It seems like there are always more babies to knit for, whether they're your own or a family member's or a friend's. We all have our favorite baby projects, but you don't want to knit the same thing over and over.
Chic Knits for Stylish Babies: 65 Charming Patterns for the First Year by Patricia Wagner is a treasure trove of new ideas for adorable knits for new babies and kids in their first year of life.
Fashions from France
Patricia Wagner is the editor of Modes & Travaux, a leading women's magazine in France. This book brings the sensibilities of fashion for grownups to knits for babies, from cabled sweaters to a romper covered in colorful alpacas.
Stylish details and bold colors make almost every pattern in this book irresistible.
The book includes an amazing 65 patterns arranged into three general themes: all-weather babies, adventurous babies and smart babies. The first section features classic English, Irish and French styles; the second offers bold colors and basic designs; while the third has updates of classics like a sailor-inspired suit and a lacy layette.
Many of the patterns are ranked as easy, and many use garter stitch, stockinette or an easy rib pattern, making even the ones with more difficult shaping and techniques accessible to most knitters with some experience.
The wonderful thing about these patterns--besides all of them being cute--is that they are designed as outfits, so you can make a whole set as an adorable gift for a new baby.
Some of these ensembles include:
- A hooded jacket, sweater, hat, booties and drawstring pants with knit-on kneepads.
- Black overalls with a white sweater and a black cardigan.
- A pair of twin sweaters in reversed stripes, along with matching hats, pants and booties.
- Garter stitch overalls that coordinate with booties, a scarf, a cat-shaped hat, a cat doll and a patchwork blanket.
- A pastel striped romper with two cardigans and booties.
Many of these patterns would work for boys or girls just by changing the color.
On Your Own
One complaint I have about this book is certainly not a problem for every reader, but the book does not have any instructions for knitters. Given that there are so many patterns accessible to beginners, I would have expected a little bit of guidance on the basics.
This will not at all be a problem for knitters with some good basic experience.
The patterns are for a very small range of sizes, with most patterns going up to 12 months and a couple going to 18 months. If you're knitting for lots of different babies, this isn't much of a problem, but if you're knitting for your own child, you might wish for a book that would give you patterns for a slightly larger range of sizes. But for the first year, you'll have plenty of adorable options to dress baby in handmade style.