7 tips to ensure your baby knits get used
1. Remember that babies have really big heads
A new born baby’s head is often about 35cm (14in) in circumference. By contrast, a small adult size is around 50cm (20in) and large adult sizes are around 56cm (24in). Compared to adults or dolls, babies and toddlers seem out of proportion. They need really wide necks on sweaters. Cardigans and wraps are a safer bet. Following a tried and tested baby pattern, like this exclusive free Bergere de France one, is a good way to start.
2. New parents don’t dry clean
OK, there are exceptions, but don’t expect new parents to follow any complicated washing instructions, even if they’re ‘simple, really’ and ‘just take a minute’. Choose yarn for its indestructibility and emphasize how easy it is to clean in the card. Cotton yarns stand up to a lot of wear, and are usually easy to care for. You can even include a sewn-in washing label, if you want to be sure.
3. No one wants to ruin a handknit
Rather than risk destroying your work, many new parents will simply put it by for a special occasion. Even then, they will (rightly) assume that baby will be sick, or at very least drool, on it so may wait too long for it to be useable. Reassure parents that they can use and wash your work, and that you’d rather they use it and wreck it than not use it at all. Try to believe it, too!
4. Blankets last ages
While a tiny sweater will be outgrown in a few months, cot blankets become stroller blankets or car-seat blankets or snuggle at bedtime blankets which then get wrapped around dolls or used for a picnic in the garden. Pictured above, the Johan blanket by MillaMia makes a great gift and is also available as a free pattern here. Just try not to wince when your work gets trapped in the wheels of a pushchair.
5. Let your inner geek out
Many parents love dressing their kids to reflect their own hobbies or values. Knit something that makes the parent geek out, and it’ll be worn until it’s outgrown. It could be as complex as an intarsia version of a favourite cartoon character, or as simple as a hat in team colours.
6. Knit for a special occasion
Offer to knit a lace shawl for a christening wrap or a tiny Santa hat for baby’s first Christmas photo. It will probably only be worn once, but you’ll have photographic proof that it was used. It’s best to ask the parents first – there’s no point knitting an heirloom christening gown for a baby that’s never christened.
7. Make food and toys
Most kids get a toy kitchen or tea set at some point, and knitted food is a big hit. It’s fun to watch a baby play with a knitted cake slice or a knitted carrot, and they’ll go in the toy box for later games. It’s also easy to add to the collection, so you don’t have to think of something new for the next occasion. That said, all toys (as long as they’re securely sewn together) tend to be a hit with the 0-12 month set.
What tips would you share to ensure your baby knits gets used?
Last updated: February 11th, 2014.