It's a lot of fun to knit for babies -- our own, everyone else's, charity knitting for babies we don't even know -- but one of the problems with knitting for little ones is, even though they're small, sometimes the yarn we use to knit for them is small, too. And sometimes you just need a really quick project because you forgot a shower was coming or a baby arrived early and you still want to make them something nice.
Candi Jensen (author of Knit Now! and creator of the series "Knit and Crochet Now") has a bunch of great ideas that may not literally get finished in a day but are still pretty darn quick that she shares in her book Knit in a Day for Baby: 20 Quick & Easy Projects.
About the Book
- Pages: 96
- Format: paperback
- Number of patterns: book says 20, I actually counted 21 (and some are counted as one pattern but have several options)
- Skill level: 18 are rated easy and 3 for intermediate knitters
- Sizing: garments offer 4 sizes from 6 to 24 months
- Illustrations: full-color photographs
- Knitting lessons: none, but a page in the back explains duplicate stitch and using crochet on the edge of a garment
- Publication date: July 2012
Knit in a Day for Baby includes a couple of basic patterns each in the genres of pullovers, cardigans, hats, booties, blankets and mitts, as well as some extras like baby blocks and washcloths.
As you can imagine from a book that talks about knitting projects in a day, most of the yarn used here is chunky, and most of the projects are pretty straightforward. There's a lot of Stockinette Stitch, embellished either by knitting in stripes or adding decorative dots or zig-zags in duplicate stitch after the knitting is done.
Jensen offers suggestions for ways you could make the patterns a little more distinctive, such as making each contrasting stripe in a garment a different color or adding more duplicate stitch in different colors.
Even those projects that have embellishments should be pretty darn quick to knit, but I don't know that you'd be able to get them all completely finished in day. (Of course that's not really the point; "a day" is just code for "really, really fast.") Certainly baby booties, washcloths, hanger covers and wee hats and mitts can be worked in a day; I don't know about baby blankets.
Most of the projects use acrylic, medium weight yarns -- Paton's Canadiana and Lion Brand's Vanna's Choice, principally -- which is nice for ease of care, but you might also choose a superwash wool instead for a little more warmth in some of these projects.
It's hard to pick favorites in this book because all of the projects are pretty basic, but I like the Pattern Stitch Cardigan, which uses Seed Stitch and has the crocheted border I talked about earlier; the Hat with Ears, which pretty much says it all; and the Fingerless Mitts, because that's a sort of unexpected look on a baby but still cute and practical.
If you regularly find yourself needing to knit baby gifts at the last minute, Knit in a Day for Baby is a great go-to. I would have loved this book when I was pregnant and wishing I could knit my baby's whole wardrobe, so it's a good choice for overachieving moms, too.
I'd also recommend this book to anyone who likes to knit for babies for charity purposes. The projects are fast so you can give a lot of them, and the ideas for embellishment will make each one special and keep you from getting too bored if you stick with the same patterns over and over.