Monday, January 14, 2008

Could you just DIE?

Erudite Mondays at HalfSoled Boots
Volume 1, Number 4

Boho Baby Knits
The book is cute. Really cute. I mean, seriously, this?

is adorable.

There are a lot of choices in here, especially for a fairly new knitter who is game to experiment with techniques (there are lace stitches, some shaping, lots of colourwork both stranded and intarsia). A few years ago, when all my friends were filling up their playpens with children, I would have got a whole lot of use out of this book...the designs have that touch of Different, which I love.

This is the Poet Coat

which is great in theory, though you'd need to know your recipient - and his mother - if you planned to make it for a boy. I would imagine you'd get a blank look and a bright smile from most people.

The designs are loaded with bright, saturated colours. Knitting for kids is great that can deck them out like Tiffany lamps and nobody bats an eye. (Not that eye-batting should be considered a deterrent if you, yourself want to wear flamboyant and remarkable colours.) Thankfully, most of the garments are for toddlers rather than older children - I find that as they age some children tend to become a bit self-conscious about their clothes. I figure we should jam them into as many luminous, screaming jumpers as possible before that phase hits.

I love this:

And these wings have potential:

But my favourite designs from the whole book are the legwarmers. They are given in two colours - khaki, shown above, and pink:

I would like to make the legwarmers immediately, but I don't think I have the yarn or a suitable recipient. Practicality is everything around here these days, and the realist within me says none of the children of my acquaintance will wear them. But I know of two women who are expecting babies (though only one of them is, technically, a friend of mine), and another who is likely to have another in the next year or two. So I think I'll hunt down some scraps of sock yarn and make this, instead.

I do take issue with one aspect of the book. There is one design whose introduction states something like "natural moms know that woollen soakers are a must to prevent cloth diapers from leaking", but the photo shows two babies in woollen soakers and hats, REACHING FOR BOTTLES. This brings me to the last thing I want to mention.

The book is marketed as for "bohemian babies", but it's a Starbucks kind of bohemian - not a Montmartre, Soho, Bloomsbury Group kind of bohemian (despite the presence of a design named "Bloomsbury Nursing Shawl"). It'll cost you a pretty penny to make some of these designs, too. The purist within me raises a cynical eyebrow at the idea of a shiny, glossy $35 book - full of babies in privileged surroundings, clad in $120 garments - being called "Boho". It seems a misnomer....but then, I guess "artistic licence" was arguably the whole point of Bohemianism.

Anyway, I don't think I'll descend into an ideological debate with poor Kat Coyle, whose lovely book has some quite nice designs for children. I am noticing within myself a tendency to overcomplicate things lately.


Gena said...

It's a beautiful book, and I adore so many of the patterns. But I have to agree on the "bohemian" aspect. I think the editors took it as "children in slightly funky, off-kilter and non-traditional baby clothes = bohemian." At least that's the vibe I got from it. That being said, I'd love to dress my (distant future) children in half the things seen in that book!

Jo said...

Willow! She would love legwarmers! This is a kid who wears a Tinkerbell dance costume and tutu around the house and pretends her slippers are ballet slippers :)

lizbon said...

I want that poet coat. For me. The rest is too sugary for my taste, but then I have a low tolerance for that kind of stuff.

And I agree that there's something offputting about expensive bohemian wear.

kate said...

the photography is amazing in it, no? I'm with Lizbon, that poet coat is very nice.

Ian said...

I COULD die over those legwarmers--they are gorgeous! I think every girl child alive would want a set of those. Do you give knitting classes?

Ian said...

The above comment was not from Ian--it was me, Stephanie. I'm pretty sure Ian could not die over the leg warmers despite how cute they are. He probably could die over having his name attached to that comment though.

Shan said...

Oh man Stephanie, I'm laughing so hard right now.

Ames said...

Just so you know, in keeping with her Freedom-From-Fashion style, your eldest niece has a hankering for leg warmers.