Monday, May 16, 2016

Jean reviews Wee Garter Stitch, Must Have Knits for Modern Babies & Toddlers by Vickie Howell

Vickie Howell is a favorite knitting teacher, well known for her craft books and her delightful charm. Here, in Wee Garter Stitch, Must Have Knits for Modern Babies & Toddlers, she presents garter stitch 28 different ways, all for babies. Vickie learned this stitch when she was expecting her son. It is a simple stitch, but can be translated into all sorts of different looks. As the author explains in her introduction, "When paired with crisp palettes or watery pools of color and simple shapes, garter stitch's clean ridges and textural bumps create a truly modern-looking piece. Nurture the stitch with advanced skills like short rows, stranded colorwork, or lace motifs, and that simple stitch evolves into something unexpected."

The projects in this book are endearing and adorable. Each one of the creations offers garter stitch as part of the design. No worries if you are a newbie, there is a nice section at the end of the book with a lot of techniques demonstrated. As with the projects, they are very well photographed and clearly explained. This isn't entirely a beginner's book, more for a knitter who is bit familiar with the territory, however the reader who is motivated should give it a try and/or save it for later, as it is so darn cute.  

The author's personality shines in her comments, which the reader will note on the little tags on some of the pages. Here is an example: "Oh neon and neutral! We heart you!"
Well, after seeing that cardi, if I didn't before, I do now! 

The projects, which feature baby models, range from blankets, to socks, to cardigans, to hats, to the most awesome mini moccasins ("Mini Mocs") I have ever seen. That one is categorized "easy" (one up from "beginner") and offers a template for the front embellishment. 

It is astonishing what the reader will be motivated to accomplish after paging through Wee Garter Stitch, Must Have Knits for Modern Babies & Toddlers.  Do you have a baby diva in the family? Check out the "Gaga Glam Cloche", precious and sassy, with a felt applique you'll be gluing on to finish it.
Do you have a rambunctious baby who dislikes getting dressed to go out? Try the "Poncho Pal". Complete with a peaked hood, it is easy to throw over baby's clothes when you two need to race out the door. As the author says, "a good poncho is a parent's best friend".  She's right! And this one is unisex and as cute as a button.

One other project I found especially clever is the "Horseplay Zebra Mat". Fresh and zingy in zebra stripes knit from a chenille-like yarn, it is one of the projects in the "easy" category, and it makes a great gift or a present for your own baby. It is an animal shaped, striped mat (complete with ears)  any baby would love to play on when visiting friends or at home.   

Although there is only one project categorized as "beginner", the ones which are "easy" are about equal in number to "intermediate" and there is only one "advanced" I noted. That one is designed for a toddler, so you can practice to your heart's content on the simpler ones and wait a bit for baby to grow before you tackle it. 

Everything in Wee Garter Stitch, Must Have Knits for Modern Babies & Toddlers by Vickie Howell is wonderfully inventive and appealing. What a great way to anticipate a new addition to your family, or to a friend's family--making something super sweet and beautifully designed from this book!

Here are the kind of knitting needles best used for the projects in this book--aren't they cool? These particular ones are for the bib!


Robbie said...

patterns are adorable...just too bad they grow out of these so fast!

Eileen The Artful Crafter said...

Vickie is awesome and that is the most adorable cover photo I've seen in a long time.