One of the best things about knitting baby blankets and afghans is that you can experiment with different techniques on a relatively large scale. You can see that playfulness in the 34 designs in the Leisure Arts book Our Best Knit Baby Afghans, Book 2.
Published a decade after the publisher's first collection of baby afghans, this one includes designs from Kay Meadors and Melissa Leapman, among other designers, and offers knitters the opportunity to work with bobbles, cables, lace, ripples, textured stitches and more.
Our Best Knit Baby Afghans, Book 2 gets right down to the business of the patterns, which are presented with a full-page, full-color photo of each blanket with the instructions on a facing page (a few patterns continue on another page at the back of the book, but most are short patterns that fit on a single page).
The focus is on easy embellishments, such as eyelets, diagonal lines, bobbles, basketweave and other textured stitches.
The projects are for a range of skill levels, but 15 are rated easy, 8 easy + and 9 for intermediate knitters. Most involve a pattern that repeats across the whole length of the afghan with a border knit in a different stitch as you go (and most of those are Garter Stitch). There are a couple of mitered square projects worked from the center out, but otherwise they're worked in the traditional one end to the other manner.
The finished blankets are a wide range of sizes, from 33 inches square to 37 inches by 49 inches, which means you can knit some of these projects for new babies and some for bigger kids.
Some of my favorite patterns are Baby Trellis, a two-color project with a lattice texture; Elise, a cool afghan with a diagonal eyelet pattern; Precious, a really textured design that looks like a thermal blanket; and Baby Dots, a pattern worked with stripes of color that look woven through the main color.
If you're a fan of knitting baby blankets and larger afghans for kids, Our Best Knit Baby Afghans, Book 2 has some nice choices you'll probably want to add to your rotation. These easy (and some less-easy) projects will hold your interest as you knit and are sure to become well-used and loved blankies for recipients of all ages.
Publication date: August 2010