So cute! Knitting for Kids

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!

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