How to knit baby clothes

Written by heidi a. reeves
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How to knit baby clothes
Dress baby in hand knit clothes. (baby boots image by sasha from Fotolia.com)

If you love to knit garments, but you don't have the patience it takes to complete adult-sized projects, try knitting baby clothes. Knitting baby clothes only takes a fraction of the time (and yarn) it does to complete an adult-sized garment, and since babies grow so quickly, sizing isn't as much of a concern. As long as you know how to knit and purl and increase and decrease, you'll have no trouble making basic baby clothes, such as sweaters and diaper covers.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Yarn
  • Knitting needles
  • Yarn needle

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Instructions

    Baby cardigan

  1. 1

    Cast on 110 stitches with double knitting weight yarn and size 9 needles.

  2. 2

    Slip the first stitch in row 1 and work in knit 1, purl 1 ribbing. This is the first row on the front side of the knitted cardigan. Work row 2 in purl 1, knit 1 ribbing, slipping the first stitch in the row. This is your first row knit across the back of the fabric.

  3. 3

    Continue in the ribbing pattern as established, knitting all front side rows in the same manner you knit row 1 and knitting all back side rows in the same manner you knit row 2. Knit for 2.5 cm (1 inch), ending with a back side row.

  4. 4

    Knit in stockinet stitch (knitting on the front side of the fabric and purling on the back side of the fabric) until the sweater measures 15 cm (6 inches) in length, ending with a purl row.

  5. 5

    Divide the front and back of the sweater for the sleeves; you'll work the right front of the cardigan first. Knit the first 23 stitches, knit 2 stitches together and knit 1 stitch. Turn your knitting and purl back across the stitches you just knit.

  6. 6

    Knit 2 stitches and knit 1 at the end of every front side row until you knitting measures 21.6 cm (8 1/2 inches) in length, and then begin shaping the neck, binding off the first 6 stitches in the next knit row. Continue knitting 2 stitches together at the end of every front side row and bind off 1 stitch at the beginning of every front side row to create neck shaping.

  7. 7

    Bind off the remaining stitches when only 4 stitches remain.

  8. 8

    Work the back of the cardigan; bind off the first stitch, knit 55, and turn your work. Bind off the first stitch in the next row and purl to the end of the row. At the beginning and end of subsequent knit rows work knit-2-together decreases one stitch in from the end. Continue in pattern until 23 stitches remain. Place these remaining stitches on waste yarn.

  9. 9

    Work the left front of the cardigan in the same manner you knit the right front. Make the knit-2-together decreases at the beginning of each knit row as opposed to at the end and bind off for neck shaping at the end of the knit rows.

  10. 10

    Knit 2 sleeves using the following instructions: Cast on 39 stitches, knit 2.5 cm (1 inch) of knit 1, purl 1 ribbing and switch to stockinet stitch, working until your knitting measures 12.5 cm (5 inches) from the cast-on edge. End with a back side (purl) row.

  11. 11

    Bind off the first stitch in the next 2 rows, and begin decreasing for the sleeve caps. For all knit rows you will work knit-2-together decreases at either end. When you have 9 stitches left place them on waste yarn.

  12. 12

    Pick up and knit stitches along the right front edge of the cardigan, knit the 9 held right sleeve cap stitches, 23 held neck stitches and the 9 held left sleeve cap stitches, and then pick up stitches from along the left front edge of the cardigan. Work in knit 1, purl 1 ribbing for 2.5 cm (1 inch) and bind off.

  13. 13

    Thread a yarn needle with some of the yarn you used to knit the cardigan, sew the sleeves to the sweater and sew the sleeve seams closed. Weave in any loose yarn ends to finish the cardigan.

    Diaper cover

  1. 1

    Cast on 44 stitches using double knitting weight yarn and UK size 9 needles.

  2. 2

    Slip the first stitch in row 1 and work knit 2, purl 2 ribbing across the row (the slipped stitch will count as your first knit stitch in the pattern). Slip the first stitch in row 2 and purl 2, knit 2 across the row (the slipped stitch will count as your first purl stitch). Continue knitting in the pattern as established, slipping the first stitch in each row and alternating between rows of knit 2, purl 2 and purl 2, knit 2.

  3. 3

    Switch to knitting garter stitch (knitting every row) when the ribbing measures 5 cm (2 inches) from the cast-on edge. Continue slipping the first stitch of every row. Knit every row until the garter stitch pattern measures 7.5 cm (3 inches) in length.

  4. 4

    Change back to ribbing, beginning with a knit 2, purl 2 row. Work in the ribbed pattern until your knitting measures 15 cm (6 inches) from the end of the garter stitch section. Knit a second garter stitch section that measures 7.5 cm (3 inches) in length and finish the garment with 2 inches of knit 2, purl 2 ribbing and bind off.

  5. 5

    Break the yarn, leaving a long tail, and thread it through a yarn needle. Fold the diaper cover in half and sew along the side seams of the ribbed diaper cover band and garter stitch section. Leave the sides of the longer ribbed section unsewn to form the leg holes.

Tips and warnings

  • Both the sweater and diaper cover pattern make garments suited to infants between 3 and 6 months. If you want to make either garment larger, use thicker yarn and needles in a larger size.

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