Book Review: Kids-A Knitters Dozen coedited by Rick Mondragon and Elaine Rowley

Brightly striped raglans, softly feminine violet festooned vests and playful color block designs; these are sweaters kids will love. Most are easy enough for the beginning knitter to tackle successfully yet innovative enough to piqué the interest of the more experienced. What child wouldn’t enjoy the whimsical Pockets for Two with its striped sleeves and built in glove pockets? The girl’s version uses primary colors to their best advantage in the sleeve stripes and gloves with multicolored fingers while the boy’s version takes on an entirely different look done in red, black and white with cottontail bunnies on each mittened pocket.

Colorful Combs illustrates how effective color usage turns even a simple design into something stunning. Six colors are used but only two are used at any given time and there are no floats to speak of, this design is accessible to the most novice knitter. The Celebration Pullover takes the classic kids sweater and turns it into a miniature billboard. Using clever, button-on interchangeable panels the child can chose different themes including a bespectacled sun, jack-o-lantern, Christmas tree and more. Eight panel patterns are included to get you started, for a truly personal touch have the recipient draw up some designs they like and use those for the panels.

Little extras like Treasure Pocket Socks, a Jester Metamorphosis hat and three Sun Spot pieces round out the collection. A comprehensive techniques section in the back will assist with any unfamiliar stitches and even shows a way of attaching I-cord while knitting it. An entire page is given explaining the best way of installing a zipper in knitwear so the rippling effect is mitigated and that information alone is worth the price of the book. Yarn substitution, needle/hook sizes and a sizing chart are included keeping guesswork to a minimum while assuring that the sweater you labored so hard on will actually fit the intended recipient.

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