Boy band One Direction are turning into publishing as well as singing sensations. For the second year running their annual was a Christmas bestseller (only pipped to the post by Minecraft in 2013) and there are lots of books about them.
And here’s another brilliant one: One Direction – Knitting Pattern Exclusive by Carol Meldrum. (Published by Collins and Brown. Kindle €4.75) A book of knitting patterns so you can create your own Harry, Liam, Zayn, Louis and Niall and take them wherever you go! Or for your son or daughter, sister or brother, granddaughter, grandson, nephew or niece, or maybe even your mum or dad! Band member Harry likes to knit so there’s great encouragement for boys to get knitting too.
Knitting is cool these days, thanks to celebs taking up the pastime and to yarn bombers giving it a subversive element with their knitted graffiti, and so tweens and teens are OK to pick up needles and yarns. And with this book you won’t need to wrestle their tablet and phones out of their hands first. They’ll happily put them down to knit up a Zayn I’m quite sure.
The patterns are very straightforward and well explained. There’s a clear, concise ‘how to’ section and a list of the all-important abbreviations. The patterns use two-needle knitting, but more experienced knitters and fellow knitting-in-the-round junkies like me will quickly see how they can adapt the patterns to four needles if they wish.
The legs double as the trousers for each of the boys, and the shoes are the feet, but each band member has an add-on separate jacket or jumpers. There’s a hoodie, a jumper and a cardi for three of the lads and a template to make a felt jacket for the other two. This pattern again is very well explained. And the individual hairstyles are inspired! So often hair has been the downfall of knitted toys, and hand sewn ones too, usually a bit thin and ratty. Well, Carol Meldrum has it cracked for her little popstars. These are really a great touch.
The patterns use fingering yarn (sock yarn) which is ideal for their size as the small stitches aren’t too clumpy and clumsy for the figures. They also provide a good opportunity for you to use up any small balls of leftover wool in your stash.
Each boy takes a few hours to make (from a couple for a speed knitter to around four or so I’d estimate for a newbie) which makes this an easily achievable, morale-boosting project. And if you make one, then you just have to make the others so this will mean young knitters will see the project through, learn some skills, get a great sense of achievement and a fun end result that their non-knitting buddies will be envious of. This book is a great thing for not just One Direction fans but also for knitting’s street cred.