Top critical review
Cute idea, not so cutely executed
on 16 August 2012
The idea of making your own team of knitted Olympic athletes, either for your children to play with or to display in your home is very cute, especially with Britain going sport-crazy and craft-crazy at the minute. However this book did not quite live up to my expectations.
The knitting patterns inside the book were clear enough, although there's no explanations included - it's not a book for beginners, so you need to already know the basics. There are lots of pictures of the finished athlete dolls, so you know exactly what you're aiming for, but I did find that a lot of the dolls just were not attractive. They had quite empty, depressing-looking faces and I'm not sure that kids would particularly like them. The women look better than the men in general, due to better hairstyles, but even so they are among the uglier-looking toys around. The horse, however, is quite sweet looking!
Bear in mind that there is a good deal of sewing involved too as all the outfits (ie. everything that turns them from a normal doll into an OlympKnit) are not in fact knitted but are sewed together from scraps of fabric. I found this a bit misleading, although some of the outfits do look OK. By far the best-looking outfit belongs to Edward the Equestrian with his top hat and boots.
This is a nice idea for a book, but in practice I'm not sure how many people will want to sit and knit 18 very similar and not particularly pretty dolls. I wouldn't really recommend the book.