Now that I’m just about half way through my pregnancy, I’ve really kicked the baby-knitting and sewing into gear.
I was trying not to get too carried away at first, after all, the first three months are bit of a nail-biting time in some ways, and I felt I didn’t want to jinx it somehow by making lots of things for the baby. After we had the first scan, I felt that I could really start to indulge the urge to make all the things for the baby - and that’s what I have been doing these last few weeks.
I’ve found some great free patterns and yarns since I’ve started making, and I wanted to share them with you incase you’re looking for inspiration when it comes to knitting and sewing for babies.
So here are some great patterns and yarns that I’d recommend - all free:
Pros - So many! Great, classic design, easy instructions and they are a great way to use up scraps.
Cons - Nothing! I literally don’t have a bad word to say about this pattern except that I’ve had requests that the pattern goes up to larger sizes.
I’ve made dozens and dozens of these boots over the last few years, and they’ve been a favourite of mine. I’ve made them for friends and family when they’ve had new babies, and I’ve even sold a few pairs on my Etsy shop. They’ve always proved to be a big hit and as well as being a great way to keep your baby’s toes toasty, they look so cute and are pretty straight forward to make.
The pattern is my Marianna Mel, who designs some lovely baby patterns. Most of them are free, and they are all very good quality. These boots are made using DK yarn on straight needles, and I like using a contrasting colour for the cuff.
The instructions are very clear and I think any confident beginner could give these boots a good go. If I just had one pattern to recommend, it would be this one.
Pros - The pattern includes three different versions of hem, some of which can add a couple of extra centimetres of growing room.
Cons - I’ve found it comes up a little small.
This is another pattern I’ve made for friends and family in the past, and I always love how it turns out. The little ears are so sweet and never fail to make me laugh. I say they look like cat ears, but they probably look more like hippo’s!
The pattern recommends a worsted yarn, but I’ve also used an aran yarn a couple of times, and that’s worked out really well too. Baby’s heads can be such different sizes when they are young, and they can always grow into a slightly larger hat.
There’s a practical feature in this pattern that makes it handy for a growing baby, and that’s the rolled hem. I like including this, as it lets you roll the hem up or down, giving a bit more growing room for the baby.
The pattern instructions are clear, and the grafted section at the top makes for a seamless feel. The only piece of advice I’d give, is that it came up a little smaller than I expected. Just something to bear in mind.
Pros - It's a simple design, allowing you to show off a favourite yarn, or use up scraps as stripes.
Cons - There's one slightly unclear portion of the pattern, which is easily rectified with a third needle.
This is the second appearance of a Marianna Mel pattern, which shows just how much I enjoy using them.
I thought this pattern would be a versatile addition to my baby’s wardrobe. January is my due date and we all know how cold it can be at that time of year - I don’t want to have a shortage of warm layers!
The pattern features simple garter and stocking stitch sections and is worked flat, with seams down the sleeves and sides, and a square neckline. It’s a fairly straight forward pattern, there’s just one minor area that I felt could have done with a bit more explanation. At first, I didn’t realise that when you CO for the neckline, you ideally need a third needle - when I read through a few project notes from other people on Ravelry, it became a bit more clear.
Pros - There are so many variations and different options!
Cons - I have found the length of the legs to be a bit too long.
Leggings are always useful - I’m living in them myself right now! I thought it only fitting that I make a pair for my baby too. This patten is a really simple, but sweet, and available in lots of different sizes and leg-lengths.
I have a full review of the fabric and pattern coming up in a few months on the Minerva Crafts website - so stay tuned…
Pros - A cute and modern design that takes up very little fabric.
Cons - Make sure you don’t choose a very flimsy jersey, otherwise the knot at the top will be too heavy and will flop around too much.
A winter baby is going to need lots of hats, so as well as knitting some, I’ve been sewing a few in jersey too. I love the top-knot styles that you see in a lot of shops at the moment, so when I saw this pattern I had to give it a try. I know you can buy these hats in every baby shop, however, they need so little fabric that it’s a very cost effective way to use my scraps!
The best jersey I’ve worked with on this pattern is a mid-weight. Too thin and the top knot won’t stay upright, and too heavy and the seams become too bulky. The seams themselves are all enclosed, as I used a serger, but you could use a zig zag stitch just as easily.
My Favourite Yarns
When I’m knitting something for a baby, I want the yearn to be soft, durable and washable. Those are the essential criteria that will ensure the garment is worn more than once. After all, what’s the point in spending so long knitting something beautiful, if it barely gets any wear?
I have tried out a few yarns, and my favourite basics are below:
Drops Big Merino - If a baby pattern calls for an aran yarn, this is always my go-to. It is very soft and smooth, washes well and is very affordable. (I used this yarn while I was making the Sea Monkey Hat above.)
Sublime Baby Cashmere Merino Silk - This is super smooth and almost has a shine in some colours. It washes very well and is my favourite DK yarn to work with if I need a solid colour. (I used this yarn when i was making the Hug Boots above.)
Rico Baby Dream DK - Although this yarn has some acrylic content in it, I love using it for baby knits. It’s the softest, most buttery yarn you can imagine and I love the design the different colours create. (I used this yarn in the Chay Sweater above.)
As I’m still only halfway through my pregnancy, I have a lot of knitting left to do and I’ll make sure I do another round up of my favourite pattern, yarns and fabrics at a later date too. Let me know in the comments sections if you have any recommendations!