Tips for Knitting Baby Hats

Tips for Knitting Baby Hats
Whether for a first or fourth child, a knitted hat makes a great gift. From the standpoint of the knitter, these are great quick projects for a number of reasons. Once you have the basic template down, there is room for endless creativity. However, be sure to think the task through before beginning. Here are a few tips specific to babies and toddlers that will help ensure a successful knitting experience.

Consider, if you will, the concept of irritation. You will want to choose a yarn that will be comfortable (for the sake of the baby) and easy care (for the sake of the parents). Since the yardage will be small, why not go for high-quality yarn? Most yarn marketed for babies is made entirely of acrylic, which does not breathe. This means that the hat will quickly become both clammy and smelly. A yarn that is at least half natural fiber is both better for the environment and more comfortable to wear.

Plant fibers are great for breathability and softness, but have no elasticity. Animal fibers are warm and bouncy, but can be scratchy. Blended yarns, therefore, are generally your best bet. How about Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece, Rowan Cotton Cashmere, or Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino? These are only a few of the beautiful blends out there; go to your Local Yarn Store and ask for help with your choice.

One other yarn consideration: what is your personal level of patience? Many of us love knitting with fingering weight yarn, but it takes longer to finish the project. My personal preference for hats is DK or worsted weight, as the heavier yarn gives a bit more structure to the project. For a baby, however, I would definitely choose DK over worsted and avoid chunky weight – the hat will overwhelm the wearer.

When selecting a pattern, make sure that it is baby friendly. This unfortunately means that you will want to avoid large lace yarn overs, which can easily tangle with a finger. Stranded and slip-stitch knitting can also be problematic for this reason. This does not mean that you should avoid these techniques entirely, but read the pattern through before committing to the project. A stockinette lining will keep floats tucked inside and yarn overs less enticing. Knit-purl patterns, simple cables, and stripes are easy to knit and look great as well.

It bears repeating: baby heads are small, but they grow fast. If you want to make a newborn hat, have it ready before the baby is born. You do not want to finish the project only to find out that the baby has already outgrown it! For this reason, you might consider selecting a size that is just a bit bigger, say a three-month size for a newborn. Baby growth is another reason to consider a ribbed pattern, as these are quite stretchy.

Once you have thought through the project, cast on and enjoy your knitting!

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any of the yarns mentioned above. I have paid for my yarn with my own funds.



You Should Also Read:
Basic Knit Hat Recipe
Knitted Layettes

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Content copyright © 2018 by Korie Beth Brown, Ph.D.. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Korie Beth Brown, Ph.D.. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Korie Beth Brown, Ph.D. for details.