More Gift Ideas: What to Knit for Baby

Just as I’m writing Monday’s post about not having to knit any gifts this season…Two of my friends, Katie and Amy, go and have their babies. Sure, in each case I had nine months’ notice, but did I knit anything babyish so that the gifts would be all ready to go when the babies were ready to go? Of course not. So here we are, two adorable babies richer, and no adorable little knitted baby thingies with which to greet them. I feel like a chump.

I’m close to finishing the Camisa, and once I do, methinks it’s time to venture into Munchkin Land to do a bit of baby knitting.

What tiny delight should I make?

Half the fun of knitting a baby gift is deciding what to make. Everyone has their favorite sort of baby thing to knit—my favorite is teeny sweaters and jackets. So I went off in search of cute little baby coverings in the pages of whatever Interweave things I had unpacked already, which was an incomplete set of our magazines and the two books I carried with me on the drive to Canada, One Skein and Natural Knits for Babies and Moms.

I spent a very happy afternoon on a quest for the perfect baby sweater. I started making a list of all the sweaters I could find in those pages, and then some booties snuck in there, and then some hats, and before I knew it, I had a nice list of Interweave Baby Gifts. At that point, I realized that you would probably like to have a copy of this list! That way, the next time someone happily pats her belly and says, “Guess what? I’m pregnant!” you'll be prepared.

So here’s my list. I only included patterns that were for infants or babies, figuring that those for young children deserved their own list. Each item gives the original source, and, if it has been republished, where it is now.  The patterns are from Interweave Knits, Knitscene, Knits Gifts, Interweave Felt, and Interweave Crochet, and also the two books I have on hand, One Skein and Natural Knits for Babies and Moms. (Maybe I can expand this list once I am a little more unpacked!) — Sandi

Purchase One Skein by Leigh Radford

Purchase Natural Knits for Babies and Moms by Louisa Harding

Sandi's List of Interweave Baby Gifts

Look for the back issues and books at your local yarn shop, if they aren’t in your collection already. And while some of these patterns are already in our online store, look for more to be added in the near future!


Snuggly Baby Hats by Lora Steil (Knits Summer 04)
New Baby Blanket and Hat Set by Kristin Spurkland (Knits Summer 02)
Cherries ‘N Cream Baby Set by Diane Zangl (Knits Spring 99)
Diamonds and Hearts Baby Bonnet by Judith Durant (Knits Summer 97; buy this pattern online)
Vine Lace Baby Hat by Sandi Wiseheart (download for free on KD)
Oscar Baby by Katie Himmelberg and Lisa Shroyer (Knitscene Fall 06; buy this pattern online)
Beanie Hat by Louisa Harding (Natural Knits for Babies and Moms)
Blanket and Hat by Louisa Harding (Natural Knits for Babies and Moms)
Baby Hat by Leigh Radford (One Skein)





Baby Bear Poncho & Northwoods Booties by Jennifer Carpenter (Knits Summer 01; Knits Gifts 06)
Barnyard Booties by Sue Flanders (Knits Summer 00)
Better Than Baby Booties by Ann Budd (Knits Summer 05; download for free on KD)
Old World Booties by Gryphon Perkins (buy this pattern online)
Fat Baby Booties by Bev Galeskas (Felt 07)
Boy’s and Girl’s Booties by Louisa Harding (Natural Knits for Babies and Moms)



Dragon Skin Wrap by Angela Hahn (Knits Gifts 07; buy this pattern online)
Heirloom Aran Baby Set by Lisa Lloyd (Knits Spring 04)
Diamond Seed Baby Jacket by Erica Alexander (Knits Winter 04; buy this pattern online)
Origami Baby Kimono by Bonnie Franz (Knits Summer 03)
Gansey Layette by Veronik Avery (Knits Winter 02/03; buy this pattern online)
New Baby Blanket and Hat by Kristin Spurkland (Knits Summer 02)
Baby Born by Anne Rachap (Knits Winter 01/02)
Baby Bear Poncho and Northwoods Booties by Jennifer Carpenter (Knits Summer 01 and Knits Gifts 06)
Mandarin Baby Set by Cathy Payson (Knits Spring 00)
Cherries ‘N Cream Baby Set by Diane Zangl (Knits Spring 99)
Garter Stitch Baby Kimono by Kristin Spurkland (Knits Summer 05)
Buttercup Baby (crochet) by Elissa Sugishita (Crochet Fall 06)

Gansey Layette


Heirloom Aran Baby Set by Lisa Lloyd (Knits Spring 04)
Gansey Layette by Veronik Avery (Knits Winter 02/03; buy this pattern online)
New Baby Blanket and Hat by Kristin Spurkland (Knits Summer 02)
Star Light, Star Bright by Anna Rachap (Knits Winter 99/00)
Sweet Dreams Baby Blanket by Melanie Lewis (Knits Spring 97)
Bobby’s Blankie by Judith Durant (Knits Winter 97)
Bear Claw Blanket by Veronik Avery (Knits Spring 05)
Babette Blanket (crochet) by Kathy Merrick (Crochet Spring 06; buy this pattern online)
Nursery Valance by Lori Gayle (Knits Summer 03)



Sir Stephen the Bunny (crochet) by Donna Childs (Crochet 08)
Elliot the Dragon by Jill Eaton (Knits Gifts 07)
Classic Teddy Bear by Mary Ann Gebhardt (Knits Gifts 07; buy this pattern online)
Best Friend Bears by Joan Haigh and Patricia Wulff (Knits Winter 99/00 and Knits Gifts 06)
Cat, Rabbit, and Teddy Bear by Louisa Harding (Natural Knits for Babies and Moms; pattern is also a free download on KD)

I hope this inspires your own knitting for little ones! As for what Katie and Amy’s babies are getting…I’m currently in love with wrap-front baby kimonos. Easy to put on, and a nice layer of warmth for the upcoming cold season…so I am eyeing the Harvey Kimono from Natural Knits for Babies and Moms (pictured above). Five teensy little pieces, a bit of seaming, and then the fun of choosing buttons. Sounds like a great excuse to get away from unpacking for a bit!

OK, that’s me–what’s your favorite thing to make for a new baby? Let us know!

Sandi Wiseheart is the founding editor of Knitting Daily.
  She is now the author of the popular Knitting Daily blog: What's on Sandi's Needles.


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42 thoughts on “More Gift Ideas: What to Knit for Baby

  1. Is there a population explosion? I have made eight baby cardigans in the past year! All but one for boys! My very favorite pattern is the Sheep Yoke Baby Cardigan designed by Jennifer Little of Looking Glass Knits – it’s adorable! It makes a very impressive gift. Other patterns I have used include the Baby Cardigan, Hat and Socks from Plymouth Design Studio done with Sockotta (a great way to get colorwork without the work), Lion Brand Heirloom Cables Baby Sweater (60647AD), and the v-neck cardigan from Little Sweet Peas by Sirdar. I can’t think of a more wonderful way to welcome a new little one into the world than giving them a handknit gift filled with love!

  2. Sandi, I just finished the Harvey Kiimono (girl’s version) in lavender Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK. It’s adorable and easy. Actually, next time I’m going to pick up stitches for the sleeves and knit them on — less seaming! I have also made the boy’s vesion in a light denim blue Bernat Softee Baby (DK) which is very sweet.

  3. I like to improvise blankets in soft superwash wool or cotton yarns (here’s one: I also really liked knitting the Baby Yoda Sweater (mine’s at, or you can find the pattern on ravelry at Hats are always fun — I like, but haven’t yet knitted, the umbilical cord hat from the first Stitch ‘n’ Bitch book. I usually improvise hats with the help of “The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns,” my personal favorite Interweave book. I always forget to design for negative ease, though. 🙁 Good thing they grow into ’em.

  4. I have enjoyed knitting the Baby Bear Poncho designed by Jennifer Carpenter. This was first published, I believe, in IK but I do not have that info as I am writing this comment. I found it again in Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts, 2006. And the Fat Baby Booties by Beverly Galeskas in Interweave Felt, Special Issue 2007 are really fun to knit. I am not in touch with the babies and parents for whom these were knitted, but as the knitter I enjoyed the process and from my perspective, that is most essential. .

  5. I love the “Better than booties” infant socks. They knit up quick and you can make at least two, sometimes three, pairs out of a skein of the recommended yarn…you can make them larger just by switching to a larger needle (I just went up from 1 to 2, that’s when you start getting less socks out of a skein…but still two pairs of socks from an $11 skein of yarn isn’t something to sneeze at!).

  6. I love making my own designs – the mitred U baby jacket and the seamless bootees. They are not ‘simple’ knits but they are fun! The bootees come in top-to-sole and sole-to-top versions and you can adapt them however you like.

    Anyone who is interested can find them here, for free:

    I also found a lovely pattern called Baby Moc-a-Soc by Bekah Knits. They are not free but the pattern is emailed to you so you get it almost immediately. These are not a simple knit either but they are utterly adorable and fun, fun, fun. (No, I don’t know the designer at all, I just love her pattern 😉

  7. That is a great list of ideas. Don’t forget to think about the BSJ, by Elizabeth Zimmerman. She also made a matching hat. The BSJ is addictive, and once you make up one, you will make more! They get a great response from the people you give them to.

    One other that I really like is:
    Has matching cap and booties, with links to a more “boy” version and larger size jacket.

    For blankets:
    Simple, yet nice looking.

    Remember when knitting for those who have babies, wash and wear yarn. UNLESS the person is accustomed to having real wool about, all your hard work may end up fitting a barbie doll after the first wash.

  8. I knit a christening dress for my great-nephew in lace-weight linen. It took eight months, but I think the results speak for themselves– shameless self-promotion–you can see it here:
    I love some of the Debbie Bliss designs– I’ve knit the hat in Cashmerino baby (stripy one) for lots of friends. When they’re tiny you can just roll up the edge until it fits and unroll as they get older.

  9. Loads of gorgeous things there but here’s a huge please when you’re deciding which yarn to use. Go against all your instincts for utterly gorgeous yarns and find something that is as gorgeous as possible but is easily washable AND can be tumble dried. Not super eco-friendly, I know but small babies = mountains of washing and everything you can do to make a new mum’s life easier will be so much more aprreciated than something that has to be handwashed and reblocked every time – and above all you want the baby to actually wear your gift, not have it sit in a drawer!

  10. Could I just add a word about knitting in linen. It is extremely eco-friendly, requiring far less in the way of pesticides etc. and you can happily throw it into a hot wash–it doesn’t shrink or stretch, it just gets softer as more and more of the naturally occuring pectin is released. For babies, it is incredibly comfortable and naturally thermo-regulating. You might have to get used to the inelastic quality, but if it turs out that you’ve knit a 12-month instead of a 6 month size– well, babies do grow!

  11. For the next generation of babies in the family I’ve been making superwash handspun blankets. The first one copied a baby blanket that had been in the family for a couple of generations, and others used stitches from various stitch dictionaries. The superwash roving takes dye fast and hard, so the colors are really striking. For others, I often make the Baby Surprise in saturated colors, with a pixie hood.


  12. My favorites are knitted car seat covers – with hearts – and crocheted baby buntings with matching hat – after that, just about any pattern I can find!

    Carole, Marietta, Georgia

  13. I HIGHLY recommend the Diamond Seed baby sweater!!! I made one for my new nephew and another for my soon-to-be-born granddaughter and it is DARLING. Not too bulky and works up quickly.

  14. I have this really simple bootie pattern that I use, as well as knitting simple hats, and some “no-shaping” socks. They always turn out so cute! With school, I don’t have a ton of time to knit, but I’m hoping to be able to make sweaters and such soon! 🙂

  15. With a new grandbaby less than a month away, I’m wanting to knit a lightweight, hooded, zip-up-the-back sweater for him.Can anyone point me to a good pattern??? Thanks! G’ma Jane

  16. Sandi: I bought the pattern for the Dragon SKin wrap because I loved it so and thought it was for an ADULT. I am not skilled enough, with a pattern this complicated to enlarge it. Is there any thought on making this pattern available in an adult size? Thanks.

  17. I like booties/socks for babies – quick and mostly easy. If I get really inspired, there is a matching hat and other items. Washable yarn is a must! I also crochet a multi-colored toy worm that is just darling. The last ones I did, I color coded to Mom’s color preferences and they were a HUGE hit.
    All these babies are very blessed to have needle folks who do for them. ;~)))

  18. My favorite baby sweater pattern is “Babies and Bears” by Cottage Creations, which I know is not an Interweave pattern. I love it, though, because you only have two pieces (starting at the bottom of the sleeve and gradually increasing to make the right/left front and right/left back), which you Kitchner together, and then pick up the hood. Voila! No tiny little pieces to shape and seam together.

  19. I tend to fall in love with one pattern and it becomes the official baby gift of any given year. Last year it was Sheldon. All Sheldon, all the time! I think I made twelve or more. This year, it is definitely Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Baby Surprise Jacket with no hoods. I’ve found that I can get a sweet little sweater, a simple baby hat, and even a pair of tiny socks out of two skeins of Knit Picks Essential. It’s soft, superwash, and the Multis colors are always such a pleasing surprise to work up. It’s a good thing I have nine more to make this year to experiment with all those colors.

  20. I love to knit baby blankets and baby booties. This summer I finished a baby blanket for a friend that I designed myself, three colors: since they’re naming the baby Jasmine, it’s the three colors that the jasmine flower blooms in. Not a very complicated stitch pattern. The mom to be loved it, as did all her relatives, who each requested one. Even her husband says it’s his favorite. And who can resist those cute baby booties!!

  21. Hey Sandi! I’m so with you…i LOVE the Harvey Kimono for girls…having 3 little babies myself (acutally 7,5&2 now)…i do love the cardigans OR the Jo Jo Crew for boys (both are acutally on Ravelry I’m Regnig) as they have BUTTONS which are great for any mom trying to dress a squirming baby…and their heads are always way bigger than any neck even loosley cast off…i do love ann budd’s better than booties as they are so intricate and fun to knit…made them for my son’s christening out of a creamy soft alpaca and Love knitting them so much!!! that is what got me interested in socks…and the petal bib is nice for a girl but don’t forget Melanie Falick’s flower washcloth AND Melanie & Kristin Nicholas’s Baby’s first ball!!!! my boys still play with theirs…hope this helps…i do love knitting for the babies!!! oh and yankee knitter’s classic roll neck sweater too!!! Good Luck!

  22. For premies:
    A quick little striped beanie.
    It is not my pattern, I found it somewhere online for free, but cannot remember where or find it anywhere. Feel free to claim it or name it if it’s yours or know who’s it is.
    Also can be worked in 1 color, saves on weaving in!
    (Also, if you have a baby pattern that is not small enough for a premie, go down 1 needle size and knit the smallest size, or size you deem appropriate, and it will inevitably be a premie item.)


    CO 64 STS on sz5 DPN’s or circs
    Join and work 8 rows 2×2 rib

    Switch to CC and K8 rounds
    Switch back to MC and K4 rounds
    Switch to CC and K4 rounds, begin decreases
    R1: *K7, K2tog* (I prefer SSK)
    R2: Knit
    R3*K6, Dec*
    R4: Knit
    R5: *K5, Dec*
    R6: *K4, Dec*
    R7: *K3, Dec*
    R8: *K2, Dec*
    R9: *K1, Dec*
    R10:*Dec 2 Sts* all the way around
    (on decrease rows, you may find that there are some extra sts on needle and feel tempted to dec those also, just knit them and continue to next round)

    Cut yarn and thread through STS remaining 2X.
    Weave in ends.

  23. Here in Europe, babies seem to dress in brighter colours than in English-speaking countries, where I see a lot of white and pastels i.e. more traditional. But I loved knitting for the arrival of my little grandson in July – a forest green aran cardigan with hedgehog buttons, a manly little grey sweater in a simple stitch that I gifted with a red T- and red/grey pants and my best friend, who in the last 25 years has knitted uncounted colourful sweaters etc. for all three of my daughters (and her 3 nieces!) knitted such a sweet denim blue cardigan with seed stitch collar, which was great the first time we were out with baby and it was a bit windy! She planned on embroidering some daisies on it if it was a girl and would have used different buttons, but this way, it stayed as it was and just cute buttons in the same denim blue.
    Now I have made a yellow jester hat (long point) that only needs a bell on the end to be complete…
    Aren’t babies cute and fun?!!! My grandson is now 2 mths and adorable…

  24. I usually make baby blankets because they get so much more use than a sweater or hat. My own babies were so hot-blooded that they would sweat in sweaters and hats, and a blanket can more easily be put on and off as needed. The ones I made for my twin nephews became their “blankies” and were dragged around (and repaired) for years! I also second the motion for machine washable and dryable – it is so easy in the chaos of new babies to forget and throw a special knitted something in the washer and have it ruined. If you can’t resist making a sweater (I know, they are so cute and fun to make), the surplice version of the EZ baby surprise jacket is adorable, easy, and gives baby a little more neck/chin room (important since they don’t have much of a neck yet!).

  25. I always knit a blanket for the new baby. I try to match it with the season–heavy for fall & winter,etc. Then after the baby is born, I make sweaters and hats–especially if it is for a Grandbaby!! We just had our 4th grandchild on 9-16-08 and I am busy making a pink & purple hoody out of ‘fur’ yarn.

  26. A bunting with opening at the crotch for the harness (safety seat) is something I’ve made, and it was well received. I also like to design blankies. A baby blankie is a good was to try out a pattern, and as long as it’s washable it’s a good thing. New babies can never have too many blankies! When choosing colors, remember that new babies see contrast, so stimulate developing vision with stripes or squares or ripples or borders of light and dark colors. A colorful hat, sweater, booties, whatever, will make the little one stand out in the sea of pastel!

  27. I like the idea of this list. However, would it be possible to include pictures of each item (or a link to a picture) so that we know whether it’s worth looking for the books or magazines which contain the specific patterns? Thanks.