So excited when I got home from a few days away to find the paperback book “The Knitted Nursery Collection” by Jem Weston had been delivered. I had a quick flick through the book and was already working out how I was going to fit knitting at least 2 of the 14 projects into my tight knitting schedule? Knitting faster? Stay up all night? I’ll have to work something out because they’re already on my list.
If you haven’t come across Jem Weston before she is a very talented freelance designer, author and workshop tutor. Jem has worked closely with Rowan yarns since 2008, initially as the Rowan Design Consultant Manager and then as a Coats Crafts Territory Manager; she is now a freelance Rowan Workshop Tutor. I also discovered that we have a couple of things in common: we both were taught to knit by our Grandma’s and we both studied Fine Art at university but my discipline was in painting and Jem’s in sculpture and installation, although I very nearly did sculpture and sometimes, I wish I did!
Looking inside “The Knitted Nursery Collection” I was pleased to see it didn’t contain any baby patterns (not that I don’t like baby patterns but I think it would spoil the overall concept of the book) just 14 knitting projects including toys, accessories and decorations for baby and nursery rooms, some of which are also suitable for other rooms. The toy patterns include these cute elephants called Ollie and Polly………
just as cute Bertie and Bea bunnies……….
and a wonderful looking squirrel called ‘Ginger’ knitted mainly in Rowan Felted Tweed but combined with Rowan Kidsilk Haze for the tail and and ears giving them a fluffy look.
The room decorations include bunting made of pom poms……..
a wall hanging made up of knitted birds……….
and ‘flutterbies’: butterfly shaped designs which can be hung together as a mobile or used as a simple soft toy on their own.
If you like sewing the ‘Bertie and Bea Quilts’ combine knitting and fabric squares to create a cosy baby quilt and coordinate with the ‘Bertie and Bea’ bunnies. Choose from blue or pink colourways.
The more practical designs include a felted circular rug…….
a felted toy basket……..
garter stitch and squirrel blankets…….
and cushion-shaped pillows with their flutterbies, birds and owl motifs all coordinating with the toy and/or decoration designs.
Some of these designs could easily be used in any room in the house. My favourites, and the 2 projects that have already made it onto my project list, are the felted basket and the felted rug. I would love to make a couple of the baskets for my walk-in wardrobe as I have some shelving space where they would not only look great but also add some extra storage space that I desperately need. The felted rug would be a fabulous addition to my outdoor covered deck area; I have been looking for a mat or rug to brighten my deck and this rug might just do it!
The designs are knitted in a variety of Rowan yarns including Baby Merino Silk DK, Felted Tweed, Kidsilk Haze, Creative Focus Worsted, Cotton Glace and Pure Wool Superwash Worsted and DK using stocking stitch or garter stitch. Intarsia and/or fair-isle techniques are required for the designs with the squirrel, flutterbies, bunny, birds and owl motifs but all have large scale charts that fill a whole page making them so easy to read. I do hate it when I have to enlarge some teeny tiny chart and find I break the spine of the book trying to get the image to lay flat on the scanner.
Finding your way to each project is made easy not just with the usual contents index at the front but with an extra few pages afterwards containing a little picture of each project and a page number so you know exactly what you are looking for and where to find it. The book also has a list of knitting abbreviations at the back.
Scattered throughout are lots of great images, by photographer Jesse Wild, of the finished projects, some close-up and some from different angles, giving you a clear idea of the excellent design quality of each item. You could easily decorate a whole nursery based on any one of these designs and feel a wonderful sense of achievement on completion! I’m pretty sure I will not be disappointed with the end result of any of the projects in this lovely knitting book!
If you would like more information you can leave me a comment below or click on these links:
Jem Weston’s You Tube Channel which includes 5 videos where she discusses some of the projects in this book.
Amazon where you can also look inside the book.
The Knitted Nursey Collection
RRP £9.99 ($19.95)
Author Jem Weston Published by Search Press, Jan 2016
And……….if you got this far……….Thank you for visiting and reading my blog,