Gothic Knits is an interesting book. It is a collection of 9 Goth doll patterns, along with tips and tricks for making knit dolls. It is one of the few niche knitting books I've seen that is quite clear that it has a specialized audience and doesn't attempt to be all things to all people. You won't find illustrations for casting on or instructions on how to do the knit stitch in this book. The book assumes that you have basic knitting skills (cast on, bind off, knit, purl, k2tog, p2tog, and increasing by knitting in the front and back loop of the same stitch) and an ability to read simple patterns. And that specialization is a large part of what makes the book work. There are detailed photos throughout, and Fiona's instructions are very thorough. She also provides several warnings about how to adapt the dolls to be safe for small children. This book is an excellent primer for learning how to make sculpted, knit dolls. You could either follow the patterns exactly or use the techniques to design your own dolls. As for what could be improved about the book, I think some step-by-step photos would have been helpful, particularly in the hair section. There are close up pictures of the dolls and detailed written descriptions of the process, but it never hurts to see the person actually doing it. I give this book 4 stars for a knitter with basic skills who is interested in improving their doll-making skills, is into Gothic characters, or who makes gifts for lovers of Gothic characters. It could also be an interesting book for people who make other types of dolls and are interested in knitting clothing and accessories in a Goth style. Since this is a niche book, if none of these categories describe you, you are probably best off buying something else that is more appealing to your interests.-Undergroundcrafter.com Vampires, werewolves, ghosts and zombies - they have perhaps never been as popular as they currently are, thanks to the success of books and films like Twilight. In here are nine dark and sinister dolls to knit of both sexes, such to make great playthings for children or ornaments for any adults who are fans of the current passion for things that go bump in the night! This is the same author who has brought us books on knitting fairies, aliens and fashion dolls (look up the name in the archives for my reviews). Now she turns her attention to the darker side of things with this handsomely produced book. These dolls come in two sizes and have a warning at the beginning about omitting small parts for young children, which is always a good idea. Notes are given too on adding the hair and assembling as well as what materials you will need and then it is quickly on to the actual patterns that make up the bulk of the book. The patterns here are in word form rather than charts and are nicely laid out to be easy to read. Detailed instructions are given on working the face, adding hair, making clothes etc along with lots of close-up shots of the relevant parts and a full-page photo of the finished item. One of the best things about this book, apart from the user-friendly layout, is the attractive touches added on every page. Backgrounds are a muted lace instead of plain white, pages have black lace edges, and pretty borders surround the finished dolls. Each doll has a different lace edging, too, which makes finding your pattern easier. The skill level would be intermediate, and the detail of each project means that it is not very quick to make, but these are attractive and unusual dolls which are sure to be treasured. Rather like the book itself in fact - -Myshelf.com You will be introduced into the world of the Goth doll, no poseurs here. Each of the nine knitted dolls are unique in personality and style. This is a perfect collection of dolls for people who found her "Knitted Fairies" too tame. The characters of the night are interpreted as handsomely beautiful in a haunting way. The proportions, facial anatomy and costume detail of the dolls are a product of Fiona's art school training in Australia, where she resides. Each doll is a marvel of its own. You will also enjoy the snippets of backstory for each character. Basic knitting skills are required. Though definitely worth learning in order to knit either her Gothic dolls and/or her fairies. The photography is well done, both the eerie stills of the individual dolls as well as the pieces and parts used to assemble the bodies. There are two different sized bodies 20" and 23". The detailed descriptions and instruction on assembling each doll will allow you to change it up and make the doll your own. Julian wears a black cape and boots that compliment his spikey purple and white hair and gaunt face and pale complexion. Beatrice has a red flower in her hair that stands out against her dreadlocks. Her bolero jacket with its lace lapel has long pointed sleeves adorned with beads. Violetta is a vampire that was a stage performer in her previous life. She is still dressed in her thigh high stockings and red lace dress with black bodice. Her hair is long and black with white streaks. Then there is D'Anton. Dramatic in his dress, this cousin of Count Dracula is stunning with his goatee and moustache. His high cheekbones are set off by his lace cravat. Even if doll making is not your knitting passion, you will appreciate the workmanship. Pick up the book and a wooden stake (just in case) and enjoy the creativity of each doll.-www.examiner.com/knitting-in-hartford If there are youngsters in your life, do look out for this book to help create weird and wonderful knitted dolls with a Gothic theme. There are clear instructions on hand knitting and stuffing the bodies, colouring and embroidering the faces and creating the hair to give the dolls their unique and spell-binding characters. The simple patterns are suitable for knitters of all abilities and you'll be irresistibly drawn to these loathsome yet loveable creatures.-Machine Knitting Monthly A brilliant book for knitters looking for something a bit 'different'. Create weird and wonderful vampires, maidens and ghostly figures with clear instructions on making and stuffing the bodies, colouring and embroidering the faces and creating the hair using fancy yarns, fake hairpieces and hair embellishments. Each doll is artfully and distinctively dressed in knitted outfits and accessories that any Goth would be proud of. The simple patterns mean that knitters of all abilities can enjoy making these dolls. Add just the right amount of scariness, and these creations will delight and inspire adults as well as children of all ages.-Craft Focus I've reviewed two books previously by Fiona McDonald and consider myself quite a fan so this is a truly biased post. What could be better than a doll book but a gothic doll book for Halloween? There are nine dolls in total - all of which have the best clothes ever. I've knitted two patterns from Fiona's books now and both of them worked out well - there were no errors in the patterns and they were so easy to follow and a joy to make. There is ten pages of general instructions about how to shape the bodies, stuff, do the faces and finish off well. As usual for a Fiona McDonald book - you can mix and match the clothes and make them in different yarn and in different colours. This is a very well presented cool book which would make a great present for a teenager who knits or anyone who loves the gothic look!-sewingisforgirls.blogspot.com
About the Author
Fiona McDonald studied classical painting and drawing at The Julian Ashton Art School in Sydney, Australia from 1985 to 1989. After moving to the Blue Mountains, she began developing her unique oil-painted, needle-sculpted, life-size cloth figures, and her own line of fabric dolls and dragons. On returning to her home town of Armidale, Fiona added to her skills by learning to knit. This latest phase in her career has resulted in her developing designs for dolls and other toys.