Marshmallow reviews Kids Knitting by Melanie Falick

Marshmallow likes to make crafty things with her little paws. She already reviewed a beautiful book about origami for the book bunnies blog. Today she talks about a book about knitting: Kids Knitting: Projects for Kids of All Ages, by Melanie Falick. Sprinkles, who (recently re)started knitting with Marshmallow, is taking notes and asking questions.

Marshmallow reviews Kids Knitting: Projects for Kids of All Ages, by Melanie Falick.
Marshmallow reviews Kids Knitting: Projects for Kids of All Ages, by Melanie Falick.

Sprinkles: Tell me a bit about this book Marshmallow.

Marshmallow: This is a really good book for bunnies who like knitting or those who don’t know how to do it yet.

S: So is it a book teaching one how to knit?

M: Yes. It starts from telling you what you will need: yarn, straight knitting needles, and scissors. And we have those already! Then it tells you what other tools you might eventually need once you get going and know a bit about what you are doing. We already have some of those too. Like circular needles.

S: Yes, I know you have some circular needles and have already made some projects with them!

M: Yes.

S: Then what happens in the book? Do they teach you how to do different stitches?

M: Yes. But before that they tell you about other things. Like finger knitting, dying your own yarn, and rolling yarn into a ball, and so on. Then they start teaching the standard knitting stitches. They begin with teaching the reader how to cast on stitches–

S: That is, putting the number of stitch loops on the knitting needle that you will need to get started.

M: Yes. Then the book teaches the knit stitch, that is the easiest one. And there is even a poem to remember the moves by.

S: Oh, why don’t you share that poem with us then?

M: Okay:

Under the fence
Catch the sheep
Back we come
Off we leap

S: That sounds like a good way to remember the moves making the knit stitch!

M: This poem is on page 30. So the book is going really slowly to teach you really well everything you need. Then you learn about binding off–

S: That is, finishing the piece and getting it off your needles.

M: Yes. Then the first project starts. It is a bean bag. You can make it using only the knit stitch and the casting-on / binding-off techniques you already learned.

S: That’s good. So you get to practice along as you are reading and learning.

Marshmallow is reading Kids Knitting: Projects for Kids of All Ages, by Melanie Falick. Here she is looking at the directions to make a pen case.
Marshmallow is reading Kids Knitting: Projects for Kids of All Ages, by Melanie Falick. Here she is looking at the directions to make a pen case.

S: You have already made some of the projects from this book, right Marshmallow?

M: I made the bag for pencils or glasses.

S: Are there some others you are looking forward to working on?

M: I want to try the scarf with pockets.

S: That sounds like it could be fun and useful. What other types of projects are there in the book?

M: There are hats, scarves, backpacks, sweaters, dolls, all sorts of fun things you can make.

S: That sounds great! There seem to be projects that will interest all sorts of bunnies that will be doable for those who know little about knitting.

M: Yes, but also you learn a lot of new techniques along the way. For example you can learn how to use a circular needle or how to do the perl stitch, which I think should be called the tink stitch because it is the reverse of knit stitch.

S: I think that would be a great idea. But looking it up in a dictionary, apparently “tink” already has a knitting meaning: “undo a row of knitting one stitch at a time, in order to correct a mistake”.

M: Oh that makes sense too. Undoing is backwards! That’s kind of cool!

S: Yes, I agree! So before we wrap up, tell me how many other projects there are in the book.

M: There are a lot! Maybe around twenty or so.

S: So this is going to keep you busy for a while longer, right?

M: Yes.

S: I think so too. This is a useful book, and young bunnies and perhaps their parents, too, can learn from it. And it is a lot of fun to look at, too, because the pictures are bright as well as instructive. I say we can wrap up this review now. So what would your rating be for it?

M: I rate it 95%. And now I will go and start my new scarf.

Marshmallow rates Kids Knitting: Projects for Kids of All Ages by Melanie Falick 95%.
Marshmallow rates Kids Knitting: Projects for Kids of All Ages by Melanie Falick 95%.

Marshmallow reviews Akira Yoshizawa: Japan’s Greatest Origami Master

This week Marshmallow shares her thoughts on Akira Yoshizawa: Japan’s Greatest Origami Master, a beautiful book with “Texts, Original Diagrams, and Models” by Akira Yoshizawa, a preface by Kiyo Yoshizawa, and an introduction by Robert J. Lang. Accompanying her in this review is her little friend for the day: Turtle.

Marshmallow reviews Akira Yoshizawa: Japan’s Greatest Origami Master, with text, diagrams, and models by Akira Yoshizawa. Accompanying her is her little friend, Turtle.
Marshmallow reviews Akira Yoshizawa: Japan’s Greatest Origami Master, with text, diagrams, and models by Akira Yoshizawa. Accompanying her is her little friend, Turtle.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you like books that teach you how to do stuff, or if you ever wanted to see really cool origami models of all sorts of animals and things, then this might be the book for you. 

Marshmallow’s Summary (with Spoilers): This book does not tell a story. It teaches the reader how to make the origami pieces in the book, though the origami in this book is not easy. This is not a book for people who don’t know what origami is. 

Here is Wikipedia’s definition of origami:

“Origami (折り紙, Japanese pronunciation: [oɾiɡami] or [oɾiꜜɡami], from ori meaning “folding”, and kami meaning “paper” (kami changes to gami due to rendaku)) is the art of paper folding, which is often associated with Japanese culture. In modern usage, the word “origami” is used as an inclusive term for all folding practices, regardless of their culture of origin.”

In this book, there is a detailed introduction written by an American origami expert, Robert Lang, where readers can learn about Akira Yoshizawa and his origami work. In the next few pages of the book, there are many pictures of Mr. Yoshizawa and his incredible origami works. Then most of the rest of the book is made up of Yoshizawa’s models of different types of animals and things. For example, there are models for making origami rabbits, sea turtles, small birds, wild geese, angel fish, butterflies, flying carpets, children from Snowland, lighthouses, seesaws, planes, and all sort of other neat things. There are step-by-step instructions and folding directions for each of these.

Marshmallow is pointing to the inside cover pages of Akira Yoshizawa: Japan’s Greatest Origami Master, with text, diagrams, and models by Akira Yoshizawa.
Marshmallow is pointing to the inside cover pages of Akira Yoshizawa: Japan’s Greatest Origami Master, with text, diagrams, and models by Akira Yoshizawa.

Marshmallow’s Review:  Reading Akiro Yoshizawa’s book, you can learn how to make some pretty complex pieces of origami. If you can’t or don’t want to try to make the origami, then you can just look at the pictures, which are in color and are very impressive. Mr. Yoshizawa’s origami animals and other origami are all very realistic.

Marshmallow and Turtle are looking at the table of contents of Akira Yoshizawa: Japan’s Greatest Origami Master, with text, diagrams, and models by Akira Yoshizawa.
Marshmallow and Turtle are looking at the table of contents of Akira Yoshizawa: Japan’s Greatest Origami Master, with text, diagrams, and models by Akira Yoshizawa.

If you want to make the origami in the book you need to have origami paper, but there is a way that you can make square origami paper with normal paper. Still, real origami paper might make your origami look prettier.

Some of the pieces of origami in this book require cutting or glue or multiple pieces of paper to finish. And almost all the models are pretty hard to do. I was able to make only a few of them, mostly the simpler ones, but still I enjoyed looking through the more complex ones, too.  

Marshmallow and Turtle are looking at the directions to make a sea turtle in Akira Yoshizawa: Japan’s Greatest Origami Master, with text, diagrams, and models by Akira Yoshizawa.
Marshmallow and Turtle are looking at the directions to make a sea turtle in Akira Yoshizawa: Japan’s Greatest Origami Master, with text, diagrams, and models by Akira Yoshizawa.

I think that this is a very good book for the whole bunny family; it can be read by many types of people. Younger bunnies will enjoy looking at the pictures, and older bunnies might want to try to make some of the origami pieces.

This book might also inspire the reader to go and try to learn more about origami, either about its history, or more about how to make more. (I know Caramel enjoys making samurai hats for example!) I really enjoyed trying to make the origami in this book, even when I couldn’t make it exactly the same as it was in the book.

Marshmallow’s Rating: 100%.

Marshmallow rates Akira Yoshizawa: Japan’s Greatest Origami Master, with text, diagrams, and models by Akira Yoshizawa, 100%.
Marshmallow rates Akira Yoshizawa: Japan’s Greatest Origami Master, with text, diagrams, and models by Akira Yoshizawa, 100%.