Vintage knitting patterns are a lot of fun, but it’s not always fun to update those patterns for modern yarns and current design sensibilities. Hadley Fierlinger, baby knitwear designer and owner of Shescrafty Knits, offers up 25 patterns inspired by the looks of knitting patterns of old in Vintage Knits for Modern Babies.
The projects bring a classic, vintage appeal to more modern, relatively easy designs you’ll love to knit for all the little ones in your life.
Knitting for Baby
Fierlinger says she was inspired to learn to knit, and to design knit garments for babies, because of a collection of passed-down knit garments a friend used when she had a child. These days Fierlinger shares her passion for the knitting looks of old with knitwear designs that keep a modern flair.
The book begins with an introduction to knitting for babies, discussing the best sorts of yarns to be used and how to care for knit garments to ensure they’ll be around and looking great to pass on to the next generation. But the bulk of the book is devoted to the 25 patterns.
Vintage Knits for Modern Babies has patterns for caps, booties, cardigans, pullovers, toys, blankets, jackets and more. Six of the patterns are rated for beginning knitters, eight for beginner/intermediate, three for intermediate, seven intermediate/experienced and one for experienced knitters.
Most of the patterns are modeled by girls and knit in colors more suited to girls, but that doesn’t mean the project couldn’t be made for boys (though some of them are strictly girl terrain).
Most of the patterns that come in different sizes offer three choices; depending on the pattern they might range from 0 to 3 months up to 3 years.
Fierlinger’s style is similar to Debbie Bliss (and she uses a fair bit of Bliss’ yarn, too): often relatively simple shapes with nice design details like eyelets on a sweater, cables on a bootie or Seed Stitch borders on an otherwise simple Stockinette coat.
Some of my favorite patterns in the book are the Matinee Jacket, the one project in the book rated for experienced knitters, it’s a pretty little jacket with Seed Stitch detailing on the yoke; the Angora Bolero, truly a classic little girl pattern; the Modern Baby Bonnet, worked in a wool-silk-cashmere blend mostly in Moss Stitch; the super-easy Apron Dress with pockets for wee toys; and the Double-Breasted Car Coat; the aforementioned Stockinette coat with Seed Stitch borders.
The projects in Vintage Knits for Modern Babies are really cute, useful, luxurious projects that you’ll enjoy knitting and giving to the little ones in your life. If you make them for your children or grandchildren and see to it that they’re cared for well, they may just become the next generation of heirlooms passed down to inspire another future knitter to take up the craft and a love for the vintage style.