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Book Review: Natural Knits For Babies & Toddlers by Tina Barrett

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Natural Knits for Babies & Toddlers by Tina Barrett is a collection of over two dozen knitting patterns. All the patterns are knit with all-natural, chemical free fibers: cotton, alpaca, wool, soy silk, hemp, corn fiber, and bamboo. Barrett advocates all-natural fibers (as opposed to acrylics and polyesters) as being easier on your child’s delicate skin (just so long as your kid isn’t allergic to wool or corn) and free of chemicals. The sweet patterns in this book definitely make the most of these sophisticated fibers.

“Wool Baby Nest” looks like a flour sack for babies. Dense lace pattern, picot edging, and whimsical button details make this cute as opposed to utilitarian. “Cotton Pram Blanket” is a simple chevron striped blanket with enormous coordinated pompoms at the edge. “Cotton Dog Toy” is teddy bear-style, but looks more like a bunny in a striped sweater. “Alpaca Cardigan, Hat, and Bootees” is a simple matching set embellished with crocheted flowers. “Corn Fiber Sleep Sack” has a diamond-weave pattern and blue trim. It looks kind of like a nightgown with a drawstring at the bottom so you can snug up your kid.

“Corn Fiber Striped Rompers” are sweetly nautical, with thin stripes against a white background. I foresee those white sections getting really dirty, really fast. “Alpaca Moo Hat and Mittens” is an adorable take on the now-standard teddy bear hat – it’s a cow, complete with spots. “Alpaca Comfort Blankies” must be a baby thing – I don’t get it. A little blankie with the knit head of a sheep dead center. Half-toy, half blankie.

For toddlers, we have the “Corn Fiber Lace Pajamas” – a sweet little two-piece pajama set with lace trim that I would wear myself. “Corn Fiber Hooded Gilet” is a zip-front, short-sleeved hoodie. “Hemp Swing Dress and Trousers” is a totally adorable set. A pink cross-front top and pink and green striped leggings. “Wool Cable Jumper” is a rainbow pullover sweater with exposed seams. Instructions for a matching earflap hat included. “Hemp T-Shirt and Combat Pants” appear to be adorable, but just don’t fit the baby model well. The neckline is a high-crew – almost mock-turtleneck. The raglan sleeves open along the seams with buttons on one side. The pants are like baby cargo pants. In all, an odd pairing.

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