A few weeks ago, I received a review copy from Running Press of a new knitting book out called What to Knit When You’re Expecting: Simple Mittens, Blankets, Hats & Sweaters for Baby. The book retails for $20 US/ $23 Canadian. It is written by Nikki Van De Car who explains in the introduction that she developed many of the designs while she was expecting her daughter, and then later, she developed more as friends and family members also had babies. The 30 patterns in the book are items the author feels are wearable, pieces that you will pull out over and over again for your baby to wear and for you both to enjoy. This does not necessarily mean there are only practical designs in the book. For example, one project includes an adorable little tutu-style skirt.
In fact, that word…”adorable”….pretty much describes every single project in this book! Of course, what is not to love when it comes to tiny sweaters, baby bloomers, and little booties? The projects are organized by trimester so that projects that take more time (like baby afghans) can be started early on and finished in plenty of time for the baby. The second trimester section has more gender specific patterns (like the tutu mentioned) because by then you might know if you are having a boy or girl. Finally, the third trimester section has the smaller and simpler project in it.
I have really enjoyed browsing through the patterns, mainly because the photographs are so nice. Each pattern has at least one photograph of the entire finished piece (sometimes more than one) as well as close ups so you can see details, such as the lace-like trim on a pair of bloomers. While there are a few challenging projects in the book, there are also plenty of burp clothes, hats, and afghans that are a little less involved as far as knitting skills.
The front matter of the book does have some basics on knitting, but I would not expect anyone to learn how to knit using just these few pages, even though they do have instructions and illustrations. However, there is a handy size chart and some other general information that is helpful. One note on the yarn - she does not use any acrylic. Now some will cheer at this and some will gasp, but her reasoning is that for her the washing isn’t that big of a deal (she explains how she does it for her baby’s hand-knits), and she gets the benefit or working with yarn that feels great and also feels good on her baby’s skin. Of course, for those who want super easy wash and wear, I see no reason why all of these patterns could not be made with acrylic.
Before I end, I have to do the math as usual. Okay, so a $20 book (which of course is cheaper on Amazon if you check out my links above) and 30 projects means .67 a project. If you enjoy knitting baby items or if you have wanted to start, this is a bargain book with very wearable and cute (even adorable) patterns that I can’t see any knitter not enjoying and using regularly.