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Search Press was nice enough to send me several of Val Pierce‘s books to review when I interviewed her for last week’s post. So today, I’m reviewing another of Val’s books in the Twenty to Make series, Knitted Mug Hugs (Twenty to Make). At the end of the review, I’ll also be hosting a giveaway for my review copy of the book, so read on for more details!
Knitted Mug Hugs (Twenty to Make) is part of Search Press’s Twenty to Make series. I must start here by saying that I personally don’t use mug hugs. I am one of those weirdos who is drinking an iced tea during a blizzard, so my need for protection from the hot edges of cups is pretty limited. However, there are quite a few coffee addicts, er, um, I mean drinkers in my family, and mug hugs would make a fun gift or stocking stuffer for them. I have seen a lot of patterns for mug hugs, and mostly they look like a strip of knit or crochet fabric seamed or buttoned together – nothing too exciting, but utilitarian.
Val’s book takes the idea to the next level and includes patterns for gift-worthy mug hugs. These are simple enough designs for knitting newbies, but include a great deal of embellishments like buttons, beads, and knit leaves, so that they look lovely as well as being functional. The book also includes cables and colorwork using charts. I actually think it would be a nice way of trying out different techniques on a relatively small, low risk project. (If your cables are not perfect on a mug hug, it really isn’t that devastating!) In addition to be a technique sampler of sorts, this book would be great for someone who likes to make knitted gifts. There are enough different styles that you could make a mug hug specifically to fit the style of almost everyone on your gift list. The book is small and portable, and is reasonably priced at $9.95. The book primarily uses U.K. terminology (which is nearly identical to U.S. knitting terminology) and there is a translation chart on page 7.
There are two things which could make the book better. While the small, thin size of the book is great for knitting on the go, the binding makes it challenging to hold open. A more flexible binding would be helpful. Also, there is no gauge specified anywhere in this book. I think most mug hugs could stand a bit of stretching, but for someone with exceptionally loose or tight stitches, your mug hugs might face some challenges in fitting on a cup.
Overall, I would give the book 4 stars for a knitting newbie who wants to pick up some techniques while working through small projects, or a knitter who likes to make similar but personalized gifts for a large group of people, or for a knitter with a lot of scrap yarn, or for a knitter who wants her/his coffee cup to stand out from the crowd at work. The patterns are probably too simple for an advanced knitter (but I doubt such a person would choose this book, anyway!).
Full disclosure: A free review copy of this book was provided by the publisher. Although I accept free books for review, I do not accept additional compensation from the publisher, nor do I guarantee a positive review. My reviews are based entirely on my honest opinions. This also post contains affiliate links. You can read my affiliate and review disclosures here.
Giveaway I’m giving away my review copy of Knitted Mug Hugs (Twenty to Make), courtesy of Search Press.