Retro Steps Baby Cardigan by Fiona Oliver

Retro Steps Baby Cardigan

February 2016
DK (11 wpi) ?
24 stitches and 46 rows = 4 inches
in Garter stitch
US 6 - 4.0 mm
US 7 - 4.5 mm
317 - 339 yards (290 - 310 m)
0-3 months old
Flag of English English
This pattern is available as a free Ravelry download

This pattern will be available for FREE until I get around to grading it to include a couple of extra sizes. The matching Retro Steps Baby Tammie is also available.

About this design
My recent fascination with slipstitch patterns has taken a swerve into the vintage baby wear space. My favourite slipstitch pattern (seen previously in the One Step Ahead Beanie and matching Neck Warmer) has morphed into a simple but striking top down, seamless garter stitch baby cardigan.

This cardigan is all about colour. When knitted with two soft-hued contrasting colours, the cardigan has a 1950s feel about. When knitted in the crazy colour changes presented by a Magic Ball, the vibe is 1960s flower child. Swap out those crazy colours for a multi-dyed yarn and an electric contrast colour and say hello to the millennial baby.

The design includes some lovely knitterly details as well. The long-tail cast on is matched with Elizabeth Zimmerman’s sewn bind off so that the start and finish edges match beautifully. The button and buttonhole bands are picked up from slipped edge stitches, which results in a lovely decorative edging on the inside of the cardigan. The raglan increases are picked up in the loop between stitches, which gives a subtle diagonal line to the bodice – this effect is particularly striking when the contrast colour is dark and the main colour is light.

This pattern has so much going for it—the garter stitch gets you in a Zen-zone, the slipstitch pattern is easy to memorise, it’s a great stash-buster project, you can experiment with colour and it is quick to knit. Plus there is the added bonus of creating a one-off Magic Ball that will make this cardigan totally unique. Every baby deserves something this special.

This is a Magic Ball Friendly Pattern. My FREE 18-page Magic Ball Musings information sheet is included with your pattern and includes information on:

  • Yarn weight
  • Yarn composition
  • Yarn colour
  • Yarn lengths
  • Yarn joining options
  • Sourcing your yarns
  • Creating and using your magic ball

If you can’t be bothered making a magic ball, or you’ve got some multi-dyed yarn or bits and bobs of stash yarn, then this pattern will fit the bill for using up leftovers to make a bright, colourful and very warm winter accessory for a beautiful baby.

Please visit the capitalKNITS Ravelry store to check out my other Magic Ball Friendly Patterns.

0-3 months old. Finished chest measurement is approx 46 cm/18 in.

Any double knit/8 ply yarn that knits to the tension gauge. Two contrasting colours are required, one of which (the contrast colour) could be a Magic Ball.

Main Colour - approx. 160 m/175 yds (this is approximately 80g of yarn)
Contrast Colour - approx. 130 m/143 yds (this is approximately 70g of yarn)

The sample cardigan illustrated in this pattern was knitted with Bendigo Woollen Mills Classic in shade 694 Maize for the main colour and a double knit/8 ply purple, maroon and pink-toned Magic Ball. Please check out the projects to see examples of other colour combinations.

4.00 mm (US size 6, UK size 8) straight needles.
4.00 mm (US size 6, UK size 8) 80 cm/32 ins circular needle or double pointed needles for the sleeves.
4.50 mm (US size 7, UK size 7) straight needles.

Tapestry/darning needle.
Four stitch markers.
3-4 buttons (1.5-2.0 cm/5/8-3/4 in).

The Pattern
This pattern includes written and charted instructions as well as links to video tutorials for most of the techniques used in the design.

Please send all questions to