Girls’ Best Book of Knitting, Sewing, and Embroidery Review
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Each Monday afternoon, I gather with a group of crafty girls who call themselves the Knitastics. Our main purpose is to get together for a couple of hours each week to knit (as well as to talk about school and movies and toys), but some of the girls in the group are well-rounded craftsters, who like to sew, too. So when I brought a copy of Girls’ Best Book of Knitting, Sewing, and Embroidery one Monday, I watched their eyes light up.

Inside, this spiral-bound book is packed full of lessons and projects for crafty young girls. First is embroidery. Ms. Desmoulins begins by teaching the basics—using both words and illustrations—and builds up to embroidering with sequins and beads. Then she follows up her lessons with designs that girls can trace or copy to make their own projects—whether they’re stitching on T-shirts, ballet slippers, or knit hats.

The knitting section is next. To begin, there are a few pages of basic instructions, which might be a little difficult to follow without the help of someone who already knows how to knit. With all those loops and things, it’s always easiest if you can see someone else do it—so I’d suggest stopping by your local yarn store for a quick lesson. Then come the projects. Again, they’re basic patterns that will help the reader try her hand at a new craft—things like a hat or a bag or an adorable stuffed cat.

Ms. Desmoulins concludes the book with sewing—using more imaginative, fun projects. I may not be in the book’s target age, but even I would make the polka-dot bag—and I love the little stuffed creatures made from old gloves.

When I asked one of my Knitastics what she thought of this book, she told me, without a doubt, that I should give it a good review. Then she proceeded to point out all the projects she’d like to do. As a kid, I would have loved it, too—because I was constantly cross-stitching or making friendship bracelets or doing other crafty things. But unlike the grown-up patterns that I often had to use, the patterns in this book are great for kids. From fancy embroidered shoes to hats and bags, they’re things that young preteen girls will love—and they’ll wear them with pride. Ms. Desmoulins also provides detailed directions, using lots of illustrations, so young readers will have no problem learning something new (though they might need a little parental help from time to time).

Spring break is right around the corner—closely followed by summer vacation. If you’ve got a crafty girl of your own, pick up a copy of Girls’ Best Book of Knitting, Sewing, and Embroidery, and she’ll stay busy all vacation long.

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