I found a really cute, free, easy pattern on Ravelry.com for a baby sweater and used it to make 3 different versions for the Children of Pine Ridge.
The pattern is very clever in making a simple sweater with narrow sides and then adding a detachable panel. Buttons are sewn on the sweater portion and buttonholes are knitted into the panel. The first attempt was a 6-9 months baby sweater in a pretty “creamsicle” color, using the lace panel shown in the pattern. I’m not very good at knitting lace but this one turned out pretty well.
It’s very easy to make up another panel with a different design. I used a really nice cable bunny pattern to make this panel.
The second sweater was made with denim and light blue yarn for a 6-9 months boy size. In this case, I used snaps for the closure and just added a couple of buttons to the top of the panel for decoration.
The third pattern was an adaptation of a favorite baby sweater in which I made the sides narrow to accommodate the panel and used the bunny cable again along with nice buttons. This is for a 12-18 month child and has short sleeves for the spring/summer season.
This was an easy and fun pattern to use and adapt. A sweater along with several spare panels would make a nice gift.
In the fall of 2017, I found a pattern on Ravelry that has become my favorite for a baby or toddler sweater. The free pattern is here: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/baby-sophisticate-2. I bought an additional pattern for children’s sizes and there is also a pattern for purchase for adult sizes.
It’s just a nice, practical, comfortable-looking sweater with a shawl collar. I have only been knitting for two years and often run into sections of patterns that are difficult, but this one was manageable from start to finish.
I made one sweater in the three-month size in a pretty seafoam color and added a matching hat, pictured above.
I also made three toddler (2-3 years) sweaters in dark blue …
…a tan and brown with a checkerboard panel …
…and a red one with fuzzy white trim. On this one, the white, fluffy yarn was so difficult to work with that I just used it as trim and didn’t make the large collar.
On a pattern like this with a lot of increases, I type out a chart like the one below that will tell me how many stitches will be in each section and a total for the end of the row. In this case, when the increases are finished on row 7 there will be 6 stitches on the right and left sides of the sweater, 14 stitches each for sleeves and 26 stitches for the back – total of 66 stitches. In this case, there are 32 rows with the correct number of stitches. Taking the time to type up this reference and have it with me as I’m knitting saves me from making errors and cuts down on frustration.
ALTERNATING 8 AND 10 INC – ODD ROWS
EVEN ROWS PURL
R1 2 8 20 8 2 40 STS
R3 3 10 22 10 3 48 STS
R5 5 12 24 12 5 58 STS
R7 6 14 26 14 6 66 STS
This is a really nice pattern, enjoyable to knit, and makes good, warm sweaters for the Pine Ridge children.
From the day I started knitting two years ago, Ravelry.com has been an important source of information, patterns and guidance. The one Ravelry benefit I did not use was logging my projects for my present and future reference. I liked reading other people’s project notes but it sounded like too much trouble when I was already struggling with knitting something usable.
Now, that I make 5-10 “usable” items a week, depending on size and how complicated they are, I thought it might be worthwhile to start logging my new projects on January 1, 2018, and started with a very easy baby bib and washcloth pattern – free on Ravelry.
I used this free pattern to make a bib in yellow and in a blue/pink blend, cotton yarn (pictured above).
The charity where I send my baby items mentioned particularly liking to receive washcloths so I used another free pattern to make one to match the blue/pink yarn.
Both of these are quick, easy items to knit and would make a nice shower or baby gift.
I have several more projects in various stages that are logged into my account. If I’m careful to note all of the details, it will be an invaluable source of information for me. Another good reason to be a Raveler.
MAGIC RAGLAN SWEATER
“A simple fill-in-the-blanks method for making a raglan sweater that is knit from the neck down, in one piece, to fit anybody.”
I like patterns that are really formulas with blanks to fill in measurements plus yarn and needle information to make an item of any size. This is an interesting pattern that can be adapted for any size from infant to a full sized man’s sweater. I chose to make two sweaters for a child 2-3 years old and one baby cardigan.
I like the concept very much but would like to develop a better neckline. It still makes sturdy sweaters for the little Lakota children of Pine Ridge, SD.
This is another pattern from designer Marianna Mel on Ravelry.com. The pattern was written to fit a baby of around 3 months, but I used #7 needles and Premier acrylic yarn (color – Cake) to make a dress to fit a baby 6-9 months old.
The dress buttons in the back.
This is a good pattern for an advanced beginner and turns out so cute. It should do well going into the spring months for the South Dakota Pine Ridge baby who receives it.
See Ravelry.com for information on the Lakota group, The Children of Pine Ridge.
I enjoy making baby and toddler clothes for the Lakota/Sioux Children of Pine Ridge in South Dakota. A group called the Sacred Shawl Society collects items through Ravelry.com for young mothers and their children who come to a shelter to escape abuse at home. They can use all kinds of warm knitted items for both mothers and babies.
Marianne Mel on Ravelry.com has so many free patterns for baby sets that are relatively easy for an advanced beginner and turn out beautifully even with limited experience. This little set is in a newborn size using size #6 needles and DK (baby yarn/sports weight) in variegated pastels. I had a chance to use three vintage buttons (always happy when I can find 3 to match in my huge tin of old buttons).
The cap is a basic design sized for a newborn.
Here is the link to the free pattern: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/fleur-baby-cardigan-jacket
My favorite designer is an English lady who offers pages of free patterns, mostly for babies and small children. She also has some items for teenagers and adults along with a few patterns that are for sale. She can be found on ravelry.com under the name Marianna Mel. http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/search#query=marianna%20mel
This little vest is called Baby’s Ribbed Vest Top. For a 9-months size the pattern calls for DK yarn (baby yarn/sport weight) and #6 needles. I wanted to make a larger size and used #7 needles with #4 worsted yarn to make a size to fit a 3 to 4-year-old child.
It’s very sturdy and warm, good for the cold North Dakota climate where the Pine Ridge Lakota/Sioux children live. Information on this charity is also on ravelry.com under the tab “groups”.
While I was knitting the sweater, I thought it should have some yellow elephant buttons, maybe because of the grey yarn. Now, what are the chances that I could go to JoAnn’s and find reasonably-priced yellow elephant buttons? But I did and I think they are perfect for this little vest which would be nice for either a boy or girl.
I enjoyed making this set. All of Marianna’s patterns I’ve used so far have been suitable for an advanced beginner with very happy results.