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Book Review: The Expectant Knitter – 30 Designs for Baby and Your Growing Family by Marie Connolly

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The Expectant Knitter: 30 Designs for Baby and Your Growing Family by Marie Connolly is designed specifically for pregnant women. It is organized by trimester, with projects focusing on the moods and realities of each trimester. First trimester is easy necessities; second trimester includes more complex designs to take advantage of heightened energy; the third trimester is loaded with small, super-easy projects to keep you distracted through what can be a grueling three months.

Sprinkled throughout the book are pregnancy tips that have nothing to do with knitting. For example, a list of things you can do to prepare your body while trying to get pregnant, or a “weekly planner” with a list of things to remember (these are generally no-brainers like “eat a well-balanced diet” or “schedule your sonogram”). These knitting distractions seem a little silly when not in the context of knitting, because I can bet any pregnant woman has a whole library’s worth of pregnancy books. Despite this, I do like that it is geared specifically towards pregnant knitters, and takes things like hormones and physical roadblocks into account. The patterns aren’t half-bad, either.

“Christening Gown” is a lovely piece if you plan on christening your child, but you may want to start this one before you get pregnant. A solid bodice with lace skirt and trim will take a bit of focus. “Her First Party Dress” can go from day to night – a cabled yoke and faux empire waist make this pretty, modern, and prim all at the same time. The “Big Sister Sweater,” with its boatneck and modern silhouette, will remind older children that they are special too. “Big Brother Hooded Sweater” offers the same for your little man. The “Shawl Collar Sweater” is stylish, but even in the picture, the baby looks like he is being uncomfortably choked. There is even an easy, oversized, wraparound sweater to knit for yourself. The wraparound style easily adapts to your changing figure.

The best pattern is the “Baby Shower Easy Swatch Blanket.” Instead of playing silly shower games, each of your friends can knit a swatch which you can then stitch into a very special baby blanket. Experienced knitters can do seed-stitch or basket weave, or even cables, while friends with no knitting experience can learn basic garterstitch.

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