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Book Review

When I first learned to knit, I started with Brown Sheep yarn. My first project was a small knitted square with golden yarn from Brown Sheep, which magically turned into a chicken. This chicken soon found other friends, a pig, a horse, another horse, a kitten, a mouse, and so on, all knitted with Brown Sheep yarn. Most of the patterns I used were from Toymaking with Children by Freya Jaffke. Freya Jaffke’s books are all a treasure and a valuable collection for parents and educators both.

Phoebe's Sweater Just a few months ago, I received this wonderful children’s storybook, written by Joanna Johnson and beautifully illustrated by her husband Eric Johnson, and towards the end I found knitting patterns for Phoebe’s Sweater and Phoebe Mouse from the story’s characters. I loved the idea of knitting something for a child to match the characters from a book. Phoebe’s Sweater was reviewed in the Fall 2010 issue of Living Crafts magazine: “This delightful story is about a child adjusting to the idea of a new sibling, and the assurance she receives from her parents about how much they love and cherish her. Her mother knits her a sweater while still pregnant with the baby. At the end of the book there are instructions for Phoebe the mouse, a child’s cardigan, matching with a doll cardigan, which, in the story, Phoebe the mouse wears. This book is a treasure for both the illustrated story, as well as the beautiful me-and-my-doll cardigan pattern.” Knitting Scene The charming illustrations do not disappoint – they provide rich detail.

Star Scene

And the eager imagination of a young child will find much to consider. Phoebe's Sweater Phoebe’s Sweater is a seamless knit that comes together very quickly in bulky weight superwash yarn.

Girl's Sweater

Instructions include a pattern for this sweet seamless doll and a matching doll sweater, too! Now, I am thrilled to have received Joanna and Eric’s second book, Freddie’s Blanket, which is just as charming.

Freddies Blanket

The Johnson’s new book follows a similar idea of including knitting patterns with a storybook (much like Living Crafts’ Craft a Story column), but introduces a new family of characters and unfolds the tale of a young boy who has trouble staying in his own bed at night. A certain hand knit blanket is always at his side! Cradle The illustrations are just as lovely as in the first book. Farmer's Market And offer much for children and parents to talk about while reading together. Baby Five new knitting patterns accompany the story, including the darling Baby Envelope Blanket. Little boy in coveralls Also, the cute knitted coveralls even have a pattern for a toy knitted hammer! Freddie And of course, there is another adorable seamless toy. There is also a pattern for Freddie’s sister, May, in a sweet violet dress.

Signed Books and Yarn Giveaway

Knitting Kit and Books Today we are offering a very special gift from Joanna and Eric at Slate Falls Press, and from our friends at Brown Sheep Company. Included in the giveaway are a copy of each of these two books, signed by the author and illustrator, as well as a generous collection of Brown Sheep Company yarn. There are 11 skeins of Lamb’s Pride Superwash Bulky, in Mint Cream, which is enough to knit the largest size Phoebe’s Sweater as well as the matching doll sweater. Also, the winner will receive 4 skeins of Serendipity Tweed in Colorado Columbine, which is enough to knit the largest size Freddie’s Coveralls as well as the matching toy coveralls. This wonderful giveaway is valued at $180.00. Just leave a comment to this post to enter the Giveaway. Comments will be open until Sunday (January 30, 2011) 8 p.m. EST.

And the winner is…


  Rayleen    2011/01/30 at 10:04 am
   I love the books with patterns – what a neat idea and one I’m sure that my        grand-daughters would love.

Posted by Living Crafts on Jan 28, 2011 02:19 PM | 908 Comments

908 Responses to “Book Review”

  1. Sarah BD says:

    What a wonderful giveaway! I hope to be able to get these books (yarn would be an added bonus for sure) so that I can make them for my daughters. I dream of giving them the books and all the patterns this year for Christmas. One for a daughter with a little sister and one for a daughter that for three years now has never stayed in bed all night and her trusty blanket is always by her side! How perfect!

  2. Melissa Burnett says:

    What a wonderful gift! These books are so great and such a neat idea for sharing knitting with our children! Even the grown children!

  3. janet says:

    It looks like I missed the deadline….I am looking everywhere in Canada to find this book! I really want to make the sweater and mouse for my daughter’s 3rd birthday!

  4. Amane says:

    I love knitting. I just need a new project to do, too, for my daughter.

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