We are celebrating here at Crochet with Passion, “Small Fry” Month. It is a month we have set aside to work on clothing, toys or accessories for a child under twelve.
I have decided that in addition to finishing the doily from last month, that I would crochet an infants sailor dress. I am shopping on Friday for the material I will need, and as I was writing down my list it occurred to me how differently I shop for baby projects versus an adult ones. As a result, today I am sharing tips on how to crochet a baby outfit wisely, just in case we have inspired you to crochet baby clothes.
These are just a few things I have learned over the years,:
1. Chose yarn that is kind to the baby’s skin. You want to stay away from heavy weight yarns and speciality yarn such as those with hairy texture, (mohair) fuzzy and shedding, beads , buttons or anything that might come off to choke the baby. Then there are some yarns like wool that can be very scratchy, making it a poor yarn choice for an infant.
Most stores have a baby section of yarn to choose from. However, keep in mind that all children have their own individual needs. Just because a yarn is marked baby yarn does not necessarily mean it will be safe for every child. Always check the yarn- checking for two things, how it feels next to the skin, and how solid it is, to make sure nothing comes off for a baby to put in its mouth.
2. You will also want to choose a yarn that is machine washable. As a rule I never give a new mother anything that requires a lot of care to keep it clean, for example anything that must be hand washed or dry cleaned. Baby items that are machine washable and dryer safe are more likely to be used.
3. I try to avoid added embellishments to my baby items. However, if you really would like to add a button there are things to consider; First, make sure there are no sharp edges to hurt the baby. Check that when you run your fingers across it, make sure it feels smooth. Secondly, make sure that any embellishments are doubly secured. Take the time to add any ribbon, cords, buttons, etc., that is needed to secure so that it will not come off. Also, if you do add a ribbon or a cord, make sure they can not be pulled too tight as this leads to running the risk of choking the infant.
I always go the extra mile when crocheting for a baby, by weaving in longer ends, and double checking to make sure there is nothing loose or that can come apart with the baby’s curious fingers. Baby’s like to pull on everything and we all know the final destination is usually their mouths.
Double and Triple Check that Everything is Secure!!!
4. The good thing about baby clothes is that it does not have to fit exactly. It is alright if it is a little big, but remember not too big. You can have a little give and flexibility in this area, but you do want to make sure it is the correct size, or really close. This type of project is where gauging a swatch would be suggested. Again, it is okay if the outfit is a little big since you do not want it too tight on the child. By checking the gauge it helps ensure that you will crochet the size you desire.
5. Lastly this is where and when you will learn from my bigger mistakes. I thought it would be cute to crochet a very Lacey sweater for a friends new baby. It was beautiful, but I discovered it was not user friendly with a small child. The little girl kept catching her fingers in the loops. So my new rule of thumb now is -a little lace is pretty, but too much can be a nuisance. You do not want anything that the baby can get its fingers caught in.
I hope you will join us in “Small Fry” month by deciding to crochet an outfit that would become a treasure keepsake for the family.
One of the nicest things about interacting with you all is learning from each other. If you have any experience crocheting baby items, please share your success as well as your failure. This is a way of reaching out and helping less experienced crocheter becomes great ones.
Until next time keep those hooks flying.