How to Knit a Baby Sweater: Basic Instructions, Not So Basic Results

  • 01 of 03

    How to Knit a Simple Baby Sweater

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    How you can knit a basic baby sweater. Eileen Casey, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Brand new knitters that are wondering how to knit a baby sweater will be able to tackle this basic, yet adorable baby sweater with ease — even if you just learned this morning. It's small, portable and knits up so fast you won't have time to get bored — perfect for a first project.

    You don't even have to know how to purl — if you can knit, you can do it. Give it a try, you might just surprise yourself!

    The Simplest Stitching Lets Your Precious Bundle be the Star

    This simple...MORE double-breasted sweater pattern is available in sizes preemie to six months, and features modified drop sleeves, a square neck and wooden duffel coat toggles.

    Materials:

    • 1 skein Lion Brand Vanna's Choice in shade 100 White, or 180 yards chunky yarn of your choice (one skein is enough for any size, actual yardage measurements are about 70 [80, 90, 100] yards)
    • 1 pair size 9 US (5.5 mm) knitting needles
    • 4 duffel coat toggles
    • Scissors and yarn needle for finishing

    Gauge:

    3.5 stitches and 8 rows per inch in Garter Stitch.

    Size:

    Preemie (Newborn, 3 months, 6 months) Instructions are given for the smallest size with larger sizes in parentheses. 

    • Chest size finished garment: 14 (16, 18, 20.5) inches
    • Length from back neck: 7.5 (8.5, 9.5, 11) inches
    • For more measurements, see the pattern schematic

     

    Photo Sample knit in 3 months size, by Eileen Casey

    Add this project to your Ravelry queue.

    Continue to 2 of 3 below.
  • 02 of 03

    Knitting the Back and Fronts

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    Closeup on the toggle buttons. Eileen Casey, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Knitting the Back

    1. With size 9 needles, cast on 24 (28, 32, 36) stitches.
    2. Work in Garter Stitch (knit every row) until piece measures 4.75 (5.5, 6, 7) inches.
    3. Bind off 3 (3, 4, 4) stitches at the beginning of next 2 rows. There are 18 (22, 24, 28) stitches remaining.
    4. Continue to work in Garter Stitch until piece measures 7.5 (8.5, 9.5;, 11) inches.
    5. Bind off.

    Instructions for the First Front:

    1. With size 9 needles, cast on 16 (18, 22, 24) stitches.
    2. Work in Garter Stitch until piece measures 4.75 (5.5, 6,...MORE 7) inches.
    3. Bind off 3 (3, 4, 4) stitches at the beginning of next row. This is the armhole edge. There are 13 (15, 18, 20) stitches remaining.
    4. Continue to work in Garter Stitch until piece measures 6 (7, 7.5, 8.5) inches, ending at the edge opposite the bound off stitches.
    5. Bind off 9 (10, 12, 12) stitches at beginning of next row. This is the neck edge. There are 4 (5, 6, 8) stitches remaining, which you continue to knit for the shoulder.
    6. Continue to work in Garter Stitch until piece measures 7.5 (8.5, 9.5, 11) inches from cast on edge to top of shoulder.
    7. Bind off.

    Instructions for Second Front (with Buttonholes):

    1. Work as written for first front until piece measures 3 (3.25, 3.5, 4.25) inches.
    2. Make buttonholes as follows: Knit 1, knit 2 together, yarn over, knit 4 (5, 5, 6), K2tog, yo, knit to end. The buttonholes are formed closest to the neck edge, opposite to the armhole edge.
    3. Continue to work in Garter Stitch until piece measures 4.75 (5.5, 6, 7) inches, ending at the armhole edge.
    4. Bind off 3 (3, 4, 4) stitches at the beginning of next row. There are 13 (15, 18, 20) stitches remaining.
    5. Next row, make buttonholes: K1, K2tog, yo, K4 (5, 6, 6), K2tog, yo, K to end.
    6. Continue to work in Garter Stitch until piece measures 6 (7, 7.5, 8.5) inches, ending at the edge opposite the bound off stitches.
    7. Bind off 9 (10, 12, 12) stitches at beginning of next row. This is the neck edge. There are 4 (5, 6, 8) stitches remaining, which you continue to knit for the shoulder.
    8. Continue to work in Garter Stitch until piece measures 7.5 (8.5, 9.5, 11) inches from cast on edge to top of shoulder.
    9. Bind off.
    Continue to 3 of 3 below.
  • 03 of 03

    Sleeves and Finishing

    How-to-knit-a-Baby-Sweater-Schematic_medium2.jpg
    Schematic for how to knit a toggle baby sweater. Eileen Casey, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Knitting the Sleeves

    1. With size 9 needles, cast on 20 (21, 25, 28) stitches.
    2. Work in Garter Stitch until piece measures 5 (6, 7, 8) inches.
    3. Bind off.

    Make second sleeve in the same way.

    Finishing:

    If this is your first sweater-type garment, note that this is the order for finishing that will always be used. It is normal at this time to block your pieces (either before or after sewing, whatever your preference), but acrylic yarn does not benefit much from blocking. Washing the sweater in a gentle cycle,...MORE however, and then pulling the piece into shape (according to the schematic) and letting it dry flat will always improve the overall look.

    • Sew the shoulder seams by joining the tops of the fronts to the top of the back. Remember to position the fronts according to where the buttonholes are -- left for a girl and right for a boy as you look at it.
    • Pin the sleeves into the armhole openings and sew them in.
    • Sew the side and sleeve seams. Sew toggles into place.