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50 Baby Bootees to Knit Spiral-bound – September 1, 2002
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“There are only a handful of knitwear designers whose hot–off–the–press books are eagerly awaited, and Mellor is among them.” -- BOOKLIST
From the Publisher
Zoë Mellor is back—this time with a darling array of baby footwear. Featuring four main styles—cuffed (guaranteed to stay on the most restless feet), sandal, felted, and moccasin—here are designs to delight the most discerning tot—cashmere, appliqué, and cable designs, saucy animal feet, sequined shoes and beaded moccasins, patchwork slippers, and delicate lace creations. Filled with color photos as well as easy–to–follow charts, patterns, and instructions, 50 Baby Bootees to Knit is another captivating collection from this outstanding designer. Zoë Mellor’s previous books include Animal Knits, Head to Toe Knits, Double Knits, and Colorful Knits for You and Your Child.
Top customer reviews
Other reviewers have been saying that there are other errors in patterns that are not so easy to fix. I haven't gone any further into this book, but I wouldn't be surprised if this was true. I have another book (maybe even a total of 2 other books, I can't remember) by this author and the other books also have errors that you can't seem to track any professional fixes for. Her patterns are pleasing to the eye, but frustrating when they don't come out right because of pattern mistakes!
I would also agree with the opinions that there aren't 50 different bootees in this book. Knitting something with a different motif (a heart instead of a star, etc.) on the front doesn't make it a different shoe. Nor does adding 1 row to the top of a design in a different color, or attaching tassels to the front of the toe. Some of the pictures of these finished projects are somewhat blurry, too. That can be unhelpful at points when the directions become vague.
There are some positives to this book, however. Despite the error, the slip-on shoe pattern worked up very fast and was very easy to make. The pattern was also forgiving for those of us who could be better at seaming. The one downside to this particular pattern (like someone else mentioned in a review for several patterns) is that it doesn't have a whole lot to keep it on a fussy child's foot.
This could be a problem. Despite that, I like that there are really easy patterns like that for beginners, but also more complicated patterns and things like fair-isle techniques for more advanced knitters. A book with different skill levels can grow with a knitter as they pick up the new skills.
Most of the patterns are appealing, and a color change or a different button if you prefer can also improve the results from this book. With personal tweaks to projects, it makes the book just as useful to be able to use the patterns your own way. I, myself, don't care for some of the bootees (such as the jester ones with the bells, bobble shoes, or entrelac bootees) but that's just a matter of taste. Someone else may love them and disagree with me.
As cute as some of these shoes are, one additional thing that I don't like is that just about all of the patterns are only offered in one size. You can only make something in 6-9 months, or only 0-3 months, you get the idea. I guess it's great if you just like the pattern and don't care so much about a specific size. But...wouldn't it be nice to have options, especially if you do need a particular size? No luck there.
Overall, many great patterns and others that can be easily improved upon. Also, errors that may not be so simple to fix and limited sizes. If you're getting the book cheap and are willing to put up with some mistakes, this can be worth having in your closet for its potential.
To me, changing the edging design or using a pompon instead of a bell on the toe does not make it a different bootie. Also, they all use expensive yarns with no pictures to make substituting easier when the featured yarns are discontinued. Another bad thing is that if you're looking for booties that are completely done on dpns, you won't find them--they all (except for the socks, which you can adapt to the toe-up method to avoid kitchener stitch if you wish) require some sewing up.
However, that said, there are a few (and I mean few--several are commonly available designs with pricier yarn) really cute designs in the book which make it worth buying. It is also nice in that it is spiral bound so it will lie flat.
And the biggest issue I have with the book is that they never show the booties on the babies' feet. You can can only see the top of the booties, but realistically because of how babies are held in one's arms they need to look as good on the bottom as they do on the top. You really wonder how good the stiched together parts look. They have been carefully photographed so that you can't see either the bottoms or the backs, which usually indicates sloppy finishing work. And there are NO pictures on how to stitch them up properly.
Too bad the patterns aren't scaled up for grown-ups--the ones on the cover, for example, would make great Mommy-Daughter gifts. Baby booties are also a great way to use up odds and ends of yarn, especially for charity work.
[EDIT: After knitting some of these, I've noticed a few errors in the patterns. Note, I have the first printing, so this may not be an issue by the current printing. However. It is advised you take the time to read through the entire pattern, adding up stitches, so you don't end up blindly making mistakes. Due to this, I'd say the patterns are of medium to advanced difficulty.]