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So cute! Knitting for Kids

Mar 27, 2013

When I first started knitting garments, I did a lot of knitting for children. I learned complex knitting techniques, stitch patterns, and garment construction from knitting sweaters on a small scale. And the resulting product was so darling! What fun.

Dax's Jacket by Katie Himmelberg
Whirligig Shrug by Stefanie Japel
The kids I knitted for are now teenagers, but their moms still treasure the little knitted sweaters. Whether you're a beginning knitter or an advanced knitter, knitting for kids is really gratifying. Here's some information about planning your project and choosing yarn for kids' knitting:

Little Knits

Planning and knitting a sweater for a child in your life is a pleasure. Creating something special for a loved one is a benefit, and there are others as well. Children's garments are small projects that are quickly finished, and knitting them allows you to sample new yarns and tackle techniques you may have been hesitant to try in an adult-size garment.

Beyond the Pink and Blue
Color is the one thing about which even a small child may have a strong opinion. When planning for a child, choose three colors that you think will make a great sweater and have the child pick one. Older children will simply tell you if they like purple but hate yellow; listen to them. Don't spend hours knitting a gold sweater that will stay in a drawer because you didn't want to knit it in fuchsia.

If the child isn't available for an opinion, pick a color that is currently in fashion. Take a trip through the kids' section of a department store—is the clothing pastel, black and white, or bright and bold? Chances are you won't go wrong following the present trend. If you are still at a loss, a bright, clear color is a good bet: appealing to most children and easily worn with jeans or black leggings.

Fiber Choices
Children don't care about fiber content, but they do care about fiber feel, and they definitely don't like scratchy clothing. If you want to knit a kid's hat out of somewhat scratchy yarn, consider knitting an inside hem of soft cotton. If a wool sweater is designed to be worn over a shirt, scratchiness shouldn't be a problem.

As a handspinner, I prefer natural fibers, even for children, and machine-washable wools and cottons are more "user friendly" than those that have to be hand washed. But high-quality acrylics and blended yarns can also be considered. The important factor is quality, no matter what fiber you use. Children's clothes take a lot of abuse, and a sweater knit in high-quality yarn will look good for as long as the child can wear it.

High-quality acrylic yarns and blends cost about the same as natural fiber, and neither one is cheap. But I don't recommend getting too carried away with expensive yarn—choose the best yarn you can afford that will provide the feel, wear, color, and weight that suits your project.

—Beth Morimoto, from Knitting for Children

The darling patterns above are available, along with three more, in our new eBook, Knitting for Children. Get yours today and bring on the cute!


P.S. What's your favorite thing about knitting for children? Share it with us in the comments!

Featured Product

Interweave Knits Presents 5 Favorite Knitting Patterns for Babies and Kids

Availability: In Stock
Price: $11.99


Knit the perfect anytime baby gift with this new downloadable eBook! From baby showers through fifth birthdays, we?ve selected five of our favorite baby and kid sweater patterns. Easy knitting and cherished gifts are only a click away!


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marywoods wrote
on Mar 30, 2013 3:33 PM

For Dogmom,

Challenge accepted.  If you like designing and creating your own sweaters or other clothing for children or adults, here are two books that are invaluable.  They are both by Ann Budd and can be ordered here or on Amazon.  The titles are; The Knitter's Handy Guide to Patterns and The Knitter's Handy Guide to Sweater Patterns.  In these books, Ann had done the work for you.  She gives you multiple sizes from babies to adults with gauges and yardages already figured.  All you do is gauge the yarn you are using and go from there.  She has a 3rd one in the series out, The Knitter's Handy Guide to Top Down Sweater.  I haven't gotten it yet, but if it is anything like her other two, I'll be going to it a lot!

Mary Woods

Ravenwood Designs

on Mar 30, 2013 8:45 AM

There are a lot of sweater patterns for babies and toddlers but very few for older kids and teens who are not yet into adult sizes. My 8 year old grandson wears a size 14 already. I'd love to find a good basic pattern for boys sizes 10 through 16 - once I have a basic sweater I can create my own pattern. I have trouble determining sizing without something to base it on. To date, every pattern/pattern book I've looked at for children have patterns that only go to about size 8 for boys and maybe size 12 for girls. I pose this as a challenge to the knitting community.

JudeM wrote
on Mar 27, 2013 4:16 PM

I've knitted a few baby/toddler items, and what I tell the happy parents is that when the item is outgrown, they should pass it on to another family where a child is expected or just born. Or, keep the item if they think they might have another little one. I love the idea that these pieces are going round and round, to families I don't even know. It expands my sense of gift-giving. Plus, I always receive a photo of my knitted garment being modeled!

on Mar 27, 2013 10:13 AM

I picked up the tip from an "old" shopkeeper who taught children to knit.... instead of the usual scarf or hat to learn on..................the SWATCH was enough to practise the stitches (K and P)  and the baby sweaters were the perfect project to "build" confidence to go on to the larger size sweaters!   They got all the tips needed:  knit, purl, increase, decrease, cast on, bind off, joining the seams and using either straight or circular needles!!   on to the new stitches, such as the fearsome cables.... these young adults we are teaching at work over lunch are delighted when the baby sweaters were finished because it took so little time to finish AND  they made "a sweater"! ..........Love those baby clothes!   We've got quite a few babies coming this spring here at work!

FDNYMom wrote
on Mar 27, 2013 9:02 AM

I would love to buy a copy of the book, Interweave Knits Presents 5 Favorite Knitting Patterns for Babies and Kids, but there is no link to download it or add it to the cart


Sylvia Moritz