Wednesday, October 12, 2011

No-Bull Book Review: Bambeanies, by Woolly Wormhead

I've got a big stack of books waiting to be reviewed, and now that the knitting crunch for the book is reaching an end, I'd better get cracking. Today's book review: a charming selection of hats for kids, by the designer Woolly Wormhead.

I first discovered Woolly Wormhead on Ravelry. It seemed as though nearly every time I encountered a wonderful, creative hat pattern, it was by this designer with the whimsical name. This past summer, I had the pleasure of meeting Wooly at TNNA and we got along like a house on fire. So when she emailed me to ask if I'd like to do a blog post about her new book, Bambeanies, I was only too happy to oblige.

Bambeanies can be purchased via this link as a print book or, for instant gratification, a PDF download. (The print book costs $23 while the PDF download is ten pounds, about $15.75 as of the time of this writing.) You can purchase the download on Ravelry, too, and if you fall in love with an individual pattern, they are available for purchase individually, too.

Woolly Wormhead is, as I mentioned before, known for designing fun and funky hats, often using creative structural techniques. Bambeanies contains a selection of 20 hats, shown on some adorable kids, but also sized, in many cases, for adults, too.


The book begins with Woolly Wormhead's introduction, in which she explains her fascination with hats:

I love the challenge they can present with a new technique or stitch pattern, and how they can be used to experiment with an unusual construction. I love their 3-dimensional nature, and the way they can be worn to reflect a mood or feeling or favourite outfit. And most of all, I love their quickness and portability.
Woolly's aim in creating this collection was to showcase all of these aspects of hat knitting, providing fun for the knitter and the wearer.


The book next covers some technical information, beginning with sizing (including measuring, which size to pick, gauge and blocking); info about yarn, needles and gauge; a list of abbreviations; and several illustrations showing specific skills like kitchener stitch and different cast-ons.

Next up is the collection of hats -- a mix of unisex caps


as well as a few which are particularly suited for girls.


The hats are knit in a variety of yarns, including Noro self-stripers, handpaints and solids.

Corby (l) and Trullo (r)

The yarns used run the gamut from fingering/sock weight (2 patterns), to sport (1), to DK (6) and chunky (2), with almost half knit in worsted/aran weight yarn (9). All of the hats are presented in multiple sizes, ranging from baby or child sized through larger/adult sizes. Schematics are also provided for the hats, which isn't usual for hat patterns, but is helpful, especially for those hats with unusual construction.


As you can see, the photographs are really adorable, showing these moppets looking very cute in all sorts of poses, with all sorts of expressions.


(I like that the photos show kids who look like they're having fun, and who are making the cute but goofy faces that little kids often do.)


The patterns in Bambeanies are awfully cute -- so cute that they made me want to put down what I was working on and whip out a couple. They would make adorable gifts for a baby shower, and given that breadth of sizing, it would also be fun to make a few for oneself! If you are looking for small, portable projects to showcase some of your stash, or perhaps enjoy knitting for one of the many service-oriented knitting projects (like Afghans for Afghans or Caps for Kids) that are looking for knitted caps, then I have the feeling you will find lots of inspiration in these pages.

So let's hear it for Bambeanies, a wonderful treasury of adorable and creative hats, with a generous size range, adorable photos, and a heckuvalotta bang for the buck (or pound).

1 comment:

collegeknitting said...

Those hats look fantastic- thanks so much for showcasing the book!