I have checked out several "quick knitting" books over the last couple of months. If any of you (assuming anyone reads this) are in the same boat as me and trying to knit for the holidays, I thought you might appreciate my assessment of these books. So as to save others the trouble of going through them all.
One Skein and One More Skein by Leigh Radford I didn't really like. The patterns for the most part weren't anything I would want to knit, give or receive.
101 One-Skein Wonders and 101 Designer One-Skein Wonders by Judith Durant are both books I decided to buy after checking them out and looking through them. They both have several patterns I would love to make. In fact the Marialis End-to-End Scarf is the answer to my skein of alpaca sock yarn I got on the LYS tour last year. Also I plan to use the Cross-Stitch Scarf to use up my di.Vé Fiamma I've had forever. Both of those are in the Designer book. There are a few scarves, a bath set and other items in the original book that I also want to make.
Last-Minute Knitted Gifts and More Last-Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson are both also good. There aren't as many patterns that I would personally make in these. The first book starts off with some tutorials on fibers, tools and colors. The book is also separated out by average knitting time. I really appreciated the knitting time estimates as it lets me know how ambitious a project is. I also love the section at the end on how to wrap hand knitted gifts. One of my favorite projects is the linen tassel. I know it sound like something simple, but it can be quite elegant and as a linear thinker, it's not something I could have figured out how to make and have look nice on my own. There is also the usual array of scarves, hats and handbags in here as well as some super cute knitted toys. The second book is laid out similarly only instead of the tutorial at the begging, there is a section on finishing techniques at the end. There are lots more cute patterns in here including a quick knit mens vest and a cute women's cardigan.
The last book for today is Knitted Gifts by Ann Budd. This is full of patterns from big name knit designers such as Nancy Bush, Cecily Glowik MacDonald and Kristin Nicholas. There are some really cute things in here such as the hat and mitten set on the cover, a gorgeous mans scarf in sport weight yarn, a hobby horse, felted oven mitts and slippers and other items. I somehow feel this is the most glamorous of the books. Not sure if it is the pictures or the patterns themselves. I feel like these would take longer to make though and would be less versatile giving. What I mean is that I can look at each pattern and only think of a couple people I could give that to. Not something where I could make 5 copies of the same thing and give it to 5 different people.
Anyway, I hope that perhaps this review helps out a couple of people. If nothing else I figure I can refer back to it next year when I am in this predicament again.
Now back to my frantic holiday knitting.