I am a glutton for punishment, but this year I thought I was prepared to do Christmas knitting. Last year I made a version of this sweater worn by Prince George for my nephew, and it went over like gangbusters – my sister loved it, but my nephew HATED it (more in the moment than in general; if you ever see me in person – ask to see the photos of C trying it on for the first time). So with a new baby niece who needed some knitted goodies, I decided she would get a cardigan. Easy to put on (since it’s not over the head) and still cozy.
The original plan had been to make this sweater – Welcome to the Flock. So cute right? Same level of difficulty since it also includes color-work, but lots and lots of plain knitting that will just fly. My gauge was off, so I was knitting the numbers for 12 months and getting the size for 6 months, but it would be fine. Niece L is just barely coming up on 7 months, she would fit, right? Wrong. On Thanksgiving day I took a tape measure over to my parents house where the family was staying, and wrapped it around her very round chest to discover that I was nearly 4 inches off. This sweater would not fit without looking like sausage casing. So I would have to start over on something else since there definitely wouldn’t be enough yarn to redo the WttF in the right size, and I would be starting after Thanksgiving. 30 days to knit a baby sweater – I could do it, right?
Hahahahaha. Well, it turns out that L is just the chunkiest little chunk you’ve ever seen. I started knitting a pattern that I’d used before for babies her age – Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Baby Sweater on 2 Needles, aka February Baby. [A note on the pattern – it’s not the kind I can link to or repost, because it’s in a book. But I will say that I found that my local library had access to the book digitally, and it was easy enough to take a screenshot and have it available on my computer and phone.] Once I started and got a little ways in, the neck started to feel small. So I ripped it all back and started over. I increased the number of stitches, and since it’s knit from the top down, it started to feel like it might fit me at the size I was making, so I ripped back and started over. I forgot buttonholes, misplaced them on another turn, and we’ll skip over the part where I rip back and start over at least 5 times.
Eventually I got a neck measurement from my sister, and using that and knowledge of the pattern I would be following in the sweater, I tried to increase evenly around the front and the back – adding one repeat on each side of the buttons before the sleeves, and two additional repeats on the back to balance it out so the sleeves weren’t in the wrong place. And then I just went for it. And while the final project felt like it might be too big (since I hadn’t measured baby L in nearly a month), I figured it would fit eventually, if not right now.
It turns out that I guessed her size spot on. As you can see from the pic above, it fits her round little frame perfectly. She is wearing jammies underneath, so it’s possible that it’s a little too big, but better too big than too small. But I’m very pleased with how it turned out. It’s such a classic pattern, and looks so cozy. While it’s definitely got a “handmade” look to it, it’s still adorable. I’m pleased with myself for the choice of yarn (as it’s washable – so important with baby clothes!) and the buttons were originally purchased for that sheep sweater, but I think they look very sweet with the hydrangea colored yarn here. I was even clever enough to use a yellow thread when sewing them to the sweater.
Anyways – that’s it. My sweet niece in her new sweater. I highly recommend this pattern, as it’s quick to make, doesn’t require much skill, and if the baby you’re knitting it for is not cannonball shaped, will be easy enough to use the standard pattern. But if you too have a rotund baby to knit for, and you’re interested in making this sweater, please comment here, and I’ll get in touch with the specifics on the adjustments that I made.