by Jane Davis. (Scroll down if you just want to see what’s in the book.) Billed as a book of “irresistible and classic designs for babies” and aimed at the confident beginner, it appears upon casual inspection to hit the mark. It includes a ‘how-to’ section at the beginning, consisting of directions for specialty stitches and verbiage used in the patterns, conversion charts for US and European crochet terminology, another one for converting between US and metric hook sizes, a baby sizing chart, and two pages on choosing (or substituting) the right yarn. It contains a good mix of blankets, toys, clothing items and accessories, ranging from the very simple (a basic ball) to the more complex (a long sleeved, footed sleeper with puppies on the toes).
Annoyances: leaving aside the designs that I simply didn’t like, at times the names are painfully unoriginal. There is a sense that the effort of naming them couldn’t be mustered. Over the course of the book we go from ‘Dainty Slippers’ to ‘Matching Booties’ to ‘Booties.’ Something else that bothered me was the giant pictures of props that took up space that could have been used to expand pattern directions that were slightly more abbreviated than I like them. Still, ‘Simple’ is what was advertised, and simple is what you get. What could be more basic (and useful) than a onesie or a t-shirt? The sundress and long-sleeved ‘Soft-As-A-Cloud Dress’ have clean lines that make them practical and straightforward.
Why you should pick up the book – frankly, despite its failings there is a good ratio of cute designs in here. Some are downright amazing – the Winter Wonderland Cabled Sweater, for instance (pictured below) introduces the crocheter to chain-stitch embroidery, (a technique I’m now going to try) which can produce cable-like embellishments without the use of post stitches. The Wild Rose Blanket (also pictured below) is simply beautiful, and the Wooly Lamb and Turtle are adorable. These four designs alone justify to me the purchase of the book. Especially if you bought it 50% off like I did…
Once you’ve bought the book, you’re sure to return to it sometime for patterns like the aforementioned Soft-As-A-Cloud Dress, the Acorn Hat, or the Tumbling Blocks Blanket (pretty darn cool in its own right).
A word of caution before the show and tell – I haven’t had the chance to make anything out of this book yet, so I looked up the reviews on Amazon. About half of the people (who had used it) gave glowing reviews, and the other half complained bitterly about typos, errors, faulty schematics and confusing directions. It might be a good idea to have a long sit with it to see if you understand the author’s style of pattern writing, or better yet borrow it from someone before you commit to it. For the price, though, if you like what you see you might as well get it. My verdict? It was a good buy.
This book contains 28 patterns. Let me break it down for you (click on pictures to see larger; click on selected patterns to see a picture):
- Sun Hat
- Acorn Hat
- Rascal Hat
- Winter Wonderland Cable Hat
- Wild Rose Blanket
- Basic Blanket
- Tumbling Blocks Blanket
- Heirloom Blanket
- Baby’s First Ball
- Orange Slice Ball
- Wooly Lamb
Leg or Leg+Body Coverings
- Buttercup Footies
- Puppy Footed Onesie
- Hooded Baby Lounger
- Playful Overalls
Sweaters and Jackets
- Dusty Rose Sweater
- Winter Wonderland Cable Sweater
- Hooded Jacket with Frog Closure
- Pretty in Pink Sundress
- Cool Cotton Sundress
- Soft-As-A-Cloud Dress
- Dainty Slippers
- Matching Booties
- Little Boy Blue Onesie
- Striped T-Shirt
- Bargello Pillow
What a cute lamb and turtle! I’ll have to take a look at it myself, my interest is piqued.
As for those who complained about it (there are ALWAYS that type) keep in mind that a high percentage of the complaints are the result of human error (of the one doing the complaining). 😉
Yeah that turtle is quite cute!
Do you think there will be a sequel? Complex Crochet for Babies Who Cry Too Much? 😉
Thank you very much for all of that great information! I really appreciate it!