Posted on 27 Comments

Itty bitty sweater

I’m feeling less grumpy at the moment – it’s not too hot yet, and the humidity isn’t particularly oppressive, so I’m taking advantage of the ability to be outside.  It’s nice.  So, why don’t we go with this good mood while it lasts, and talk lightheartedly about sweaters?

Sweaters, you ask?  Really? It’s been so hot this summer, it’s hard to imagine wanting to sit down with a pile of wool and knit a sweater.  It’s hard even to imagine wanting to read about such a thing, but I hope you can forgive me just this once.  I’m not talking about a honkin’ big adult sweater that covers your lap as you work on it.  I’m talking about a cute, itty-bitty baby sweater.  You hardly know you’re working with wool on a 94-degree day, in that scale.


I wrote before about the sweater I made my nephew-to-be.  If you recall, I’d done it in the 3-6 month size according to the Baby Boatneck Sweater pattern in Debbie Bliss’ Baby Knits for Beginners and used the Cashmerino Aran called for in the pattern.  It came out cute and oh so soft, but I was frustrated with all of the sewing I had to do at the end.  Plus, all of that stockinette stitch really bored me.  Yawn.

So, I decided to make another one, this time a smaller size, and with as much knitting in the round as humanly possible.  It just seems to make more sense to me that a tube-shaped knit ought to be constructed in the round.  Is that just me?  Maybe it’s my background in knitting looms talking – nearly everything on a loom is done in the round.


So, anyway, using the Debbie Bliss pattern as a sizing-guide, I cast-on with circular needles for the body, and added a simple cable stripe a la the Dashing gloves I like so much.

When it came to the sleeves, I did them in the round, too, both at the same time, using Melissa Morgan-Oakes’ Two-at-a-time method, as explained in this book.

In the end, the only things I had to stitch together were the shoulders and the sleeves to the body.  Sooooo much better.  And no dreaded Second Sleeve Syndrome.

For this sweater, I used Berocco Vintage, which is a great yarn for the price.  It only took one skein, making this sweater less than a third of the price of the first one.


You like?  I’ll share the pattern, if there’s interest.

I have another skein of Vintage in a pretty green.  I don’t know if three sweaters for the same baby is overkill, but I may just go there…

Uh oh.  There’s a good chance I am becoming That Aunt. Poor kid 😀

Posted on 27 Comments

27 thoughts on “Itty bitty sweater

  1. I am a total novice at knitting (thing HUGE needles, HUGE yarn, garter stitch only….no idea how to finish, just cast on LOL) but this really inspires me to teach myself MORE! Those little sweaters are just adorable! Thanks for sharing!

    1. That’s great! You should try for any techniques that confuse you – they have great videos.

      1. Thank you, I need all the help I can get! 😉 hehe

  2. Sweet sweaters–I love the colors too.

    I’ve been crocheting my Halloween costume, as you know, so I am that woman with a giant mass of woolly stuff on her lap in mid-July. It’s becoming very conspicuous now that I’m doing the colorful spiky curly bits, too. Pretty sure I look weird when I work on it in public, but it’s hardly the first time 😀 . (It hasn’t been hot here this summer–it probably won’t get above 71 today–so maybe I get a pass on climatic grounds?).

    1. Haha, I have never thought of you as someone who fades into the background, so I can totally see you being conspicuous with your crocheted reef 🙂

      Remind me what a 71-degree high is like. It’s been 90+ here for a month. I miss open windows terribly. *sigh*

  3. Ohhh, I love it! I’m just about to start my first baby sweater. I too am annoyed by sewing pieces together. I think a couple sleeves and some shoulders is totally acceptable! And it’s a great idea to knit the sleeves 2-at-a-time. Excellent!

    1. that 2-at-a-time technique has been a godsend! I use it for everything that there is two of. Except socks – I’ve never actually made a pair of socks (which is kind of funny, since that’s the point of the book).

  4. I’m always knitting in the summer. Set up the box fan, sit in front of it and away I go! Actually in our area it cools off at night so my favorite place is the back deck.

    1. I’m jealous! Outdoors at night is tough around here because of the mosquitos. And opening the windows when it’s humid (even if it’s cooled off) makes the wood floors in my house all sticky. Blech. I think it’s more humid this year than usual. I don’t usually rely on A/C this much…

  5. Hi Lisa, wonderful job on the sweaters! I just love the colors, especially the blue, and will have to check out the Berocco vintage yarn. I’ve been working on a violet tank top in Berocco Touche. It’s so, so soft.

    I’m with you about “the sewing of the parts”. I’m not as confident with that skill as I am with my knitting so it’s definitely a challenge and annoyance for me, too.

    Another interesting knit pattern I discovered last year that I absolutely looooove is basketweave. I’m using it to make a small blanket for my grandson, Landon, who is due in November. A border of seed stitch on the edges frames the basketweave stitch which is basically: *knit a number of stitches (I chose 6) and then purl the same number of stitches. Repeat from * across the row for x amount of rows then do the opposite (purl where there’s knit and knit where there’s purl) for the same number of rows. Repeat this pattern.

    1. I’ll bet I could use the basketweave in a future sweater. I really see this little sweater pattern as a blank canvas, to be embellished with all kinds of interesting stitches 🙂 Thanks for exposing me to that one! Your blanket sounds nice – congrats on the impending grandson!

  6. Just too cute and what a great pattern. Love the bear as well.

    1. The bear was from Baby Gap about 9 or 10 years ago – a 1st Birthday gift for my oldest son. It still gets some lovin’ now and then 🙂

  7. Love the color!!!!!! You can become my “aunt”, LOL.

    1. LOL! Sorry, I don’t do grown-up sizes 😀

      1. As well you shouldn’t, LOL!

  8. Too adorable!

    I generally like doing things in the round, too, but there is sometimes something to be said for knitting things in pieces and then seaming. On complicated projects, for example, it means less to frog if you make a mistake. On big projects it means less to carry around at a time. And on things that are going to be worn a lot, seams help the finished garment hold its shape better. But for a sweet baby sweater? Your way looks just about perfect.

    1. Thanks for the extra perspective – that does make sense. I tend to do small projects, so I don’t usually think much about how to handle bigger ones!

  9. Great sweater! I like the cable. And I’m right there with you on the whole knit-something-that’s-a-tube-as-an-actual-tube thing. I think for me it’s that I don’t sew and so don’t come to knitting with that mindset. Why seam something unless you absolutely have to? I like the mini-trend that seems to be happening now, with more top-down sweaters being designed. I may just be designing one myself. At least in my head. So far. Anyway, would love to see your baby sweater pattern if you make it available. I have a nephew who is in need of an auntie sweater. (=

    1. The only sweater I’ve ever knit for myself was a top-down raglan. I never would have had the guts to try it otherwise – so much energy put into something that might not fit! I like the top-down, try it on as you go approach very much.

      I’m probably going to make another sweater from that pattern to make sure it’s ok, and then I’ll post the pattern 🙂

  10. I AM That Aunt! I love the sweaters!!! Adorable and so neatly finished. My nephews don’t have children, hell, one is on his way to the Peace Corp and the oldest is getting married next June. But I’ve ALREADY started knitting layette goodies!

    1. Ok, you win 😀

  11. I love the sweater with the cable for a bity baby doll!
    How can I get the pattern? Thank-you in advance!

    1. I wish I could give it to you! Unfortunately, I never wrote it up when it was fresh in my mind. I’d really have to make another one, I think, before I could be sure what my scribbled notes mean. Sorry!

  12. I would be very appreciative if you would share how you knitted the Debbie Bliss pattern for the boat neck sweater in the round. I have the book and have made two previously, but do not know how to knit it in the round. You said that you would share if there was interest, and I am interested. I am more than willing to pay for your adaptations.

    Thank you. Janet Will

    1. Hi, Janet. I would love to! Unfortunately, it’s been two years, and I have no idea where my notes are… I suspect what I did was to cast on in the round with four less stitches than called for (I don’t have the book for reference – it was a library book) but say you were to cast on 20 st for the front and 20 st for the back. That’s a total of 40 stitches. Subtract 4 from that to cast on 36 in the round. Then just work it as written until you get to the sleeves. At that point, you’d work just the front stitches, followed by working just the back stitches. I believe the rest was done as written. If I find my notes, I will write up something more formal and specific. Hope this helps!

  13. […] Baby sweaters Image by lisaclarke Mustard one is from Debbie Bliss’ Baby Knits for Beginners, and teal one is my own design (inspired by the mustard one). Blogged here. […]

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