Since Friday's Forgotten Books is on hiatus for another week, I thought I would end the blog for the year on a light note with something a bit different. For my column in the Senior Newspaper published in Texas, I frequently review cookbooks and craftbooks. So, below is the review for a craft book and the much shorter version will appear next month in Senior News.
If scarves, hats, etc., are now a bit boring, maybe it is time to knit toys as Anna Hrachovec says in her introduction titled “Welcome to Mochimochi Land!” You can knit a blob and add eyes to it to make a small something as she did in the beginning. However, you can quickly go beyond that as she shows you in this book that features 20 Super-Cute Strange Designs for Knitted Aamigurmi.
After a “Let's Get Started” section covering in detail types of yarn, needles, stuffing, and other things you will need as well as a number of pages on basic techniques, the patterns begin on page 44 of Knitting Mochimochi with the section titled “Fierce Creatures.” Plans for a “Confused Moose” (pages 46-48), “Baby Gators” (pages 49-51), and “Bite-Free bed Bugs” (pages 52-55) among others are here. Each item has at least one picture and frequently more, a detailed supplies list, and detailed instructions.
Page 66 begins the “Random Objects” section or as the author puts it, “categorically challenged.” Leading off is the rather neat “Orbiting Oddity” which is patterned off of the classic UFO type deal familiar to everyone. We quickly come back to earth with the “Grouchy Couch” (pages 74-75) and the “Sky Scrapers” (pages 84-87) among others.
“Impractical Wearables” begins on page 88 and leads off with the clever “Pocket Protectors” on pages 90-93. Also especially neat for young girls is the “Neck Nuzzler” on pages 98-101. Starting on page 106, the “Feet Eaters” also look pretty cool and could be tailored to fit the personality of the wearer fairly easily.
With a name like “Nano Kits” one might think of nanotechnology and some sort of science fiction type creature made especially popular in the later seasons of the original Stargate television series. In this case, you would be wrong. Starting on page 113, the patterns depict various things and are designed to create objects to sit on your desk, hang off your ear, etc. You can make “Micro Mountains” as depicted in pages 118-119, or “Plucky Mushrooms” showcased on pages 120-122 or a number of other things. While it is mentioned in the lead in that these can hang off your ears, none of the items specifically mention that in directions nor are they shown in the photographs doing so.
The book concludes with a brief section on trying your hand at design, a little bit about basic and advanced stitches (information that should have been at the front with the rest of the technique info), how to read charts (information that easily should have also been there along with the knitting abbreviation list found here), metric conversion chart and a list of materials and information resources. A one page small index with very small type concludes the 144 page colorful book.
Sold as a paperback measuring 9.8 x 8.5 x 0.6 inches my library copy snaps and pops ominously when the book is laid flat. It would appear that if the book gets much use at all and is consistently laid flat, fairly soon the binding is going to break. Something that has to be considered if one is going to buy this book for personal use or give to another. That fact, along with the fact that certain information at the back of the book should have been logically placed with other information at the front of the book, lowers the overall quality of Knitting Mochimochi.
While marketed to anyone and pushing the idea these can be made quickly, it is clear that intermediate and advance knitters would be the best recipients of this book. A fact I verified with my wife who has knitted for over twenty years. Since I don't knit, I can't share any additional information on this book we originally picked up for my monthly column in the Senior News newspaper. For the right knitter this book is going to be a real treat.
Knitting Mochimochi: 20 Super-Cute Strange Designs for Knitted Amigurumi
Paperback (e-book available)
Book supplied by the good folks of the Plano, Texas Public Library System. Online they can be found at http://www.plano.gov/Departments/Libraries/Pages/default.aspx which features links to information in a wide range of venues for locals and others.
Kevin R. Tipple © 2010