Do you want to skip on shopping for baby clothes and knit them instead? Feeling confident enough to take on a knitting project? Not only does this allow you to have full control of the clothes your baby actually needs, but you also get to use your creativity in making each piece unique.
As you embark on your knitting journey for your baby, one of the most important things you need to consider is the type of yarn to use. Not all yarns are created equal, and some are definitely better suited for baby clothes than others.
How to Choose the Best Yarn for Knitting Baby Clothes
If you’ve never knitted before, having so many yarn options to choose from can be daunting. From the different materials to the wide range of colours and weights, how are you supposed to know which one is the best for your project? Here are a few things you should keep in mind when choosing yarn for your baby’s clothes:
Premium Yarn Fibre
Fluffy fibres like mohair, and angora, may appear cosy, but when it comes to finding the best yarn for baby garments, they aren’t a good option. Shredded fibres, on the other hand, can be easily swallowed and may irritate the baby’s sensitive skin. It’s also a good idea to avoid single-ply or ‘singles’ yarns in any fibre because they’re less durable and more likely to shed.
You should therefore opt for a silky soft baby wool yarn that creates nothing but a comfortable, fine and soft touch against the skin. Wool is naturally hypoallergenic, insulating, moisture wicking and repellent, odour resistant, stain resistant, self-cleaning, and biodegradable. Let’s just say that lambs know how to dress, which is why we recommend it for your young lamb as well.
In addition, baby wool is very famous for its temperature regulating properties. Babies struggle to maintain their temperature until they are around 18 months old, especially if they are premature or have a low birth weight. This is due to the size of their skin’s surface area in comparison to their body weight. If these babies are not kept bundled properly, they can quickly lose body heat.
In colder weather, wool acts as an insulator by trapping warm air adjacent to the skin and producing the ideal microenvironment for heat retention. Whereas, when the weather is hot, it works as a cooling barrier by wicking perspiration away.
When a wool yarn becomes wet some of the lanolin transforms into lanolin soap, which helps keep the fabric clean. When you combine this with its self-cleaning properties, you can see why baby wools don’t stink and smell great for a long time.
Besides wool, other top choices for baby knits and crochet projects include acrylic, cotton, and bamboo. Whatever you pick, make sure that it’s soft, soft, soft. You can visit your local yarn store to squish the yarn and feel its softness in person. If you’re not sure what to get, seek baby yarn companies that have been created with children in mind.
Yarn Weight & Tension
The weight of the yarn you choose for your baby knitting and crochet projects is very important since it must withstand the demands of a wriggly newborn. The heavier weight yarns such as aran and chunky can be too constraining for a tiny newborn, therefore you should stick to lighter 4ply and DK yarns. Many baby yarns are only available in these weights, making it much easier to choose!
However, when the baby gets a little older, these heavier yarns will be great for caps, winter jackets, and short-sleeved items to layer up on cold days, so if you notice any deals, consider grabbing them for future projects. They’re also wonderful for producing blankets, which would take much longer with a sewing machine.
On the other hand, a swatch is the greatest way to ensure that your chosen yarn is perfect. It’s tempting to skip this step when you’re ready to get started on a new project, but checking your knitting or crochet tension is worthwhile.
By ensuring that your fabric matches the tension specified in the pattern, you can ensure that the end product is the correct size. When knitting or crocheting for babies, you’re working on a small scale, so even a few centimetres might add up.
Ease of Maintenance
Because new parents don’t have much free time, easy-care knits are essential for everyday use. Before purchasing yarn, inspect the ball band for the sign indicating machine washability. Many yarns, particularly acrylic ones, can be tumble dried for added ease.
Keep in mind that machine washable does not have to mean acrylic- there are now many fantastic superwash types of wool and other easy-care natural fibre blends available as well.
The days of bland, some would say boring; pastels for baby yarns are long gone. There’s a large selection now, from subtle neutrals to eye-catching bright. Don’t be hesitant to choose a bright colour scheme, but keep in mind that bright colours might be unflattering on babies. Make pale knits more practical by knitting the cuffs and collar in a darker contrast colour that hides stains and spills.
For those who want to forgo the typical blue for a boy and pink for a girl, there are many unisex alternatives to choose from, including orange, green, and purple. How about modern monochromatic, primary colours from the past, or rainbow tones? Don’t be afraid to experiment with different shades on a colour wheel.
Extra-Fine Baby Yarns – Our Top Picks
If you’re looking for a good place to start, check out this list of our the top-notch, extra-fine baby yarns that are sure to result in beautiful, delicate garments:
Bellissimo 5ply Merino Extra-Fine
Bellissimo 5ply merino extra-fine yarn is a versatile sport weight yarn that may be used for a variety of knitting and crochet projects. It is ideal for baby blankets and clothes since it is soft, machine-washable, and has a pleasant texture.
This gorgeous yarn’s extra-fine merino wool is sourced from Tasmania and processed, spun, and dyed in Italy. Bellissimo wool is processed with pure melted snow from the Italian Alps. The factory is almost halfway up the mountain. When the operation is completed, the water flows down and is used to irrigate the Arborio rice-growing region near Novara.
Bellissimo Linden is the ideal combination of two excellent fibres: extra fine merino and cotton. This combination gives this 10ply worsted weight yarn the best of both worlds, giving warmth from the wool and coolness and structure from the cotton. It’s not too hot or too cold, meaning it’s perfect for the Aussie climate.
Because wool and cotton absorb dye differently, the two fibres have very slightly different colours, giving your items a wonderful heathered impression. Linden is also machined washable, making it ideal for baby and children’s clothing. It would also work well for any 10ply pattern, such as jumpers, cardigans, shawls, blankets, and more.
Alpaca Yarns Baby Brushed Alpaca 14ply
Indiecita Baby Brushed Alpaca is a lovely and squishy 14ply / bulky weight yarn. It knits up quickly and is luxurious, soft, and fluffy, making it ideal for quick tasks and beginning knitters.
The acrylic is applied to assist projects to maintain their form and appearance. This yarn is ideal for the most luxurious blankets, shawls, and wraps, as well as fantastically soft sweaters.