Machine Knitting/Baby knitting
|NS||½ neck + 1 shoulder|
|UA||Upper arm circumference|
|BL||Back length until hip|
|SL||Sleeve length from shoulder|
|LL||Leg length from crotch to ankle|
|Age||0-3 months||3-6 months||6-12 months||12-18 months||2 years||3 years||4 years||5 years||6 years||7 years||8 years||9 years||10 years|
|Height||60 cm||70 cm||80 cm||86 cm||90 cm||100 cm||110 cm||115 cm||120 cm||125 cm||130 cm||135 cm||140 cm|
Of course, you can knit a baby cardigan in the same way as you knit one for adults, with or without armhole. But there are many other ways to do it, quick ways as well as slower ways. Here I will show some examples:
Quickly knitted cardigan in one piece
You begin at the bottom and cast on the measurement of the chest circumference. The sides are the middle of the front. Knit straight up to the armholes. Knit in contrast coloured yarn on 1/4 of the stitches in both sides and release the knitting; but you have to knit the outer 1/4 of the stitches before you enter the contrast coloured yarn; otherwise the thread will not be where you need it. This part will become the lower part of the front pieces, which are later bent around to the plain side and stitched upon the upper part of the front pieces.
Put the row counter back to 0, and cast on new stitches for the sleeves with closed casting. There must be slightly more new stitches than you had for the front pieces.
If you want, you can slope the underside of the sleeves with shortened rows, thereby making the sleeves narrower at the bottom. It will fit if you push 3 or 4 needles in the idling position at a time. When you have finished the sloping, you must note the row number, so you can make the same number of shortened rows on the other side of the sleeves. At the bottom of the sleeves you can increase one stitch, say for every fourth row, as you see in the picture. When you reach the middle of the sleeve you increase one stitch again for every fourth row, but at the same time you have reached the back of the neck in the other side. You cast off the stitches for the neck or knit in contrast coloured yarn. Then push the stitches on one side in the idling position and knit each side separately. Note the row number, so you can begin on the same row when you are knitting the other side. Finish one sleeve at the same time as you make the front neck. Knit a few rows straight and then decrease one stitch a row a few times and then cast on the rest of the stitches to the middle of the cardigan. Knit straight up in the neck side until you have finished the sleeve. Knit in contrast coloured yarn on the front piece separately and the sleeve separately.
When you have finished both sides, you remove the knitting from the machine. Iron the edges, bend the bottom pieces of the front, sew the open loops together with the upper part of the front as shown in the mounting chapter, and sew the sleeves together by sewing the open loops together with the cast on loops.
You can crochet an edge on the neck and front, or pick some stitches up and make a rib border with buttonholes.
Cardigan with a round yoke
You can knit a round yoke transversely, by knitting shortened rows. You may knit a pattern on the lower end. Choose a coloured pattern which is equal in both directions.
Calculate the neck circumference to about 25 cm, using your knitting sample to find the number of rows per cm. This is half of the rows you are going to knit, because you make shortened rows twice so that only the bottom piece has a pattern. On some machines, the neck piece will get small stripes, because you push the needles down from the idling position to the C position and the coloured yarn will knit the needles in C position, but only at the return strokes, so the stripes come on every second row. Knit until the row counter has reached twice the length which you calculated for the neck. Then cast off.
Now the yoke is partitioned like this: 1/8 for each front piece, 1/4 for each sleeve and 1/4 for the back, and mark it with pins or tack marks. It is probably easiest to start with the sleeves, because here you need not knit shortened rows. Pick up stitches in the edge of the yoke. Make a stitch in the beginning of each row, until you have the amount of stitches that you have calculated for the upper arm circumference, and then increase one stitch for every fourth row in each side until you have reached the sleeve length. If you are not sure about the sleeve length, fold the yoke and measure, from the middle of the back, the length NS, and make a mark. Measure the piece from that mark and till the end of the yoke; this piece must be subtracted from the sleeve length. The line in the middle of the picture shows NS, from which you can measure the sleeve length. You may finish the sleeve with a rib border.
At the front pieces and at the back, you must start rounding the piece so it suits the rounding of the yoke, when you have picked up the stitches from the yoke. At the same time you pick up a stitch from the sleeve in the side, or you make a stitch, until the sloped piece has the same length as the piece at the sleeve. When you have finished the decreasing, you put the row counter back to 0. Knit straight down to the same row number on the back and the front pieces, and finish with a rib border. Knit neck border and front borders in rib and make buttonholes in one side.
Sidewards knitted cardigan with shortened rows
Start making a front border either by rib knitting or by making a seam. You can knit buttonholes at this border or wait until you have knitted the whole cardigan and come to the other front border.
Now you knit shortened rows in series of three. The bottom piece must be the longest, maybe as long as the two other pieces together, or a little shorter. Push the needles from the two upper pieces into the idling position and knit one time forwards and backwards, then push the needles from the middle piece down and knit once more; and at last you take all needles down and knit the whole way over. Continue knitting three times forwards and backwards, first the bottom piece, then the bottom and the middle piece, and then the whole way over, until you come to the sleeve. Then you knit the bottom piece once, so the thread stays there. Place the bottom piece stitches on a safety pin or on a transfer tool comb with a rubber band to halt the stitches. Now you cast on new stitches for the sleeve. Knit the sleeves the same way as the front piece, but leave a few stitches for the wrist and knit them the third time together with the neckpiece. If you find that this is too tight, you can knit it only every second time, or whatever you think is suitable. The sleeve must be as wide as twice the armhole depth, which you calculate from your knitting sample. Now you can pick up the loops from the casting-on edge and place them on the needles. Cast off the whole together. In this way the edge will appear on the plain side, but under the arm. If you don't want that, you can knit in contrast coloured yarn and sew the open loops together later, but make sure that you finish under the arm. Now take up the stitches from the safety pin and continue the knitting in the same way as for the front piece until the back is twice as wide as the front piece. Knit the other sleeve in the same way as the first sleeve, and then knit the other front piece. Finish off with the other front border, and buttonholes if you did not make them on the first front border.
The neck requires a border too, either a rib border or a crochet border with holes for a string, otherwise it becomes too large. Likewise, the bottom edge and the wrist edge must have a crochet border, otherwise they will roll.
Cast on 2 - 3 stitches and knit as long as you want. Hold the starting thread lightly, at least in the beginning. The string will roll by itself.
Knit two pieces that are laterally reversed.
If you want to avoid a seam in the middle of the front and the back - e.g. if you want to make a pattern on the belly - you may proceed as follows: Cast on half the hip circumference for the front. Start at the crotch with contrast coloured yarn in two halves divided at the middle. Thereby you can knit upwards in the pattern that you want, and need not knit the pattern from above, which not all machines can do automatically. Knit until you reach the armhole, cast off a few stitches, and increase one stitch in the beginning of each row. Finish with a rib border or a seam and make a buttonhole in each side. Knit a back piece in the same way, but leave a few stitches in each side for shoulder straps and place them on a safety pin. The sloped edge will not roll, so it is not absolutely necessary to make a crochet border.
Now, take half of the stitches from the front and half of the stitches from the back, so the middle of each piece will become the side of the trousers' leg. Then you are going to decrease for the gussets. Calculate 1/12 of the hip circumference (including nappy) for the gusset in front and 1/8 for the gusset in back, which must be bigger. You do that by sloping the back half with shortened rows, while the needles in the front are staying in the idling position. This will fit because the trousers have to be higher in the back anyway.
Put half of the needles in idling position. This will become the front side. Increase one stitch at the start of each row on the back. On the front you activate a few needles for every row, and one extra stitch at each return stroke. Knit as many shortened rows as corresponds to the number of extra stitches in the back gusset relative to the front gusset. When all stitches have become included, you begin to increase one stitch at the start of each row in the front as well, still increasing also on the backside, i.e. you increase one stitch at the start of every row. If you increase e.g. 8 stitches in the front gusset, and you have made four shortened rows in the back, you will now have to increase 12 stitches in the back gusset.
Now we are going to knit the legs. You may decrease a few stitches before you knit the legs straight downwards. Thereby you get a flat piece where the nappy can lie. Decrease by equal space until you have the leg length and the ankle width. You can decrease a little more in the back until you have the same needle number in each side. Finish with a rib border or a seam.
If you want to knit feet, you can make a row of holes, so you can pull a string through. See in the other garments chapter how to knit the feet.
Shoulder straps: You can knit shoulder straps on the back needle bed by using the tuck buttons. Push every second needle in C position, knit one or two rows, and put the opposite needles in C position, etc. This knitting will not be liable to roll. Ordinary rib knitting will stretch too much, which all long and narrow pieces will do, but not if you do as described.
Naturally, you may also begin the rompers from above and knit until you reach the gusset. From there, you must knit in contrast coloured yarn divided into two pieces, and proceed as described above.
Rompers with a seam in front and back
Begin under the arms and make a seam or rib border with a row of holes. Knit two laterally reversed pieces. When you reach the crotch, you push the front needles in the idling position and knit shortened rows on the back piece while you decrease one needle in the beginning of each row. When you have finished the shortened rows, you knit the whole way over and decrease in both sides, so that the gusset gets bigger in the backside than in the front side. You can then increase the stitches from the gusset again, or only some of them, and knit the legs straight down or slope them.
When you have knitted the two halves and sewn them together, you can pick up stitches from the upper seam if you want, or just use the trousers alone.
If you knit a flap, then do not make it too wide, as it will fold. You can increase and slope it, so it is not too wide at the neck. Finish with a rib border or seam, and remember buttonholes. On the back, you can either make a flap that is similar, except that it has shoulder straps, or shoulder straps may be fixed just by picking up stitches on the back seam. If you have buttonholes in the front and buttons on the shoulder straps, you can make the shoulder straps a little too long, so you have the possibility to move the buttons when the baby has grown. You can pull a string through the seam, or for bigger babies a rubber band.
Furthermore, there is the possibility to start at the bottom of the legs with a rib border. The leg length is calculated from the widest part of the gusset. If you do not want a seam in the middle of the front and back, you can knit in contrast coloured yarn on two pieces, and when you have knitted the other leg, you can proceed as described above.