Prolific knitwear designer Debbie Bliss has already shared some of her design process and considerations for people who want to design their own knits in her book Design It, Knit It, and now she's looking more specifically at a favorite genre for knitters: designing for babies.
Design It, Knit It Babies includes eight chapters and 18 designs looking at different aspects of design for children, from cute details for girls to thoughts on knitting for preemies.
Things to Think About
Like Design It, Knit It, this book is not actually about how to design knitwear in the sense that it doesn't provide information on what measurements you might need to properly design a garment or how to take those measurements and convert them into instructions that can be knit into something useful and beautiful.
Instead, the book covers some of Bliss' design process and offers up things that knitters should think about as they go about designing their own garments and projects for babies.
Some of the topics that are covered include:
- the best choices for shapes and sizes of baby clothing
- fiber considerations
- use of color in baby knits
- knitting for preemies
- design decisions for boys and girls
- colorful additions and embellishments
- coverings for heads, feet and hands
Each chapter includes a little introductory material, pictures of swatches that illustrate the concepts, and a few more tips or considerations to use in your own designs. In addition, each chapter has two (except the head, hands and feet chapter, which has four) patterns that demonstrate the concepts and often provide a basic canvas you can easily alter by changing up a stitch pattern or adding stripes.
The back of the book includes a design workbook, complete with basic garment shapes you can draw on, knitter's graph paper and charts of the alphabet and other motifs you might want to use on baby things.
The 18 patterns in the book are all original to this publication, but fans of Bliss will feel their familiarity. These are mostly the lovely basics she's known for, including a simple hooded cardigan, a Garter Stitch sweater with a letter on the front, a basketweave blanket sized for an incubator.
My favorite patterns are the ones that are a little different, though still pretty easy and fun to knit. There's a simple Striped Pullover with buttons at the shoulder for easy dressing, a cute multicolored Chevron Cardigan with single button closure and a really cute "Spanish Dress," which involves a knit bodice sewn onto a fabric skirt.
Some basics that would be great for any baby include the Ribbon-Edged Cardigan (which could be left plain for a boy), Button-On Mitts to keep little babies' hands warm in winter and super-cute and quick to knit Cabled Legwarmers.
Fans of Bliss -- and fans of knitting for babies -- are sure to enjoy this book. It offers some good advice for knitting for babies, especially the tips on knitting for preemies, which are not often covered in knitting books.
The patterns included are cute and most would be quite quick to knit if you need a baby gift in a hurry. They're also easy to personalize or add your own spin to with the help of the tips in the book.
While this book won't teach you how to design a garment for a baby, it will give you some ideas to think about when you're sketching out ideas or thinking through a new project you'd like to try.
Publication date: June 2010