Take your first knitting adventure with a girl who's cool, hip, and loves to knit--GIGI! Join Gigi as she shows you how to knit, step-by-step. The fun poems, colorful illustrations, and easy projects will get you started today!
- Gigi's spunky "You can do it!" approach will get you knitting like a pro
- Knit eight fun projects, including a funky hat, a cool bag, and a pretty scarf
- Watch family and friends light up when you give them something you've knitted yourself
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Knitting with Gigi is an awesome kid’s book for any child (or adult!) who wants to learn to knit. There are good instructions and wonderful illustrations to help learn the basic cast-on (starting), knit stitch, decreasing (making it a different shape), and bind-off (ending). Some knitting books are very difficult to learn how to knit from, but the instructions in Knitting with Gigi are very clear. Eight kid-friendly projects make up the second half of the book, all of them easy to follow and perfect for a beginner.
Gigi also has a website where kids can join the “Gigi’s kindness corps” and knit for those in need. Her website also includes videos of instructions to get to “the next step” so to speak. The videos explain the purl stitch, different cast-on methods, and techniques of finishing. By the time a young knitter has finished the projects in the book and watched and learned the information in the videos, they will be ready to go further into the knitting world.
I want to point out a wonderful thing that Gigi (who speaks in verse) has said: “Practice makes perfect will never apply. We all make mistakes, no matter how hard we try. So be of good cheer and do not despair. With time and some care you’ll have something to wear.” Every young knitter should hear this--and experienced ones, too!
Recommendation: boys and girls ages 6+. Adults could learn to knit with their kids with this book too!
If you've got a child or know a child who you'd like to get interested in knitting, get them a copy of Knitting with Gigi by Karen Thalacker (with illustrations by Mindy Dwyer). This cute book begins with a rhyming story about knitting and then goes into the basics of learning to knit. The book also provides 8 easy patterns for new knitters to try and suggestions for knitting for charity.
Gigi McGreedy is a talented knitter, but she spent a lot of time knitting for herself, her family and her pets before her mom suggested that she might use her talents to knit for others as well. Once she started knitting for people who were sick, she realized that by teaching more people to knit they could help more people, form new babies who need hats to other kids who live far away and need warm sweaters.
That's the story behind Knitting with Gigi, told in rhyme. Most of the book is devoted to actual knitting lessons that are not in verse (though that would have been impressive!), starting out with basic supplies and how to wind a ball of yarn (it suggests winding a ball when you start with a skein, which I have never done, but to each her own). The book goes on to explain making a slip knot, casting on with a sort of wrap method, forming knit stitches, decreasing by knit 2 together and binding off. It also covers starting a new ball of yarn, weaving in ends and how to pick up a dropped stitch. The instructions are pretty clear and include good drawings, but most children would do well to have a skilled adult nearby when they first undertake to learn knitting.
The book also includes 8 basic knitting patterns, including a pot holder, a belt, a baby blanket, a couple of scarves, wrist warmers, a bag and a hat. Variations on some of the patterns (such as a smaller hat and bag) can be found on Gigi's website. The patterns all use garter stitch, of course (purl is not covered in this book but can be found in Gigi Knits and Purls), medium weight yarn and size 8 U.S. knitting needles. There's no real talk of gauge in the book, which is fine for most of the projects since they don't have to be a certain size, but others would benefit from more fine-tuning.
Likewise I'd like it if the yarn information were a little more specific. Patterns say you'll need one skein, two skeins or four skeins, for example, but don't give any indication of how much yardage that might be. Even among the same weight of yarn, yardages can vary widely, which could lead to frustration if the child runs out of yarn before a project is done.
Still, this is a cute book that is sure to help get some kids (particularly girls) interested in knitting and the idea of knitting to help others (there are some charities suggested you might donate to, and Gigi's website has more information for charity knitters). Give this book and its companion to a child along with some yarn and needles some day when you'll have time to help them; odds are good you'll start them down the road to a new hobby.
In addition to being a knitter and a mom, Karen Thalacker is a lawyer and an adjunct professor at Wartburg College.
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Mindy Dwyer specializes in watercolor and is the author and illustrator of many children's books.Visit Mindy's website
Contact Mindy Dwyer
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