Book Review

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  Monkeysuits: Sweaters & More to Knit for Kids
by Sharon Turner
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I wish there had been more books like this when I was growing up. Instead of receiving scratchy, tight-fitting handknit sweaters from well-intending relatives, I could've actually enjoyed my winter garments.

You may already be familiar with Sharon Turner's Monkeysuits designs, which she has been producing for a while now. At long last, she has compiled some of her most memorable patterns into this book.

Monkey Business Indeed

The Monkeysuits style reflects a certain mischief and sense of humor that is totally appropriate for children's clothing. Many of her patterns could easily have been worn by characters from children's books.

Yet beneath the charm and originality, her patterns are still functional. Some of her garments look similar in style to those of Jil Eaton, who designs under the Minnowknits label.

Under the Covers

The comfortable-sized softbound book contains 24 patterns with fun titles like Tweedy Pie, Vested Interests, and Get Shorty. Many of the patterns include some form of matching hat. You'll find all sorts of cardigans, jackets, overalls, vests, and booties.

Patterns are clearly laid out, with large schematics and an easily legible font. There are ample photographs of each garment, which I appreciate. There's nothing more frustrating than trying to follow a pattern and not being able to look at a photo for help.

Turner covers every skill level with equal design finesse. The bulk of the patterns are easy to intermediate.


Turner appears to be a free agent in the yarn department, with no blatant allegiances to one manufacturer. Her patterns call for the likes of Jo Sharp, Filatura di Crosa, Dale of Norway, Crystal Palace, Classic Elite, Muench, and Rowan.

One pattern calls for Alice Starmore Scottish Heather yarn, which hasn't been available for a while now. Jamieson & Smith Shetland wool is a fine substitute.

Surprise Bonus

Not until my third pass through the book did I realize that Turner also includes adult sizes for several of the patterns. My dream come true! This is a marvelous extra, and I hope more designers will follow suit.

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