Head to Toe: Kids' Knit Accessories by Katya Frankel, pub. Cooperative Press, 2013.
I appreciate all Katya Frankel's designs. She has a way of giving classic designs interesting details and those special knitterly touches that make them fun to work up. In her books especially, her photography presents the projects an appealing way. The designs are not only cute and practical, the children enjoy wearing them.
On the front cover are Bowburn, on which overlapping ribs are simulated using increases and decreases, and Duergar, which has raglan sweater-inspired crown shaping. Rainton is a cap (with earflaps!) that can be worn inside out. But my favorite hat in this book may be Wylam. Or perhaps it's the sweet faces of the models that win me over.
I love the way the ribs start and stop on this hat, the way they merge at the top. This pattern comes in 5 sizes and 2 yarn weights. The hat sizing is generous in this book, with 4 or 5 sizes provided for most patterns (one has only 3).
Even most of the cowl patterns are sized with 2 or 3 sizes. The scarves do not have different lengths, but the hand coverings are all given in 3 - 5 sizes and the socks in 4 or 5 sizes.
The Neck Things chapter contains many appealing accessories. Not pictured here are: Tyne Green, with cables on a stockinette (instead of the more usual reverse stockinette) ground; Mallard, a shaped cowl; and Milefortlet, a scarf which mimics regularly spaced forts along a checkered landscape.
It was difficult to choose a hand covering design to feature here. They all seem to fit perfectly and each design has a little something special. I chose Cheviot Hills because its textural portrayal of that area of England works so well with the Mirasol yarn.
The foot coverings are similarly strong and simple, but in this case my choice was easy: Breamish has a straightforward construction and a top-notch photo. But her other designs are lovely as well, especially Cannonfire and Pegwhistle.
It's clear I admire the patterns, but what else is there in this book? The "Things to Know" chapter mostly contains solid but commonly known information. Exceptions are noted below.
Katya provides an ease table for hats, socks, and gloves or mittens. She says socks should be knit with 0 - 1/2 " positive ease. I usually use 90% of the full measurement as my target circumference (in other words, negative ease), but I do knit the foot a bit longer than its measurement. There are also helpful tables correlating age to approximate hand and foot circumference---helpful for those of us knitting for children who live far away. A final table lists foot length based on shoe size.
She also describes a stretchy bind-off and tells how to weave in ends. This is useful information that is not widely found.
I recommend Head to Toe as a wonderful resource for anyone who knits for children.
Disclosure: Kangath received a review copy of this book from the publisher. No other compensation was provided. The opinions expressed in all Kangath's reviews are her own.
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