Saturday, September 5, 2009

garter baby sweater

(this will get a better name once my baby is here, the gender is known, and thus has a name besides "baby" and "it"!)

Gauge: 14 sts x 28 rows = 4 inches in garter stitch on US size 9 needles, or needle size needed for correct gauge. Since babies come in a million sizes and are constantly growing, your gauge doesn't have to be spot-on. This was based off of a 3-month sized sleeper but given a few extra stitches and rows here and there to ensure that it can be worn for a good amount of time, and that your baby will not be too snug or immobile. If it's a little big, just add an extra cozy layer underneath and roll up the cuffs.

Materials: Approx 175 yards worsted or aran weight yarn. Shown in Lion Brand Vanna's Choice in Charcoal Gray.
Two sets of size 9 (or as needed for gauge) needles: one long set (about 32", to work sleeves) and one shorter set (16" to work body). The longer set isn't absolutely necessary, but it is nice to be able to stretch your work out completely to see how it's coming out. :)
Waste yarn or stitch holders
Tapestry needle
1 stitch marker to mark beginning of round
2 buttons

Pattern: With longer needles, cast-on 86 stitches (provisional cast-on will make your life a lot easier but a loose long-tail cast-on will work too). Work in garter stitch for 22 rows.
Next row: Knit 35 stitches (sleeve), bind off 16 stitches (neck), knit 35 stitches (sleeve). Slip first 35 stitches onto waste yarn or stitch holder.
Knit 2 rows, then begin shoulder shaping (begin at shoulder edge):
Knit 15, w&t, knit return row
Knit 12, w&t, knit return row
Knit 9, w&t, knit return row
Knit 9, w&t, knit return row
Knit 12, w&t, knit return row
Knit 15, w&t, knit return row
Continue in garter stitch for 20 more rows.
Beginning at sleeve edge, bind off 28 stitches and slip remaining 7 stitches onto waste yarn.
Pick up other sleeve stitches and work a second sleeve as before. Sew sleeves shut.

(this is what the sweater will look like; the pink dots are where the wrap & turns were done)

Switch to shorter needles. Pick up all remaining stitches from original cast-on row, remaining sleeve stitches, and 1 from each armpit to close any gaps you may have. To fill the neck gap at front, when you come to this point, cast-on 16 stitches. You should now have 66 stitches on the needles.
Work these stitches in garter stitch in the round (knit 1 round, purl 1 round) for 2 inches, then work an increase row: (knit 22, m1) 3 times. (69 sts)
Knit in garter stitch for another 2 inches, then work another increase row: (k23, m1) 3 times. (72 sts)
Knit 2 more inches, or until sweater body reaches desired length, then bind off loosely.

Button flap:
Pick up and knit 20 stitches from front and work in garter stitch for 2 rows.
Next row: K1, m1, k to last st, m1, k1. (22 sts)
Knit 3 more rows then repeat increase row. (24 sts)
Knit for another inch.
Next row: K1, yo, ssk, knit to last 3 stitches, k2tog, yo, k1. Knit 1 more row, then bind off. Attach buttons, insert baby, enjoy!

Some ideas for modifications:
* Work a simple cable along each cuff, or a more complex cable down the front.
* Work the button flap in a pretty lace pattern.
* For girls, add a little extra length to make a tunic.
* Use up scraps of yarn from other projects to create a colourful feast for the eyes!
* Crochet a pretty edge around the neck, cuffs, button flap, and bottom of body.
* Add width and length then sew a zipper to the bottom and make a "sleep sack"!
* ...I'd LOVE to see someone make this in Noro! :-)


  1. This is so gorgeous and looks easy and fun to knit! Thanks for posting it and congratulations on your baby who must be due any minute now!!
    Bev Q

  2. congrats on the baby, my husband is in the military also and had to leave when i was pregnant with our first baby, we are stationed in tx, and so i know how you feel, stay strong and have faith :)
    ps we got married in the fresno temple but i have been to the oakland temple and it is really pretty :)

  3. Congrats on the baby and hubby and l love the pattern thank you for shairng.

  4. I just stumbled upon your blog via Rav. and I am totally in love with everything you touch ;) I am also in my midst of creating baby dreads so I was so happy to find a fellow dreadmama out there!

    Samantha (Woodland Woolens)

  5. Thanks everyone! Woodland Woolens, good luck with your dreads! :D

  6. I am so lost! I am to where your second picture is shown and mine looks just like it but I don't have a clue about what you mean to sew the sleeves shut or where to pick up the stitches you originally cast on to continue the body of the sweater. I don't know what I am missing. How many stitches do you sew shut for the sleeve? And what are those 7 stitches that you have placed on stitch holders for-are they for the sleeve or something else. If you could just clarify what goes on in the pattern after picture two and exactly where you should come up with the 66 stitches for the body it would help no end