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Easy Pullover for Babies, Toddlers and Kids

The Easy Baby Cardigan from Joelle's More Last-Minute Kitted Gifts has become a Purl Soho classic... but it wasn't the original! Before she knit up that worsted weight cardigan, Joelle first conceived of a lightweight, all-season pullover. At 7 stitches to the inch, it wasn't exactly a "last minute knitted gift" and so it evolved; but Joelle never forgot the adorable prototype she had decided to shelve!

The inspiration behind both sweaters was always Joelle's intrigue with an over-the-top construction. Starting at the bottom back, knitting up and over the shoulders and sleeves, then down the front, this sweater is a one-piece engineering wonder! The Easy Baby Pullover may not be as quick as its cardigan cousin, but it's just as easy! And just as beautiful, with the gorgeous hand dyed subtlety of Koigu Premium Merino. Wonderfully soft, machine washable and as gorgeous as yarn comes, KPM is one of our all time favorites!

This timeless design is filled with design details that make it cozy for tots and easy for parents: a roomy neck opening for quick on and off, cuffs designed for rolling, and a loose, casual style for busy little bodies!  A new classic? We think so!

P.S. Curious about the cute hat too? It's our Little Fair Isle Hat and you can find out all about it right here!

Update

When we added three new sizes to the Easy Pullover pattern, we thought we'd knit up a new version in a new color! This sweet peach of a color is Koigu Premium Merino #1111.5. You can see more pictures of this version here and choose whatever gorgeous color of KPM you want right here!

The Materials

The Pattern

Gauge

7 stitches = 1 inch in stockinette stitch

Sizes

12-24 months (2 years, 4 years, 6 years, 8 years, 10 years, 12 years)

Finished Size

Chest Circumference: 20 1/2 (23, 26, 30, 32 1/2, 34 1/2, 36 1/2) inches

Length: 14 (16, 17, 19 1/2, 20 1/2, 22 1/2, 24) inches

Length from Cast-On to Underarm: 9 (10 1/2, 11 1/2, 13 1/2, 14 1/2, 16, 17) inches

Armhole: 5 (5 1/2, 5 1/2, 6, 6, 6 1/2, 7) inches

Arm Length: 8 3/4 (11, 12 3/4, 15, 15 1/2, 15 1/2, 16 1/4) inches

Pattern Notes

This pullover is worked flat. It is worked in one piece from the bottom edge of the Back, over the shoulders and sleeves, then down to the bottom edge of the Front.

Seed Stitch: (multiple of 2 stitches + 1) All Rows: K1, *p1, k1, repeat from *.

Stockinette stitch: Knit on right-side rows and purl on wrong-side rows.

Errata

This pattern was updated on January 2, 2014 to include 3 additional sizes. The update also includes revisions to the original sizes, adjusting fit to better align with standard sizing. The original January 12, 2012 pattern is now only available on Ravelry as a free downloadable pattern (click here to go to Ravelry). And for the most up-to-date version, just read on right here!

Begin Back

Cast on 71 (81, 91, 105, 113, 121, 127) stitches.

Work in Seed Stitch for 1 1/2 (1 1/2, 1 1/2, 1 1/2, 2, 2, 2) inches, ending with a wrong-side row. 

Next Row (right side): Work in Seed Stitch for 5 stitches, work in stockinette stitch to last 5 stitches, work inSeed Stitch to end. 

Repeat last row until piece measures 2 1/2 (2 1/2, 2 1/2, 2 1/2, 3, 3, 3) inches from cast-on edge, ending with a wrong-side row.

Change to stockinette stitch. Work even until piece measures 9 (10 1/2, 11 1/2, 13 1/2, 14 1/2, 16, 17) inches from cast-on edge, ending with a wrong-side row.

Sleeves

Row 1 (right side): With right side facing, use a Cable Cast-On to cast on 60 (74, 88, 102, 106, 106, 110) stitches. Work across cast-on stitches in Seed Stitch for 25 (29, 33, 37, 37, 37, 37) stitches, place a marker (pm), knit to end. [131 (155, 179, 207, 219, 227, 237) stitches] 

Row 2: With wrong side facing, use a Cable Cast-On to cast on 60 (74, 88, 102, 106, 106, 110) stitches. Work across cast-on stitches in Seed Stitch for 25 (29, 33, 37, 37, 37, 37) stitches, pm, purl to next marker, work in Seed Stitch to end [191 (229, 267, 309, 325, 333, 347) stitches]

Row 3: Work in Seed Stitch to first marker, work in stockinette stitch to next marker, work in Seed Stitch to end.

Repeat Row 3 until piece measures 4 1/2 (5, 5, 5 1/2, 5 1/4, 5 3/4, 6 1/4) inches from beginning of Sleeve, ending with a wrong-side row. 

Shape Back Neck

Row 1 (right side): Work in Seed Stitch to first marker, k51 (64, 76, 93, 99, 103, 110), pm, work in Seed Stitch over next 39 (43, 49, 49, 53, 53, 53) stitches, pm, knit to next marker, work in Seed Stitch to end. 

Row 2: Work in Seed Stitch to first marker, work in stockinette stitch to next marker, work in Seed Stitch to following marker, work in stockinette stitch to last marker, work in Seed Stitch to end.

Repeat Row 2 for a total of 1/2 (1/2, 1/2, 1/2, 3/4, 3/4, 3/4) inch.

Next Row (right side): Work in pattern to second marker, work 5 stitches in Seed Stitch, bind off 29 (33, 39, 39, 43, 43, 43) stitches in pattern, work in pattern to end. [81 (98, 114, 135, 141, 145, 152) stitches remaining for each side]

Left Front

Now working only the Left Front and Sleeve stitches (leaving the remaining stitches on needle), work even in patterns as established for 1 (1, 1, 1 1/4, 1 1/4, 1 1/2, 1 1/2) inch(es), ending with a wrong-side row. 

Shape Front Left Neck

Row 1 (right side): Work in pattern to first marker, slip marker (sm), knit into front and back of next stitch (kfb), work in patterns to end. [82 (99, 115, 136, 142, 146, 153) stitches] 

Row 2: Work in patterns to 1 stitch before second marker, kfb, work in pattern to end. [83 (100, 116, 137, 143, 147, 154 stitches]

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 six (seven, eight, eight, nine, nine, nine) more times, working increased stitches in stockinette stitch as they become available. [95 (114, 132, 153, 161, 165, 172) stitches] 

Work even until piece measures 10 (11, 11, 12, 12, 13, 14) inches from beginning of Sleeve, ending with a right-side row.

Finish Left Sleeve

Next Row (wrong side): Bind off 60 (74, 88, 102, 106, 106, 110) stitches in pattern (removing marker), work in patterns to end. [35 (40, 44, 51, 55, 59, 62) stitches remain]

Cut yarn and place stitches on stitch holder or scrap yarn.

Right Front

With wrong side facing, rejoin yarn to stitches on needle. Work even in patterns as established for 1 (1, 1, 1 1/4, 1 1/4, 1 1/2, 1 1/2) inch(es), ending with a wrong-side row.

Shape Front Right Neck

Row 1 (right side): Work in patterns to 1 stitch before second marker, kfb, work in pattern to end. [82 (99, 115, 136, 142, 146, 153) stitches]

Row 2: Work in pattern to first marker, sm, kfb, work in patterns to end. [83 (100, 116, 137, 143, 147, 154) stitches]

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 six (seven, eight, eight, nine, nine, nine) more times, working increased stitches in stockinette stitch as they become available. [95 (114, 132, 153, 161, 165, 172) stitches]

Work even until piece measures 10 (11, 11, 12, 12, 13, 14) inches from beginning of Sleeve, ending with a wrong-side row. 

Finish Right Sleeve

Row 1 (right side): Bind off 60 (74, 88, 102, 106, 106, 110) stitches in pattern (removing marker), work in patterns to end, Cable Cast-On 1 (1, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3) stitch(es) for center neck, work these stitches in Seed Stitch, then work the 35 (40, 44, 51, 55, 59, 62) stitches of Left Side in patterns as established. [71 (81, 91, 105, 113, 121, 127) stitches]

Front

Row 1 (wrong side): Work in stockinette stitch to first marker, work in Seed Stitch to next marker, work in stockinette stitch to end.

Repeat Row 1 for 3/4 inch total, ending with a wrong-side row.

Next Row (right side): Work entire row in stockinette stitch, removing markers.

Work even for 5 3/4 (7 1/4, 8 1/4, 10 1/4, 10 3/4, 12 1/4, 13 1/4) inches, or until Front is same length as Back to beginning of Seed Stitch trim above side slit, ending with a wrong-side row.

Next Row (right side): Work in Seed Stitch for 5 stitches, work in stockinette stitch to last 5 stitches, work in Seed Stitch to end.

Repeat last row for 1 inch total. 

Next Row: Work entire row in Seed Stitch. 

Repeat last row for 1 1/2 (1 1/2, 1 1/2, 1 1/2, 2, 2, 2) inches total, ending with a wrong-side row. 

Bind off in Seed Stitch.

Finishing

Block if desired. Using mattress stitch, sew side seams, starting above the Seed Stitch edging, and leaving 2 1/2 (2 1/2, 2 1/2, 2 1/2, 3, 3, 3) inches unsewn for side slits. [Delete highlighted phrase; see above note.] Also sew the Sleeve seams. Weave in your ends and you're all finished!

Click here to add a comment

83 Responses to Easy Pullover for Babies, Toddlers and Kids


  1. Anonymous says:

    Hello. I'm working on this sweater, and I was just wondering:
    On the beginning of the back of the sweater, when it says to work five stitches in seed stitch, then work in stockinette stitch, then finish the last five stitches in seed stitch, how exactly do you work stockinette stitch in one row? Should I seed stitch the first five, knit, then seed stitch the last five for that first row following the 1 and 1/4 row of seed stitch? Then on the second row, should I purl instead of knit? Sorry, I'm just very confused.

  2. purl bee says:

    Hi Anonymous,

    Yes, you are correct. On the right side you will knit the stockinette portion and on the wrong side you will purl the stockinette portion. Just like you thought, that is exactly right.

    Thanks for writing in. Please let us know if you have any other questions.
    Laura

  3. Ashleigh says:

    Hello their,

    I found this pattern on revelry day. My husband saw it and he wants one exactly the same. Please could you let me know if you have one for men and where i could find it please.

    Many Thanks
    Ashleigh

  4. purl bee says:

    Hi Ashleigh-

    We don't have a version of this pattern for men. We actually don't have any sweater patterns for men on The Purl Bee but hopefully we will in the near future. You might want to look through the Mens sweater patterns we sell on our website here: http://www.purlsoho.com/purl/products/5-knitting-crochet-patterns?filters=978&filters=975

    The "Brooklyn Tweed Guston Pullover" seems like it might have a similar feeling?

    Thank you for your question!

    Molly

  5. purl bee says:

    Hi Michelle.
    Unfortunately we do not have the resources at this time to re-size this pattern for you. What I can suggest is changing the gauge. This will adjust the circumference of the sweater without having to do any math. The vertical elements of the sweater (how far to knit to the underarms and for the sleeves, etc) will have to be adjusted. For these adjustments I would use a sweater you already own as a guide.

    As for adjusting the gauge. If you follow the smallest size pattern at a gauge of 7 3/4 stitches to the inch, you will end up with an 18 1/4 inch circumference chest.

    For yarns to accomplish a 7 3/4-inch gauge, please click here:
    http://www.purlsoho.com/purl/products/3-knitting-crochet-yarn?filters=3
    Anzula's Squishy would be my top choice!

    Hope this helps.
    Laura

  6. LoneStar says:

    This is the perfect weight pullover for my granddaughters who live in Arizona as their winters are so mild. Hopefully, if I make it a little longer, they will get more than one year of wear from it.

  7. First of all I must say that you have so much beautiful knits on your page. I get so inspired! I am a norwegian who has my own knittingblog. Right now i am knitting this super cool sweater to my child to be. I had some challenges translating the american knittinglanguage to understandable norwegian:) My question is; When I have finished the sweater I am going to put it out in my knittingblog. Will I have your permission to publish your reciepe for this sweater in norwegian, or will you prefer that I rather put a link toward your webpage?

    Anyway, you have so many goreous items I would like to knit for the future- so thank you so much for this super webpage:)

    Sincerely Cathrine Lund, Harstad, Norway

  8. Kira says:

    I'm midway through this awesome sweater and want to make the version with the longer neck . In the comments above you said that you can make the neck longer by increasing every other row instead of every row. So does that mean that in the "Shape Front Left/Right Neck" section would repeat the increase in Row 1, but always have the following (WS) row in pattern? Also, would the increase always be on the stitch after the first marker (stitch 6 on RS)?

    Thanks!

    Kira

  9. purl bee says:

    Hi Kira,
    The neck can be easily lengthened. You can increase every other row rather than every row. Just be sure to account for the extra distance you are creating here and compensate for it in the body of the sweater.

    SHAPE FRONT LEFT NECK
    Row 1 (RS): Work in pattern to first marker, slip marker (sm), knit into front and back of next stitch (kfb), work in pattern to end. (1 stitch increased)
    Row 2: Work in pattern.
    SHAPE FRONT RIGHT NECK
    Row 1 (RS): Work in pattern to 1 stitch before second marker, kfb, work in pattern to end. (1 stitch increased)
    Row 2: Work in pattern.

    Let me know if you have any other questions.
    -Laura

  10. purl bee says:

    Hi Tara.
    No need for apologies! We're happy to help. Thanks for writing in.

    If you are working the revised version above, you will have to repeat 16 times in order to get to 132 stitches because you are increasing every other row rather than every row.

    And yes, that makes sense that doing this took you past the 11 inches from the start of the sleeve which means you'll have to follow the following portions of the pattern (FINISH RIGHT SLEEVE and FINISH LEFT SLEEVE) simultaneously while shaping the neck. I have to admit, it' is kind of a tough modification for a novice knitter. Unfortunately we don't have the resources to re-work the pattern for you at this time.

    You want to be sure you are working along with the correct stitch count, so once you are at 132 (however you choose to do it, increasing every row or every other row) you will bind off as instructed above.

    As for compensating for the distance in the body of the sweater… essentially you just want the front body to be the same dimensions as the back body, so if your neck shaping goes past the underarms or sleeves into the body, be sure to compensate for that when working even.

    I do hope this helps.
    Please write in again if you have more questions.
    Laura

  11. Adrienne says:

    Was wondering if this would work in stripes? I would love to do multiple colors or maybe an ombre and just change colors when the skein runs out for a mis-matched sock look? Either way – I love this pattern!

  12. Leandra says:

    You guys on the Purl Bee are so amazing. All your patterns are beautiful! I am always looking forward to going on your page every day and seeing any new projects it patterns! This is also a beautiful sweater! I am a knitter, sewer, and I crochet! Never stop doing what your doing because it is amazing! Just wanted to give you guys a thumbs up and wish u a happy and crafty new year!!!!!!!

  13. purl bee says:

    Hi Adrienne-

    Sure! This would look great in stripes!

    Thanks for getting in touch!

    Molly

  14. Monika says:

    Thank you for including the pattern for this adorable top!
    I've just re-entered the knitting circle after almost 3 decades of absence and this jumper looks just the thing to start with.

  15. Lynn says:

    Would you have any suggestions for a different yarn? Although I love the Koigu yarn and colour choices I am knitting this for my 1 year old great-niece and am thinking it might be better to make it in a washable yarn. Is there anything that would come close to the same feel and have good colour options, as well? Thank you so much!

  16. purl bee says:

    HI Lynn-

    We actually do wash Koigu in the machine, on a gentle cycle and dry it with great results!

    You could also use Anzula Squishy, which is also washable: http://www.purlsoho.com/purl/products/item/7124-Anzula-Squishy

    Thank you!

    Molly

  17. Michele says:

    Thanks for the extended sizes, I had never knitted before and this was the first pattern I decided to do for my second son! It turned out really nicely and so I'm happy I can now make it for his big brother due to the larger sizes.

  18. Tara says:

    Thank you again for all your help back in early December. I finished the jumper and it looks absolutely gorgeous!

    I'd kill for an adult size in this style…… :)

    And I can't wait to try some more of your patterns.

    Tara

  19. Jehane says:

    Would it look ok to substitute garter stitch for stockinette? I don't like doing the all purl rows and would prefer to mostly knit…

  20. Emily P in DC says:

    I am about halfway through this pattern and really enjoying it. This is the most complicated project I've ever attempted, and the pattern is so clearly written that its been fun so far. One question: after I bind off the first (left) sleeve, do I HAVE to transfer the left front stiches onto scrap yarn? Could I just leave them on the needle, the way you leave the right stitches in the needle when you knit the left side? Or does it just get too cumbersome with the long sleeve in this case? Asking mostly out of curiosity. Thanks!

  21. purl bee says:

    Hi Jehane,
    That'd be interesting. I think if you were to do the stockinette potions in garter, you might want to do the whole thing in garter due to the typical difference in row between seed stitch and garter stitch. I would perhaps make a swatch working garter next to seed stitch and see how the fabric lies.

    All that said… I LOVE garter stitch and I think this piece would be quite handsome with that ridge texture.
    Let us know how it goes!
    Laura

  22. purl bee says:

    Hi Emily P,
    If leaving those stitches on the needle doesn't bother you, leave them on there! It might get a little cumbersome by the time you finish the right side, but there is no reason you HAVE to put the stitches on a hold.
    Laura

  23. purl bee says:

    Hi Shannon-

    We don't have plans to make this in smaller sizes. But the original patter that this was inspired by, the Easy Baby Cardigan in Joelle's book "More Last Minute Knitted Gifts" comes in a 0-3 size so that might be a nice alternative.

    Thanks for getting in touch!

    Molly

  24. Marianne says:

    Hi there,

    Thanks for this pattern and all the other great stuff on this site. I love your site (and your store!)

    I am a beginning knitter and am nearly done with this sweater but I have run into an issue. I just joined the two front sides and finished the 3/4 inch seed stitch section at the bottom of the neck. I measured the width of the front to make sure it's even with the back of the sweater, and for some reason, the front of my sweater is about an inch wider than the back of the sweater, even though my stitch count is correct.

    Any suggestions on what I should do about this? Maybe it doesn't matter too much? Or should I drop some stitches, and if so, where should I do the decreasing? I wanted to ask before I knit too many more rows down the front…

    Thank you so much in advance for your help!

    Marianne

  25. purl bee says:

    Hello Marianne.
    My fist thought is that perhaps your tension changed resulting in a different gauge. This happens, to a lot of us! I have a question. Is your gauge correct on the BACK or on the FRONT?

    If it is correct on the FRONT, that means your BACK is probably a little narrow. In order to keep the whole garment from being too tight, I would leave the FRONT alone and carry on with the pattern.

    If your gauge is correct on the BACK, that means your FRONT is too wide. In which case, yes, you can do some decreasing. You'll want to figure out how many stitches you'd like to eliminate in order to get the same width as you have across the BACK. Measure the BACK. Multiple that measurement by the gauge you are getting in the front (let's call this number Y). Take the number of stitches you currently have and from that number subtract that number Y. This is how many stitches you'll want to eliminate.

    I would decrease one on each side every other or every third row until you've eliminated as many stitches as you desire.

    I do hope this is clear and helps. Please write us back with any questions!
    Laura

  26. Jodi says:

    Love this sweater. I am not clear on the Sleeve instruction. If I cast on row 1 then how do I work across the cast on stitches? Will I do it on the wrong side since my working yarn will be at the end?

  27. purl bee says:

    Hi Jodi.
    To cast on for the sleeve… With the right side facing you, you'll use the working yarn which is coming from the first stitch and you will use a cable cast on technique to cast on the instructed number of stitches (here is a link to our cable cast on tutorial http://www.purlbee.com/knitting-tutorials-cast-ons/2008/7/7/cable-cast-on.html). Once you have completed the cable casted on, the right side will still be facing you and the working yarn will be coming from the stitch you've just cast on which is now the first stitch of the row. Work across those newly casted on stitches and the to the end of the row as instructed (seed stitch first and then knitting to the end). Next you'll do the same thing for the other sleeve, but this time with the wrong side facing and once you've worked in seed stitch, you'll purl and then finish the row in seed stitch.

    Jodi, does this help? Please let me know if you have any questions.
    Laura

  28. Kristin says:

    I truly love this sweater.. so simple and sweet. But I would also love to knit the Fair Isle hat however the link to Whit's Little Fair Isle isn't working. Can you please help? Thanks billions!!

  29. purl bee says:

    Hi Kristin-

    The link is fixed now! http://www.purlbee.com/the-purl-bee/2012/1/12/easy-pullover-for-babies-toddlers-and-kids.html
    Thanks for pointing that out!

    Best-
    Molly

  30. Linda says:

    Does anyone ever make a picture tutorial for those who do not have a clue as to how to knit clothing? we live in an area where there are no knitting shops and it is sometimes very difficult to figure it out in a book.

  31. marywallis says:

    I too would like an adult version of this sweater– perfect sleeves and neckline for adult also. thanks marywallis

  32. purl bee says:

    Hi Linda-

    We have photo and video tutorials for many of the techniques needed here. You might want to check out our terms and tutorials page here: http://www.purlbee.com/knitting-terms-tutorials/

    Our You Tube page also contains some great info: https://www.youtube.com/user/PurlSoho

    Additionally, if you have any specific questions about this project we'd be happy to answer them here in the comments section.

    Thanks and good luck!

    Molly

  33. purl bee says:

    Hi Marywallis-

    We don't have plans to make this in an adult size at the moment. You might try looking on Ravelry for a "tunic" style sweater.

    Thanks for getting in touch!

    Molly

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