This is a fun book in small format, 7 x 7 inches. It has 10 patterns for sporting dolls and a horse. The patterns are clearly written and there are full colour photos of each pattern with close ups of detailed areas. The body patterns are quite easy to knit in basic stocking stitch, they are not all the same, the runners are thin, the boxer and weightlifter more stocky. Each doll is about 13 inches tall and is kitted out in sports gear, this is stitched not knitted in the majority of cases and full size patterns are given. The attention to detail is good, the fencer has a full head mask, the cyclist has a helmet etc and they are not difficult to make and you don't need specialist materials. I made Reg the runner, I did knit on smaller needles than recommended as I am a loose knitter and my doll came out slightly shorter so I had to adjust the costume pattern. I didn't like the hair much so I gave it long hair and turned it into Regina. It is also a bit tricky to stuff the limbs as they are quite thin, you have to stuff and sew them up at the same time but I was pleasantly surprised at the result. I particularly liked the trainers with ribbon stripes - a nice finishing touch. This will be useful to knit mascot dolls for budding sportsmen and women and has a much longer life than just the Olympics. The contents page says there is a list of suppliers on page 94 but there isn't. This doesn't really matter as no specific brands of yarn are given. Also at the time of writing you could download some patterns from the Olympknits website but I think this book is good value for money.
I was so excited about this book that I decided I was going to knit for the first time in 25 years. I chose the pattern for the athlete and then decided on the swimmer and halfway through switched to the equastrian. Which was fine because all of the olympians except for perhaps the weight lifter are exactly the same pattern.
There's only really 3 knitting patterns in this book - an olypmian repeated many times, the weight lifter with chunkier arms I think and a rather lovely horse. The knitted person didn't turn out as cute as the photos because a lot of the character comes from the action and poses. If you want to put pipe cleaners in your toy to make that possible then ok but that's not a good idea for a small child to who these might appeal so it's not so appealing.
I then knitted the horse. Or tried to. But the pattern is confusing about where to pick up stitches for the body from the chin and mine ended up totally wrong after hours of knitting. I contacted the author for some advice but never heard anything from her. So I couldn't do the horse. And the main person knitting pattern seems to have a typo in it too near the beginning.
It does include patterns for outfits for all your olympians which I think might make this a bit different but not enough to make me thrilled about the book. Although I started with this as a beginner I needed to use youtube to re-learn what to do and ultimately the mistake, the limited patterns and the vagueness in one of those patterns made it redundant I'm afraid.
My wife is a competent knitter and used the Royal Wedding knitting pattern book last year to knit the Royal family for the local special school. She was going to adapt those mannequins to make some figures that the kids could use this year as they clebrate their own olympics when this arrived. You do need to able to read patterns as there is no basic guide to knitting but my wife is confident that anyone who can knit basic stitches should be able to follow the patterns and make a decent attempt. She even had me making them - under supervision, I'm not usually allowed near sharp objects, but it was in a good cause. These will last beyond the olympics and as another reviewer has said you're only limited by your imagination; using these as a basic template and you'll be able to replicate other sports. Great fun.
Having failed with my applications for 2012 Olympics tickets this book provides an opportunity to fabricate my own dream team. This notion unfolded recently via an article in the Radio Times with a pattern to knit a Usain Bolt figure, and I viewed it as a development from my mother knitting various characters for her many grandchildren and great grandchildren as dolls to play with or as decorations for Christmas trees. `The Olympknits' sets out instructions on how to create numerous dummy sports persons, and it is provided with delightful illustrations. The main component for bodies is double knitting wool plus fabric clothing material which may be varied and possibly be applied to alternative themes. I note that for connoisseurs there are other knitting suggestions associated to the Olympic Games which are more intricate with greater emphasis on knitting and less on material - but `The Olympknits' is just good fun.
I love knitting toys and I am always on the look out for new ideas and this book is perfect in the run up to the olympics but is more than just a one-trick pony (or Handsome Horse - as per the pattern in the book!)
Most of the dolls are identical and simple to make using only Knit, Pearl, Knitting Two Together and Increasing by Knitting through the back of stitch. They are completed on 4mm needles and with Double Knit Wool.
There is a wide range of sporting outfits to make and will a little imagination you could turn them in other clothing, for example a running vest could be extended to become a shift dress or simple wedding dress and Edward the Equestrian is already in a suit.
This is ideal for children and adults as the dolls will take shape very quickly and they will see progress rapidly.
This is a fun book full of knitting patterns that will literally allow you to make your own Olympic Games... providing that you don't mind all the competitors being made of wool. The patterns are simple and anyone with intermediate skills will have no problem working through this book. The athletes are simple, but effective and clearly resemble the sportsmen/women they are intended to represent. There is plenty of scope for modifications if you want to personalise any of the figures, so if you wanted to try making figures for other sports not covered - the only limitation will be your own imagination.
If knitting were an Olympic Sport, rest assure that my Nan would be a multiple Gold Medallist. For decades she has been knitting dolls for charity and must have made 1000s. Therefore, when I was given the opportunity to test out Laura Long's `Olympknits' there was only one person I wanted to help me - Granny! `Olympknits' consists of several knitting plans for different sporting disciplines from swimming to equestrian (including the horse). As well as a knitting guide the book also contains templates for little outfits to dress the characters in.
From a veteran's point of view the knitting plans and templates were perfect, the book is crammed full of them and anyone confident in knitting can get on with it. For a beginner like myself the plans were a little squashed on the page and didn't always make the most of sense to me. Therefore, `Olympknits' is a book aimed more at the enthusiast knitter rather than the absolute novice.
In terms of presentation the book is a triumph. The ideas for different characters are funny and cute. The photographs of these various dolls are also great with Long putting them in situations that suit their sport e.g. in the pool, or on the track. For the joy of just seeing these images, the book is worth getting for any keen knitter with a passion for sports. They will appreciate the book as a piece of art, but will also be able to make something if they so wish.
I am not an experienced knitter so I was not sure if I could manage the projects in this book. It turned out that the little people were fairly simple to knit and fast. It covers most sports and I think the figures would make young and old smile.
Nice little book full of patterns to knit Olympic toys, various sports, they look similar to each other - basic shapes (not especially basic to do!) and the clothes are fabric not knitted which is a shame. Nice little book though.