Debbie Bliss' Essential Knits for Kids: 20 Fresh, New Looks for Children Two to Five, is another great example of why Bliss has so many fans. Her patterns are relatively simple and classic looking, using just a few basic stitch patterns and lovely colors, showing even the busiest of moms (and other family members) that it doesn't take much more effort to knit for preschoolers than it does to knit for infants.
If you have a two- to five-year-old in your midst, you're sure to love these patterns for sweaters, blankets, bags and more that both boys and girls can use.
Much like her book Essential Baby, Essential Knits for Kids begins with a nice section on the skills you need to complete the patterns as well as other information such as how to choose yarn and care for finished products.
It then moves on to 20 patterns arranged into three different sections: down time, special time and time out. Projects range from cozy sweaters to pillows and a blanket to lounge under while watching TV, fancier jackets, a dress and a tie, and projects for leaving the house, including warm, bulky sweaters and coats and cute satchel.
Of the projects that are gender specific, nine are for girls and seven are for boys. There are no skill levels on the projects, but most are good for advanced beginners.
Some of my favorites include the rag doll, with cute little dress and striped stockings knit on the legs; the girly fair isle jacket; a simple, long-sleeved polo shirt for boys; the classic cardigan, which could really work for a girl or a boy depending on button placement; and the cute seed stitch satchel, perfect for holding school work or a child's latest obsession.
The patterns are straightforward, well illustrated and easy to follow. All use Debbie Bliss yarn, of course, but can easily be worked with whatever yarn you might have available.
These patterns are sure to become staples in your knitting inventory if you have kids of this age to knit for or want to be able to give knit gifts to older kids.
The classic designs and stitch patterns mean if you're knitting for your own child you can probably get away with knitting the same pattern more than once in different sizes and colors, keeping your child happily in handknits for a long time to come.
Publication date: September 2008.