The nice people at Quadrille kindly sent me some craft books to review recently, one of which was Erika Knight's Natural Nursery Knits (Quadrille publishing ltd, ISBN: 1844007073).
The book features 20 projects for babies including hats and bootees, soaker pants for real nappy users, blankets, toys and my personal favourite, the knitted papoose (pictured below). The emphasis is very much on simple designs with a definite heirloom feel, showcasing the natural yarns suggested.
The book is beautifully photographed by Kristin Perrers, making much of vintage accessories as a backdrop for the finished items, and is very reminiscent of the muted tones and soft focus of a Toast catalogue.
This is not really a book for complete beginners as it's not going to teach you to knit, but with a few basic stitches under your belt, it is easy to recreate these simple designs. I made the bonnet and bootees set for my imminent arrival in the recommended Rowan fine milk cotton (you can see the project details on my ravelry page and photos of the finished items in my last post). As the book suggested, the yarn is beautifully soft and I loved the simplicity of the garter stitch hat with scalloped cast on edge (very simple to achieve provided you can count - I, apparently, cannot, and it took a couple of attempts ripping back each time before I managed it!). The bootees have a sweet shaped sole knitted with a double thickness of yarn and a pretty detail on the toe.
(As a small footnote I did need more than the single ball of yarn stated in the instructions to make the set, using a few yards of a second ball to complete the bootees, though I must confess to not having checked my gauge before setting to work).
I'm giving away my review copy of Natural Nursery Knits, so if you'd like to be in with a chance of winning, just comment on this post by Sunday 28th March, and I'll draw a winner on the following Monday. Please be aware that blogger doesn't always provide me with email addresses for comments, so you may need to check back to see if you've won.
**the winner is ClareBears if you'd like to get in touch with your address**