What could be more precious than a newborn baby wrapped up in a beautiful, thick, squishy hand-knit blanket? I don’t hold onto many of my kid’s old articles of clothing, but all of the baby sweaters I knit are carefully tucked away in a cedar trunk. Those beauties not only hold so many sweet memories, they are sure to become family heirlooms.
1. Think soft. Choose soft yarns when knitting for a baby. It’s best to use washable wools and cottons.
2. Think convenience. Choose knitting patterns for babies that have generous neck openings. Babies hate having tops pulled over their heads, so a large opening makes dressing them much easier.
3. Think safety. Adding buttons to sweaters you make for babies certainly adds convenience, but it’s best to use buttons that have shanks instead of flat buttons, and be sure to attach the button securely.
4. Think growth. Babies seem to grow in the blink of an eye. Knit your gift one size larger than the baby needs.
5. Think alternatively. Knits for babies don’t necessarily have to mean sweaters. Try blankets, hats, booties or a diaper cover (pattern below).
A Green Guide To Bringing Up Your Baby by Claire Gillman adds:
“If your child’s skin is sensitive to ordinary sheep’s wool, your knitter could use merino wool, cotton, silk, or cashmere, and knitting patterns using fine stitches, such as stockinette or lace, rather than highly textured ones.”
Because knitting projects for babies are small, it’s easy to get creative and try out a new stitch without a huge commitment of time or money. I like the idea of making a knitted diaper cover for a gift. Use it to cover a cloth diaper, which is both good for the planet and comfy for baby.
Knitted Diaper Cover
Note: This diaper cover pattern was inspired and adapted from a book of patterns from 1932. The designer updated the pattern and suggests using yarn that does not stretch too much. The pattern fits a 15-30 lb. baby.
# 5 needles
# 3 dpns optional for leg cuff
Worsted weight wool or cotton
Cast on 52 stitches.
Rows 1-8: K2, P2 rib
Optional drawstring row: For an eyelet row – K2,yo, P2tog
K2, P2 for 16-18 more inches.
K2, P2 for 8 more rows.
Stitch up the sides leaving a hole on each side for baby’s legs.
Cuffs: (optional) You can add cuffs using #3 needles if desired by picking up stitches around the leg holes. The number of stitches needs to be divisible by 4 -knit a K2, P2 rib. Make sure you have enough stitches or the cuffs will be too tight.