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How to Knit a Cardigan: Try an Adorable Baby Sweater


baby sweaters

Knitting a baby sweater is the perfect way to practice sweater knitting. Check out these 9 free knitting patterns

I find knitting cardigan sweaters intimidating. Knitting cardigans seems to me an exercise in juggling variables. You have to, first and foremost, make sure it fits if you ever want it worn. You have to ensure that the sleeves are long enough and wide enough. That the bodice isn’t too long or too short. That the shoulders actually fall onto the shoulders. And so on.

That, my friend, is what makes knitting a baby sweater so appealing to me. While the variables still exist, they do so on a much smaller scale. Which means that if you mess up, you won’t have to spend nearly as much time fixing it.

And if you’re knitting for charity, you’re even more fortunate. Because some baby somewhere will most likely fit your creation!

And as an added bonus, a baby cardigan is part of any good newborn layette. Take a hat and a blanket, add a cardigan, and the ensemble is complete. Presto: you have a well-dressed and warm baby.

So if you would love to make a full-sized cardigan but feel intimidated like I do, why not try a baby cardigan first? When you’re done, you have a great charity knitting project to donate. And you’ll have gained experience in cardigan construction. It’s a win-win!

Let’s make some cardigan magic!

Baby Sweater Magic: Free Knitting Patterns for Cardigans

Five-Hour Baby Sweater: This is a version of a famous pattern that has long been available for free online. This particular version has been adapted by Bev Qualheim (of Bev’s Country Cottage), Jennifer Cox, and Beth Koskie. It is a darling sweater full of visual interest. The pattern comes with a set of possible variations at the bottom.

Garter Stitch Baby Kimono: Here’s a classic kimono-styled cardigan. It’s certainly one of the simpler patterns on this list, as it’s knit entirely in garter stitch.

Newborn Top Down Cardigan: This lovely little top-down pattern is knit all in one piece — no seaming!

Easy Baby Cardigan: This might just be the simplest baby cardigan pattern available. You’ll knit this almost entirely in one piece and without buttonholes — it just ties into place.

Baby Eyelet Cardi: For a cardigan with a little more visual interest, try this adorable piece with airy eyelets at the bottom.

Five-Pound Cardigan: Here’s a special (and simple) pattern for a cardigan suitable for a larger preemie or a small newborn.

Knits for KidsStriped Cardigan: For another version of a kimono cardigan, check out the sweet styling of this pattern.

Newborn Vertabrae: Here’s a clever option: a cardigan that covers only the baby’s arms. It’s kind of like a shrug for babies. How cute!

Bedtime Stories: This precious little cardigan is a kimono-style with ties instead of buttons. If you don’t want to sew on buttons or worry about buttonholes and like the kimono style, this could be your pattern!

Now, let’s lose the intimidation and whip up a baby sweater or two for charity or gifts!