Nature’s Gifts for Baby is the first crochet book by Sara Leighton of Illuminate Crochet. She has always made adorable crochet patterns and now a terrific set of them is curated in this title by Leisure Arts. There are two things that make this crochet book unique. The first is that each pattern is inspired by nature. The second is that each pattern is a set with one pattern for a blanket and a second pattern for a matching hat. These make absolutely adorable gifts for babies.
Every detail seems to be covered in this short crochet book. Each pattern set includes a detailed shopping list, written instructions, photo for some of the details of more advanced stitches, and drawings and diagrams for further instruction. There are not symbol charts in this book, which is fine because they aren’t necessary. And there are charts where they are necessary, such as in the Seedling Blanket (bottom right in the photo above) which uses a graph to create the images in each block. Each crochet pattern comes with instructions for two hat sizes (newborn – 6 months and 6 months – 1 year); the instructions are written in different colors to show the different sizes, which is always appreciated for easy pattern reading.
I love the way that nature has inspired the pieces in ways that are both obvious and subtle. There are flowers and foxes and clouds, but there are also more abstract starry skies (top left in the photo above) and color inspirations from sunrises and rain clouds. Each blanket is worked in a unique stitch, often one that you may find you’ve wanted to work for awhile and hadn’t gotten around to (or one that’s an old favorite). The shell waves of the Water Lilies Set (bottom left above) is a great example of a pretty stitch pattern that you’ll want to use again and again, whether you choose to cover it with the water lilies or not. Felted Button notes that she appreciates that these are mostly easy patterns for advanced beginner crafters, patterns that are designed to work up easily, and yet they incorporate different techniques including appliqués and slip stitch surface crochet.
The hats are also varied. The draw their color inspiration from the blankets and then add some cuteness in the details. While some are simple striped baby hats, there is also the textured crocodile stitch of the coniferous hat (top right above) and the foxy ears (on the cover) so that the hats aren’t an afterthought to the blanket but rather an important part of the crochet set.
At the end of the book, we learn a little bit more about the author. She shares her first experience receiving crochet. She shares what she loves about the craft. We learn how nature inspired this work. And we learn what she does when she’s not crocheting. It’s a thorough bio, which is something that I appreciate, as I always like to know more about the person behind any design.
See many more photos of the patterns in this book on Amazon!