This comfortable Cabled Cardigan will keep baby warm and cozy [b]all day.

Free Baby Sweaters Knitting Patterns

A handmade sweater for a special baby or toddler is a heartfelt gift that will be treasured for a lifetime. Whether you choose soft and cozy pastels or bright, bold hues, a smooth or cabled finish, a solid color or a pattern, these sweaters are sure to please.

Even for a beginning knitter, the simple step-by-step instructions make these sweaters perfectly accessible. Easy-to-read patterns complement and clarify the directions, and photos provide a reference for how the final product will look.

If you’ve been looking for a memorable baby gift, look no further than these irresistible baby sweaters. They’re fun to knit and simply adorable.

Free Cabled Cardigan Knitting Pattern

This versatile and machine-washable sweater features a classic cable pattern that’s always in style.

Free Plush Pullover Knitting Pattern

Buttoned openings at the neck of this sweet sweater make it easy to dress the baby, while the soft texture of the yarn make it so comfortable that baby won’t want you to take it off.

Free Fancy Stitch Pullover Knitting Pattern

This color-patterned sweater may look complicated, but it’s actually very easy to knit, with impressive results.

To start by trying your hand at the lightweight cabled cardigan, see the next page.

For more helpful knitting tips and interesting patterns, try:

Baby will stay warm and snug all day long in this cabled cardigan.

Free Cabled Cardigan Knitting Pattern

This cardigan makes a wonderful lightweight jacket or warm sweater for baby. Machine washable and oh-so-soft, the yarn comes in a wonderful array of colors and is shown off to best advantage in a delicate cable pattern.

Size

0-6 months: chest 19" (48.5cm), length 9" (23cm)

6-12 months: chest 22" (56cm), length 10" (25.5cm)

2 years: chest 25" (63.5cm), length 121/2" (31.5cm)

3 years: chest 28" (71cm), length 131/2" (34.5cm)

What You'll Need

Yarn: Worsted weight yarn, about 504 [504, 588, 672] yards (462m [462m, 538m, 614.5m])

We used: Lion Brand Yarns Cashmere Blend (72% merino wool, 14% cashmere, 14% nylon; 84 yards [77m] per 40g skein): #105 Light Blue, 6 [6, 7, 8] balls

Needles: US size 8 (5mm); US size 8 (5mm) double-pointed, set of 2 (for closing hood seam)

Notions: 3 stitch holders; tapestry needle; 10" (25.5cm) long separating zipper in color to match yarn; long sewing pins; sewing needle and thread in color to match yarn

Gauge

21 stitches and 24 rows=4" (10cm) in Baby Cable Ribbing Stitch

Notes

  • Instructions are given for smallest size; numbers for larger sizes are in brackets. When only 1 number is given, it applies to all sizes.
  • A "cable 2 twist" is worked as follows: Knit 2 together leaving stitches on left needle, insert right needle between 2 stitches just knitted together and knit the first stitch again, slip both stitches from left needle.
  • Follow the Baby Cable Ribbing Stitch pattern instructions written specifically for the left front, right front, and hood pieces as they include slip stitch selvage instructions that are not included in the Baby Cable Ribbing Stitch pattern given below.

Baby Cable Ribbing Stitch

Rows 1 and 3 (wrong side): Knit 2, *purl 2, knit 2; repeat from * to end of row.Row 2: Purl 2, *cable 2 twist (see "Notes"), purl 2; repeat from * to end of row.Row 4: Purl 2, *knit 2, purl 2; repeat from * to end of row.

This easy-to-follow pattern makes knitting the cabled cardigan a cinch.

Making the Cabled Cardigan

BackCast on 50 [58, 66, 74] stitches.Work the Baby Cable Ribbing Stitch pattern starting with row 1. Continue in pattern until piece measures 9" [10", 121/2", 131/2"] (23cm [25.5cm, 32cm, 34cm]) or desired length. Place stitches on holder.

Left front (as worn)Cast on 26 [30, 34, 38] stitches.

Rows 1 and 3 (wrong side): Slip 1 purlwise with yarn in front, knit 1, *purl 2, knit 2; repeat from * to end of row.Row 2 (right side): Purl 2, *cable 2 twist, purl 2; repeat from * to last 2 stitches, purl 1, knit 1.

Continue in established pattern until piece measures about 80 [9", 11", 111/2"] (20.5cm [23cm, 28cm, 29cm]) or desired length, ending with a right-side row.

Keeping in pattern, work neck shaping as follows:

Next wrong-side row: Bind off 4 stitches at neck edge 1 time, work remaining stitches in pattern. (22 [26, 30, 34] stitches)All right-side rows: Work in established pattern, adjusting as necessary to accommodate changing stitch count.Next wrong-side row: Bind off 3 stitches at neck edge, work remaining stitches in pattern. (19 [23, 27, 31] stitches)

Next wrong-side row (2 smallest sizes only): Bind off 2 stitches at neck edge, work remaining stitches in pattern. (17 [21] stitches)

Next 2 wrong-side rows (2 largest sizes only): Bind off 2 stitches at neck edge on this row and the next right-side row, work remaining stitches in pattern. (23 [27] stitches)

Next wrong-side row (all sizes): Knit 2 together at neck edge, work remaining stitches in pattern. (16 [20, 22, 26] stitches)

Next wrong-side row (largest size only): Knit 2 together at neck edge, work remaining stitches in pattern. (25 stitches)

Work even in pattern until piece measures about 9" [10", 121/2", 131/2"] (23cm [25.5cm, 32cm, 34cm]). Place 16 [20, 22, 25] shoulder stitches on holder.

Right front (as worn)

Cast on 26 [30, 34, 38] stitches.

Rows 1 and 3 (wrong side): Slip 1 purlwise with yarn in front, knit 1, *purl 2, knit 2; repeat from * to end.

Row 2 (right side): *Slip 1 purlwise with yarn in front, purl 1, cable 2 twist, purl 2; repeat from * to end of row.

Row 4: Slip 1 purlwise with yarn in front, purl 1, *knit 2, purl 2; repeat from * to end of row.

Continue in pattern until piece measures 8" [9", 11", 111/2"] (20.5cm [23cm, 28cm, 29cm]) or desired length, ending with a wrong-side row.

Next right-side row: Bind off 4 stitches at neck edge 1 time, work remaining stitches in pattern. (22 [26, 30, 34] stitches)

All wrong-side rows: Work in established pattern, adjusting as necessary to accommodate changing stitch count.

Next right-side row: Bind off 3 stitches at neck edge, work remaining stitches in pattern. (19 [23, 27, 31] stitches)

Next right-side row (2 smallest sizes only): Bind off 2 stitches at neck edge, work remaining stitches in pattern. (17 [21] stitches)

Next 2 right-side rows (2 largest sizes only): Bind off 2 stitches at neck edge on this row and the next right-side row, work remaining stitches in pattern. (23 [27] stitches)

Next right-side row (all sizes): Work slip slip knit decrease at neck edge, work remaining stitches in pattern. (16 [20, 22, 26] stitches)

Next right-side row (largest size only): Work slip slip knit decrease at neck edge, work remaining stitches in pattern. (25 stitches)

Work even in pattern until piece measures 9" [10", 121/2", 131/2"] (23cm [25.5cm, 32cm, 34cm]). Place 16 [20, 22, 25] shoulder stitches on holder.

Sleeves (make 2)

Cast on 26 [30, 34, 38] stitches.

Work the Baby Cable Ribbing Stitch pattern while at the same time using the make 1 increase method to increase 1 stitch at each sleeve edge every fourth row 10 [11, 12, 13] times. (50 [52, 58, 64] stitches)

Continue in pattern until sleeve length measures 63/40 [71/20, 83/40, 90] (17cm [19cm, 22cm, 23cm]). Bind off.

Repeat for second sleeve.

Working from armhole toward neck, seam shoulder stitches of left front to shoulder stitches of back using 3-needle bind-off technique. Repeat seaming for right shoulder. Leave remaining 20 [20, 24, 26] back neck stitches on holder for neck (the stitch count includes the remaining stitch on each shoulder after completing the bind-off).

Hood

Beginning at right center front neck opening (as worn) with right side facing, pick up 42 [42, 46, 50] stitches around neck edge toward the left center front (as worn).

Row 1 (wrong side): Slip 1 purlwise with yarn in front, knit 1, (purl 2, knit 1 into front and back of next stitch) 4 times, (purl 2, knit 2) 3 [3, 4, 5] times, (purl 2, knit 1 into front and back of next stitch) 4 times, purl 2, knit 2. (50 [50, 54, 58] stitches)

Row 2: Slip 1 purlwise with yarn in front, purl 1, *cable 2 twist, purl 2; repeat from * until 4 stitches remain, cable 2 twist, purl 1, knit 1.

Row 3: Slip 1 purlwise with yarn in front, knit 1, *purl 2, knit 2; repeat from * to end of row.

Row 4: Slip 1 purlwise with yarn in front, purl 1, *knit 2, purl 2; repeat from * until 4 stitches remain, knit 2, purl 1, knit 1.

Row 5: Slip 1 purlwise with yarn in front, knit 1, *purl 2, knit 2; repeat from * to end of row.

Repeat rows 2-5 until hood measures 71/2" [8", 81/2", 9"] (19cm [20.5cm, 21.5cm, 23cm]) in length.

Divide hood stitches in half, placing 25 [25, 27, 29] stitches each onto their own double-point needle. Holding double-point needles parallel to each other with wrong sides of fabric facing (right sides together), join the stitches from both needles using the 3-needle bind-off technique to close the hood top.

Finishing the Cabled Cardigan

Center top of sleeves on shoulder seams and with yarn threaded on tapestry needle use mattress stitch to attach sleeves to body. Sew side and sleeve seams with mattress stitch. Pin zipper in position, aligning bottom of zipper with bottom edge of knitted pieces and placing vertical edges of center front knitted pieces next to the teeth. If the zipper extends past the top edge, separate the zipper and trim the top of each side to match the exact length. Using matching color sewing thread and sewing needle, stitch a dozen or so times around an individual tooth just below the trimmed edge to create a stop for the zipper pull. Using sewing thread and sewing needle and with right side facing, backstitch zipper in place along the vertical edge of the knitted fronts. Whipstitch edges of zipper tape in place with wrong side facing. Remove all pins. Weave in all loose ends to wrong side of sweater.

Looking for a smooth-finished baby sweater? See the next page to find a pattern for the delightfully soft Plush Pullover.

For more helpful knitting tips and interesting patterns, try:

The oh-so-soft yarn in this Plush Pullover creates a wonderful tactile sensation for baby.

Free Plush Pullover Knitting Pattern

The sweater is made with soft, plush yarn that is lighter than air yet cozy and warm. The pattern is quick and easy to make. Buttoned openings at both sides of the neck make dressing baby easy.

Size

6 months: 21" (53.5cm) chest

12 months: 22" (56cm) chest

18 months: 23" (58.5cm) chest

What You'll Need

Yarn: Soft, synthetic bulky weight yarn, about 270 yards (247m)

We used: Berroco Plush Colors (100% nylon; 90 yards [83m] per 50g ball): #1952 Baby Mix, 3 balls; #1924 Jazzy Turquoise, 1-2 yards (.92-1.83m) for blanket stitch trim

Needles: US size 8 (5mm)

Notions: Tapestry needle; 4 stitch markers; safety pins; needle and thread to match yarn; 6 novelty buttons (about 1/2" [.33cm] diameter)

Gauge

15 stitches and 22 rows=4" (10cm) in stockinette stitch

Note: Instructions are given for smallest size; numbers for larger sizes are in brackets. When only 1 number is given, it applies to all sizes.

 

View Enlarged Image Follow this pattern to make the soft and cuddly Plush Pullover.

Making the Plush Pullover

 

Back

Cast on 40 [42, 44] stitches. Work in stockinette stitch (knit on right side, purl on wrong side) until piece measures 51/2" [7", 7"] (14cm [18cm, 18cm]) in length from cast-on edge, and place marker at both ends for beginning of armholes.

Continue in stockinette stitch until piece measures 91/2" [12", 121/2"] (24cm [30.5cm, 31.5cm]) from cast-on edge. Bind off all stitches.

Front

Work as for back until last 3 rows, ending with a purl row.

Buttonhole row: Knit 2, knit 2 together, yarn over, knit 1, knit 2 together, yarn over, knit 1, knit 2 together, yarn over, knit 20 [22, 24], knit 2 together, yarn over, knit 1, knit 2 together, yarn over, knit 1, knit 2 together, yarn over, knit 2.

Next row: Purl, working the yarnovers as stitches.

Next row: Knit.

Bind off in purl stitches.

Sleeves (make 2)

Cast on 23 [24, 25] stitches. Work in stockinette stitch, increasing 1 stitch at each end of work every 6 rows 4 [0, 0] times, then 1 stitch each end every 0 [5, 5] rows 0 [7, 8] times. (31 [38, 41] stitches on needle)

Work even until sleeve measures 6" [7", 71/2"] (15cm [18cm, 19cm]). Bind off.

Repeat steps for second sleeve.

Finishing the Plush Pullover

With right sides up, overlap front and back pieces by 1" (1.3cm) at neck edges with front piece on top. Pin in place. Pin sleeves to body of sweater, easing to fit between markers. With yarn threaded on tapestry needle, sew sleeves to body using the backstitch seam. Sew side and sleeve seams using mattress stitch. Mark placement of buttons on back shoulders of sweater under the front overlap to align with buttonholes; sew buttons securely in place. Note: Small buttons may pose a choking hazard, so be sure to attach them securely and check each time after washing.

Make a blanket stitch or overcast stitch edging with contrasting-color yarn around the lower edges of sleeves and sweater.

Weave in all yarn ends to wrong side of work.

For a sweater with a pattern that looks impressively complicated but is actually quite simple to make, see our Fancy Stitch Pullover on the next page.

For more helpful knitting tips and interesting patterns, try:

The fun and easy-to-make Fancy Stitch Pullover will impress friends and delight baby.

Free Fancy Stitch Pullover Knitting Pattern

Don't let the fancy color work fool you -- this fun and bright pullover is a cinch to knit and will wow everyone who sees it.

Size

1 year: chest 25" (63.5cm), length 121/2" (32cm)

2 years: chest 27" (68.5cm), length 13" (33cm)

3 years: chest 29" (74cm), length 131/2" (34.5cm)

What You'll Need

Yarn: Chunky weight yarn, about 500 [700, 880] yards (457m [640m, 804m])

We used: Muench Yarns Tessin (43% superwash wool, 35% acrylic, 22% cotton); 110 yards [100m] per 100g skein): #805 Bright Red (color A), 2 skeins; #808 Royal Blue (color B), 2 skeins; #806 Lively Lime Green (color C), 2 skeins; #839 Chiffon Yellow (color D), 2 skeins

Needles: US size 8 (5mm); US size 10 (6mm); US size 8 (5mm) circular, 12" (30.5cm) or 16" (40.5cm) long

Notions: 3 stitch holders; tapestry needle

Gauge

17 stitches and 22 rows=4" (10cm) in Four-Color Fancy Stitch

Note: Instructions are given for smallest size; numbers for larger sizes are in brackets. When only 1 number is given, it applies to all sizes.

Four-Color Fancy Stitch Pattern

Row 1 (wrong side): With color A, purl across.

Row 2: With color B, knit 2, *slip 1 with yarn in back, knit 1; repeat from * until 1 stitch remains, knit 1.

Row 3: With color B, purl 2, *slip 1 with yarn in front, purl 1; repeat from * until 1 stitch remains, purl 1.

Row 4: With color C, knit 1, *slip 1 with yarn in back, knit 1; repeat from * until 1 stitch remains, knit 1.

Row 5: With color C, purl across.

Row 6: With color D, knit 1, *slip 1 with yarn in back, knit 3; repeat from * until 2 stitches remain, slip 1 with yarn in back, knit 1.

Row 7: With color D, purl 1, *slip 1 with yarn in front, purl 3; repeat from * until 2 stitches remain, slip 1 with yarn in front, purl 1.

Row 8: With color B, knit 2, *slip 3 with yarn in back, knit 1; repeat from * until 1 stitch remains, knit 1.

Row 9: With color B, purl 3, *slip 1 with yarn in front, purl 3; repeat from * until end of row.

Row 10: With color A, knit 1, *slip 1 with yarn in back, knit 3; repeat from * until 2 stitches remain, slip 1 with yarn in back, knit 1.

Repeat rows 1-10 for pattern.

Follow the pattern to create the fun and colorful Fancy Stitch Pullover.

Making the Fancy Stitch Pullover

Bac­k

With size 8 (5mm) needles and color B, cast on 55 [59, 63] stitches.

Row 1: Purl.

Row 2: Knit.

Repeat rows 1 and 2 twice more.

With size 10 (6mm) needles and color A, work the Four-Color Fancy Stitch pattern starting with row 1.

Continue in pattern until piece measures 121/2" [13", 131/2"] (32cm [33cm, 34.5cm]) from start of stitch pattern. Place stitches on holder.

Front

Work same as for back until piece measures 11" (28cm) ending on a wrong-side row.

Next row (right side): Work 23 [25, 26] stitches in pattern, bind off 9 [9, 11] stitches, work in pattern to end of row. (23 [25, 26] stitches each side of neck)

Shape right side of neck opening (as worn)

Rows 1, 3, and 5 (wrong-side rows): Work across in pattern.

Row 2: Bind off 3 stitches, work across remaining stitches in pattern. (20 [22, 23] stitches)

Row 4: Bind off 2 stitches, work across remaining stitches in pattern. (18 [20, 21] stitches)

Row 6: Knit 1, slip slip knit decrease, work across remaining stitches in pattern. (17 [19, 20] stitches)

Row 7: Work across in pattern.

Repeat rows 6 and 7 twice more. (15 [17, 18] stitches)

Work even in pattern until piece measures 121/2" [13", 131/2"] (32cm [33cm, 34.5cm]) in length from beginning of stitch pattern. Place shoulder stitches on holder.

Shape left side of neck opening (as worn)

Row 1 (wrong side): Join new yarn, bind off 3 stitches and work across remaining stitches in pattern. (20 [22, 23] stitches)

Row 2: Work across in pattern.

Row 3: Bind off 2 stitches, work across remaining stitches in pattern. (18 [20, 21] stitches)

Row 4: Work across in pattern until 3 stitches remain, knit 2 together, knit 1. (17 [19, 20] stitches)

Row 5: Work across in pattern.

Repeat rows 4 and 5 twice more (15 [17, 18] stitches)

Work even in pattern until piece measures 121/2" [13", 131/2"] (32cm [33cm, 34.5cm]) from beginning of stitch pattern. Place shoulder stitches on holder.

Sleeves (make 2)

With size 8 (5mm) needles and color B, cast on 27 [27, 31] stitches.

Row 1: Purl.

Row 2: Knit.

Repeat rows 1 and 2 twice more.

Change to size 10 (6mm) needles and work Four-Color Fancy Stitch pattern while at the same time working make 1 increases on each side of sleeve every fourth row 13 [14, 13] times (53 [55, 57] stitches). Continue in pattern until sleeve length measures 91/2" [10", 101/2"] 24cm [25.5cm, 26.5cm]. Bind off loosely.

Repeat for second sleeve.

Finishing the Fancy Stitch Pullover

Seam left shoulder stitches of front to left shoulder stitches of back using 3-needle bind-off technique. Seam right shoulder stitches using the same method.

Work neckband

With size 8 (5mm) circular needle and color B, with right side facing pick up 54 [54, 56] stitches evenly around neck edge. Join into round. Knit 6 rounds, bind off loosely.

Sew sleeves to body using backstitch, and sew side and sleeve seams using mattress stitch. Weave all loose ends into wrong side of sweater.

No matter what style or pattern you choose, a handmade baby sweater is a present that is sure to become a treasured keepsake. The lucky baby will not only get to enjoy the sweater now, but have a reminder of your feelings for years to come.

For more helpful knitting tips and interesting patterns, try:

Contributing designers: Kathy Perry and Beth Walker-O'Brien.