The Knitter's Bible Baby Knits by Laura Long does something that a lot of knitting books don't do but that is a big help particularly to newer knitters. Each of the patterns for garments shows variations that can be made with different colors or textures of yarn and offers other suggestions for good yarn choices depending on the look you're going for.
For people who aren't that good at visualizing a pattern in a completely different colorway, this is a great feature. But even without that addition, this is a fun book full of projects you'll want to knit for the newborns on your list.
About the Book
- Pages: 128
- Binding: paperback
- Number of patterns: 25
- Sizes: garments mostly are for newborns up to six months; a couple of patterns go up to a year
- Skill level: patterns are not rated by skill level, but there's a good range here, mostly falling in the intermediate skill set
- Illustrations: full-color photographs
- Knitting lessons: an overview of yarn and needles begins the book; 22 pages at the back cover the basics of knitting, finishing, embellishing and caring for knit items
- Publication date: October 2010
The Knitter's Bible Baby Knits provides a fun range of knitting projects for babies, from booties to mittens, sweaters to blankets, even cute toys.
Each pattern includes a basic description, a "yarn focus" section describing the yarn that was used and other yarns that would be successful in the project, and a "design secrets unraveled" section, which explores the designer's intentions and inspirations for each piece.
None of this information is strictly necessary to a knitter's enjoyment of a garment, but it is fun for those of us who are interested in design to see how Long's ideas translated into knitting.
"Baby's New Look" offers further suggestions for variations on the basic patterns and shows swatches of different color combinations that would be good choices for the project.
It's hard to pick favorites in this well-chosen collection, but some of the standouts for me are basic mittens embellished with either chickens, robins, spiders or sheep; the super-simple bulky knit Simple Hooded Cardigan; the Peekaboo Pocket Cardigan, complete with a little teddy bear to carry in the pocket; adorable lion, cat, monkey and hen finger puppets; and a sweet little chicken who can be used as a mobile (with pom-pom chicks!) or played with on its own.
If there's any drawback to this book, it's the fact that other than the mittens, all of the garment patterns are written for just one size. Some of the patterns are easy enough you could resize them, but it's really not worth it when there are so many other cute patterns for kids out there. You just have to hope that you know a kid the right size when you want to knit a particular project, or save it until you know someone that age.
The patterns in The Knitter's Bible Baby Knits are universally cute and many would suit both boys and girls, which is refreshing. The optional color pallets and yarn substitution ideas make it easier for knitters who lack experience in pattern alteration to see easy ways that patterns can be changed to suit the recipient.
People who knit a lot of baby gifts, especially for the newborn to six month set, will likely find some patterns here to add to their go-to collection, and those looking for a solid collection of basics (especially if they need good knitting instruction as well) will find this an indispensable guide to the genre.