Sunday, January 24, 2016

Row by Row Help for the Elizabeth Zimmerman Baby Sweater on Two Needles

It felt really good to get this one out of my system.  By that, I mean, that I have wanted to knit this little sweater for a long time.  My copy of Knitter's Almanac is well-worn from baby longies, a half-finished pie shawl(still), some attempted Norwegian mittens, and some wonderful reading.

In progress

I'd assumed it would be simple to knit, but when I finally cast on, I realized the directions were a little sparse.  I did lots of research on Ravelry, and from everyone's help I made it through pretty well.  Only one frog, at the very beginning.
I thought I'd post some notes here for anyone else knitting this sweater.

Row by Row help (not the pattern) for Elizabeth Zimmerman's Baby Sweater on Two Needles

Note: For this sweater, I chose to make it completely seamless, and took suggestions to knit the sleeves in the round.  This also avoided a messy cast on mid-project, and made the whole sweater seamless!

Buttonholes:  BEFORE you begin, you need to make a button-hole decision.  If you look at lots of projects on Ravelry you can decide if you want buttons on the yoke only, or buttons all the way down the sweater.  Every 8 rows gives you three on the yoke, Every 8th ridge (that's two rows) gives you only two on the yoke, and continuing that spaces them well down the rest of the sweater.  So look and decide FIRST.

Cast on the # of stitches in the pattern. 
Rows 1-3 work in garter stitch
Row 4: (First button hole row for my example)  K2 edge stitches, K2, M1, then Knit to end.
Row 5 - 8 as per pattern.
Row 9 (Increase Row, as per pattern.)
Row 10 -17 (as per pattern)
Row 18 Increase row
Row 19 (change to gull lace pattern) K4, pattern row 1 to the last 4 sts, K4.
Row 20 (buttonhole row) K2 edge stitches, K2, M1, pattern row 2 to the last 4 sts, K4.
(This was my last buttonhole, but if you are continuing down the sweater, you will repeat this buttonhole row every 16 rows.) 

At this point the pattern is pretty straightforward until you get to the sleeves.  You will continue in pattern, until the sweater is 4 1/2 inches long. 

Divide for Sleeves:
Next Row:  Knit in pattern for 25 stitches, put the next 28 stitches on a spare piece of yarn, Knit the next 42 stitches in pattern, put the next 28 stitches on a spare piece of yarn, Knit the next 25 stitches in pattern. 

At this point: Take a note of what pattern row you finished, as this will be your next row when you continue to knit the sleeves later on.

Next Row: Knit along the body as per pattern, until the body is complete, following the pattern cast off suggestions at the end. 

Go back for sleeves.
First sleeve:  Slip 14 stitches off your spare yarn onto a double pointed needle, then the next 14 stitches onto another dpk.  In the gap, pick up either 7 or 14 stitches (I did 7, but the pattern calls for 14) onto another dpk.  Join your yarn, and continue with the pattern row that you noted before, and knit the sleeve in the round, until the sleeve length designated in the pattern. Be sure to remember that in the round, your purl rows are knitted. 

Repeat for second sleeve.  Weave in ends.  You are done!
I hope I got this right and it all makes sense.  Please feel free to comment below if you don't understand something, or if I need to correct my notes.

Usually, I'll knit a project, and then I'll look for a cute outfit to match.  In this case, I fell in love with a baby dress at Peek, and then decided that it needed a sweater!

Liberty of London prints are my favorite!

Our classic tree-branch buttons from the cedars

Back view

Sharing this week with:


  1. Aw scrolling down the cardigan looked gorgeous, the fabric print was very cute and then I got to the last photo. What an absolutely adorable model, doesn't she look pleased with her outfit :)

  2. Lovely sweater, lovely model! And it goes perfectly with the dress. Great job!

  3. oh my goodness I love it in the yarn you chose and that dress!!!!

    1. Nicole, seeing your pile of baby knits the other week was so inspiring! I shared it with my local fb knitting group! You will have one well-dressed little guy :)

  4. beautiful little sweater!!! and a cute model as well :)

  5. Oh so pretty! And I loooove the buttons!! Your notes on deciding about buttonholes and their exact placement makes me smile :-) I've done sweaters and cardis so many times and still tend to skip this strep - only to frog (parts of) the yoke later!

  6. Oh my I'm not sure what is sweeter......the sweater or the model!! And thanks for the detailed notes......I've bookmarked this in case I need it in the future!!

  7. I came here from Ginny's yarn along. Your sweater is beautiful! The model is delightful too. =) I'm currently knitting this same sweater and am really enjoying it. Thanks for sharing your tips. I haven't divided for the sleeves yet. ~ Susanne

  8. Love the sweater! The yarn just pops with that pattern. Adorable model :)

  9. I have most of EE's books and love them, and I have high aspirations regarding her knitted garments. This sweater is rather cute, and now that I will have a little one to knit one for I can thank you wholeheartedly for taking the time to give your personal notes.
    Your daughter(?) is absolutely beautiful. I need to spend some time here and read your past posts. It looks like I would enjoy my time...

  10. I love your baby sweater, the color of the yarn is beautiful and the little girl so sweet!

  11. That is such a nice sweater. I want to make two for my daughters. They would love that. I will have to check out the pattern and see if it (hopefully) can be made for older children.