Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Review: The Expectant Knitter

I'm not pregnant. (If I didn't say it right off the bat, I know you'd be wondering, and I'd get wink-wink questions in the comments. :) But if you are, or if your friend/sister/daughter/partner is, you'll want to pick up The Expectant Knitter: 30 Designs for Baby and Your Growing Family. It's like a knitter's version of What to Expect when You're Expecting. It includes patterns for baby knits, of course, but there are lots of other useful things, too.

The Expectant Knitter is organized into four parts: pre-pregnancy, and then the three trimesters. Each section contains relevant patterns as well as information about conception and pregnancy. For example, in the first part -- "Planning Ahead" -- you'll find notes on prenatal vitamins and adoption alongside a pattern for the "Take-Me-Home Swaddle Blanket" (and other stuff). I learned that breast enlargement accounts for about 2 pounds of weight gain during pregnancy (really?), and that a newborn uses about 10 diapers a day (really?!).

The patterns throughout are both precious and practical. On the one hand, there is a long, delicate christening gown knit in a blend of silk and cashmere; on the other hand, I imagine the pattern for wool diaper covers will be indispensable. In all, there are about 25 patterns for baby -- pants, tops, cardigans, dresses, socks, hats, a bib, washcloths, etc. -- but there are also a handful of patterns for other family members. (The dog-sweater pattern is followed by a page of info on introducing a new baby to one's dog.) My only complaint is that the yarns called for are generally quite fancy and expensive, but of course substitutions can be made. (Personally, I think baby duds should be machine washable, but at the same time, who wouldn't want to wear a cashmere romper?) And to top it off, the book itself is pretty.

(Psst! The author of The Expectant Knitter, Marie Connolly, is also the owner of Stitch DC, and on the shop's website you can find links to two free pdf patterns: a wee sweater (Ravelry link) and little legwarmers (Ravelry link). They're not from the book, but they're free. We like free.)

10 comments:

Seanna Lea said...

I'm with you on the machine washable baby clothes, because even more than our handknits the baby ones would need washing all the time!

When a couple of friends were expecting, my hubby and I got a book which was like a user manual (and was probably called the Baby Owner User Manual), which was really funny and full of useful tidbits (but no knitting)!

Nadia said...

I don't know anyone who's expecting, but I love a fast knit...

Katie said...

This sounds like a great book! Though, I also agree with you on the easy care for everyday baby items (I'd be okay with a silk christening gown, though). Good stuff!

Steph said...

Looks like a cute book. I'm afraid I'm already behind in the knitted diaper cover department!

Leslie said...

Thanks for the review and the links, too. I do love great baby knits.

Mia said...

Sounds like a nice book. But Mooky was saying that he would like a sibling. SO can you make something for a cat sibling?

Beth said...

Sounds like a great book - wish it had been around a few years back!

And, yes, a well-hydrated newborn really does go through 10 diapers (or more!) a day.

Veronique said...

I bought that book when I found out I was pregnant! There are a couple of patterns that I'd make for my own use, and others that would make good gifts. And the medical advice is entertaining.

Nell said...

It seems like EVERYONE in my life is pregnant. Seriously. It's out of control. So thanks for the book review. I'm gonna need it.

acai berry diet said...

LOL. people are now getting proud to be pregnant earlier. That is interesting.