A few of my knitting friends recently got together to make a baby gift for a mutual friend who is expecting. Our first thought was to make a blanket, as there were 6 of us contributing, but dealing with gauge issues just to give mom another baby blanket seemed like more of a hassle than a blanket was worth. In the end, we settled on creating a soft play-book.
The play book turned out to be a great idea. Everyone made a roughly 8-inch square out of machine-washable yarn of any color using any stitch pattern. The 'pages' were then sewn to a garter stitch 'binding' (with one ridge of garter binding per page) to create the book. And because my friend M could not resist, she added safety eyes and ties to make it look like the 'Monster Book of Monsters' from Harry Potter.
The best part of this project was that the contributed squares were so different. My friend J added pockets to her square and filled them with sea creatures (above). Another friend did an intarsia square. My square was a boring knit-purl design that turned out too big. But in the end, the jumble of colors, sizes, and designs just made this book a better toy.
The mom-to-be loved it. While the baby won't be playing with this book for a little while, I expect that it will amuse someone in the meantime; you're never to old to enjoy a non-lethal copy of 'The Monster Book of Monsters'.