By Toni Rexroat
We all love the idea of crocheting for kids. Children’s garments and accessories are the perfect little project with which to test a new technique or stitch, use a smaller quantity of yarn, or introduce the next generation to the wonders of crochet, not to mention just how cute children look in crochet.
Before you begin to crochet for children, there are a few things to keep in mind. Here are a few of the tips I have gathered over the years.
Choose the Right Yarn
Kids love dirt. If there is a puddle they will stomp in it; most love to pick up frogs and other fascinating items we see as just dirty, and they often seem attracted to dirt. We can’t fool ourselves; they will act exactly the same when wearing our painstakingly crocheted sweaters and hats as they do when wearing a well-worn sweatshirt.
You will need to wash a child’s crochet garment repeatedly. Unless you really enjoy hand washing, choose a yarn fiber that is machine washable. Superwash wool allows you to create a garment or accessory that is warm and comfortable, superwash wool does not have the itchiness sometimes associated with wool, but is safe to machine wash without fear of felting.
Cotton is another great fiber suggestion, especially for summer-wear pieces. Yarns that are 100% cotton can have a tendency to stretch over time, not always a bad thing when you think about how quickly kids grow.
There are a lot of really good acrylic yarns on the market now. My gauge has always been that if it is a yarn I enjoy crocheting with it will be a yarn that children will wear, i.e. not too scratchy or stiff. You can also find many great acrylic/cotton and acrylic/wool yarns at reasonable prices.
Thankfully there are plenty of great patterns available that fit while leaving plenty of room for growing.
Choosing the Right Project
Choosing the right project to crochet for a child often comes down to knowing the child’s interests. If you are not sure, ask a mother or other relative. If you crochet a sweater, you want to make sure it is a design and color that the child will love. A friend of mine couldn’t get her nephew interested in a sweater until she suggesting working one in his favorite Harry Potter colors. Crochet hats for kids, along with other accessories, are a great way to make a gift last a few seasons.
Amigurumi are also a fabulous choice if you are not exactly sure what to crochet. Whether at an afternoon tea party or a safari across the “African Plains” of the living room, a cuddly amigurumi is the perfect companion.
Choosing the Right Stitch Pattern
Keep the recipient’s age and the project’s stitch pattern in mind when choosing a pattern. Openwork lacy sweaters are gorgeous and fun to crochet, but younger children may become frustrated at the ease with which little fingers can get caught up when sliding them through the sleeves. To quickly create a solid fabric, try working in linked double or treble crochet. To create interesting stitch patterns, try playing with bobbles, Tunisian crochet, and embellishments.
Colorwork is another ideal option. The smaller size of children’s garments makes them great introductions to mosaic crochet, back loop only crochet garments, stripes, and more.
Download or order your favorite kids crochet patterns, books, and video workshops today and pass your love of crochet on to the next generation.