' knitting patterns. We're well away from the days when primary coloured intarsia designs were all the rage and now it just reflects poorly on handknitting. I love it! :)

    PS. I love them too, I'm not a girly girl! Particularly the waistcoat at the very top.

    October 3, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteridiosyncratic eye

    This is a great collection for boys. I would knit Deckard first - that's my son in the picture! He had a great time modelling, though he's trying to pull the mean and moody look! (skytender on ravelry)

    October 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSkytender

    These are great designs - my sons will love them.

    Loulight in ravelry

    October 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLouisa Lightfoot

    It would have to be Baley! Although then again. .. So many lovely patterns to choose! With several little males in the family what a GREAT book! I like the classic feel if the patterns they are all nice too nice to choose just the one. Sue xx

    October 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSewiknit 2

    Great looking book. Always thought there was a gap in the market for lovely boy patterns. I'd knit deckard first.

    October 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

    Great book as a mother of two boys and one girl I always find myself drawn to patterns for my daughter. I can honestly say that there is lots in this book I would make for my boys. I think first on my list would be Dax for my big boy as I owe him a jumper next would be some of the v necked vests in purple for the boys to wear as part of their school uniform my daughter has so much choice in skits styles and cardigan styles but the boys all look like clones.

    October 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMoll

    Oh what a lovely looking book! I think I need it for my godson!

    October 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAngel Grimes

    I'm planning to knit Epsilon for my son. I've knit him a vest/waistcoat before because he loves them but he didn't like the yarn choice in the end so I think I'll knit him this one in a plain yarn. I told him he dresses with style. He replied "Yes, and my style is 'smart'!"

    October 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFinarda

    I love Dax - the cable detail is amazing. I'd knit it for my boy in the softest yarn I can get because he is always complaining of itchiness about his neck. One day I will make something he will wear!

    October 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKate

    Thanks to everyone for entering! For those of you who missed out on the giveaway, keep an eye on the other blogs in the blog tour, as some of them will be offering books too x

    October 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJacqui

    Skytender - your son looks fantastic in the photos. And he can totally pull off moody.....ish! x

    October 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJacqui

    Finarda - I LOVE that! Your son is obviously a boy of great taste and precision. And smartness :)

    October 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJacqui

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