Knitting for Baby

Baby wearing knitted sweater

Knitting for baby boys and girls is fun and a great way to create a personal homemade gift. You have countless patterns and colors from which to choose. Because of the garments' small sizes, knitted projects can also be completed fairly quickly.

Choosing Yarn

While you can use just about any type of yarn when knitting a baby item, your best bet would be to stick to something that is colorful and soft against baby's skin. Those include:

  • Sock weight: Also called fingering, baby weight or superfine yarn, it is used to make smaller items such as socks and clothes or toys for babies. Its UK equivalent is three-ply yarn. Use needles size zero to four with this weight of yarn.
  • DK weight: This double knitting yarn is also called fine or sport weight and is perfect for knitting baby items. Its British equivalent is eight-ply. It can be used to knit larger items such as baby blankets, but works just as well on smaller items such as toys, bonnets or bibs. Do not use if you are knitting a baby garment that will be worn outside in cold weather, as the yarn is not thick enough for outerwear. Needle sizes three to six are generally used with this yarn.
  • Worsted weight: This is generally used only for larger baby afghans or throws. This yarn, which in the UK is known as 10-ply yarn, is heavier and not as soft as lighter-weight yarn. Needles sizes five to seven are used with this yarn.

Some styles of yarn used to make baby items include:

  • Lion Baby Soft is a lightweight, acrylic blend used for creating baby outfits and blankets. It combines softness with 25 popular baby colors, so it's just right for many projects.
  • Bernat Softee Baby Yarn is great for layettes and other baby apparel. It comes in traditional baby colors and color blends.

Not all yarn used in knitting baby items can be machine washed or dried, so check with the manufacturer before laundering. However, since the items are likely to get soiled, it may be wise to stick to yarn that can be easily washed.

Finding a Pattern

Not sure what to make first? Many of the tried and true knitted baby layettes and accessories from years ago are still popular today. Adding some flare, such as ribbons, cute buttons or other embellishments, can help spruce up or modernize a pattern. Some of the more common knitted baby items include:

  • Beanies or bonnets
  • Mittens
  • Blankets
  • Booties or socks
  • Sweaters
  • Jumpers
  • Pants
  • Dolls or animals
  • Bibs

Getting started may be the hardest part. If you are a novice knitter, items such as bibs, booties or beanies may be the easiest to do. Once you become comfortable using the finer yarn and knitting smaller items, you can probably take on larger projects such as baby blankets, sweaters or toys. The Internet is filled with patterns -- both free and ones you can purchase -- for these and many other baby items. Some of the most popular pattern sites are:

  • Bev's Baby, Newborn, Toddler Patterns has an array of free baby knitting patterns available in preemie and newborn sizes. Items include christening gowns, layette sets and onesies.
  • Yarn Lover's Room has adorable patterns for infant coats, bonnets, bibs and more. Many of the patterns are vintage and instructions on how to convert them to crochet are included.
  • Jimmy Beans Wool has free patterns for fun baby and veggie rattles. You can also purchase organic wool and yarn from the company to make the toys.
  • Knitting on the Net has a cute baby sweater pattern that allows to create the entire item as one piece. No sewing of the sleeves needed!

Knitting for Baby Resources

Some popular books with simple baby knitting patterns include:

Knitting for Baby