Book Review: Vintage Knits for Modern Babies

A couple of weeks ago I was browsing the shelves in my local library, when I came across this little book, Vintage Knits for Modern Babies by Hadley Fierlinger.

I was immediately drawn to the little rabbit in the top corner, the pattern Nana's Bunnies in the book. The Nana in question knitted these little cuties for all her grandchildren, and when they were old enough she then taught the grand kids to knit the bunnies themselves.

The reason the bunny caught my eye was his similarity to this happy chappy.

This is Stripey, won in a fete in France by the boyfriend many years ago. A firm favourite with the boy, I thought some other little kids could do with a special little bunny friend of their own.

The pattern for the bunnies is super simple, uses up only tiny amounts of 4ply and, as the pattern says, can be knitted up in an evening. I've churned out a handful of them already, and they are now a firm favourite on my baby knitting list.

As I had the book out on loan I thought I might as well try some of the other patterns as well, they are mostly for DK weight yarn and I decided to use up the two skeins of Malabrigo Silky Merino, I 'borrowed' a couple of months back. The result is some very luxurious baby knits.

The purple hat is Modern Baby Bonnet and the red Vintage Pixie Cap. Both patterns were really clear and very easy to follow. My only issue with the patterns was with attaching the bands at the bottom. The patterns for both give instruction to knit a separate band, and then sew it on. This seemed a bit of a fiddle to me, so instead I picked up stitches along where the bands was to go, cast on a couple of extra stitches to accommodate the buttonhole, and knitted six rows of rib. It seems to have worked out fine, and saved me much dreaded sewing up!

As you can see I had enough left over for a matching pairs of baby slipper for each hat, using the Ruby Slippers pattern. No changes to this one, as it didn't need any. Also, there was so much yarn left that I was able to whip up (well I've nearly finished the second) these hats - using the Layette Cap pattern as a guide. I changed the pattern to be knit in the round, and did the first in stocking stitch rather than garter.

All in all, I love this book. It is beautifully laid out, with gorgeous pictures which makes me want to knit all of the patterns. The premise of a modern twist on vintage designs always appeals to me, and these are simple and well designed. I'd be very tempted to buy the book, but as it seems that I am the only person who has borrowed this book in three years, I could just consider the library as an extension of my own collection! Now I just need to wait for my expectant friends to have their babies, and hope that at least some of them have girls.

In other news now the builders have finally finished digging holes in my garden and generally making a mess, I'm starting to get things back in shape and growing again ... one pot and two plants at a time.


  1. Just caught up with blog after return from hols. Love this baby book - will have to see if Monmouth library is as discerning as your local one!


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