Wednesday, April 2, 2008

More Big Girl Knits

Well, we went in search of the new More Big Girl Knits by Jillian Moreno and Amy Singer and we found it Tuesday at Barnes and Noble. This is sort of my review of the book and the new designs. First off, let me say that I don't need more patterns for felted bags and scarves. I already have patterns for those and there are also tons on the web. I buy these books to get help with shaping issues for clothing and it burns me a little to pay $30.00 for a book that I've been anticipating for a year to find three shawls (come on, just make your standard shawl pattern bigger if need be!) two purses and three pairs of socks. I don't want to waste my time and money on these items! I want great garments sized for me! That said, Jillian and Amy, if there are more books in the works, please focus on the clothes - us big girls can manage to find accessory patterns without too much trouble.

Now the patterns. Well, there are a few that I like. The magic halter top, orange smoothie tank and the summer chevron tank are all great. And I love the Susie coat with the cables - not that I'll have much occasion for such an item much in Southern CA, but for those few days a year when its chilly or if I visit the family on the East Coast it could work. I'll just put that in the "maybe someday" pile. No skirts this time, which is disappointing as I'd still like to try a skirt. The bountiful bohus sweater is nice, another possibility. I love the pink trellis diamond socks too, but honestly, I don't need three patterns for socks in a book for bodaciously blessed women. Its not that hard to make a bigger sock for a shapely calf. Otherwise, I'm really not that impressed. The fit of these sweaters doesn't seem up to the quality of the first book. There is still alot of good shaping information that I'm sure can help with alot of fit problems though. We've all seen Ms. Moreno's Folly and boo thing before and rehashing old free patterns is sort of a ripoff in my book; especially since neither pattern seems much improved.

Why on earth would I want to knit an overly bobbled peapod sweater? Did anybody really like those mosiac patterns in the first book and did we need another (pastille)? The slipstream pullover, while done in a gorgeous yarn was shapeless and sort of dowdy. Oh, and the guatamalan top? That is just wrong. Sorry, but there just seems to be a lack of style this time. The rest of the items are ok, I guess. Honestly, I might knit the two tanks and the trellis socks and that's it.

However, the measuring section and the adding side inserts to a too small sweater section were awesome as usual. There is a pretty sweater done in Lorna's Laces Lion and Lamb that has been languishing in my closet as its way too tight for me; I could actually fix it with the insert method. I honestly considered not purchasing this book since nothing really knocked me out, but it is a good resouce for knitting garments shaped and sized for me and therefore, will be a valuable addition to my library. If you're looking for real style though, you might want to start designing your own or go elsewhere. This just might be the push I need to get busy and design my own knits.


Stacey said...

What a bitch.

Totally kidding. I agree with you. Except maybe the Guatemalan sweater...i think I'm warming up to it.

Just kidding.

Jerry said...

It's hard to justify the cost of the book on just a few patterns and the selection of some of these to include in the book is hard to understand. I'm glad we have the 20% discount.
Solid review though, right on target.

Anonymous said...

Hi Debbie, Bummer on your book : ( Do you happen to have a copy of Sweater Design in Plain English? If not, and if you don't mind a mooshed corner, I have copy that you can have. It came in my KnitPicks' order today & because it was damaged they are sending me another copy : ) What I like about this book is that it gives directions not just for designing, but also fo adapting designs for all body types & estimating how much yarn you'll need. Pretty cool.

Kudos to KnitPicks for excellent customer service!

- Denise

Sherri said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one disappointed in this book, though some of the patterns are growing on me. I read so many reviews that said these patterns were better than the original BGK and I just didn't feel that way. I'll probably knit the bountiful bohus and the susie hoodie (the cabled one; will find lots of use for it here in New England!) I don't know if I want to knit the hot cocoa jacket because there's no good picture of the front of the sweater, same thing with the orange smoothie tank. How do I decide if I want to knit something if they don't have a decent picture of it? The summer chevron is a possibility too. If I can figure out how to make the neck narrower for the no gap wrap I might try it, but as is it will fall off my shoulders if I move at all.

I felt like us boob girls got shortchanged in this book as most of the sweaters seem designed for butt and belly girls. And what's with all the socks and accessories? As you said, I can get those patterns all over the internet.

I won the book, so it didn't cost me anything, and the shaping tips would have been worth some investment anyway but I liked the first book better.

punkin said...

I would really like to see your designs! Can I help nudge you that direction?? I am very impressed with the tops and sweaters you have knitted; the shaping is perfect and they look beautiful.

Golden Years Gal said...

Hot Cocoa is a must for one of my customers. She and I both agree that it is breathtaking! I'll be hand knitting it just for her and maybe even one for myself.
Don't like it, contact me at to knit exactly what you do like and in the size you need.