At first glance, this seemed like a great little book with a variety of interesting patterns: lots of stranded colorwork, felted mittens, a good variety of sizes.
- I liked the layout of the instructions in tables so you can easily keep track of the numbers for the size you're making.
- I also liked the fact that the instructions for the left and right hand shapings are written out, rather than the author just saying "repeat, reversing shaping for the other hand."
However, there were definitely a few annoyances that I ran into when I started trying to use the book:
- No row gauge given for the patterns! I'm currently almost at the end of my first North Star Mitten and it looks like even though I was over on stitch gauge, my row gauge is tighter than what the author assumes, and my mitten will end up being shorter than my hand. For plain stockinette patterns, I guess this doesn't matter much since the row/stitch ratio is usually pretty consistent, but with the combination of colorwork and yarn worked on smaller needles than recommended, it would be really helpful if the author also gave ROW GAUGE instead of just telling you "x stitches per inch."
- No yardage information for the yarns used--the author just tells you the number of skeins of a certain kind of yarn. If you want to substitute yarns, it's up to you to research the recommended yarns on the Internet if you want to find out how many yards this translates to. If some of these are partial skeins, this isn't specified either.
- There is no single glossary of knitting terms. I encountered the abbreviation "ssk2tog" in one place and had to hunt all over the book to figure out if this was the same as the term that is usually written "ssk." (Yes, it is.) I also had to cross-reference a couple of different pages to find the author's definition of "M1". I prefer books that list all their abbreviations together, in a single glossary at the end, rather than scattering them throughout the book in cute little sidebars.
- I would have liked the mittens to all come in a consistent range of sizes. The "chicky feet" mittens were cute, but only had instructions for children's sizes. It would have been great to see children's, women's, and men's sizes for all the mittens.
Overall, it's a nice little book to get out from the library (which is what I did) but I probably wouldn't buy it.