Discover the joy of knitting baby blankets! We’ve handpicked free, easy knit baby blanket patterns and expert tips on designing the coziest afghans for your little ones. From choosing the right yarn to adding adorable finishing touches, we’ll guide you every step of the way.
Baby Blanket Knitting Patterns for Beginners
The mini size of knit baby blankets makes for a manageable beginner’s project. Let’s break the basic process down into simple steps.
How to knit a baby blanket:
- Choose your yarn and needle size.
- Cast on the correct number of stitches.
- Work in your pattern until you reach the right size.
- Cast off.
Keep reading for tips on what to look out for when designing a simple blanket, from safety to size.
What to Look for in a Beginner-Friendly Pattern
Knit baby blanket patterns vary in the required skills, and many are customizable. You’re sure to find one that fits your comfort level.
There are plenty of options for easy knitting stitches for baby blankets. Beginner knitters should opt for a straightforward repeat or a basic reversible stitch like garter stitch. Once you gain confidence, add a border or try a more complex stitch pattern.
Also, consider the stitch and row repeats. Stitch repeat is the combination of stitches in a row. Row repeat means how many rows of certain stitch repeats you need to achieve your desired pattern or motif.
Do you want to concentrate on a challenge or a relaxing, brain-off project? More complex knit blanket patterns will have longer row repeats and more varied stitches.
Knit colorwork doesn’t have to be intimidating. Once you are confident changing yarn, rainbow projects are easier than you think.
The hardest part of a colorful knit baby afghan is often choosing the right color combination. Yarns like Lion Brand Color Theory remove this guessing game, as every mix of shades looks stunning together.
If constantly swapping out yarn scares you, opt for a self-striping yarn like Lion Brand Mandala to do the color changing for you.
Finishing Touches and Blanket Borders
For toddlers and young kids, tassels, pom poms, and ribbons jazz up knit blankets made with simple stitches. (Accessories and embellishments should be avoided for kids under three, however, as they can pose a safety hazard.)
While edges and borders are cute, they also have practical uses.
Add a border to your knit baby blanket can help:
- Make a curling stitch lay flatter.
- Increase the size of a blanket that turns out smaller than you wanted.
- Add a contrasting pop of color without changing colors throughout the main blanket pattern.
27 Free Baby Blanket Knitting Patterns
This free pattern collection has something for everyone, whether you prefer a printable pattern or video tutorials. Perhaps you want some inspiration before you design your own blanket pattern.
Find your flavor for your next knit baby blanket project here.
Easy Blankets for Beginners
These simple knit baby blankets are superb for novices. All you need are your knitting needles and a little time to craft.
Rainbow Striped Beginners Blanket
Pom Pom Throw
Skip the pom poms if you’re knitting for a newborn or infant.
Matching Hat and Baby Blankie
Knot Stitch Baby Blanket Pattern
Easy Baby Blanket Knit Pattern
Polka Dot Free Knitting Baby Blanket Pattern
Colorblock and Tassels
Lightweight Baby Blankets
Fresh, breathable cuddlers keep little ones cozy in their strollers on summer days. Lightweight knits are also great for ensuring babies don’t overheat.
Chevron Baby Blanket
Blankets Made From Squares
Throws made from squares are an adorable blend of classic and modern. They also make for practical projects.
Instead of continuously knitting one giant blanket, work up individual squares or hexagons to join together at the end. Knitting smaller, portable pieces means you can take your work on the go.
Memory Squares Blanket
Chunky Yarn Baby Blankets
Thicker weight yarns are superb for achieving a cuddly and quick baby throw. Chunky yarn is also easy to handle, making it manageable for beginners to work with.
Seed Stitch Throw
Easy Chunky Knit Afghan
Baby Kisses Small Knit Blanket Pattern
Beginners Baby Blanket
Rustic Textured Blanket Pattern
Corner to Corner Chenille Afghan
Modern Knit Baby Blankets
These free baby blanket knitting patterns showcase modern flair and style. Think bold colors and irresistible prints.
Bobble Border Blanket
Triangle Baby Blanket
Checkered Knit Blanket
Slip Stitch Rosebud Speckles
Wave Design Crib Blanket
Cuddle Blankets + Lovies
All babies deserve a little best friend. If you don’t have time to knit a full-size blanket, these free knitting patterns for baby cuddle blankets are the answer.
Easy Cuddle Blanket Bunny
Adorable Boucle Bear Lovie
While the Baby Soft Boucle yarn used in this pattern is discontinued, Lion Brand Homespun is a fantastic substitution. (You’ll have to enter your email address to download the free printable knitting pattern.)
What Yarn to Use?
Babies need soft, hypoallergenic yarns, and parents don’t need extra stress. When selecting a yarn, comfort for the child and ease of washing are top priorities.
Here’s what to consider when choosing yarn for a baby blanket knitting pattern.
Cotton, wool, and acrylic yarn are all popular choices. When making a knitted blanket for a child, many people prefer synthetic yarns, which are gentle on sensitive young skin.
Watch out for fluffy fibers. Due to potential shedding, they can be dangerous for babies.
Yarn Suggestion: Lion Brand Pima Cotton
Soft cotton is a classic yarn choice for a reason! This worsted-weight yarn is my favorite. Its manageable thickness also makes it an easy knit for beginners.
Pale colors discolor easily, and babies can be messy creatures. Consider opting for slightly darker hues or a multicolored yarn to avoid annoying stains.
Self-striping yarn is excellent for all knitters who want to incorporate extra color variety into a project.
Yarn Suggestion: Lion Brand Ice Cream
Beginners will love this gradient-colored, lightweight yarn to add pizzazz without any extra effort.
Thanks to the little rugrats, baby blankets need to be washed frequently. Machine-washable yarns that you can pop in the dryer are handy. Read the wash instructions of your chosen yarn to keep your finished blanket looking beautiful.
Yarn Suggestion: Lion Brand Feels Like Butta
This worsted-weight yarn captures the irresistible feel of chenille without its delicate nature. Not only is it machine washable and dryable, but also gentle on sensitive skin.
Light-weight yarns are ideal for breathable blankets.
Yarn Suggestion: Lion Brand Oh Baby and Lion Brand Baby Soft
DK weight yarn is versatile and keeps your baby cozy but not too hot. The baby-specific Lion Brand options offer an assortment of shades in lightweight and fine yarns.
Durable yarn is a must for knit blankets that will be washed frequently.
Yarn Suggestion: Lion Brand Basic Stitch Anti Pilling
I’ve tested this yarn with lots of machine washing, and it actually does live up to the name.
Circular or Straight Needles?
Baby blanket knit patterns can be worked using circular or straight knitting needles. For larger blankets, circular needles are a more popular choice since they accommodate more stitches and bear the weight of the growing project. (Think of your wrists!)
If you’re making a small knit baby blanket, you may be able to fit all the required stitches on straight needles.
When knitting a blanket made of individual squares, straight needles can also work well.
Average Baby Blanket Sizes
Blanket patterns often accommodate a range of sizes: crib blankets, stroller blankets, swaddling blankets, and loveys all have different uses.
The average size for a crib blanket is around 40“ x 60.” A smaller stroller blanket tends to be around 30” x 35”.
If you find a larger knit afghan pattern you love, consider making it in a lighter (AKA thinner) yarn to make it the appropriate size for a baby.
Knit Baby Blanket Size Chart
Here are the most common sizes you’ll see in baby blanket patterns. Use these dimensions as a framework, but don’t worry if your finished blanket doesn’t match them specifically. No one except for you will pull out a ruler and measure the baby blanket you knit!
|Type of Baby Blanket||Dimensions|
|Lovey||10 x 10||25 x 25|
|Security blanket||14 x 17||36 x 43|
|Standard baby blanket||30 x 35||76 x 89|
|Receiving blanket||40 x 40||102 x 102|
|Toddler blanket||42 x 52||107 x 132|
|Crib blanket||45 x 60||114 x 152|
Pro Tip: A blanket-specific yarn like Lion Brand’s super bulky I Wanna Make a Blankie chenille-style yarn comes in a cake with enough yardage to make a 42” square blanket. This can be an easy and affordable way to knit blankets for baby gifts or charity.
Yes, knitted baby blankets can be safe. However, there are a few things to keep in mind:
• The AAP recommends removing all loose blankets and other soft items from where an infant sleeps.
• Avoid beads, lace, and small holes, and weave in all loose ends.
• Keep tassels, pom poms, or ribbons off newborn blankets. These additions can be fun for supervised preschool-age kids.
Always take reasonable precautions and keep an eye on baby.
The best way to wash hand-knitted baby blankets depends on the yarn used. Choosing an easy-care, machine-washable yarn will eliminate a new parent’s stress about following specific care instructions. As always, follow the guide printed on the label of your specific yarn.
Pro Tip: When gifting a knit baby blanket, I like to attach a gift tag with simple washing instructions to make it easy on the recipients.
Curling is a fact of life with stockinette stitch. The misbalance of only knit stitches on one side and only purl on the other causes parts of the work to contract in different directions. You have two options to tackle curling: borders and blocking.
Incorporate a Border
Working your project up with a garter or seed stitch border is a proactive way to avoid curling. If you fancy a bit of needlework, consider finishing your blanket with a sewn-in lining.
Block Your Blanket
Blocking knitting involves wetting your project and laying it flat to retain its shape. This process works well for organic fibers.
For synthetic fibers like acrylic or polyester, use steam from a garment steamer or iron. Always avoid touching the heat source directly to synthetic yarn as it can melt if overheated.
Knit and crochet are both good options for baby blankets. Knitted fabrics tend to have better drape and be softer than crocheted blankets, making them an ace option for a cozy blankie.
Crochet baby blankets can progress faster, but they also use more yarn. Techniques such as corner-to-corner (C2C) crochet can be a fun way to make creative baby blankets that include words, animals, or other shapes.
If you do choose to crochet a baby blanket, avoid patterns with large holes, as fabric that is too mesh-like can dangerous for the baby. Check out our favorite free crochet baby blanket patterns for inspiration!
The number of stitches to cast on depends on the weight of yarn and the desired dimensions of the baby blanket. Most baby blankets will require somewhere between 130 and 200 stitches cast-on.
Knitting a gauge swatch is the best way to estimate how many stitches you will need. This small square, typically 4”x4”, will help you understand how much yarn you use when knitting. Buy ten percent more yarn than you think you will need.