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knitting for babies part two

Updated on April 16, 2012

Part two of a course how to knit a cardigan.

Hopefully you have been out to visit your local yarn store or used the many on line stores to purchase your yarn and your pattern. (Amazon have some very nice wool and patterns and could be worth you looking at the site.)You are now at home sitting quietly, ready to begin. You open the pattern to reveal a mass of symbols and numbers that appear to mean nothing. The initial response is to drop the whole project and see what your local department store or on line shop has on offer. Stop! Pick up the project again as with a little application you will be able to produce this garment.

When we open up the pattern there is a chart of sizes such as shown below:

0-3 months 3-6 months 6-12 months 1-2 years

To fit Chest 41 46 51 56 CM

16 18 20 22 IN

Actual Measurement 46 52 55 61 CM

18 20.5 21.75 24 IN

Full length 25 27 30 33 CM

9.75 10.75 11.75 13 IN

Sleeve length 15 17 19 23 CM

6 6.5 7.5 9 IN

This chart tells the knitter the approximate size of the garment. I have always used the "To fit Chest" sizings rather than the actual sizes. There is scope within the patterns to lengthen or shorten the length of the cardigan or the length of the sleeve. However I have always found with baby patterns that the sleeves roll up on a baby what ever size you have made! Please do remember that if you decide to make the sleeves longer you will use a little more knitting wool!

Once we have decided what size of cardigan we are to make we need to calculate the amount of yarn needed. This is not an exact science. It seems that a lot of wool manufacturers are spinning the yarn using different methods. In fact, if you looked at the country of origin on your yarn you would realise that it is being spun in some new economies who may not as yet have built up the expertise that the traditional spinning industries had. The basic rule is that if you buy the yarn stated on the pattern and knit to the tension required then you will need what is listed on the pattern. If you are not sure it is a good idea to buy extra yarn- some small stores will lay the yarn back for two or three weeks just in case you need that extra ball. The chart below shows the amount of yarn needed for each size.

Quality 16 18 20 22 Balls

Double Knitting 2 2 2 3 50 gm

Double Knitting 1 1 1 2 100gm

You will also need two pairs of knitting needles, 1 pair size 3.25mm and 1 pair size 4mm. Needle sizes vary depending on which country they come from and whether they are metric or imperial.

3.25mm is the same as UK 10 or USA 3

4.00mm is the same as UK 8 or USA 6

You will also need a couple of large safety pins and four buttons for when it is all finished.

I have decided to make an 18 inch chest cardigan which uses either 1 x100 gm ball or 2 x50 gm ball. I am not sure of the yarn and so I have bought 3x 50gm balls. The spare yarn wont be wasted as I plan to make a matching hat!


This is probably the most important part of the project and the easiest to neglect. If you knit too tightly the finished garment will be smaller than the stated dimensions, if you knit on the loose side the garment will be larger than stated. A good idea is to make a tension square. Failure to do this can lead you to rip out the grament ( and three or four housrs work) and start again. It happens even to experienced knitters and even when you use the correct wool!

Your tension square needs to be about 4 inches. It needs to comprise of 22 stitches and 28 rows. If you are in metric it is 10cm. Use this as an opportunity to practise your stiches- the square is knitted in stocking stitch which is one row plain and one row purl.

Good luck! and we will continue

Do you want to make the cardigan then follow the link opposite------

If you want to start on something a little simpler try the pattern for a baby blanket, it may look daunting but it is really quite easy!-------follow the link opposite


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    • Ratcha profile image


      8 years ago

      great info, thanks.


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