Tadpole's Purple Sweater
I designed this sweater to grow with my daughter. In the pattern pictures you can see her modeling it at four and a half months, seven months, and almost nine months. Her friend C modeled the same sweater when she was ten months old.
With a stretchy stitch pattern on the body and long ribbed cuffs on the sleeves, this cardigan could last from newborn days until a first birthday. In other words, it will still fit when you’re done knitting it!
Details From the pattern:
Yarn: One skein Dream in Color Smooshy (I used just about the entire 450 yard skein)
A Note About Yardage: I really did use all but a yard or two of the 450 yard skein when I knit this sweater. So make sure you have at least that much to work with. You can either buy a second skein and plan to make something else with what you have left over. Or you can use stash leftovers and make the cuffs striped or a different color if you’re worried about having enough. Working the button bands in a contrasting color would look great, too.
Needles: size 1 circular needle (or size needed to get gauge) long enough for magic loop on sleeves. It’s easier with two circular needles (and only one of those needles needs to be long enough for magic loop).
NOTE: DPNs can also be used for the sleeves and you can knit the body on straight needles but joining everything together for the yoke is much easier with a circular needle. You’ll want that flexible cord.
Gauge: The stitch pattern used here is very stretchy so your pattern gauge will be tough to measure. Instead, do a quick stockinette swatch to get a gauge of 8spi and 12rpi. You’ll be in the right ballpark if you get 10.5spi in the pattern when it is not stretched.
Gauge doesn’t matter too much here except for one thing: I used all but a yard or two of my skein of Smooshy. So you’ll want to be sure you get gauge if you only have 450 yards of yarn. If you get stitch gauge but not row gauge, you should be fine.
If you really want to cheat on the gauge front, knit a pair of socks (with the same yarn and needles, of course) from my favorite pattern: Gentleman’s Shooting Stockings with Fluted Pattern by Nancy Bush (published in the fabulous book Knitting Vintage Socks). That’s where I found this stitch pattern. If you got gauge with the socks, you’ll get gauge here.
Notions: waste yarn for holders, 3 stitch markers, 9 buttons to fit buttonholes, tapestry needle for weaving in ends
Techniques used: knit, purl, ssk and k2tog decreases, knitting in the round (magic loop or DPNs), maintaining a selvedge stitch, short rows, picking up and knitting stitches along an edge, yo buttonhole, kitchener stitch to graft underarms, reading a simple chart.
Sweater Construction (in a nutshell): This is a bottom-up seamless raglan cardigan with an asymmetrical opening. The body is worked in one piece back and forth to the underarm. You then work two sleeves in the round. Once the sleeves are done, you’ll join them with the body stitches (setting aside underarm stitches on holders for grafting later). Raglan decreases shape the yoke. A couple of short rows raise the back of the neck. Pick up and knit the button bands, graft the underarms, weave in the ends, sew on the buttons, and you’re done!
Difficulty Level: This isn’t a beginner project. But if you’ve knit a few things and feel like you’re past the “beginner” stage, go for it! None of the techniques used here are particularly hard but there are a lot of them and they can be a bit finicky if you’re doing it for the first time. And there are lots of tiny stitches on tiny needles. So you’ll need a bit of patience but the end result is worth the effort!
Should you contact the designer if you’re having trouble working the pattern? No. I’m very sorry but I cannot respond to individual requests for pattern help. There are lots of great pattern resources out there where you can ask for help. These include the forums on ravelry, a local knitting group, and the shop where you purchased your yarn.
Final measurements (after washing/blocking):
Chest: 19” circumference (un-stretched)
Sleeves: 6.5” from cuff to underarm
Body length: 9.75” from bottom hem to top of back neck