Gigi McGreedy originally introduced kids to the fun of knitting with Knitting with Gigi, but that book only included the knit stitch. To learn purling, kids can continue the adventure with Gigi Knits and Purls, also by Karen Thalacker with illustrations by Mindy Dweyer.
This book is similar in style and format to the first, complete with poetry, knitting instruction and eight patterns to try.
The book begins with a story in verse about knitting and learning to purl, then goes into a quick overview of everything that was taught in the first book (casting on, knitting, decreasing, binding off and finishing).
the book goes on to explain purling and has young knitters practice by making an all-purl swatch of Garter Stitch. It doesn't explain that pieces of all knitting and all purling look the same because the stitches are opposites of each other, but maybe that's too complicated a concept for kids.
The book then covers Stockinette, Basketweave, ribbing and seaming with the mattress stitch. The drawings for mattress stitch aren't incredibly clear, but with adult supervision a child could probably figure it out.
Patterns in Gigi Knits and Purls include a Stockinette Stitch dishcloth with Garter Stitch edging, a Basketweave scarf, ribbed baby hat (plus the same pattern for bigger people), ribbed scarf, a purse with button closures (which also introduces the yarn over increase), a cat mat and a dog coat.
Some of the patterns use medium weight yarn and size 8 U.S. knitting needles, while others used size 10 needles and medium or chunky yarn. The closest the book gets to mentioning gauge is declaring that you'll get 4 stitches per inch knitting with chunky yarn on size 10 needles, and only one pattern, the Basketweave scarf, indicates the yardage of yarn needed.
This information would have made it easier to ensure success, or at least not disappointment at running out of yarn midway through a project.
Otherwise the patterns themselves are easy and straightforward and give a child a good idea of the variety of things that can be knit even without a lot of experience or skill. Working through the two books should encourage kids to stick to their knitting and hopefully make it a lifelong hobby.
Publication date: August 2008.