Erudite Mondays at HalfSoled Boots
Volume 1, Number 4
Boho Baby Knits
The book is cute. Really cute. I mean, seriously, this?
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 way...you 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.