Lately I’m seeing tons of knitting for little ones. Since we’re approaching that time of year that seems perfect for babies, I thought it was about time to offer up some new and different baby projects. Since there are a wealth of absolutely adorable baby patterns out there, I decided to add to the challenge and only find FREE patterns for all of you (your welcome!) Also, when I make yarn recommendations throughout this post, I’ll only be mentioning yarns that can be put in the washing machine. In some cases one may need to lay them flat to dry, so check the care instructions. Given that no reasonable parent of a baby can be expected to wash anything by hand, I’m only making lovely and practical yarn recommendations.
Before I splash into new patterns, don’t forget about some favorite patterns at Wool & Grace. The Little Coffee Bean Cardigan is a favorite among our instructors and knitters. Not only does it introduce you to seamless, top-dow sweater construction, but you can modify it to make it striped or solid as it suits you! We love this sweater knit up in Sueno Worsted, Madeline Tosh Vintage, Spud & Chloe Sweater or Simpliworsted, to name a few.
Beloved Aran is an all-time favorite hat project at Wool & Grace. Many of us end up making it for ourselves, but it is sized for everyone from babies to adults, and it is darling for the little ones. Use a heavy worsted-weight yarn like all of the ones I mentioned above.
Diving into some less familiar projects, I have to start with a pointy hat. I think it’s amusing and unspeakably cute to make little kids look like elves, and a little pointy hat like Gabriela Widmer-Hanke’s Troll hat. I made this for my son year’s ago and it is one of my favorite hats I made for him. With his fat cheeks and dark eyes he looked like a little doll. This hat is easy to knit, with a garter stitch border and simple shaping throughout. Its gauge calls for an aran-weight yarn, so try anything like HiKoo’s SimpliWorsted or Cascade 128.
Have some fun and make a matching sweater to go with your adorable Troll, and make the Seamless Baby Hooded Pullover by Maggie Van Buiten. This project has a gauge identical to that of Troll (16 stitches over 4”) so once again, check out SimpliWorsted and Cascade 128 for this easy layering piece. This will be a fun and engaging knit, but simple, also. Knitters will start off with a provisional cast-on at the neckline (which is a great learning technique). You’ll knit the sweater with typical top-down seamless construction, and then pick up the stitches from the provisional cast-on to knit the hood.
Noble Thread has a number of adorable baby patterns, and free ones at that. I particularly love French Macaroon. This simple pullover is knit in all garter stitch with a little color-blocking and simple construction. There’s a lot of room for creativity (and cuteness) in this simple-to-knit project. French Macaroon calls for a DK-weight yarn at 22 stitches over 4”. HiKoo’s Simplicity is a very straightforward choice. Also take a look at Euro Baby’s Criative DK or HiKoo’s Sueno. Cotton is a great choice for this project, so check out Blue Sky’s Skinny Cotton!
A little wrap sweater for babies is an iconic look. We all love these little seaters which are easy to layer over a onesie, and give off a pure-baby vibe. Check out Joji Locatelli’s version called the Garter Stitch Baby Kimono. She uses a fingering-weight yarn to knit up this classic piece. Use a beautiful (and washable) hand-dyed yarn like Baah’s La Jolla or Tosh Merino Light. Also check out HiKoo’s Cobasi for solid colors or look at some of our super fun sock yarns for this adorable little project.
For cute overload, check out the Perfect Newborn Baby Socks by Tabitha Gandee. I swear that I start squeaking when I talk about these tiny socks. If you’re an aspiring sock knitter, this is a pretty good place to start because you can bang out some socks with a fraction of the yardage as you can with adult-sized socks. Gandee’s pattern has options for cables or ribbing on the socks. These teeny-tiny little socks are worked top down with a German Twisted Cast-On. This is another great technique to learn, and learning on a pair of itty-bitty socks is once again fabulous because 1) you don’t have to cast on too many stitches and 2) you get more practice when you have to do the second sock. I’ve been a little flip about the German Twisted Cast-On over the years, and I’m happy to report that I now see the error of my ways. It’s a fun and fiddly cast-on that is incredibly practical. Grab some fingering-weight yarn from your stash or pick from any of these wonderful sock yarns (click the link!).
One last project for you is the Professor Sweater. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who thinks it’s super-cute to dress kids up as old men, and the Professor Sweater lets you do just that. This shawl-collar cardigan comes with optional stripes and elbow patches, further enhancing cuteness. This project calls for a dk-weight or light-worsted yarn at 20 stitches over 4”, so give Sueno Worsted, Spud & Chloe Sweater or Madeline Tosh Vintage.
Babies are coming – they always are! Whether you’re wanting to knit something now for a specific little one, or you just want to have baby projects ready for when one happens to pop out, we hope you came across some new ideas here for your wee-one knitting. As always, we have tons more ideas and samples at Wool & Grace, so don’t hesitate to stop by for more ideas and inspiration!