Cali – Unisex Baby Sweater Vest
by Catherine J. Hall- remix by steve
Once upon a time there was a pretty ball of yarn. It was soft, and the hand-dyed colors were just right. But it was a lonely ball, without a match in the world. What's an over-eager knitter to do? Well, if there is a new niece or nephew on the horizon, there's a simple answer....Baby Clothes!!!
This pattern is easy and can be made for baby girls or boys just by changing the choice of yarn. It's reversible, too, which gives Mom and Dad a way to double the wear - just move the side with spit-up stains to the back! The generous sizing will fit baby for months, first as a tunic, then as a snug vest over a dress shirt or tee. Because this sweater only requires about 150 yards of yarn, you can use leftovers from other projects, or splurge on a ball or two of something exquisite. Most of the sweater is made in the round, which means it can be done in a couple of days (or hours), so it's perfect for a last-minute shower gift. It's so simple and fun, you may want to make a little stack of colorful vests. You never know who is ready to make the big announcement!
12" wide by 11" high (that's 24" around, you know)
We all know that babies come in every size and shape, especially if you've ever tried to fit a 10 pounder or a preemie into clothes marked "Newborn". The good thing about knitting is that it stretches. So, although this is technically a sweater designed to fit a 12-month-old, you can layer it over a newborn's onesie, and then stretch it over an 18-month toddler's ever-expanding belly. And, just by knitting the same sweater in bulkier yarn (remember to increase yardage, too), you can make a replacement vest for Baby Dear's second birthday.
Yarn - The sample is knit from worsted weight 100% wool yarn that we dyed with Kool-Aid.
Use whatever worsted weight yarn catches your fancy. You will need approximately 150 yards.
You can use scraps from other projects to create fun stripes or colorwork designs, or use contrasting bits of yarn for the double seed stitch borders, or as a decorative edging around armholes.
Needles - 12"- or 16"-circular needle, size 8, or size needed to get gauge
Notions - Stitch marker
Size G crochet hook (optional)
14 stitches = 4 inches in stockinette stitch
The sweater is knit in the round from the bottom up in stockinette stitch with a double seed stitch border. When sweater is knit to the underarm, stitches are divided in half, and the front and back are knitted back and forth separately with a neat slip stitch edge.
K = knit
P = purl
K2tog = knit two together
SSK = slip next two stitches knitwise, insert tip of left needle into fronts of these stitches and knit the two together
Sl = slip stitch, either p-wise (as if to purl) or k-wise (as if to knit)
st = stitch
sts = stitches
Cast On 84 stitches. Join, being careful not to twist, and place marker to indicate beginning of round.
Round 1 - *K2, P2* repeat to end.
Rounds 2-3 -*P2, K2* repeat to end.
Rounds 4-5 - *K2, P2* repeat to end.
Round 6 - *P2, K2* repeat to end.
Rounds 7-36 - K even.
At this point, measure. There should be 6" of knitting from the cast on edge. If not, keep knitting additional rounds until piece measures 6" from the bottom. Now you can knit the top part of the sweater.
Row 37 - Sl 1 p-wise, K2, K2tog, K32, SSK, K3 (40 sts).
Put remaining 42 sts on holder. Turn work.
Row 38 - Sl 1 p-wise, P 38, K1.
Row 39 - Sl 1 p-wise, K2, K2tog, K30, SSK, K3 (38 sts).
Row 40 - Sl 1 p-wise, P 36, K1.
Row 41 - Sl 1 p-wise, K2, K2tog, K28, SSK, K3 (36 sts).
Row 42 - Sl 1 p-wise, P 34, K1.
Odd rows 43-59 - Sl 1 p-wise, K to end.
Even rows 44-60 - Sl 1 p-wise, P 34, K1.
Rows 61-62 - Sl 1 p-wise, K2, *P2, K2,* repeat from * until 1 st remains, K1.
Rows 63-64 - Sl 1 p-wise, P2, *K2, P2,* repeat from * until 1 st remains, K1.
Rows 65-66 - Sl 1 p-wise, K2, *P2, K2,* repeat from * until 1 st remains, K1.
Bind Off loosely in pattern.
Repeat rows 37-66 on 42 sts that were left on holder.
Bind Off loosely in pattern.
Sew shoulder seams 1.75" in from both sides, leaving an opening for the neck of 7.5".
Weave in ends with tapestry needle.
If desired, pick up sts around arms and knit or crochet an edging of your choice.
Remember! Always include washing instructions with the garment for the new parent. For most hand knits, something like, "Hand wash in cold water with mild detergent. Dry flat." is sufficient. Bathing the actual baby is up to them.
Cali (steve remix)
This tip can be used two ways. The first way is just a cool little remix Steve did of the Cali pattern that Kiki originally wrote. The second is as an example of how to take a pattern as a base and change it to meet your needs.
I started with the basic Cali pattern.
Then I added this Fair Isle grid I designed, made a few pattern changes, and the Cali (steve remix) was born.
Here is what I did.
1. Pick 2 yarns & make a gauge swatch, in the round, in pattern. My gauge was smaller, but rather than changing needles or yarn, I changed the pattern.
2. Instead of casting on 84 sts, I did 120. This gave me a nice number for my 20 st repeat design, and got my gauge at about the right place to keep the sweater the same size. Knit the first six rounds as indicated, using just 1 color[MC].
3. On round 7 I started the Fair Isle design, doing 6 repeats to make 120 stitches. I followed the design repeating it twice, which made 40 rows in pattern. Then I knit one round in just MC. for a total of 41 rounds.
4. I followed the Front & Back sections of the pattern as is (using the MC), with 1 small change. Rather than a seed stitch for rows 61-66 I used a k2 p2 rib.
5. I added sleeves. To do this, I picked up 40 sts around each arm hole, knit 6 rounds with the MC. Then I did the next 20 rounds using 2 repeats of the same Fair Isle design. Then I knit 1 round with MC only & followed the seed stitch pattern for rows 1-6 for the rest of the sleeve.
Finishing, same as pattern.
There you go, a pattern remix in 5 easy steps. Feel free to use my design, or make your own remix. Send us pics & steps used if you do.
A couple more hints:
The flared sleeves and bottom just come natural to me, because I knit Fair Isle much tighter than normal. Use a smaller needle when knitting in 1 color if you knit like me, but don't want this look.
I switched the hands I was holding the yarns in when knitting the sleeves. It might be hard to tell here, but this gave the sleeves a slightly lighter look since the lighter colored yarn was moved to the front.
For longer sleeves or sweater, simply add more rounds either in pattern, using the MC, or use the other color and add a stripe.
To make it bigger around, just add more sts to the cast on. This pattern is the perfect pattern to experiment with & learn to make patterns your own.
Don't be intimidated by Fair Isle. This was only my 3rd FI project. If you don't know how, try Kiki's Kate pattern. That's how I learned to knit Fair Isle, Illanna too. Now my right hand feels naked if I don't have that second color wrapped around my finger.