Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Vintage Knits for Modern Babies

This book would make a spectacular gift for any knitter who loves creating beautiful, unique garments for children. It truly is the gift that keeps on giving!

Author Hadley Fierlinger offers this introduction: "Most of us knit for babies today because we want to, not because we have to. We knit for them, as our grandmothers did, for the love of it. We knit because nothing else can give us the same soothing texture and emotion as a garment created by hand. While we sit and knit, our hopes and dreams are wrapped in every stitch." For me, this really sums up what knitting means to me and serves as the perfect opener for this book.

And oh, what patterns! These are beautiful, simple affairs that were inspired by vintage patterns. The finished garments have a look of grace about them, thanks to their simplicity. Twenty-five patterns are presented, from booties and bonnets, to sweaters and jackets. Each one is representative of classic knits. You almost get the sense that you are recreating heirlooms - but with better yarn!

No matter your experience, you will most definitely find items that are a good match for your skill level. No guesswork is needed as each pattern is indicated with one of three skill levels, or a blend of two levels. Beginners can start off with the Organic Heirloom Blanket or Tiny Trousers, moving onto Cabled Booties as they gain confidence. Experienced knitters will no doubt want to try their hand at the oh-so-sweet Ballet Blossom Cardigan or impressive Double-Breasted Car Coat (wow!). I think everyone should knit up a few pair of Wee Mittens, as they are just too irresistible to pass up!

As soon as I started leafing through the book, I just knew my first project would be the Ruby Slippers. These are small ballet type slippers with a cross strap right over the top of the foot, secured by a button. They are dainty and just all-together perfect. The instructions were easy to follow, and I had the right slipper knitted in no time (ahem, one episode's worth of Glee!) at all. I was very pleased to find my slipper had turned out just like the photo in the book.

If you are a knitter of baby items, or know someone who is, I urge you to take a look at this book. Definitely visit Hadley Fierlinger's Flickr account to check out a great bunch of photos. These should give a good sense of what the book offers and if it would be a good fit for you and your needles. Personally, I love it!

P.S. You may also want to take a peek at Hadley's blog - She's Crafty. She offers free patterns ....

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