Reported by Katie Renz
The book I’m reviewing today is titled Knitting for Baby – 30 Heirloom projects with Complete How-to-Knit Instructions by Melanie Falick and Kristin Nicholas and photographs by Ross Whitaker. It is published by Stewart, Tabori, and Chang/New York. I happened upon this book several years ago while I was shopping in my local knitting store and fell in love with it and still love it to this day.
The book is well organized and covers a full gambit of stitches and techniques. This is a list of the chapters: Introduction, Getting Started, Garter Stitch, The Purl Stitch & A New World of Texture, Shaping, Discovering A New World of Color, Circular Knitting Cables & Ribs, Exploring the Possibilities, Yarn Sources, and Acknowledgments.
So, let’s begin with the meat of the book – projects for babies (newborn to age two). First of all, a handmade item especially a knitted one makes a beautiful gift and as the title states on the book – an heirloom. One might think that an ‘heirloom’ item would have to be extremely complicated and gorgeous beyond belief, but in reality an heirloom item is one that is made from the heart, is a classic, and yes indeed can be simple to make.
First of all, I would like to point out why I was drawn to this particular book. The photos are absolutely gorgeous and the book is filled with them. There are pictures of all the items that can be made, both independently and canvassed on those, oh so cute babies, and a couple of great Mom items too, such as a felted diaper bag and an elegant, yet roomy new mom sweater. There are also a couple of baby toys to knit too. Not only are the items beautifully shot, but they are mostly full page pictures! Along with actual photographs, there are wonderfully detailed, colored illustrations with step by step directions to help you with your projects.
The other reason that I love, yes LOVE this ,is the fact that I can pick it up after a year of not knitting and find a project that I can complete. Now mind you, I pick items that are time sensitive and in my mind easy to do which would be hats, blankets, and booties. I almost always have to refresh my memory regarding the correct stitches and some of the basics, but it’s so effortless to do because the information is easily accessible and easy to understand.
Which then leads me to my final reason I think this book is so great. I consider myself an intermediate knitter that only knits sporadically, yet I can pick up this book and pick out a simple, yet timeless pattern and create a beautiful ‘heirloom’ to give as a baby gift. But, when and if the extra time appears and I want to create a more intricate garment, there are plenty to choose from. Anything from a beautiful cabled sweater, a lacy topped little girl’s dress, or more detailed color patterned sweaters.
Here is an item that I have made plenty of. I love that it is a hat (simple), yet this hat has a fun twist to it with the ear flaps. There is some sewing to this particular pattern (attaching the ear flaps to the main head piece), but really very simple. The suggested yarns in this book are wools, cashmeres, or mixes of natural fibers. If you have a local knitting store, they are sure to have a wide selection of luxurious fibers, but if you are on a budget, a visit to your local craft store will have plenty of choices that will work with these patterns. This particular hat was made with Lion Brand Yarn Wool-Ease in Avocado and took less than 1 skein which I purchased at my local Joanns store.
- Gorgeous full size photographs of the items that can be made
- Easy to follow directions for a beginner knitter
- Lots of great baby and toddler projects
- This really isn’t the book for you if you are looking for contemporary baby gifts to knit
- Not necessarily for the advanced knitter, if you are looking for a huge challenge
- Limited baby blanket patterns
Knitting for Baby can most likely be found in your local knitting store, but here are some online sources:
Retail Value for this book is $24.95, but can be found for a variety of prices.
In conclusion, I really had to pull at straws to think of any cons to this book. It really is for all levels of knitters and provides excellent projects for the new baby in your life. If you have this book, make sure to let us know what projects you have made or would like to make.