Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Crochet and Knitting for Baby

Knitting handmade clothing, toys, and blankets for baby is rewarding and fun!  Here are some tips for choosing patterns and yarn for successful baby projects such as these I found on Ravelry:

Yarn for Babies
Anything to be worn next to baby’s skin must be soft and washable.  Yarn manufacturers now produce a wide variety of washable wools, cotton, and acrylic. There are also new rayon blends made from bamboo and microfiber polyesters that feel like natural fibers.  Wool is excellent for babies, as it does not cling to odors and allows air to circulate near baby’s skin.  Cotton is cool and absorbent for summertime clothing.  Blends of two or more fibers offer the best qualities of each fiber.

Fingering or baby weight yarn is the best choice for socks and undergarments.  Use sport or DK weight for booties, hats, mittens, and sweaters.  Blankets and coats can be made from worsted and bulky weight yarns.  Be sure to knit at a tension that makes the fabric firm, but not too stiff. Little arms and legs need to be free to move.  For baby toys, use a tighter tension so stuffing will not escape from between stitches

Patterns for Babies
When choosing a pattern, first look at the stitches used.  Baby items should not have large open spaces where a foot or hand could poke through.  Simple lace patterns with small spaces are good for knitted or crocheted baby items.  Bobbles and other textured details are attractive, but be sure bobbles, buttons, or toggles are not in places that will be uncomfortable for baby while he or she is in a car seat, stroller, or bed. Avoid details that might get pulled off: Pompoms and tassels must be securely sewn to the item.

Always knit a swatch to be sure the yarn, stitch pattern, and needles or hook are producing a pleasing fabric.  If the swatch seems too light or heavy, pick a different pattern or yarn. You may also use the swatch to try different colors and discover pleasing combinations for stripes and color patterns.
Choose patterns with diagrams so you can measure your work as you go and be sure you are knitting or crocheting true to the size you want.  Good designers give you enough information to know how a sleeve is shaped or how long a sweater back should be.

Finishing Touches for Babies
Items with more than one piece should be sewn securely. Loose threads must be woven in carefully.  Babies have been known to get threads from socks wrapped around their tiny toes--very painful!  All fasteners must be sewn well to make them hard to remove. 

Toys should include embroidered details rather than buttons that can be bitten off by a determined child.  A crochet style called amigurumi is good for toys. It uses very tight crochet stitches to make sturdy small toys with wonderful detail.

Enjoy knitting handmade items for babies and young children.

References:

All About Ami, http://www.allaboutami.com
Ravelry, http://www.ravelry.com/