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If you're in a hurry and just want to find out what the best yarn for a baby blanket is, I'd recommend the Lion Brand Yarn.
New baby or grandchild expected? Knitting needles and crochet needles at the ready—choose a pattern, match it to your skillset, and the scene is set.
The challenge is, what is the best yarn for a baby blanket? As an avid knitter with two children and lots of nieces and nephews, I have my own opinion on the best yarns. Let's begin by looking at the factors that play a large part in the decision.
In this article, I am breaking down the best yarn for baby blankets, and in the end, I'll choose the winner.
Here are the yarns I will be reviewing:
What to Consider When Choosing Yarn
A handmade baby blanket is a gift all new parents will love. But to make the perfect blanket, what do we need to look for when shopping for yarn?
When knitting a blanket that’s intended as a keepsake or a usable item, it makes a difference when choosing yarn. Most baby blankets will be regularly used, so the yarn must be durable and able to withstand multiple washes.
The main aim of the blanket is to keep baby snuggly and warm, but you need to consider what babies do with their blankets. There are always going to be sporadic diaper calamities, food spillages, drooling, and most often sucking of the blanket (especially at night if they use it as a comforter in their mini crib).
While the yarn should be soft, cuddly, and lightweight, the features you should look for in the yarn are durability and high quality.
There is no better testament to your labor than when you see a child taking the blanket to preschool. It makes your heart swell with pride, not only because they love it, but because it has lasted so well.
Although the parents would love to nurture and conserve this beautiful handmade blanket by hand washing, it is not always practical. They need a washable item that can be put into the tumble dryer for use again and again.
Is the yarn advocate machine washable and tumble dryer-friendly? Busy moms need that functionality. There are yarns on the market called Superwash Wool, but you still need to be careful when washing and drying.
Don't go by what the label says. To be sure, I would recommend knitting a swatch then throwing it in with towels and jeans on a normal wash and see how the yarn fairs.
Yarns such as cotton, synthetic type yarns, commercial sock yarns, and some blended superwash wools are the right choice.
Because of the disasters that the blanket will go through, it needs to be washed on a warm wash and some man-made fibers cannot withstand this. The fiber mats and it loses all of its delicate pattern and can shrink or become unshapely.
Having made several blankets, I’ve found that blended cotton and blended acrylic yarns come out the best when washed many times and they don't lose their shape.
Many parents have already chosen the color and theme of their baby’s nursery. So may I suggest that it would be wise to consult them when selecting the color of the blanket. The baby never has a choice of what they wear or what color they like, so the blanket must be pleasing to the parents.
If they like many different colors, then a variegated yarn would be the answer. Yarn makers have moved on and produced many beautiful effects that would be great for a baby’s blanket.
Always check the batch number and shade number. It’s so easy to pick up a ball with a different batch or shade number than what you wanted. Once you’ve started, you may notice the color varies dramatically, ruining your beautiful creation.
One fiber that I wouldn’t recommend is 100 percent wool products, as it can be an irritant to babies and may cause distress. The added danger of fur balls getting into the child's fingers then into the throat causing choking hazards is another disadvantage.
Avoid single fiber and novelty yarns as they tend to be fluffy and shed fibers that can also cause choking.
If you are as concerned about safety as I am, choose to knit the blanket with tight stitches, as it can help to keep baby safe. Loosely knitted blankets or those with holes in can allow little fingers to get tangled. This can cause a choking hazard or at least painful fingers if it’s tight.
Make sure all loose ends are fastened off so they can’t pull them and get themselves into situations that might endanger them.
Sensitivity to Wool
It may be prudent to inquire if the parents are sensitive or allergic to wool. But it’s best to find out if it makes them itch and bring them out in spots. It is likely that if the parents are allergic to wool, the baby will be too.
Knitters recommend cotton, bamboo, or acrylic blends as they are washable at any temperature, resist stains (which is a bonus), are soft, and allergen-free. These yarns are also a delight to knit garments with. Polyester is also available and comes in pastel shades as well.
If the parents are environmentally conscious, then there is organic cotton that can be used for blankets as well. The choice of colors is not as much as man-made yarn, though.
Choosing the yarn will depend on when the baby is due. If they are to be born in the spring or the fall you would be looking for medium weight yarn. Use a warm and partially closed pattern to keep the chilly wind out, but a lighter weight than winter.
Winter will require a more chunkier yarn to keep baby warm and snuggly.
Summer would call for a very lightweight yarn with a more open pattern. This will allow it to let the warm air out and be cool for baby.
When choosing the yarn, remember, if the blanket is large and it is doubled over then that makes two blankets. If it is still too big and is quartered then it is equivalent to four blankets.
The easiest way to solve that problem is to knit a smaller blanket that will fit either a pram or cot. Bigger is not necessarily better.
That depends, of course, on your budget and what you would like to spend. It is better to invest in a good durable yarn, that will last through babyhood and possibly into early childhood.
Some cheaper yarns are not as good as they are purported to be and lose their shape and durability quickly. The color can fade too, making it look washed out and old, even after only a few washes, so it’s best to go in the middle of the price range at least.
How Much Yarn Will It Take?
The amount of yarn a blanket will require depends on the size of the blanket, the meterage of the yarn, the pattern, and the yarn chosen. It will also depend on the needle size. Some yarns are more cost-effective than others.
My Baby Blanket Yarn Reviews
Having helped with information on what to look for, I will now introduce you to five of the best yarns for your baby blanket. This is based on personal choice, they are soft and pleasing to handle and they knit up perfectly. Now you can choose.
This radiant yarn comes in a range of adorable pastel colors, perfect for a baby blanket. The Lion Brand yarn is manufactured from 60 percent premium acrylic and 40 percent Polyamide. This creates an extremely soft and effortless yarn to knit or crochet with.
This yarn is a medium weight, so ideal for babies due in spring or autumn. If you want to use it for a winter baby, it may be best to double up or make a large blanket.
It weighs 5 ounces and has 459 yards. The yarn is machine washable, and it’s best washed for the first time at a temperature of 105 Fahrenheit.
If you’re looking to produce an incredibly soft baby blanket, then this may be the yarn for you.
While it’s manufactured from 100 percent polyester, it is in the style of chenille which makes it incredibly soft on baby’s delicate skin. It’s been safety certified, proven to be safe for sensitive skin, and is fantastic for whatever baby product you’re planning.
The yarn is manufactured for machine washing in cool water and tumble drying. It should be extremely effortless to work with, so is great for beginners.
Create a rainbow blanket with this yarn if you are not sure of the gender of the baby. This 100 percent Turkish cotton yarn comes in a pack of 20 assorted colors.
Unfortunately, this yarn can only be hand washed. But to make up for this, after tumble drying or air drying the yarn becomes softer and fluffier after each wash. It’s quick drying, super absorbent, and extremely lightweight.
These features make it great for a summer blanket, which can also be used year-round. If you’re not happy with the yarn when it arrives, luckily there is a money-back guarantee.
Expecting a wonderful addition to the family in the colder winter months? Then you will need to knit a fantastic bulky baby blanket to keep baby snuggly and warm.
This chenille-style yarn is a considerably weighty yarn which is ideal for creating a blanket for a baby in the colder months.
This yarn is in the weight class of super bulky, and the ball is 10.5 ounces and is 220 yards long. This yarn is machine washable and can be tumble dried, so any catastrophes can be dealt with.
This yarn is just perfect for any baby-related projects. Manufactured in 100 percent acrylic fiber, it makes the yarn very soft to touch.
With so many colors to select from, this is a first-rate choice if you’re considering knitting a baby blanket for a baby’s baptism or if you are unsure whether it will be a boy or girl.
This yarn has a length of 204 yards and is in the medium worsted weight category. What is more, this Red Heart yarn can be machine washed and tumbled dried. However, steer clear of ironing. If the yarn doesn’t feel soft enough to you, wash it a couple of times and add sensitive fabric conditioner.
Knitting for a newborn is exciting, and we all want to make the perfect usable present. Sometimes we know what gender and can knit specific colors, sometimes not. Whichever way round there are colors to suit every occasion and every taste, as well as weights for different seasons.
My personal favorite is Lion Brand Yarn, for its durability and the fantastic range of colors, plus the soft and cuddly feeling. It has everything a busy mom needs—it’s machine washable and remains looking like new due to not pilling a great deal.
For the knitter, it is a lovely yarn to knit with, has large skeins and 25 vibrant colors to choose from. It just needs to be handled with care, so not for the novice. Although this is my personal favorite, all the yarn listed are equally as good, and I am sure whichever yarn you choose it will make your project perfect.