When Harding, a British knitting designer became pregnant she naturally enough began thinking about babies, not only how to raise them but wanting to keep them in as natural an environment as possible. This collection of twenty-one patterns, all created from organically grown, pesticide and dye free cotton or woolen yarns is the result of her efforts. In addition to the usual baby hats, booties, mittens and sweaters, there are some nice designs for Mom too.
The patterns begin with a simple boat neck “Bump Sweater” that incorporates some belly shaping to provide ample “bump” coverage along with pretty side lace panels that can be let out as the baby grows. The “Cot Blanket” and matching pillow cover is assembled from simple blocks that would be a real treasure if each block was made by a family member or friend. The directions don’t call for it but for a nice, personal touch have each knitter add their initials to their block as they are knitting it.
Most of the baby sweaters include a very handy buttoned shoulder so pulling them on and off over baby’s head is not such a struggle. The “Jasmine Lace Edge Cardigan” features knit lace panels for a sweet, feminine touch while the “Harvey Kimono” creates an asymmetrical feel with its overlapping fronts. The “Milan Jacket” knit from worsted weight cotton makes stylish use of textured sleeves and finger friendly toggle buttons for little hands to manage on their own.
Particularly nice is the “Queen of Hearts Nursing Sweater” with its innovative buttoned front panels that allow Mom to discretely take care of baby’s needs. The panels are such an integral part of the sweater design that most people will never guess they have a utilitarian purpose. The “Cable Nursing Sweater” uses much the same idea although the panel placements and buttons are more obvious.