I'm so thrilled to have the opportunity to review a copy of Hobbit Knits by Josie Mercier! I received a review copy of this pattern collection from the designer, and I'm excited to share my impressions with you.
The pattern collection contains a total of five patterns: the Pony Rides in May Sunshine Fingerless Mitts, Elvish Singing Shawlette, Pocketses Vest, Mirkwood Satchel, and the Beorn Cabled Cardigan. The designer provides a nice description with each pattern of how it relates to the book The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein, for which the collection is named.
The instructions for all of the projects are very thorough (the collection as a whole totals 36 pages), and the designer includes helpful notes such as the following: "Note: for those who wish to print off only the pattern essentials, this information is on pages 4, 5and 6 of the pattern." The layout is clean and simple, and does not overwhelm the eye. For the most part, the yarns used in the pattern should be familiar and readily available to most knitters, however, I would have liked if the weight of each yarn were included to make substitution easier for those who don't have access to the yarns used, or who wish to work from their stashes.
The Pony Rides in May Sunshine Fingerless Mitts come in three sizes and include both written and charted instructions.
The Elvish Singing Shawlette includes both charted and written instructions. It is worked in fingering weight yarn.
The Pocketses Vest is my personal favorite of the five patterns in this collection. It comes in six sizes ranging from a 29.5" bust up to a 49" bust. It includes a schematic, as well as the written instructions. The designer takes care to warn the knitter when the ever-dreaded "at the same time" is coming, by noting that at the beginning of the section.
The Mirkwood Satchel is another one of my favorites. It includes both charted and written instructions for the cable section. I love the cabled strap! This bag features a zipper closure, but does not provide much detail as to the installation of the zipper. If the knitter, like me, lacks experience in inserting zippers, s/he will likely need to consult a friend, forum, or video tutorial for help with this step.
Overall, I really like all of the patterns in this collection, and I'm looking forward to making a few of them, especially the Pocketses Vest. I really admire how Josie Mercier was able to interpret the elements of the book into wearable fashions that don't look like costumes.
If you like the patterns as much as I do, they are available for purchase through Josie's Ravelry Store, both as a collection and individually. You can also enter to win a copy of the entire collection right here on the blog! Just leave a comment about which pattern from the collection is your favorite, and you'll be entered to win. The drawing will take place next Tuesday, 1/15/13. Don't forget to include your email address or Ravelry ID so that I can contact you if you're the winner!