One of the greatest parts of my job is getting to fill my grabby-hands with new knitting books. I love books pretty much across the board, but knitting books are special. There’s just something about a brand new untapped wealth of stitch patterns, color charts, construction techniques, and shaping options that makes me feel all tingly with potential. So when Kate Oates kindly offered us a copy of her fabulous new book, Knits for Boys, I was all over it.
Plus, my friends keep having baby boys, and frankly, the universal scale of cute knits for baby girls vs. baby boys is woefully out of balance.
Kate Oates, the fiber wizard behind Tot Toppers, outdid herself with this book. It was so refreshing to see patterns that were actually designed with real little boys in mind! Every pattern in it thoughtfully considered how it would really be worn, and not just how it would look in photographs. I think the Library Cardigan and the Long John Pjs are my favorites. Seriously guys, knit pajamas.
I could stop right here and you would be more than justified to run out right now to get a copy of “Knits for Boys.” But there’s more. Many of the patterns are designed with grow-with-me elements that allow for maximum wearability. The Library Cardigan is shown in the book on models who are five and seven years old. They are pictured wearing the same sweater. The design elements allow it to keep on fitting for years.
Look, we all have to knit for kids. Friends tell me they’re having a baby and in the back of my mind I start thinking:
Great. I’ll have to make that little nugget a sweater since I made so-and-so’s baby a sweater and I don’t want to seem unfair. I’ll spend 20+ hours knitting something that will fit the kid for about 20 days.
Don’t get me wrong. I love my friends and their kids, and I love being able to give them a special hand-made piece. I just don’t enjoy making sweaters that get worn once since kids grow so fast. “Knits for Boys” has an entire section with tips and tricks for making hand-knits fit as long as possible. Frankly, it’s totally changed the way I look at knitting for kids.
Speaking of knitting for kids, I had to take the patterns for a test drive right away.
I had some Mountain Meadow Wool on hand in Fern, which seemed just right for a little boy’s hat. It’s intended for a good friend’s baby boy, but Gambit was eyeing it so hard that I had to let him wear it. The hat will still find it’s way out to the little one, but the Great Gambino will miss it. ;)
It bothers me how good my cat is at Blue Steel.