Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Book review - the ultimate book of baby knits

When I took the ultimate book of baby knits to my knitting group last Monday everyone wanted to have a look.  There was a lot of cooing, at the design and picture quality but also some recognised a pattern or two.

And so avid knitters and lovers of Debbie Bliss yarns may already have a few of  the  patterns from this book because it is a new bind, a compilation (as the publicity material says) of Debbie Bliss's 50 favourite patterns for babies and toddlers, taken from her last three baby knit books.

If you have read my reviews of knitting books before you will know that I like to knit up one of the patterns before reaching for my PC.  I love flicking through all sorts of craft books and this book is real eye candy, filled with gorgeous photography, yarn in the softest pastel shades and not forgetting some very pretty photogenic babies.  I have said elsewhere that one of my favourite yarns is Debbie's cashmerino and I always seem to have a fair amount of it in my stash so I went looking for a project in the book that I could make for The Little Model in cream cashmerino

This tiny detail from the instructions for a lace edge cardigan illustrates perfectly what a joy the book is to look at.  So is this trio of shoes and bootees - absolutely perfect presents for new babies, and quick to knit too. I made a pair in a day with some left over violet coloured cashmerino.

Actually my first attempt was in cafe au lait but although the tiny picot edge shoes take a very small amount of yarn,  I ran out after one shoe and four rows!   My plan is to make a pair of each of the three designs and keep them ready to send new baby presents as and when the stork delivers (these days to my daughters' friends).

As I was saying I wanted to make something for The Little Model.  I went back to the lace edge cardigan.  In my view there is no such thing as running up a quick cardigan in value yarn for every day wear.  Clothes in synthetic fibres can be bought for a bargain price just about anywhere these days, so what can be the point of spending hours knitting something if it is not a thing of beauty,  in specially nice yarn for a special occasion?   The Little Model's mother approved the choice, perfect with her party dress for the big family wedding in May.

It knitted up quickly, the instructions are well written, clear and straightforward.  I have said before, I don't like sewing up my knitting and prefer to create seams by picking up stitches or grafting so I was particularly pleased that the body was knitted all in one piece

I also departed from the instructions a little by picking up stitches and knitting the lace edge on rather than knitting it separately and sewing it up later.

It only needed the lightest blocking.  More to pull out the points of the edging than anything else

The book will be published in April by Quadrille.  It doesn't just contain patterns for cardigans and bootees - the cot blanket in sophisticated cream, apricot and grey stripes is just lovely but the little mouse to match is heart meltingly cute.  My only warning is that if you already have several of Debbie's books check that you do not have many of the patterns already - I don't and I can see myself turning back to this book again and again.

Lastly The Little Model was to have shown off the finished item but Bad Granny forgot that she was away for a few days so, as they say, here is a picture of something I made earlier (all in DB Cashmerino, knitted without a pattern)



PS - A number of lovely readers have asked questions about yarn, techniques and for more detail about some of my posts.  My blog post tomorrow will be Question TIme (or perhaps Any Answers)  so if anyone has a question please post it in the comments below and I will try and provide an answer


Anonymous said...

Gosh, it's unusual for a Debbie Bliss pattern to be all in one piece - although it doesn't bother me as I like sewing up! (yes, every other knitter I know thinks I'm mental. I'm thinking of starting a finishing service at £20-£40 depending on number of seams, zips, etc)

Debbie Bliss babies are always so gorgeous.

Caroline said...

Ooh, I'd not heard about this book. I might have to have a look for it! I absolutely love the beautiful lace-edge cardi you made, and also love using DB cashmerino. I am in awe of quite how beautifully even your stitches are...!
Gorgeous blog!

spinndiva said...

And that is the reason I have stopped buying knitting books and magazines! I hate finding out that the patterns have already been published somewhere else. Now if I were a collector and a fan of Debbie Bliss I would feel very cheated at having payed twice for the same patterns...
*angry face*

Jee said...

A great excuse to use baby cashmerino - I love the way it knits. Fortunately, I haven't got any of the other Debbie Bliss baby books (can't think why that is, actually!) so it would be a good buy for me. The little cardi is lovely.

Julies Knit Stitch Corner said...

Looks like a really good pattern book, there are some lovely ones. Julie.C

p.s. I have had a change to my web add-