Beautiful Baby Yarns
When we think of baby yarn, the majority of us probably think of the more traditional balls of yarn that you will find in every yarn shop the world over.
Many of these brands have been around for years, which is a great affirmation that they are perfect for the job they’re intended for. There is no need of an extra endorsement, the longevity of these yarns says it all. However, it’s fair to say that although there is something to be said for beautiful cream baby knits in easy care fabrics, many of us now prefer something a little more different.
Whether that’s in the desire to use brighter colours, different fibres or a combination of both, the range of baby yarns is ever increasing. Baby yarns aren’t just for babies and you can make baby and little people’s garments in lots of different yarns too.
Cost, durability, skin sensitivity and what kind of people the child’s parents are, should all be considered when it comes down to making your choice. It’s no good spending the time and money on creating an Edwardian inspired pram coat in beautiful soft merino, if the baby is to be swaddled in an all in one snow suit to keep out the elements and the parents can just about find the time to load the washing machine.
If you’re making baby wear to give as gifts and you’d like to know it’s used and loved, it’s worth spending a little time finding out what would be appreciated.
The Fibre Kitchen
DK Merino/Bamboo Baby & Pastel collection
Shade Pictured Candy Floss
Fibre Content 80% Superwaash Merino/20% Bamboo
Ball Weight/Length 100g =225m/246yds
Needle Size 3.5 – 4 mm
Tension None specified
New kid on the block, well so to speak, in the Irish indie dyer scene is Rachel, the woman behind the recently launched Fibre Kitchen. Based in Dublin, Rachel who has been knitting and crocheting for years. She set up her company a few months ago and hasn’t looked back.
We don’t need to tell you how much we love our hand dyed yarns. It’s probably quite obvious from the ‘We Had To Have It’ section of our podcast. However, it’s not often you find an indie dyer with a specific range for babies and little people.
The Fibre Kitchen’s baby and pastel collection of yarns represent something that little bit different for mini connoisseurs. Hand-dyed using candy colours, with the odd pop of a more intense speckle, the range currently includes 8 shades.
The yarn itself is a DK weight, merino/bamboo blend with a good amount of spring. The wool gives the yarn memory, bounce and warmth, while the bamboo content increases the soft handle of the yarn The fibre takes the dye well and when knitted up our swatch showed a beautiful randomness to the colours. The resulting fabric is super soft and warm, ideal for all baby knits.
You can find The Fibre Kitchen’s yarns on the website and in the Etsy shop. The Baby DK Merino/Bamboo Collection is available exclusively at The Constant Knitter, Dublin.
Yorkshire Dale Yarn
Shade Pictured Yorkshire Lass
Fibre Content 100% Superwash Merino
Ball Weight/Length 100g =175m/191yds
Needle Size 4.5-5mm
Tension None Specified
We’ve already mentioned how difficult it was to track down indie dyers producing yarn specifically with babies and little people in mind. Happily, while perusing the wealth of shops on Etsy, we stumbled upon Homespunwonders. Based in Yorkshire, Heather and Kate are the mother and daughter team at the helm. With a passion for high quality natural fibres they also dye their own range of yarns under the retail brand Yorkshire Dale Yarns, selecting yarn bases they can be assured will knit beautifully.
Heather and Kate have created their Yorkshire Lass and Yorkshire Lad yarn, which will appeal to both the more traditional and contemporary makers among us. Full disclosure here, it was a good couple of weeks before I could bring myself to wind the yarn to knit the swatch for this review. So taken with the hank of yumminess was I, that I just wanted to look at it for as long as possible – this from someone who prefers blue?
The hand-dyed variegated aran yarn is, as you might expect, dyed with blues or pinks, over a cream superwash merino base. Having knitted our swatch in the Yorkshire Lass colourway (eventually), we can report that it lives up to expectations. The yarn was a joy to work with and the resulting fabric is soft, bouncy and warm. On our little swatch, the colours have pooled slightly, but over more stitches, this would be completely lost and the pattern would become much more random. Handwashing is advised and there are 175 metres per 100g hank. The ladies have informed us that they also dye solid shades to match the Yorkshire Lass/Lad colourways.
You’re never too old for baby blue or baby pink, are you?
Baby Dream DK
Shade Pictured 001
Fibre Content 50% Acrylic/50% Polyamide
Ball Weight/Length 50g =122m/133yds
Needle Size 4 mm
Tension 22 stitches x 28 rows
Baby Dream DK is a beautiful new yarn from Rico Design. There are currently 6 colourways available, each of which has a beautiful variegated palette of candy colours. It’s a lovely yarn to work with and we were surprised to discover it’s 100% man made; we were convinced there was a little viscose content in there.
It’s a super soft yarn with a very smooth construction that translates to a good stitch definition when knitted. The finished fabric is light and extremely soft, ideal for even the most delicate of baby skins. Like many of the baby yarns available today, it’s easy to care for and extremely versatile. Baby Dream DK is suitable for any DK pattern and perfect for all baby garments, accessories and blankets.
Lullaby Print DK
Shade Pictured 1811 Lime Fizz
Fibre Content 55% Nylon/45% Acrylic
Ball Weight/Length 50g = 135m/147yds
Needle Size 4 mm
Tension 22 stitches x 30 rows
Lullaby was released by Stylecraft a few years back to accommodate the growing popularity for reasonably priced baby yarns that are a step up from 100% acrylic. Lullaby is a good quality baby yarn that despite being 100% man-made fibre, has a look and handle of a cotton/wool blend. The yarn itself is a smooth, plied construction with a slightly matte finish to it. It’s a soft easy care yarn that can be machine washed and tumble dried.
Currently 17 shades solid shades and 4 print shades are available. The prints work well in designs either alone or used together with the solid shades. Stylecraft has released a collection of baby/little people designs specifically for Lullaby Print DK. Have a look at our favourite design 9279, a pattern for a sweater and cardigan in sizes 0-6 months to 4 years.
Ideal for all baby knits, garments, accessories and blankets, Stylecraft Lullaby will retain its good looks far longer than any baby will be wearing it.
Peter Pan DK
Shade Pictured 935
Fibre Content 55% Nylon/45% Acrylic
Ball Weight/Length 50g = 170m/186yds
Needle Size 3.25 – 4 mm
Tension 24 stitches x 32 rows
Peter Pan Baby Yarn from Wendy has been around since the early 1960s and it’s easy to understand why. A blend of nylon and acrylic, Peter Pan DK is a good reliable baby yarn, that’s reasonably priced and ideal for all baby and little people knits.
As a standard DK, Peter Pan will work perfectly as a substitute for other true DK patterns, but you should have no need to look further afield. Wendy yarns are constantly releasing new designs in both knitting and crochet for the Peter Pan range of yarns. Happily, along with their new books of patterns, Peter Pan still also print several classic books of designs packed with traditional styles that are still adored by many makers and new parents around the world.
Peter Pan DK produces a light, bouncy fabric that is soft enough to sit next to delicate skin. It is available in 39 shades in 50g balls and with a limited colour palette of the more traditional baby colours in 100g.
James C. Brett
Baby Twinkle DK
Shade Pictured BT2
Fibre Content 65% Acrylic/28% Supersoft Nylon/7% Lurex
Ball Weight/Length 100g =300m/328yds
Needle Size 4 mm
Tension 22 – 28 stitches
Available in 7 traditional baby shades, Baby Twinkle DK from James C. Brett is a pretty yarn, often used for celebratory baby clothes. Think naming day ceremonies, baptisms or leaving hospital outfits. Unlike some other sparkle yarns available on the market, Baby Twinkle is incredibly soft due to the addition of 28% nylon. When knitted, the yarn produces an even fabric that sparkles with every movement. Suitable for all baby garments, but also ideal for communions, weddings and those times you might need a little sparkle – like a little holiday that’s coming up?
Baby Twinkle is a reasonably priced yarn, with great meterage. It’s a true double knit yarn that will knit to any standard DK pattern.
Fine Merino Dk
Shade Pictured 2507 Duck Egg
Fibre Content 100% Wool
Ball Weight/Length 50g =120m/131yds
Needle Size 4 mm
Tension 22 stitches x 30 rows
While Fine Merino DK by Yarn Stories isn’t strictly a baby yarn, it’s so soft and squidgy that we thought it deserved to be included in this issue. Many of us prefer to knit with pure wool where possible, and merino is such a fine fibre that it can be worn by most people, even the little ones.
It is often argued that merino might be a little too expensive for knits that will only be worn for a short while. Other people believe merino is far less easy to care for than many of the nylon/acrylic blend baby yarns. While these points are definitely considerations, the choice is purely down to the makers’ prerogative and what the new parents would prefer.
Produced in Yorkshire from the world’s best merino fibre, Fine Merino DK is a beautiful yarn. Currently there are 26 different shades available, including delicate candy colours and more rich tones. Fine Merino DK is ideal for baby and big people knits. It has a traditional look to it with a much softer handle. When knitted, the yarn produces a fabric with good stitch definition, ideal for cables and colour work.
Snuggly Tutti Frutti
Shade Pictured 302 Strawberry Laces
Fibre Content 80% Polyester 20% Rayon
Ball Weight/Length 50g = 95m/104yds
Needle Size 5 mm
Tension 13.5 stitches x 24 rows
Judging by the looks on the fashion catwalks for this season, chenille is back. Tapping into this revived trend, Sirdar has created Tutti Frutti, a bright coloured yarn perfect for babies and children alike. In the past, some chenille yarns would have shed constantly while being knitted. However, after knitting our sample swatch there were no stray fibres hanging around.
Sirdar has released 6 shades to date, each with colour neps running through them. The yarn knits up to form a fun, cosy fabric that little people will love. The suggested tension is off standard but happily, Sirdar has released several designs including jumpers, cardigans, accessories, toys and blankets.
Shade Pictured 10 Light Turquoise
Fibre Content 100% Wool
Ball Weight/Length 50g =175m/4191yds
Needle Size 3 mm
Tension 24 stitches x 32 Rows
As a superwash yarn, Drops Baby Merino is machine washable making it ideal for daily use. It’s spun from multiple strands to give extra elasticity and is soft enough for delicate baby skins. A sport weight yarn, Baby Merino is ideal for use in all of those beautiful baby knits from the US where this weight of yarn is much more popular than our standard DK.
However, there are a wealth of free knitting and crochet designs for Baby Merino on the garnstudio.com website, including everything from sweet little baby leggings, to hats for all the family and cardigans and jumper for women.
There are currently 40 shades available in Baby Merino and they range from the more traditional colours for babies to rich jewel tones and contemporary on trend shades.
Our knitted sample has lovely little neat stitches, which rest perfectly next to each other, making this yarn ideal for colour work. An important thing to note is that Drops yarn recommend that you ensure your tension is correct, even slightly tight is preferable to loose. Their website also states that when washing, ensure your water isn’t too warm and do not leave your woollies to soak.
Baby Blossom Chunky
Shade Pictured 301 Bluebell
Fibre Content 70% Acrylic/30% Nylon
Ball Weight/Length 100g =155m/170yds
Needle Size 6.5 mm
Tension 14 stitches x 19 rows
We really wanted to include a chunky baby yarn in this review for those of us that like the speed and instant gratification of a thicker yarn. If we’re being honest, chunky baby yarn is great for creating those last-minute gifts too.
The Hayfield range of yarns represent value for money first and foremost. Their range of yarns are reliable, basic and won’t cost you a fortune. Baby Blossom Chunky with its acrylic/nylon blend is a soft chunky yarn designed specifically for baby and little people knits. It is a self-patterning yarn that works up in next to no time.
A standard chunky, Baby Blossom will knit to most chunky patterns, including all of those produced by Sirdar. Several designs to accompany the yarn under the Hayfield brand have been released, including two blanket patterns where chunky yarns really do come into their own.
Our swatch, being relatively small, doesn’t show the yarn at its best. When knitting a row with more stitches the pink and green flecks resemble little flowers – hence the name Baby Blossom.
Baby Cashmerino Tonals
Shade Pictured 08 Blackcurrant
Fibre Content 55% Wool/33% Acrylic/12% Cashmere
Ball Weight/Length 50g = 125 m/137 yds
Needle Size 3.25mm
Tension 28 stitches x 34 rows
Baby Cashmerino has long been the best-selling yarn in the range from Debbie Bliss. Finer than a standard double knit yarn, but a little thicker than most 4-ply/fingering wools, it’s a yarn that works best with the patterns designed specifically for it, or those designed for Eco Baby.
A blend of extra fine merino wool, cashmere and acrylic, Baby Cashmerino is soft and squidgy and produces lovely, even textured fabric that is machine washable.
Baby Cashmerino Tonals is available in 10 shades which subtly fade from light to dark. As you would expect from Debbie Bliss the colourways are all very on trend and interplay well with each other, as well as with the solid shades. There is a book of 8 fun designs using Baby Cashmerino Tonals available, all created to show of the yarn with great effect.