As promised, here is the pattern I wrote for this sweet and simple knit sweater for babies! This is a raglan style sweater, knit from top to bottom in one piece, which is great because it means that as your child gets larger you simply add to the increase rows in this pattern when knitting to make the sweater a larger size before separating out the sleeves and body. This is a versatile starter pattern that could have the neck tie or a button for a closure, and is easy to adapt with added cables or fair isle patterning once you get familiar with it.
You will need:
3.75mm circular (16″) US 5 (also 24″ if needed)
3.75mm DPNs (5)
About 2 skeins of DK weight yarn
Swatch: 16 sts x 20 rows = 2.5″ square
pm: Place marker
sm: Slip marker
m1 (make 1): insert left needle from front to back under horizontal strand between stitch just worked and next stitch, knit lifted strand through the back loop
SKP: Slip 1 stitch, knit 1 stitch, pass slipped stitch over knit stitch
RS: Right Side
WS: Wrong Side
Starting with the neck:
Cast on 64 stitches to your 16″ circular, do not join yet.
Row 1 (RS): *k2 p2* repeat to last 4 sts of row, k4, turn work.
Row 2 (WS): p4, *k2 p2* repeat to end of row, turn work.
Repeat Rows 1 & 2 two more times (6 rows total).
Set up row: Row 7 (RS): k5 (flap), pm, k24 (back of sweater), pm, k8 (left sleeve), pm, k20 (front of sweater), pm, k7 (right sleeve).
Row 8 (WS): p64
Row 9 (RS): k4, m1, k1, sm, k1, m1, k22 (across back), m1, k1, sm, k1, m1, k6 (sleeve), m1, k1, sm, k1, m1, k18 (front), m1, k1, sm, k1, m1, k6 (sleeve).
Row 10 (WS): Purl all
Row 11 (RS): *knit to 1 stitch before marker, m1, k1, sm, k1, m1* repeat to end of row
Row 12 (WS): Purl all
Repeat rows 11 & 12 again.
There should be 16 stitches between left side sleeve markers.
Row 15 (RS): *knit to 1 stitch before marker, m1, k1, sm, k1, m1* repeat to last 4 stitches of row. To join round: Slip last 4 stitches to DPN and slide to end so stitches are ready to work from left hand. Hold DPN behind start of round needle and align 4 stitches with 4 stitches from start of round. Insert right hand needle through first stitch of round then first of 4 stitches of DPN and knit together to join round and create overlap for flap closure. Repeat for next 3 stitches. Combining these 8 stitches into 4 should leave 16 stitches total between markers of right sleeve to match left.
Knit to marker and change it to a different colour from the other 3 markers. This now marks your start of round.
You have: 32 (back), 16 (left sleeve), 28 (front), 16 (right sleeve with flap). Total 92 stitches.
Row 16 (RS): Knit round to 1 stitch before start of round marker.
Row 17: m1, k1, sm, k1, m1 *knit to 1 stitch before marker, m1, k1, sm, k1, m1* repeat to end of round.
Repeat rows 16 & 17 until you reach row 36.
Row 24: 120 stitches total
You may want to increase to a 24″ circular from your 16″ when the stitches get too crowded (3.75mm).
Row 36: back (52) sleeve (36) front (48) sleeve (36) total 172 stitches
Separating the Sleeves:
Row 37 (RS): k52 back stitches onto 16″ 3.75mm circular. Slip 36 sleeve stitches to separate needle to hold for later. Using the same 16″ circular join body by knitting 48 stitches of front (body 100 stitches total). Slip 36 sleeve stitches to separate needle to hold for later. Join body and knit in round (stockinette) to build sweater. Try to get the stitches as tight as you can where the small hole appears in the armpit between the front and back pieces. The tighter you can get the stitches here the smaller this hole will be when you are completed the sweater.
Knit body (stockinette) until sweater measures around 8″ from neck to current row.
Hem: *k2, p2* repeat until ribbing measures 2.5″ (sweater total from neck to hem should be about 10.5″)
Bind off and weave in ends.
Transfer 36 stitches to 3.75mm DPNs; 4 stitches on first needle, 9 stitches on next three needles, then slip the last 5 stitches on the first DPN to make 9 stitches that straddle the hole at the armpit of the sweater.
Knit in the round (stockinette) until the sleeve measures 9″ from neck to current row. Again, try to join the round as tightly as possible to keep the armpit hole small. I find having the join in the centre of a needle makes it easier to get tight, uniform stitches, rather than if you were joining the rows on two separate needles.
Cuff: *k2, p2* repeat until ribbing measures 2.5″ (sleeve total from neck to cuff should be about 11.5″)
Bind off and weave in ends. Repeat for second sleeve.
With 3.75mm DPNs, cast on 2 stitches.
Next Row (RS): *k2, slide stitches to the other end of the right-hand needle. Without turning work, place right-hand needle in your left hand. Working yarn now comes from the left side.* Repeat until cord is 6″ long, bind off and knot yarn end.
To attach tie to the neckline: *With RS of sweater facing you, use needle with the cord on it to pick up and knit 1st stitch along neck edge AFTER the 4 knit stitches of the collar flap, giving you 3 stitches total on the needle. Without turning work, slide all 3 stitches to the other end of the needle and then move the needle to the left hand. Pull yarn from the end of the row: k1, SKP.* Repeat this step of picking up stitches along neck edge until you reach the other end of the collar.
To form the tie on the other side of the collar continue as you did for the first tie using the current needle with 2 stitches on it (no more picking up collar stitches). *k2, slide stitches to the other end of the right-hand needle. Without turning work, place right-hand needle in your left hand. Working yarn now comes from the left.* Repeat until tie measures 6″, bind off and knot yarn end.
If you want to stitch the holes closed do so as the last step, using a tapestry needle. Ideally they are tiny and may not need to be stitched closed.
This pattern can be used in a few different ways, as I mentioned above. Here is another version I made that had a button instead of a tie, and a considerably jazzier yarn.
Lots of options for this little sweater! Enjoy!