Hand knit cocoons are a beautiful and simple keepsake to create for a baby. Enveloping the baby in warmth and softness creates the perfect image for a portrait. Bulky yarn and extra large needles create a soft stockinette that stretches and hugs the baby. I kept the pattern as simple as can be: it’s just a stockinette rectangle, and it knits up quickly due to the gauge of yarn.
Bulky Wool Yarn
Knitting needles, US size 19
Before you begin. get the target measurements of the baby you are knitting for. I knit this cocoon for the lovely baby Piper, who is 3 months old, and measures about 24 inches long, so I just added rows until I reached 28 inches. The cocoon is knit fairly wide, and has a nice give, but, if the baby you are knitting for is younger or older you can adjust the width of the pattern. Work a swatch of ten stitches by ten rows. Then use that swatch to determine how many stitches you should cast on in proportion to the measurements of the baby.
Step 1: Cast on 25 stitches.
Step 2: Knit in the stockinette stitch until the you reach your desired length. I wanted the cocoon for Piper to be 30 inches long, and so I knit 60 rows.
Step 3: Cast off. If you like, use the crochet hook to turn the tail of yarn into an I-cord. Otherwise, break the yarn and weave in the end.
Step 4: Use the crochet hook to lace up the cocoon. Just weave the yarn in and out of the edge stitches to seam it shut. While we were taking pictures with Piper, I thought that it would be lovely to actually incorporate the lacing into the design. It would be so cute to use a wide ribbon to lace the baby up into the cocoon as a sort of modern bunting!
Step 5: Use the crochet hook to weave some extra yarn into the very bottom edge of the cocoon. Gather up the end into a knotted closure, and secure it with a knot.