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Book Review: Scrumptious Toppers for Tots and Toddlers by Debby Ware

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Scrumptious Toppers for Tots & Toddlers by Debby Ware is a collection of 30 patterns for knit hats for kids. I’ve got to say, these patterns are over-the-top ridiculous. Maybe it is because I don’t have kids, but I just don’t believe in dressing little kids in obnoxious outfits. Just because your child cannot speak up doesn’t automatically mean she consents to being dressed in hats adorned with flowers bigger than her head. Your baby already relies on you to wipe his ass – don’t humiliate him further.

Ware’s patterns range from just-this-side-of-cloyingly-adorable to out-and-out insanity. Riots of colors, mish-mashes of patterns, and a smattering of bobbles and trim all fight for attention. When your kid grows up and sees pictures of himself in one of these hats, he will hate you for it. I can see only two ways you could get away with putting these hats on your kids. One would be on Halloween, because anything goes on Halloween. The other would be if your kid could wear the hat ironically. But if your toddler understood irony, this would be an entirely different conversation.

Let’s take a look at some of these patterns – maybe one will fit your needs. The “Glitter and Glow Beanie” has a sprout of metallic novelty yarn on top, tied with a big ribbon. “Birthday Cupcake Cap” is almost-adorable: it looks like a cupcake, complete with candle, but sadly it is more of a vague resemblance. “Baby Beastie Beanie” is actually-adorable: a different take on the popular bunny/kitty ear hats, this one features pointy ears that stick up rather than out. “Newborn Beanie” features two main colors, a handful of accent colors to add bobbles, and a swirly crown. “The Greenie Beanie” ties at the top, forming what is almost a “paper bag” effect. I had to actually read the pattern description before I realized the ties on top were supposed to be flowers.

“Rainbow Sack Hat” is a swirl of red, yellow, blue, and green. The crown is left open, and just cinched shut with an I-cord. “Baby Chick Cap” looks like a giant cloud of yellowish mold is settling in to your baby’s brain. “Halloween Hat” is much cuter – a knit jack-o-lantern for your baby’s head. “Glittery Holiday Hat” straddles the line of cute and obnoxious, basically turning your kid’s head into a Christmas tree. I have no idea what is going on with the “Tea Garden Hat” – it’s like that aforementioned mold turned into a tumor. “Holly Holiday Hat” lets your child be beneath mistletoe wherever he goes. Your relatives will thank you for that one. “Black and White and Red All Over” looks like the child’s head exploded: bands of mix-n-match red and black patterns lead to an explosion of black and white feathers. “Crystal Party Hat” is actually pretty cute – a knit version of the traditional party hat, done up in pastels and shimmering novelty yarn.

The last chapter of hats, called “Humdingers” basically sums it up. Each hat has a different combination of most or all of the crazed styles throughout the rest of the book. We are talking a multitude of colors (scarcely a pattern is shown in less than five colors), swirls, bobbles, pompoms, novelty yarn, embroidery, flowers, patterns, and more. All in all, these hats are just too busy.

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About Alyse

  • “When your kid grows up and sees pictures of himself in one of these hats, he will hate you for it.” Good rule of thumb!

    Thanks for the laugh-out-loud review (um, not that I make a habit of reading knitting book reviews I don’t edit), and for the reminder that it’s never too early to at least try teaching irony to your kid.

  • Holy Cow Alyse Wax! You certainly were pretty rough with your review of my latest knitting book! Where is your sense of humor?!? You may want to relax a bit and appreciate the fact that some knitters enjoy creating wild and witty items for babies.

  • I thought I had a sense of humor about it. There is nothing wrong with crazy accessories – I just don’t know if baby’s have the panache to pull it off. No hard feelings 😉

  • I just stumbled on this review and I know I am a little late to the party but I agree with you. I don’t understand why people put so much time and energy into knitting silly baby clothes made out of low quality acrylics. My wife and I built a business around hand-knitted baby clothing and we used pure organic cotton yarns… and none of these silly designs. We heaped on loads of cute but we were turned off by the silly designs others use.