Book Review : Knit your own BOYFRIEND by Carol Meldrum

boyfriend
ISBN 978-1-909397-38-5

RRP £9.99

Published by Collins &Brown Jan 2014

CONTENT

P7          Quote from Ryan Gosling (Hollywood Star)
P8  – 12  Basic doll patterns to make four different body shapes
P14 – 19  Hairstyles
P32 – 66  Patterns to make 10 knitted boy dolls (The Boyfriends)
• Rock Star
• Surfer Dude
• Artist
• Fireman
• Computer Geek
• Superhero,
• Sports Star,
• Explorer
• Spaceman
• Doctor

P67 – 68 Techniques
P69 – 71 Basic stitches
P72 – 73 Sewing Tips
P76 – 79 Templates
P80 Abbreviations

INTRODUCTION

Author, Carol Meldrum has used her experience as a design consultant to come up with ideas for making hand- knitted and stuffed man dolls – boyfriends. She provides a mix of patterns etc. to make multicultural doll characters with a choice of shape and job related/interest related personalities. Mix and match and you can make a bespoke boyfriend of your own.

RANGE OF INFORMATION

Meldrum uses her product knowledge of Rowan Yarns, and passes on the item specifics for you to buy in specific yarns to make the wool dolls and their clothes. Details of how to make the Basic doll shapes are condensed down to four pages. There is space dedicated to hairstyle suggestions and a page of different facial hair features you can choose. Clothing items which are not made from wool gives scope for making from found items or to do a bit of up cycling. Techniques, stitches, and tips given is passing on fairly basic first knitting knowledge i.e. how to cast on, decrease, cast off etc. Templates at the back of the book need to be enlarged 200% using a Photocopier. 8/10

QUALITY OF INFORMATION

Much of ‘knit your own boyfriend’ provides enough info to make a good job of things. The little clothes are really cute with some great designs in miniature. Comments we collected from craft group members who knit and sew regularly were unanimous in the thinking that the knitting of the dolls was straightforward, even for a relative beginner. Making tiny clothes from fabric however, can be hugely fiddly and frustrating. Hand stitching everything can take an age and you would need some skill and experience of using a sewing machine and some understanding of pattern making to complete. Information does not mention those kinds of handy tool kit items for sewing that could, essentially, make the job easier, nor does it contain troubleshooting information. Templates: if you do not possess or have ready access to a photocopier you can find full sized templates on the website http://www.LoveCrafts.co.uk to download 8/10

LAYOUT
Not quite a pocket book; is a Hardback book that is just shy of being A5 sized, measuring 190 mm Long x 150 mm Wide. Generally the doll making projects follows a format of providing material requirement, Tension, Pattern and Finishing. At least one full paged image is included for each project. Paper quality is excellent 9/10

PHOTOGRAPHY/ILLUSTRATION
The boyfriends and their clothes have been expertly made and photographed making this a show and tell style of instruction book. Eye catching, full colour photography, images are of high quality. Some pleasing heart illustrations.9/10

FEATURES
In an effort, perhaps, to sexy up the craft of knitting, there are opening words from Ryan Gosling, (who some might regard as a dream boyfriend) where he talks about being on film set knitting for a scene and how therapeutic he found it. And at the end of each project there are witty profiles linking each personality with terminology from the knitting world, for example under the heading YOUR KNITTED BOYFRIEND’S FAVOURITE ARTISTS is 1. Slipnot 2. The Cardigans 3. Rage against the Sewing Machine…and so on. Diagrams at the rear to demonstrate techniques, some basic knitting stitches and sewing tips. 8/10

CONCLUSION

It is not really about purchasing the book for oneself and settling down to knit a perfect man doll to keep, is it not? Isn’t it more probable that someone will buy the book, match a fella to the taste of their bestie, knit it up, and pass him over (and possibly the book too) for a laugh? But really, as with all novelty gift ideas, this is as much about the book as it is about the little guys inside it. Nine times out of ten it is going to be the book alone you present as the gift, and, unless the recipient likes knitting and sewing the projects will never see the light of day. Purchasers, in the main, are going to be singletons with a cheeky sense of humour who will buy the book for a single girlfriend/mate who will get the joke and share in the joy of it.

Note: Carol Meldrum has taken the boy knitting theme a further step and has also produced a One Direction Knitting pattern exclusive.  Choose to make either a little woolly, Harry, Zayn, Liam, Louis or Niall on Amazon

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