Monday, May 02, 2011

Blog Tour: More Knitting in the Sun, by Kristi Porter

Just in time for warmer weather (in this hemisphere, at least): Kristi Porter has published a sequel to her lovely book Knitting In the Sun: 32 Projects for Warm Weather. Appropriately enough, it's called More Knitting in the Sun and this time it features projects for the kids in your life. Today we're a stop on the blog tour (more details about the blog tour at Wiley's blog here), so let's take a closer look at the book.

As knitters we tend to think of our craft in terms of cold weather -- knitting wool sweaters and scarves and mittens and suchlike. But Kristi Porter, who lives in the milder climate of California, has done us a great service by reminding us that there are plenty of fabulous knitted items we can wear in warmer weather, too. Her first book featured women's garments -- short-sleeved and sleeveless tops, lightweight cardigans, even a bathing suit -- and now she's turned her eye to warm weather garments for kids.

More Knitting in the Sun (Wiley 2011; MSRP $22.99, available for $15 as of the time of this writing through the link above) presents 32 patterns for boys and girls. Porter explains her goals in selecting patterns for the book:
Kids want knits that aren't too babyish, but aren't miniature versions of adult designs either. They want clothes that are comfortable and easy to wear. Kids need to run and jump and play without fussing with their clothes. But they still want things that suit their own personal style, whether they are a girly girl or a hundred percent boy.

Milo (Carol Feller)
The selections in the book are geared for warmer weather -- featuring lots of lighter-gauge yarns and cooler fibers -- but Porter points out that even if you don't live in a climate like California's, the garments can be worn in cooler weather by layering them over tees or leggings or turtlenecks. She's right; my daughter sometimes opts to wear a favorite sundress over a long-sleeved tee-shirt in cooler weather, and that makes the investment of knitting time for these adorable patterns even more appealing.

Mashenka (Faina Goberstein)

The book begins with a short introduction and then goes right into the patterns (there is a section with specific knitting skills and abbreviations at the end, along with contributor bios, but the vast majority of the book is devoted to the patterns). The pattern section begins with Accessories, and contains a beach cover-up, a lacy poncho, a beach blanket, a fishing hat (so cute & clever!), a cloche hat with bow, and a lightweight backpack-style carryall.

Huck (Kristi Porter)

Next up are bottoms, including cargo shorts, board shorts,

Kimo (Kendra Nitta)

a tiered bubble skirt, and my own peasant skirt design:

Trixie (me!)

The "Sleeveless" section features two adorable sundresses, a pleated empire-style top, a sweet tank top with lace, a racerback tank, a lace-collared top, a boy's vest, and a swing top with collar.

Pippa (Mary C. Gildersleeve)

"Short Sleeves" contains a hooded top with eyelet trim, a t-shirt with lace sleeves and inset panel, a striped baseball-style top, and a cap-sleeve top with eyelets.

Vashti (Talihta Kuomi)

"Long Sleeves" features a henley-style pullover, a top with ruffled sleeves, and a cropped pullover.

Lucy (Tabetha Hedrick)

"Cardigans" includes a very cropped shrug, a zip-front hoodie, a zip-front yoked jacket, a tie-front robe with intarsia flowers,

Satsuki (Sarah Barbour)

a cropped lace jacket, an openwork cardigan, and a short-sleeved cardigan with empire-waist shaping.

Charlie (Kristi Porter)

For my statistical fans, I counted the following:
  • one beach blanket & one beach cover-up
  • two hats
  • two skirts
  • two shorts
  • one poncho
  • one backpack/carryall
  • two sundresses
  • three cropped sweaters
  • two tank tops, plus three other sleeveless tops
  • one vest
  • four short-sleeved pullovers
  • two long-sleeved pullovers (one of the cropped tops is long-sleeved, too)
  • four cardigans/jackets, plus the remaining two cropped cardis
  • one robe

Jack (Lisa S. Rowe)

As you can see, there's a wide variety of garments, and a spectrum of styles, from boyish hoodie to lacy cardigans and dresses and skirts, to appeal to both genders and all sorts of tastes. (Moms of non-girly-girls rejoice: lots of these selections will work for your un-lacy girl, including some of the choices shown on boys which are really unisex). Sizing runs from a children's 2 through 12 (there are slight variations from pattern to pattern) and yarn weights run from aran through sportweight, with lots of DK offerings.

The photography by Stephen Simpson is lovely; I love the way he captured the models acting like real kids in the photos, running, jumping, splashing on the beach. In another thoughtful touch, each pattern is named after a character in children's books (for example, my pattern is named "Trixie" after Trixie Belden, one of my favorite teen sleuths when I was a kid). You'll find schematics, lace charts, color charts for the colorwork motifs, and one thing I think will be helpful for newer knitters: a "Skills Used" notation for each pattern, listing the skills beyond basic knit and purl that the pattern uses to help knitters gauge difficulty level.

Trixie (me)

If you're looking for some fresh ideas for your kids, I think More Knitting in the Sun is well-worth checking out. With its wide size range and its variety of good-looking garments, you're sure to find something to knit for the kids in your life -- and if you're sick of knitting your kids scarves and mittens, think about knitting them some lighterweight items that they can wear other times of the year.

The blog tour continues tomorrow with a stop at Miss Knitta's Studio....

Photos copyright 2011 by Stephen Simspon.


Barb B. said...

Well, I have me an Amazon gift cert. and I am going to have trot right over and spend it.
Don't have kids for this book... I got me a Grand Daughter... who loves dinosaurs and hockey and babysitting (i.e. put the dolly on the floor and sit on it) and is a large 2 yr. old. ALL of those would suit her. Thanks Carol! (That skirt is going right on the list too... love that!)

Mary G said...

Wonderful post .... the pictures of all the designs are just gorgeous ... really makes me long for the summer!

toni in florida said...

i went right over to amazon after reading your post a few days ago and have now in my possession both of the knitting in the sun books. love them! thanks for letting me get a look inside, so i knew that i *had* to have them. this florida knitter is looking forward to using some cotton and cotton-blends with these patterns!