A few months ago I shared some charts I had made to help me with a majorly modified baby cardigan I was knitting. I actually finished the cardigan at the end of August, however, I failed to write up a post with finished pictures! I’ll share some FO photos and then go over what I did modification-wise.
The sweater (rav link) was very loosely based on Debbie Bliss’ “Raglan Cardigan with Fully Fashioned Shaping” pattern in the Baby Knits for Beginners book. I used a stitch pattern from the Super Stitches Knitting book called Rosary stitch (*note: there is an error in the stitch pattern, Row 5 and 7 should end with “sl1,psso,K1″). The original pattern called for making the fronts and back separately then seaming them. I chose to just go for it and do the entire body at one time from the bottom up and used a few purl stitches between the sides to give the illusion of seams. I also did the sleeves in the round and slid the stitches in at the arm markers that I had for the body (basically between the front and back portions of the cardigan. It took some crafty maneuvering and a very long circular needle (US 3, 48” length) to work the yoke but it was so worth it. The charts I made for the yoke were beyond helpful. I was able to keep the pattern flowing uninterrupted with the decreases occurring every other row until I felt the sleeve caps were long enough. I haven’t seen the cardigan modeled yet, however, I do think I could have done a few more decrease rows before starting on the neck band.
Anyway, that may be more information than you care to know. I would like to point out the advantages of making a lacey baby cardigan. Often I feel as though the patterns for children aren’t very involved and I think it’s because most people don’t want to invest a lot of time into a garment that will be grown out of quickly. The great thing about lace, however, is the flexibility it has to grow along with the kid. I didn’t block this sweater too aggressively, but if I did I’m sure it could be made to fit a 2-3 year old. I made this sweater specifically for a very adorable 18 month girl. I was able to knit this cardigan in about a month with dedicated knit time. Even with fingering weight yarn (I used Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in French Grey) and size 3 needles, it went quickly. I hope to one day have time to write out all the specs of my modifications.
Should you consider making a similar modification to a baby cardigan I would suggest a few things: 1) take measurements of the recipient, 2) swatch (I used one of the sleeves as my swatch because it was small), 3) pick a lace pattern with a smaller number of stitches (this one was 8 stitches for each repeat, it made it more manageable to do the total number of stitches for the size of the cardigan), 4) use a springy yarn that can block well. These four things helped me not feel so blind when putting the cardigan together. It was really neat getting to see this little cardigan come together from idea (or modification, rather) in my head to reality. It was a great exercise in understanding garment construction as well. :)