Many knitters, especially beginners, are often scared of knitting clothes for babies and kids due to the delicacy of projects and large scale of aspects that should be taken into consideration. On the contrary, knitting tiny projects for kids has its specific challenges, but it also has plenty of advantages compared to knitting for adults.
Either way, with adequate advice and directions, you should be able to knit marvelous stuff that will bring joy to the little one and stay as a unique memory and a gift. Also, the small size of these projects will, in fact, provide you a great terrain to try new techniques and stitch patterns. If you’re a parent, you’re already familiar with specific needs, wishes and aspects of kids’ lives, but if you’re not, here are just some useful suggestions you might find helpful before you go knitting tiny project.
Sizing and resizing
Babies and kids are not just smaller adults; they have different proportions too. This particularly refers to newborns. Also, kids grow fast, and the clothes tend to last only for a short period. To make it last longer, knit slightly oversized models, especially the sleeves. Also, keep in mind the day of birth if you are knitting the clothes for a baby. The best way is to knit a model for a 6 or 12 months old baby, but do your math to predict the season that’s going to be when the baby turns 6 or 12 months. Another thing to keep in mind is the fact that babies have larger heads compared to the rest of the body and the ultimate fact that most kids don’t like to be changed. Come up with the ideas and knit the models that are easy to put on and off, have buttons (but big ones!) on them and are loose enough to enable easy maneuvering.
Tricky choosing of the yarn
When knitting for adults, you usually think about the color of the yarn, type of the fiber, thickness and the price. When knitting for kids, you have to think about many more aspects. One of the basic issues is to avoid light colors, especially white fibers. Kids are sloppy and tend to get messy easily all of a sudden, thus avoid colors and materials that show every single stain. It, also, means that you should choose the kind of material that is suitable for frequent washing. Avoid fibers that are best washed manually, because most parents would gladly just push all of this clothes into washing machine and get it done right before the next changing.
Probably the most important aspect to think about when knitting clothes for babies and kids. First of all, use yarn without open lace patterns to prevent babies from getting their fingers stuck in the holes of fibers. Also, keep in mind that button is a risk because kids tend to swallow various items. Careful with choosing yard type, because kids have gentle and sensitive skin that can easily be irritated.
When faced with knitting for the first time, beginners easily get overwhelmed and lost among various moves, tricks, patterns, and models. It might seem way too complex and highly challenging, but in fact, all the knitting techniques come down to two basic elements: knit and purl. And a large scale of impressive combinations of these two. This eventually results in different knitting styles and attractive stitch patterns providing the different design of the material and finally different feel when worn or used. Some of the stitch patterns are common among knitting lovers due to their simplicity, others due to their elegancy and complexity and some are particularly suitable for some types of yarn or pieces of cloth. Here’s a preview of some of the most common stitch patterns that are suitable for beginners as well to learn and master knitting techniques.
Stocking knit for smooth simplicity
Although it might seem too basic and elementary, stocking knit is one of the classic knitting styles that preserves elegancy and professional appearance. It is ideal for beginners to practice technique. The stitch pattern consists of one row knit and the next row purl. The combination goes back and forth. The pattern is simple, but it doesn’t appear as poor and shallow. It is also quite convenient for over sewing details, such as buttons, as well as to combine it with various other stitching styles. Aside from socks (as suggested in the name), it is suitable for all other pieces of cloth, as well as for various other items, such as bags or even stuffed animals.
Ribbing – basic, but effective
A simple pattern that appears complex and as advanced level of knitting skills. It looks neat, elegant, slightly serious and it is perfect for adding ending touch to various knitting projects. Ribbing includes straight rows of knits and purls, and it is often used for cuffs, necklines, and hems on different pieces of cloth or other items. A great way to make your knitting look professional with quite a basic pattern of stitches.
Garter and cable stitches
Garter stitching is one of those quite simple techniques widely used and popular, equally for beginners and the experienced knitters. The simplicity of the pattern is based on each row back and forth technique, but it provides extremely soft, gentle and squishy material that is perfect for sweaters or kids’ cloth. The pattern looks like you are rather familiar with knitting skills and good at it, although it is quite simple. Thus the beginners appreciate the feeling of progress and accomplishment it provides.
On the other hand, cabling truly is advanced technique, and it is widely used in several different variations. It provides depth and complexity to the general stitch pattern with all of its curves, waves, and spirals, which makes it perfect for unique pieces of cloth or various attractive accessories. It requires patience and a lot of commitment to achieve the skills of casting an adequate number of stitches in front and behind, but once you overcome this technique, you can truly consider yourself experienced knitter.
Once you step into the world of knitting, you’ll figure out that all you need is a pair of needles and a ball of yarn. If you present it extremely simplified. But if you dig just a bit underneath the surface, you’ll discover the impressive realm of creativeness and craftwork with a myriad of its accessories, gadgets, tools, decorations and multiple options for each item. Along the way, as you’re making progress with knitting skills and get familiar with the matter and all of its aspects, you will slowly create the list of your favorites, preferable styles, and the tools that work best for your manner of knitting. However, it’s not all so optional and the mere matter of taste and choice. Some items simply match better, and some materials are suitable for certain projects. All of this is quite overwhelming to an average newbie. Thus we’ve created some brief overviews here to provide some directions. Particularly in this article, we’ll review the common types of yarn used for knitting.
Good old wool
Probably the most common knitting material used for all sorts of projects is wool. This type of yarn fiber comes in various “weight” or thickness, it is warm, and one of its most desirable traits is durability. It is flexible enough to shape it and model it, but still firm enough to keep its shape after blocking. Wool is quite a resilient type of fiber which makes it perfect for practicing. If the mistake occurs, wool allows you to unravel the pattern and fix the problem with minimum effort. Two major drawbacks of wool are the fact that it sometimes itches and potential to cause allergies to some people. A better choice is merino wool, which is extremely soft and doesn’t trigger health issue, but it’s still a great material for maneuvering.
Challenges of cotton knitting
Cotton may present high-quality fibers with solid duration, and it is appreciated due to its lightness, which makes this material ideal for knitting summer clothes. However, cotton is inelastic and strong fiber that doesn’t block very well and easy, and it tends to accent mistakes. Most knitters consider it to be challenging to work with. Thus it is not recommended for beginners.
Opposite to cotton fibers, acrylic yarn is the perfect choice for beginners to practice techniques. At the same time, acrylic yarn is a good choice to knit stuff you will wash frequently or if you simply want to save some money, since the acrylic yarn is quite available and cheap. It is synthetic fiber, and it comes in great variety of colors and thicknesses. The only drawback you should keep in mind is the risk of fibers splitting apart while knitting, which usually happens of you purchase pretty low-quality acrylic yarn.
Sophisticated knitting materials
Two luxury fibers ideal for delicate knitting projects and special pieces of clothes are silk and cashmere. Both are quite expensive, thus don’t even consider practicing with these two. Cashmere is warm and soft, but not strong material, while silk is stronger, but keep it for summer knitting projects, because it’s not warm.
There are many similarities between crocheting and knitting, and too many people don’t even see the clear difference between these two, but there is. The truth is that being experienced and skilled in knitting will help you adjust to crocheting techniques faster and more easily, but knowing how to knit does not make you ready to crochet without any preparation. We’ll discuss the aspects of crocheting more thoroughly in another article. Here are just some of the tricks and tips you should keep in mind when starting to crochet, especially if you are a newbie in both, crocheting and knitting. You will find these practical and handy direction valuable and highly useful methods to get the best out of your spare time spent crocheting.
Wind the skeins into balls of yarn
Strictly speaking, this is not a must do, because you can crochet properly even using yarn directly as you’ve bought it, but winding it into a ball has several benefits. First of all, winding yarn into a ball, manually or by using ball winders, will help you achieve equal tension of fibers while crocheting, which is often a serious problem, especially to beginners. Also, yarn round shaped follows your moves better, thus winding it before you start crocheting will prevent tangles and unnecessary knotting. Another perhaps “pointing out the obvious” advice is to position your ball of yarn at some adequate position, so you can maneuver it easily while working. The best way is to place is on the floor or on a separate chair aside you. This, of course, means that you’ve got rid of the obstacles, such as your cat sneaking around your yarn and all other stuff treating to tangle fibers and mess with your work.
Working with crochet hooks
Every newly bought yarn comes with a label and instructions about suggested hooks, shapes and dimensions, but this isn’t the rule you have to follow strictly. However, using a set of crocheting hooks is certainly recommended, especially to beginners. If you’re struggling with too loose crocheting, try using a smaller crochet hook. Opposite, if you tend to crochet too tight, apply larger crochet hook. Either way, do not switch from one to another crocheting hook model in the middle of crocheting project because you will lose consistency of the stitches.
Get rid of inner boundaries
If you plan to progress and reach some advanced levels of crocheting skills, embrace three things: practicing, experimenting and bravery to make mistakes. If you spot the mistake, knot or wrong stitch left behind, don’t just leave it. Unravel the pattern, dig through it to reach the mistake and fix it. Feel free to experiment with new elements. Add stripes, details, new colors and try using different types of yarn. Also, as you progress and improve your technique together with self-confidence, face more complex challenges. Try using a variety of stitches, combinations of patterns and finally improvisation. Expand your knowledge by reading tutorials and exchanging experiences with other crocheters and always remember to preserve the touch of art and fun in what you do.