Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Free 'Baby Gap' Sweater Pattern

 I call this my 'Baby Gap Sweater', because it was inspired by an absolutely adorable sweater at Baby Gap. However, I am a single mom of 3 boys, some weeks I don't even have a Walmart budget. Baby Gap is out of the question. I had some Bernat Organic Cotton at home that I had picked up on clearance in a tan and off white that would be perfect and so I set out to make my son a 'Baby Gap Sweater'. The Bernat has since been discontinued but any cotton that will knit up to gauge will do. You could also try a wool or wool blend that knits to gauge, thought the drape and hang of the garmet will differ somewhat. I would recommend trying the Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece Seconds from Coveted Yarn as it is only $4.00 a ball and $5.00 shipping to anywhere in the US. My next one of these will be of a monotone nature, which I thought of while looking at the Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece Seconds, which is why I am recommending it. =)

 Size: Fits AROUND 18 months (I hate this age guess, just use the finished chest measurement, it's SO much more accurate!). Finished chest measurement of 28 inches.

3 (50 gr) skeins cotton in off white
3 (50 gr) skeins cotton in tan
Size 6 Needles or size needed to get gauge
Stitch holders
Set of 4 Double Pointed Needles (DPN's) in size 6 or size needed for gauge (used for 3 needle bind off).
Your choice of zipper or buttons for closure.

17 stitches = 4" in stockinette stitch

As it becomes tiresome to both write and read all the color changes, I am simply going to note here to change colors every 8 rows. Very shortly after starting this pattern, you will be able to tell by eye when you need to change.

Starting with tan, cast on 68 stitches.
Knit for 1". (garter stitch)
Work in stockinette stitch (knitting on the right side, purling on the wrong side) until piece measures 13" from beginning, ending with a ws row. Don't forget your color changes every 8 rows!

K 18 stitches and place on a holder for right shoulder, k next 32 stitches and place on a holder for back neck, k remaining stitches and place on a holder for left shoulder.

Cast on 38 stitches, again starting with the tan yarn. Work 1" in garter stitch, then switch to stockinette stitch BUT keep the last 6 stitches in garter stitch for the edging. Again, don't forget to keep up your striping pattern. Continue as established until piece measures 11 1/2" from cast on, end with a ws row.

Shape Neck:
Next Row (RS): Work to last 6 sts, place last 6 sts on a holder. (these are later used for you hood edging)
Next Row: Bind off 8 stitches (neck edge), work to end.
Continue to bind off from neck edge 6 sts once more. (18 sts).
Work even until piece measures same length as back. Place remaining 18 sts on holder for later finishing.

Work same as right front, reversing all shaping and remembering to work the FIRST 6 stitches of every row in garter stitch for the edging instead of the last 6 stitches.

With wrong sides facing eachother and front of sweater facing you, place stitches of back and front right shoulders on two parallel DPN's. With a 3rd DPN, knit first stitch fron front needle together with first stitch from back needle, *knit next stitch from front and back needles together, sl first stitch over second stitch to bind off. Repeat from * until all stitches are bound off. Then repeat entire sequence to bind off the left shoulder seam. (this leaves still the 32 live stitches you have remaining on a holder that will be used for the hood).

Mark for sleeves 5 1/2" down from shoulder seams on front and back. With right side facing, pick up and knit 60 stitches between markers. Work in stockinette stitch with color changes for 10 rows, then decrease 1 stitch on each end on next row, then every 4th row, 8 times. Then every 2nd row 1 time. (40 stitches).
Work even until leave measures 8 1/2", end with a right side row. Work garter stitch for 1" then bind off.

Repeat for second sleeve.

Pick up and knit 14 stitches from top of left front, knit the 32 stitches for the back neck that you placed on a holder, pick up and knit 14 stitches from right front. (60 stitches). You will now be working back and forth for the hood.

Work 4 rows even in stockinette stitch, ending with a right side row.

Next Row: purl
Next Row (increase row): knit 14 stitches, knit into front and back of next stitch (inc), knit 16 stitches, inc, knit 16, inc, knit remaining 14 stitches.
Next Row: Purl
Next Row: Increase Row
Next Row: Purl
Next Row: Increase Row

Continue even in stockinette stitch until hood measures 9". Fold hood in half and use the same 3 needle bind off to sew up the top that you used to sew up the shoulder seams.

Take the 6 stitches that you placed on a holder for finishing earlier and put them on a needle. Make a garter strip (knit every row back and forth on the 6 stitches), making sure to continue with your color changes every 8 rows. Do this until the strip is the same length as the hood around and then attach to the 6 live stitches on the other side or simply bind off those other live stitches and whipstitch that little seam when you whipstitch your hood edging to your hood.

Sew underarm seams and close the sleeves up. Attach buttons or a zipper as desired. (I used a zipper but it was a PAIN to put in!!)

This pattern is copyright 2010, please do not reproduce without written permission from me. I do not care if you sell your finished sweaters or not, this is a part of the copyright that has always been a peeve of mine. If you make this, please send me a pic! And if you have any problems or notice any errors in the pattern, please let me know!

NOTE: Correction made on 12/18/10 regarding the number of stitches used in the hood edging. Please reprint or correct your pattern if you printed it before this date. The older version states an incorrect number of 18 stitches used for the hood edging when it, in fact, should read 6. Sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused and thank you to Maureen for emailing me about it!


  1. I have to hand it to you, Tonya. You are one terrific knitter! Stephanie

  2. Tonya, I have never knitted with any more than 2 needles, can this sweater hoodie be knitted on them only? please explain this to me . i love the pattern and have a new grandson to do it for christmas. beverly

  3. Hi Beverly, sorry for the delay in the response, life is getting the best of me lately...

    This sweater can most definitely be made using only 2 needles. Where it calls for the 3 needle bind of in attaching the shoulder seams, simply bind off as you normally do and then seam them together. Hope this helps and if you have anymore questions, drop me an email at someonesomewherenc@yahoo.com.

  4. I hope it is alright if I make this sweater. I am going to give it as a baby shower gift along with a sweater set that I have already made.(in hopes of being a grandmother).Will send a pic when finished..It is a beautiful sweater hope I can do it justice..thanks for sharing with us..

  5. This is an absolutely beautiful sweater, its a modern classic I think :) I have added a link to this baby knit pattern to my list of free knitting patterns for babies.

    thanks! Alison

  6. Why would you publish a pattern and then ask people to get permission to use it? Makes no sense to me.

  7. Not to use the pattern, to reproduce the pattern. I.e. print it off and distribute it to other people or use it in a book of patterns (especially if you were to sell the pattern. Tonya did the work to write the pattern, kindly shared it with us for free but we can't take the credit for it. Fair enough in my book. Think of it like an iPhone - you can use one, but Apple would sue you form here to the moon if you started making them yourself.

    It looks really cute, I'm going to attempt a smaller version for a baby. Thank you

  8. Thanks for posting this pattern! The sweater is beautiful! I am working on it right now, and so far it was going well, but now I have a question about the neck shaping. The wording is not very clear, so I'm not sure I'm doing it right... Are the 6 bound off stitches supposed to be right next to the 8 bound off stitches? That's what it sounds like, but since after the "bind off 8" it said continue to end, that means in order for the 6 and 8 bound off to be next to each other I would have to knit back to the bound off stitches (creating another row) then turn and bind off 6. After that, continue back and forth on the remaining 18 stitches until it's the same length as the back? That is what I did, but just wanted to make sure it's correct. Sorry, hope you can understand what I'm asking-it's so hard without pictures! Thanks.

  9. I made this sweater for my grandson using blues, greens and white and it turned out so cute. Love the pattern, am going to make another.

  10. How long (length) did your back piece turn out to be?

  11. Hi. Do you have this pattern in any smaller sizes? 9-12 months? 😊 vicky

  12. I'm confused. The hood directions say to knit 14 stitches from each front holder, but when you finish the fronts you place 18 stitches on the holder.
    Please clarify. Thanks