Thursday, December 5, 2013

Comfort Knitting & Crochet: Babies & Toddlers

While 8 months pregnant, I picked up the book Comfort Knitting & Crochet: Babies & Toddlers: More than 50 Knit and Crochet Designs Using Berroco's Comfort and Vintage Yarns by Norah Gaughan and the Berroco Design Team from my local library.  I've been knitting and crocheting for my little one for the past 7.5 months (ever since the positive pregnancy test result), and now that my baby boy is almost here I don't have much time for much more crafting, but I have years of his childhood to craft for.  This means that I need to start queueing patterns!

When I picked up the book, I was immediately excited by the title.  I want the things that I make for my baby to be functional, comfortable and COMFORTING in addition to being fun to make.  I love knitting books that have book ends, this makes it really easy to mark patterns.  This book has over 50 patterns that are split pretty evenly into knit (26) and crochet (21).  Now this number from the TOC doesn't quite add up to 50, so I have to assume that some of these patterns include multiple variations.

My favorite Knitting Patterns

  • Orangelo Bib - A darling segmented bib that looks like an orange slice.  It is a simple, easy project, but the name makes it oh-so-delightful.  
  • Smocked Cardigan - The smocking is done with embroidery at the end, but it adds a very beautiful element to a simple stockinette cardigan that would work for a little boy or a little girl. 
  • Brattenberg Blanket - It looks like there are cables running diagonally up this blanket, but apparently this is deceptive because it is created with shifting ribbing.  
  • Solaria Blanket - A round blanket with cables that radiate out from the center like rays of sunshine.  
  • Bertie Bird - I'm a sucker for knit toys!  I love how ripple stitches define the feathers at the end of the wings and tail.  

My Favorite Crochet Patterns

  • Cleire Cardigan - Darling crocheted cables and bobbles create a delightful cardigan.  It may be above my skill level, but I think it looks both vintage and modern at the same time.  (It reminds me of the fisherman's afghan my paternal grandmother made for my parents.)  
  • Snowflake Blanket - Crochet hexagons are assembled together in a way like I've never seen before.  I may be a novice crocheter, but this is something I am dying to sink my hook into.  It feels much more modern than a granny square afghan.  
  • Slice Cap - Crocheted in two different ways, options for a visor with or without ripples.  
  • High Fidoodlity Blanket - Thick and thin waves of crochet give this a modern feel.  I think I would love this as a scarf, but I'm not sure if I have the skill to make it or not.  (I haven't looked closely at the pattern, this is just based on looking at the pattern itself.)  

This is not a book that would teach you how to knit, but then again I have come to think that "how to knit" and "how to crochet" sections waste pages in pattern books.  Some special techniques are defined in the back of the book, but you may need to go to YouTube or a "how to" book if you are a novice fiber crafter.  

Overall I am very excited by this book.  There are many patterns that I didn't mention, but as you can see from the ones I highlighted there are MANY that I loved.  It may even be worth adding this book to my personal library!  My only complaint is that I wish there were difficulty levels clearly indicated for each pattern.  It is hard to know whether some of the crochet patterns are well beyond my ability level or not.