Title: Scrumptious Toppers for Tots & Toddlers
Author: Debby Ware
Release Date: October 10th, 2008
I have admitted before that I’m not a knitter, but I have also confessed that I LOVE children’s products. I was really excited to get my hands on this book, with all its promise of cuteness overload. The image on the book should have given me a twinge of fear, though. If I would have studied it, I would have noticed the faux fleur topping the cover girl and been duly warned.
(Okay, maybe stuff from the plastic flower department of your local craft store is cute on top of a two year-old’s head. I don’t know. It’s not my cup of tea.) If I would have studied the cover image, I would also have come away with something else. The hats inside the book are bright, zesty, and full of fun. And if a toddler can’t wear a zesty chapeau, can’t nobody.
I am not familiar with Debby Ware, but Taunton’s website calls her a “children’s knits maven.” Her website displays some children’s knits that are pretty cute. She definitely has a style, and these hats fit into that style. They’re not my style, but they are pretty fun.
What I liked: Debby admits to being a designer who just jumps in and goes wherever he designs take her. I can definitely get behind that type of Auntie Mame creativity. She graciously stuck to the same types of novelty yarns for all the patterns in her book, so, as she says “buy just one skein and you’ll be set.” I love considerate designers with a mind for the every-knitter! The hats are cheery, whimsical, and fun.
Notable Patterns: I liked the clever use of novelty fur yarn to evoke shiny Christmas lights on the Glittery Holiday Hat.
The Peppermint Candy Cap is sweet (maybe I could reinterpret it in sailor blue, white, and red for my boys). Oh wait, I don’t have to, because the Circles and Dots Beret would work instead.
What I didn’t like: maybe because my tastes run more Ralph Lauren simple than Betsey Johnson crazy, there were few hats in the book that I want to make. Most of the hats have multiple colors, bobbles, zigzags and I-cord sticking out at odd places. I couldn’t really even imagine my toddler wearing any of these. (I could, however, imagine a lot of kids in my Southeast Portland kooky neighborhood wearing them!) The
Fizzle Ruffle Beanie really fizzled for me. What’s that on top of that adorable girl’s head?
The good news and the bad news: She uses similar techniques to embellish each hat, which is good if you are trying to practice a french knot, for example, but bad because it seems kind of repetitive. There seem to be some silhouettes that repeat in the book (to me, it seemed like she was trying to stretch one pattern into two or more by switching out the yarn colors). She uses some striking novelty materials (novelty feathers, for example, on the Black and White and Red All Over hat) that look awesome, but are totally impractical. Babies wearing a be-feathered hat will likely try to eat the feathers (that seems really icky) and my toddler, while not being tempted to eat the feathers, would pick all the feathers off the hat, rendering it extremely un-awesome.
This book does live up to its name: “scrumptious.” It’s frothy, billowy, and sparkly. Maybe it’s just the kind of book you need to inject some whimsy into your kiddo knitting.