When I knit my first baby sweater for Hunter I didn’t know very much about knitting for babies. It was a yellow February Baby Sweater (pattern by EZ) and it was a fabulous bright yellow. I brought it to knit night to show it off and a woman told me I shouldn’t have knit yellow, it looks terrible on babies and brings out their jaundice…it was a bit crushing.
Since then Emily and I have produced four little ones between us and while that woman was wrong (all my littles look just fine in yellow, and anyone can wear any colour they want) Em and I have learned a thing or two about knitting for babies. Here are our words of wisdom!
1. Size Up
Just knit one tiny sweater. One sweater that will fit them in those first days when you show your babe off to everyone. Then knit everything 1 size bigger than you think. Projects don’t always get finished in the timely fashion you intend and babies grow, just knit the size up and you’ll be fine.
2. Long Cuffs for Mittens
This one is more for toddlers but knit the cuffs long. Really long. They need to go almost to the elbow so that the mitten stays on that tiny little hand, and keeps cold and snow from getting at them.
3. Short Sleeved Sweaters are Awesome
Babies are all about the layers. They need their little arms free to flail about and they are always wearing a onesie under everything. Short sleeved sweaters keep their little bodies warm and their arms free, it is a great match.
4. Superwash Wool is Perfect
Babies can wear wool (yes, a select few will have an actual allergy, but I’m talking general rule here). People were ALWAYS telling me babies can’t wear wool or I needed acrylic for washability. I don’t. I don’t even need superwash (although if I’m gifting I do go with superwash), I hand wash little things all the time and it doesn’t take forever and it is fine.
5. Babies can wear Pullovers… Don’t be a Wuss
Need I say more? It just takes 3 seconds to get it over their squirmy heads and then it’s over. Don’t be a wuss.
6. Newborn heads really are that small… and baby heads really are that big 3 months later!
Don’t knit newborn hats for summer babies…
7. Back neck shaping is not needed on a baby sweater!!!
They simply don’t have necks. You know that they will have necks eventually but as you can see…the really little ones just don’t.
8. Wool sweaters are absorptive… perfect for drooly and barfy babies!
They soak up all the nasty stuff! Wool has antibacterial properties so you are good to go!
So go forth an knit for babies…and keep your eyes peeled for some new wee knits from TCK…coming soon!
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Favourite baby knits from TCK: