I received a review copy of several knitting ebooks. This is part of that series of reviews. The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are 100% honest. Other than a copy to keep, I get no other compensation for doing this review.
Unlike Knit 2 Together, I am absolutely in love with Veronik Avery’s Knitting 24/7. (N.B.: These links go to my Amazon affiliate account.) I’ve seen some of Ms. Avery’s patterns but I have yet to cast on. I’m so glad I have this book because I know I will. Her lines are simple and clean, which I adore.
I also adore the way the book is broken up. There are three sections: AM, PM, and Weekend. Each section has a different level of how complex (or mindless!) the patterns are. Some are beginner friendly but this is not one geared towards first timers. Ms Avery’s goal for the book was to, “be portable and to make use of our “extra” time — those nooks and crannies in our lives when we are busy, yet our hands are free to practice our craft.” As such, the stitch patterns are easily memorized or easily put down with out puzzling over where we left off. And these are small knits which make them a little faster to do. Personally, I don’t consider knee highs to be a quick knit, but that’s because a pair of socks takes me six months or more to make!
Now, there are a few patterns that I just don’t like. The Fir Cone Shrug is not my thing and I also don’t “get” knitted skirts. I do really like the way her Olive Heather skirt looks; it’s very classy and I can see it easily fitting into my wardrobe. I’m not quite sure that I would want something that will pill and felt around my butt. I question the choice of using Cascade 220 Heathers. I love Cascade yarns– especially their 220 line but it felts so easily and thickly. Which is nice if you want that, but around high friction areas like your butt and thighs? Not a flattering look. If a friend asked what sort of yarn she should use to make this, I would advise using a yarn that has either a bit of acrylic or nylon. Nothing slubby and certainly not a single ply.
As an ebook, I have some words of warning and a suggestion to publishers out there. First, the warning. I read this first (and Knit 2 Together) on my Kindle Touch and it was awful. The Touch display, unlike the Kindle Fire or the iPad, is in black and white using their e-ink technology. I love it when I’m reading novels but not so much in a picture heavy book like this. Here’s an example:
See the difference? The iPad display on the left is much easier to read and get a feel for the patterns than the Kindle Touch display on the right.
The lace charts come out squashed and hard to read and the color work charts? Impossible to distinguish between the two different shades of grey. Luckily, I have a first gen iPad (as an aside, it was great to have while in hospital) and it was so much easier and better to read the charts and directions in. Since the iPad display is in color, I was able to really appreciate the crisp photography of each project. I love how the photos are clear shots of the designs but also gives me a better sense of how to work them into my clothing. So if you don’t have a tablet of some sort, I would avoid buying pattern ebooks. I do love reading The Principles of Knitting on my Touch, however.
What I would have liked to see is a hyperlinked table of contents and one that has links to each pattern. It was annoying having to “flip” between pages to find the pattern I wanted to see. Unlike a paper copy where it’s easier to go between pages, I had to wait for the pages to load before seeing if it was the page I was looking for. If publishers want to make either knitting or crochet ebooks a big hit, they need to include more hyperlinked texts. In the back there’s the usual section that explains the techniques and terms used. That also should be linked! If I want to remember how to do a M1R, I should be able to just touch that word and then be taken to the corresponding “how to” part. The book mark ability can do that, but it can be fussy and it’s not as intuitive. If I’m using my tablet, I really don’t want to have to work or think to hard about where I left off. In the hard copy version, I can easily slip a book mark (like the one that Ms Avery shows you how to make!) and go back and forth.
On the whole, if you’re looking for some simple, clean, and feminine knits this is a great book. I can’t wait to cast on for one of these.