This baby cardigan, sized 0-3 months, was one of my first finished projects of 2018. When I was knitting my latest Baa-ble Hat (one of my favorites), I started to ponder the idea of knitting those plump, happy sheep onto a baby sweater. I thought it would make for one adorable little cardigan. I was also itching to try a new technique and wanted to have a go at steeking.
After a little planning, I started on my endeavor, which just so happened to be my first-time bottom up sweater/in-the-round-sweater/raglan sweater/cardigan/& steeked garment! Surprisingly for me, it was a success! I thought it was too delightful not to share, so I wanted to explain the process I went through to make it.
Please don’t be afraid try one out yourself, it’s sweet + simple.
Make your own modifications…improve on my version…share your successes…
and by all means,
E N J O Y !
In order to make this, I combined the colorwork chart for the Baa-ble Hat with the instructions for this Rolled Edge Baby Raglan. I made a couple tweaks to the sleeves (added 2×2 rib and “snow”) and the collar (2×2 rib, 1 less round than pattern called for). I have detailed the steps I took to make the “Sheepish Baby Cardigan” below.
Size needed to attain gauge of raglan pattern. (I used US 7 + US 8)
4 skeins worsted weight wool (1 black, 1 white, 1 “sky” color, 1 “ground” color)
- First, the sleeves: Using the larger needles I casted on 20 sts. to work the first 4 rounds in 2×2 rib. I worked some rows of “snow” colorwork from the Baa-ble chart into the sleeves after the rib. I don’t remember what the exact sequence was but I did whatever worked out evenly with the math. I followed instructions for 3 month size.
- Then, the body: I casted on 92 stitches using smaller needles (90 sts. for the color chart and 2 extra steek sts. to purl in the mid-front.) Why did I cast on 2 extra steek stitches? I was paranoid about the steek and thought two was better than one. If I made this again, I’d only do 1 extra stitch in the mid-front, so I would cast on 91 stitches. From the start of the garment to the finish, I remembered to always purl the 2 center front stitches in whatever background color I was working with at the time (ground or sky) because I wanted them to be obvious to me when it came time to cut them in the end.
- I then joined in the round and worked a 2×2 rib for ~2.”
- After the rib, I switched to the larger needles and started working the Baa-ble Hat chart (a repeat of 30 stitches, so it is worked 3x around the sweater.) When I got to the “snow” part of the chart, I worked rounds 17-22, then repeated rounds 17-20 again so that the body measured approximately 6.5″ [at my gauge]* before starting the raglan decreases.
- After step 4, I worked the instructions for the 3 month size of the Rolled Edge Baby Raglan for the rest of the sweater, starting from the sentence in the pattern that follows “Knit in the round until piece measures 4.5”/ 5.5”/ 6.5”/ 7.5” under the “Body” section. The only thing I *think* I changed from here on out (besides working the steek stitches still) was that I worked the back as for the front and the front as for the back, then changed the collar. I say I *think* because I can’t remember if there was really any difference in the instructions for the front and back but I do remember thinking I may have to work the front as for the back and vice versa since my steeking was going to be done in what the raglan pattern called the “back” of the sweater. The collar was worked as follows: Switching to the smaller needles again, I worked a 2×2 rib for 6 rounds, then bound off all stitches in a stretchy bind-off on the 7th round.
- As far as the steeking goes, I used the single crochet method, then cut straight down the middle. Because I had 2 stitches to cut, the cut strands were hanging out much more than preferred. I was unsure of what to do about this but I cut them back as much as I dared and left them alone. Afterwards, I came across an Interweave article that mentioned steaming them. This is what I intend to do as soon as I get the chance.
- After finishing with the steek, I sewed the 2 buttons on that I planned to use. Rookie mistake. Try it on the baby first! I only ended up making 1 crocheted chain buttonhole because the other button would not be necessary after all, beyond being aesthetically pleasing (the sweater was a tad smaller than I’d hoped for this big + tall boy!)
* As you may have noticed, I made the body of my sweater longer than the 3 month size indicates in the pattern. The sweater was too snug on Bubba, who has been growing at a larger than average rate so far! If I make this again, I will most likely go up 1 or 2 needle sizes to ensure that the sweater has some room to grow into!