How to Knit a Baby Sweater

By Michelle Powell-Smith

Things Needed

  • Washable soft yarn
  • Knitting needles
  • Stitch markers or scrap yarn

A hand-knit baby sweater is an ideal practical and personal gift for any baby in your life. Many baby sweaters can be knitted in just a few days. Patterns range from easy to involved and complex. Choose a pattern that will fit a wide size-range, work in a washable yarn and can be adapted to the parents' preferences to make sure your gift will be enjoyed and appreciated.

Start with the 5 Hour Baby Sweater pattern (see Resources). This is a classic baby sweater. Variations are available for a more boyish sweater, a hooded knit baby sweater or a larger size knit baby cardigan.

Choose the right yarn. While acrylics are affordable and inexpensive, many parents prefer natural materials. Consider a superwash wool or a soft cotton or bamboo blend for baby. If you are knitting a heirloom sweater, a fine wool, silk or cashmere may be appropriate. This sweater pattern requires a worsted weight yarn. You will need approximately 100 grams of yarn to complete it.

Adjust the size of your sweater by adjusting your gauge. For a standard newborn size, use size 10 1/2 needles. You can make a smaller preemie size by dropping to a size-eight or an even smaller sweater by using a size-eight needle. You can use straight or circular needles for this simple sweater.

Read through your pattern. This baby sweater requires that you knit, purl, knit two together, purl two together, yarn over and knit front and back. Refer to the videos at knittinghelp.com for additional assistance with any of these steps.

Add stripes or color changes to personalize your knit baby sweater if desired. This sweater will be lovely in a variegated or hand-dyed yarn, but equally pretty in traditional and simple cream. You may also want to look at the available variations on this pattern and make adjustments as needed. This classic sweater looks much more modern with a hood and button band.

Tip

This is the ideal baby sweater to knit if you need to finish one in a weekend.

Warning

Adjust your needle size accordingly if you are an unusually tight or loose knitter to achieve a good fit.

About the Author

With a master's degree in art history from the University of Missouri-Columbia, Michelle Powell-Smith has been writing professionally for more than a decade. An avid knitter and mother of four, she has written extensively on a wide variety of subjects, including education, test preparation, parenting, crafts and fashion.