If you want to knit projects that your kids might actually wear, check out the patterns in Tag You're Knit: Colorful Knits for Kids by Mary Bonnette and Jo Lynne Murchland.
The books offers 26 patterns for colorful accessories -- from a toy to bags, scarves, hats and a vest -- designed with kids' playful sensibilities in mind. If you know a kid who knits, she or he might also enjoy this book to knit projects for themselves.
The Secrets of Knitting for Kids
Tag You're Knit begins with a discussion of the basics of knitting in general and knitting for kids in particular. There's not really any how to knit instruction beyond a few pages on casting on, binding off, making I-cord and picking up stitches at the back, but there's a lot said about yarn, needles, other knitting tools and ways to embellish knitting.
The discussion of working stripes, intarsia (though the book doesn't distinguish between stranded knitting and using bobbins),charts, slip stitch color patterns and decorative edgings all directly applies to projects in the book, it's all good advice on ways you can add a littl jazz to any knitting project, for kids or older people.
There's also talk about beading knitting (both while knitting and after the fact) and using buttons and embroidery as decoration on knit fabric. Again, any of these ideas could be used on any projects to up the interest, add color and make them a bit more fun for anyone.
The book includes 26 patterns for knit accessories including hats, mittens, slippers, socks, scarves, bags, belts and more. There's a stuffed animal (a knit lion), a bolero and a vest.
There's a mix of patterns for beginners and newer knitters as well as some for intermediate knitters (and just one, a pair of cabled socks, classified as advanced).
The projects are all bright and colorful and most use easy care yarn like superwash wool or cotton. Embellishments like those mentioned above are often used to bring even more interest to the party.
Some of the patterns I like include the aforementioned cabled socks, a simple Seed Stitch and Stockinette backpack and a team colors hat that includes stripes, stranded knitting and two-color rib (as well as an optional pom-pom on top) for lots of color interest without a lot of work.
One thing that bothered me about the book, and it's probably a small complaint, is that there are all these pictures of kids in the book, but very few of them actually show the kids wearing the knit articles. A couple show the kids (in what I'm sure is supposed to be a playful way) grimacing and rolling their eyes at the knits as if, no matter how cute they are, they still don't want to wear them.
Still, the knits are cute, colorful and playful, and the projects entertaining for kid and adult knitters alike.
Publication date: September 2008.