Marie Segares's Reviews > Gothic Knits

Gothic Knits by Fiona McDonald
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Feb 19, 12

bookshelves: fun-stuff, knitting, needlecrafts, non-fiction, fantasy
Read in February, 2012

(Full disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from Search Press.)

Gothic Knits is an interesting book. It is a collection of 9 Goth doll patterns, along with tips and tricks for making knit dolls. It is one of the few niche knitting books I've seen that is quite clear that it has a specialized audience and doesn't attempt to be all things to all people. You won't find illustrations for casting on or instructions on how to do the knit stitch in this book. The book assumes that you have basic knitting skills (cast on, bind off, knit, purl, k2tog, p2tog, and increasing by knitting in the front and back loop of the same stitch) and an ability to read simple patterns. And that specialization is a large part of what makes the book work.

Additionally, Gothic Knits is well organized into several sections.

Before you begin... reviews materials and pattern terminology. This includes both standard knitting tools (needles, yarn) and specialized doll making materials (e.g., hooks and eyes and press studs, chopsticks or plastic straws for the necks).

Hair is probably my favorite section. There are three techniques for attaching hair that Fiona explains: stitched-on hair (described individually in the patterns), the rooted method, and using fake hair. Even if you aren't interested in making Goth dolls, these techniques could be applied to other types of amigurumi.

Assembling the bodies is very thorough and uses detailed descriptions and photographs to explain the general assembly and shaping techniques used on all of the dolls, including sculpting breasts or chest muscles, forming detailed facial features, and proper stuffing technique for the different characters.

The next section includes patterns for 9 Goths (three vampires, a siren, a bride of Frankenstein, and four other creepy types). Each pattern includes instructions for the body, the face and hair, and clothing and accessories for the character.

There are detailed photos throughout, and Fiona's instructions are very thorough. She also provides several warnings about how to adapt the dolls to be safe for small children.

This book is an excellent primer for learning how to make sculpted, knit dolls. You could either follow the patterns exactly or use the techniques to design your own dolls.

As for what could be improved about the book, I think some step-by-step photos would have been helpful, particularly in the Hair section. There are close up pictures of the dolls and detailed written descriptions of the process, but it never hurts to see the person actually doing it.

I give this book 4 stars for a knitter with basic skills who is interested in improving their doll-making skills, is into Gothic characters, or who makes gifts for lovers of Gothic characters. It could also be an interesting book for people who make other types of dolls and are interested in knitting clothing and accessories in a Goth style. Since this is a niche book, if none of these categories describe you, you are probably best off buying something else that is more appealing to your interests.
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