totally free/totally adorable baby cardigan




 


Once upon a time I was making a granny square blanket.  Into a big basket I threw all my machine washable DK odds and ends.  I poked around in the odd dye lot/sale bin at my lys and whenever I found a superwash DK in a color I liked, I bought it and threw that in too.  I crocheted so many granny squares.  I crocheted and crocheted and crocheted.  Then one day I stopped.  Like that, I was done.  Sometimes I get like that.  So now I have all these squares and think I can squeeze out a sweet granny baby blanket with them, but definitely not ever going to make enough squares to make a full size blanket.

So now I'm left with a giant basket of single balls of superwash wool.  It's all high quality and mostly Rowan cuz that's what I like.  It dawned on me one day when I was in a stripey mood, that these lovely oddballs could turn into beautiful baby sweaters.  I found an easy top-down cardi on Rav and found it was very fun to knit.  Now looking through my superwash basket gives me inspiration and ideas for more and more scrappy baby sweaters.  The pattern is called Basic Raglan Baby Cardigan Sweater and it's free.  It comes in 3 sizes, 0-3, 3-6 and 6-12 months.  This sweater was knit in the 3-6 month size.  The instructions are very well written and if you are new to top down construction it would be a super intro.

Here's my suggestions for baby gifting:  Always make your baby knits in super soft yarn; baby has his way of letting you know if he is uncomfortable.  And always knit in a superwash yarn because mommy will appreciate that little thing.  The above sweater was knit with Rowan Pure Wool DK using a partial skein of each.  I ran out of the gray yarn and so subbed in some of the green to make the last stripes on the sleeves.  The twist on this yarn makes it easy to get a perfect tension.  You can see that in the first picture.  Knitting with PWDK, all soft, squishy and stretchy is like a knitter's version of taking a hot bath; so relaxing with the easy rhythm of soft yarn gliding over smooth needles.

Now it's true that babies are notoriously fussy about lots of things, but one thing they don't care a jot about is what side the button band is on (male on the left side, female on the right side).  So when I make a unisex baby sweater like this I just do whatever.  The buttons here are vintage from grandmother's button box and are sewn on super tightly as I don't want any loose /shudder/ buttons on anything baby is wearing! 

As a side note, almost as soon as this was off the needles I heard that my youngest cousin had his first baby!  Such happy news!  This is being shipped off to Bainbridge Island for little Finn.  I've already started my second cardi in blues with white for the third son of a family who lives in San Diego.  I'm trying out a newly re-released yarn and I'll tell you all about it soon.


I have a few knitting tips:  

1. Between the ribbing and stripes, work one row stockinette in the rib color before beginning the rib (when knitting the cuffs) or finishing the rib (when knitting the collar).   This extra row of stockinette in the rib color will make a neater looking transition.  You do not need to do this row of stockinette for the button band.

2. When picking up stitches for the button band, pick up 3 stitches for every four.  It will lay nice and flat. 

3.  Use the KFB increase for the raglan increases.

4.  For gentle sleeve shaping that narrows to the cuff, decrease 1 stitch at each end 4 times evenly spaced (8 sts. decreased total)

5. Make your button band first, then place your buttons where you want them, mark their placement, then knit the buttonhole band.  

6. Remember to use machine washable wool or cotton for baby items. My yarn stash is mostly wool and some cottons.  I don't bother with matching fiber content in these sweaters and happily mix wools with cottons.  As long as it's the same weight and machine washable, I have great success. 

7. As for weaving in the ends, I tend to do that as I go along.  After weaving the end in, I leave about 1/2" of yarn on the inside.  If I've cut the yarn too close to the fabric, the yarn end tends to poke out on the front side after washing.  Leaving it longer tends to insure it will stay on the inside.

8. When a baby sweater is completed, I turn it inside out and machine wash in cool water and tumble dry on low.  I want to make sure that it passes the "washer-dryer test", and luckily they always do.  When gifting, I always tie a little care-tag to the top button.  The care is simple, and even the busiest mom can manage:  Button up the cardigan, turn inside out, machine wash on gentle in cool water, tumble dry on low.  
 
Below are the pattern links.  You'll find a pattern for fingering, DK and worsted weight yarns.  All are free downloads and most are sized 3 mos. to 2 years.  Print out all these patterns and gather up your machine washable oddballs and put them in a zip lock bag with the patterns.  You're all set for some great travel projects, and of course, a most welcome gift.

I sew them in pretty much as I go. After weaving, I leave about 1/2" of thread on the inside. If I've cut the yarn too close to the fabric, the yarn end tends to poke out on the front side after washing. Leaving it longer, it will stay on the inside. - See more at: http://knitionary.blogspot.com/2015/10/my-boy-lollipop.html?showComment=1446065487958#c7281798423550994988
I sew them in pretty much as I go. After weaving, I leave about 1/2" of thread on the inside. If I've cut the yarn too close to the fabric, the yarn end tends to poke out on the front side after washing. Leaving it longer, it will stay on the inside. - See more at: http://knitionary.blogspot.com/2015/10/my-boy-lollipop.html?showComment=1446065487958#c7281798423550994988
I sew them in pretty much as I go. After weaving, I leave about 1/2" of thread on the inside. If I've cut the yarn too close to the fabric, the yarn end tends to poke out on the front side after washing. Leaving it longer, it will stay on the inside. - See more at: http://knitionary.blogspot.com/2015/10/my-boy-lollipop.html?showComment=1446065487958#c7281798423550994988
I'd like to give a big thank you to the kind ladies who have published these cute baby patterns!

I have a few knitting tips:  

1. Between the ribbing and stripes, work one row stockinette in the rib color before beginning the rib (when knitting the cuffs) or finishing the rib (when knitting the collar).   This extra row of stockinette in the rib color will make a neater looking transition.  You do not need to do this row of stockinette for the button band.

2. When picking up stitches for the button band, pick up 3 stitches for every four.  It will lay nice and flat.  

3. Make your button band first, then place your buttons where you want them, mark their placement, then knit the buttonhole band.  

4. Remember to use machine washable wool or cotton for baby items. My yarn stash is mostly wool and some cottons.  I don't bother with matching fiber content in these sweaters; as it's long as it's the same weight and machine washable, I've had great success. 

5. As for weaving in the ends, I tend to do that as I go along.  After weaving the end in, I leave about 1/2" of yarn on the inside.  If I've cut the yarn too close to the fabric, the yarn end tends to poke out on the front side after washing.  Leaving it longer tends to insure it will stay on the inside.

6. When a baby sweater is completed, I turn it inside out and machine wash in cool water and tumble dry on low.  I want to make sure that it passes the "washer-dryer test", and luckily they always do.  When gifting, I always tie a little care-tag to the top button.  The care is simple, and even the busiest mom can manage:  Button up the cardigan, turn inside out, machine wash on gentle in cool water, tumble dry on low. 

Even though I've shared these free pattern links many times, I always pick up a few new readers so I will add the pattern links again.  All are free downloads and most are sized 3 mos. to 2 years.  Print out all these patterns and gather up your machine washable oddballs and put them in a zip lock bag with the patterns.  You're all set for some great travel projects, and of course, a most welcome gift.

I sew them in pretty much as I go. After weaving, I leave about 1/2" of thread on the inside. If I've cut the yarn too close to the fabric, the yarn end tends to poke out on the front side after washing. Leaving it longer, it will stay on the inside. - See more at: http://knitionary.blogspot.com/2015/10/my-boy-lollipop.html?showComment=1446065487958#c7281798423550994988
I sew them in pretty much as I go. After weaving, I leave about 1/2" of thread on the inside. If I've cut the yarn too close to the fabric, the yarn end tends to poke out on the front side after washing. Leaving it longer, it will stay on the inside. - See more at: http://knitionary.blogspot.com/2015/10/my-boy-lollipop.html?showComment=1446065487958#c7281798423550994988
I sew them in pretty much as I go. After weaving, I leave about 1/2" of thread on the inside. If I've cut the yarn too close to the fabric, the yarn end tends to poke out on the front side after washing. Leaving it longer, it will stay on the inside. - See more at: http://knitionary.blogspot.com/2015/10/my-boy-lollipop.html?showComment=1446065487958#c7281798423550994988
I'd like to give a big thank you to the kind ladies who have published these cute baby patterns!
- See more at: http://knitionary.blogspot.com/2015/10/my-boy-lollipop.html#.dpuf
I have a few knitting tips:  

1. Between the ribbing and stripes, work one row stockinette in the rib color before beginning the rib (when knitting the cuffs) or finishing the rib (when knitting the collar).   This extra row of stockinette in the rib color will make a neater looking transition.  You do not need to do this row of stockinette for the button band.

2. When picking up stitches for the button band, pick up 3 stitches for every four.  It will lay nice and flat.  

3. Make your button band first, then place your buttons where you want them, mark their placement, then knit the buttonhole band.  

4. Remember to use machine washable wool or cotton for baby items. My yarn stash is mostly wool and some cottons.  I don't bother with matching fiber content in these sweaters; as it's long as it's the same weight and machine washable, I've had great success. 

5. As for weaving in the ends, I tend to do that as I go along.  After weaving the end in, I leave about 1/2" of yarn on the inside.  If I've cut the yarn too close to the fabric, the yarn end tends to poke out on the front side after washing.  Leaving it longer tends to insure it will stay on the inside.

6. When a baby sweater is completed, I turn it inside out and machine wash in cool water and tumble dry on low.  I want to make sure that it passes the "washer-dryer test", and luckily they always do.  When gifting, I always tie a little care-tag to the top button.  The care is simple, and even the busiest mom can manage:  Button up the cardigan, turn inside out, machine wash on gentle in cool water, tumble dry on low. 

Even though I've shared these free pattern links many times, I always pick up a few new readers so I will add the pattern links again.  All are free downloads and most are sized 3 mos. to 2 years.  Print out all these patterns and gather up your machine washable oddballs and put them in a zip lock bag with the patterns.  You're all set for some great travel projects, and of course, a most welcome gift.

I sew them in pretty much as I go. After weaving, I leave about 1/2" of thread on the inside. If I've cut the yarn too close to the fabric, the yarn end tends to poke out on the front side after washing. Leaving it longer, it will stay on the inside. - See more at: http://knitionary.blogspot.com/2015/10/my-boy-lollipop.html?showComment=1446065487958#c7281798423550994988
I sew them in pretty much as I go. After weaving, I leave about 1/2" of thread on the inside. If I've cut the yarn too close to the fabric, the yarn end tends to poke out on the front side after washing. Leaving it longer, it will stay on the inside. - See more at: http://knitionary.blogspot.com/2015/10/my-boy-lollipop.html?showComment=1446065487958#c7281798423550994988
I sew them in pretty much as I go. After weaving, I leave about 1/2" of thread on the inside. If I've cut the yarn too close to the fabric, the yarn end tends to poke out on the front side after washing. Leaving it longer, it will stay on the inside. - See more at: http://knitionary.blogspot.com/2015/10/my-boy-lollipop.html?showComment=1446065487958#c7281798423550994988
I'd like to give a big thank you to the kind ladies who have published these cute baby patterns!
- See more at: http://knitionary.blogspot.com/2015/10/my-boy-lollipop.html#.dpuf

Rowan Pure Wool DK

10/26/15--Edited to add:  Since I wrote this post I made quite a few more!












It's Ash Wednesday today.  Our church has a lovely brunch this morning and it's one of my favorite events on the church calendar.  We have an old fashioned hymn sing and I just love that.  My mother organizes it all with a small army of helpers and engages a dozen or more of us to make egg casseroles.  I love mine best ;) and have made the same recipe for years.  I just put it on my recipe blog if you ever need to make a really great egg casserole!  I'm giving up chocolate for lent.  Not very creative, true, but difficult for me.  Last year I did get creative and gave up car radio, never again!





7 comments:

  1. I live a stripe! So sweet Kristen!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. So totally cute! Thank you for the link.s

    ReplyDelete
  3. What a great, versatile cardi! Yours is adorable. And such a great way to use up stash. I have a bunch of odds and ends that I should use for a project like this. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm bored... I've been searching for 'baby' inspiration for hours and I'm bored. Then I found you. Thank you so much for saving me. Your stripes are perfect. A simple knit with funky stripes. So simple, yet so classic & I'm kicking myself for not thinking of it myself. Thanks a million x

    ReplyDelete

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