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Free Pattern: Cabled Baby Sweater

May 1, 2009

Note from Sandi: Here is Rebecca Daniels, editorial assistant for Interweave Knits, to tell us about the cabled baby sweater she designed as part of the Summer 2009 staff project: "Design an Heirloom."  

When I think of heirloom, the first things that come to mind are delicate lace shawls and garments knit at impossibly small gauges on steel knitting needles.  At first I struggled with the idea of producing a staff project that I felt was heirloom quality but still possible to complete within the magazine's deadline.  I spent several days contemplating what I could make that would be worthy of the title “heirloom.”

The answer to my question was quickly supplied to me.  Only a few days after we received the assignment, a close co-worker announced that she was having a baby!  And in this case, there were no months of planning, yarn fondling and contemplation of the perfect baby garment. My co-worker and her husband had finally found a baby to adopt -- a little girl who was due to arrive in a scant two weeks.

Just because this birth was on such short notice didn’t mean that mother and baby should be denied a beautiful hand-knit gift.  My heirloom project would be something that I could later gift to the new baby.

Because of the accelerated timeframe, I decided to knit the sweater in DK weight. Not what I’d traditionally think of as “heirloom” weight, but the luxurious baby alpaca yarn made up for the quick gauge, turning it into a baby sweater that will hopefully be passed on to another new baby at some point  (even if it’s not a hundred years from now).  Knitters may not think of an alpaca sweater (even a short-sleeved one) as something appropriate for summer use, but I tried to think beyond the season in which this pattern is being published and see it as a garment that transcends seasons and years with its classic shape and minimal details.

--Rebecca Daniels

Download the Cabled Baby Sweater pattern for free

P.S. If you  are interested in knitting clothes and accessories for mother and baby, please check out Natural Knits For Babies And Moms: Beautiful Designs Using Organic Yarns  for great ideas and patterns.

Sandi Wiseheart is the founding editor of Knitting Daily.
  She is now the author of the popular Knitting Daily blog: What's on Sandi's Needles.


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LadyS wrote
on Feb 1, 2012 8:21 PM

Beautiful sweater and thank you, but I have one question. How does the body circumference for the 12 month size (middle size) end up only 21"?  At a body of 150 stitches and a gauge of 23sts/4inch in stockinette, I get around 26". If there is about an inch overlap and an inch lost in the draw up of the cabling, I still calculate about 24" circumference. Am I missing something reading this pattern?

jecdar wrote
on Jan 15, 2010 5:30 AM

I am a new member and love the look of this sweater.  someone mentioned  wanting items for older children.  I plan on adjusting this pattern for my 7yr and 5 yr old grand-daughters.  By knowing their body measurements, and the gauge for the pattern rows and stitches can be added.   I will also adjust for the neck measurement.  Hope it works!!  tks for a great website!

Cath wrote
on May 3, 2009 5:29 PM
I am getting the following error repeteadly when I try to download patterns. What's wrong? Sorry, there was a problem with your last request! Either the site is offline or an unhandled error occurred. We apologize and have logged the error. Please try your request again or if you know who your site administrator is let them know too.
PatP wrote
on May 3, 2009 6:38 AM
I tried to download but my computer said there was an error, never had this happen on one of your patterns. It is a beautiful sweater and I have the perfect yarn in my stash. Pat, DM Iowa
Rebecca wrote
on May 1, 2009 10:30 AM
Hi Janice, You might be able to get away with a little less than 500. If I remember correctly (I'm not sure) but I don't' think I used a lot of the 4th ball to knit this sweater, but it is needed. Even that one little cable sucks up more yarn than you would think! Rebecca
evelyne wrote
on May 1, 2009 9:45 AM
Hello, I love this baby sweater.Thanks for the pattern
Janice Kobis wrote
on May 1, 2009 8:48 AM
does it really use 500 yards of baby alpaca ? That seems like a great deal for such a small sweater. it is so pretty. I am going to make one for my grandchild
LisaD@7 wrote
on May 1, 2009 7:21 AM
So cute! Don't apologize for using a "warm" yarn for a summer baby; don't most US babies spend a lot of time in air conditioning in the summer? People fuss about that all the time, forgetting how we live nowadays. A baby can't get another cover if she's chilly, so better to have the ability to keep her comfortable.
DebbieR wrote
on May 1, 2009 6:42 AM
Too Sweet! Savannah is one REALLY lucky girl!!
EvelynP wrote
on May 1, 2009 5:46 AM
This pattern is just gorgeous and i am jealous of the people who have a baby to knit for. Now, for we grandmas who have 5 year old boys and 7 year old girls to knit for, how about an heirloom type pattern for them. Seems all the patterns are either for babies or adults. HELP! thanks. ep
KarinL wrote
on May 1, 2009 5:43 AM
Very sweet, but readers might consider using a knit-on bobble button or hook and eye to avoid the potential choking hazard of the button.
DeborahH@2 wrote
on May 1, 2009 4:41 AM
Thank you for the pattern. it's lovely. cheers deborah