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Monday, 14 March 2011

The Ultimate Book of Baby Knits by Debbie Bliss

Having brought up two children of her own, Debbie is all too aware of the practical aspects of designing for babies and children. The Ultimate Book of Baby Knits is a charming collection of practical, yet beautiful, hand-knit garments, toys and other nursery essentials that will delight every new parent and their baby. To make up this compendium, Debbie Bliss has selected her 50 favourite projects from her three most recent books (Blankets Bears and Bootees, Simply Baby, and Essential Baby) to provide a core collection not just for newborn babies but also for toddlers up until the age of two years. Catering to all your baby's knitwear needs, this collection includes everything from the quintessential baby blankets, teddy bears and bootees through to a hooded wrap, snug duffel coat and felted slippers. All 50 projects are knitted in beautiful, classic yarns that are not only soft and gentle against a young skin, but are also low-maintenance in that they are easy to wash and care for, to ensure that baby is kept wonderfully snug and cosseted right through its first stages in life. The Ultimate Book of Baby Knits is the perfect project book for anyone struggling to find smart contemporary knitwear designs for their baby or toddler.

This is the second Debbie Bliss book I have reviewed and I am equally impressed by this one as the first book I reviewed.

The patterns included in this book have been selected from three past books by Debbie; Simply Baby; Essential Baby and Blankets; and Bears and Bootees, and therefore fans of Debbie Bliss may already have many of these patterns.

I really like the set up of Debbie's books; easy instructions, simple layout and beautiful photographs. The book starts with an introduction by Debbie, explaining her love of designing baby items and also the importance of choosing the right yarn when knitting for newborns. There next follows a great knitting basics section where the types of yarns are detailed in greater detail (although the list includes only Debbie Bliss branded yarn, which can work out rather expensive), basic garment care and then the main proportion of this chapter is on techniques, which I have found very useful. I can knit but I found following the instructions in this section on the techniques a good refresher, as well as encouraging me to try techniques I have yet to master, including cabling.

The remainder of the book is filled with patterns: cardigans; blankets; toys; booties; dresses and shawls are to name just a few of the projects included. The patterns are written concisely and clearly and all are accompanied by beautiful photographs of the finished items. Each pattern begins with the finished size, the materials required, the recommended tension and any abbreviations specific to the pattern.

I would recommend this book to both new and advanced knitters, the patterns include something for all levels of knitter. It would make a perfect gift for a nanny to be, a mum to be with time on her hands or to be a new addition to a knitters library of patterns.

Thank you to Quadrille Publishers for sending me the book to review.

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