If you or a friend are expecting a child, you may want to knit a pair of soft, cuddly baby trousers. For knitters with intermediate skills, trousers in a newborn size knit up quickly and make a thoughtful handmade gift. To create baby trousers, knitters should be familiar with the basic skills of casting on and binding off, as well as the more advanced techniques of working in the round on double-pointed and circular needles. A soft animal fibre like wool or alpaca will keep the baby's legs warm in cold weather, while a lightweight fibre like cotton or hemp works well for babies born during warmer months.
Using the double-pointed needles, cast on 36 stitches. Divide the stitches evenly among the needles.
Place the stitch marker at the beginning of the round. Purl 8 rounds to create the garter-stitch cuff.
Work in stockinet stitch--knitting every row--until the leg measures 8 inches from the hem.
Thread a darning needle with waste yarn and pull the yarn through all stitches. Remove the needles from your knitting. Tie off the waste yarn, set this leg aside and knit the second one in the same way. Leave the second leg on the double-pointed needles.
Using the circular needles, cast on five stitches. Knit these stitches.
Knit the leg off the double-pointed needles onto the circular needles.
Cast on five more stitches using the backward-loop method. (To do a backward-loop cast-on, loop the working yarn around your needle and twist it so it's backward. Hang the loop on your needle.)
Put the stitches of the other leg back on the double-pointed needles and knit them off onto the circular needles, as you did with the first leg. You should now have 82 stitches on your needles.
Place a marker and begin working in the round. Work in stockinet stitch for 6 1/2 inches.
Purl one round.
Knit 7 rounds.
Bind off loosely, leaving a 2-foot tail for sewing the elastic casing.
Thread the tail on the needle and fold the bound-off edge to meet the purl row at the waist. Sew the bind-off between the purl bumps on the wrong side of the piece to create the casing for the elastic.
When 2 inches remain to be sewn, insert the strip of elastic beneath the casing, being careful not to twist the elastic.
Overlap the ends of the elastic 1 inch and hand-sew them together using a sewing needle and thread. Sew back over this seam to insure the elastic won't come apart.
Sew the remaining 2 inches of the casing closed and weave the end of the tail into the previously sewn casing.
With a separate piece of your working yarn, sew the crotch seam well, securing it to the inside edges of the legs. Weave in the end.
Things you need
- Set US size 7 double-pointed needles
- 200 yards worsted-weight yarn
- Waste yarn
- Darning needle
- Stitch marker
- 16-inch US size 7 circular needle
- 18 inches of 1-inch-wide elastic