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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

90 Responses to Easy Pullover for Babies, Toddlers and Kids


  1. Michelle says:

    I LOVE this sweater, but want to knit it for my own little bundle due in January (maybe a 'coming home from hospital sweater'). Any suggestions for making this a 0-3 month size?

  2. Tara says:

    Hello! I am only a novice knitter – this is only the third item I have knitted – but I love this jumper so much! I am knitting it as per your revised instructions above for shape front left neck, but am wondering if I repeat the two rows 8 more times (I'm making the 4 yr old version) or 16 times, because I am not increasing on every row. I have repeated it 8 more times and have not reached the 132 stitches. If it is 16 times more, this would take me well over the 11inch mark from the start of the sleeve. If it is only the 8 times, do i still bind off the same number of stitches?

    Finally, I am not yet knowledgeable enough to "compensate for the extra distance in the body of the sweater". What do I need to do here?

    Apologies for all the questions – I am sure these are self-evident to a more experienced knitted!

  3. Shannon says:

    Any plans to make this in a 0 to 3 month size?

  4. Karen says:

    I would love to be able to make this for my girls who are 7 and 10! Any way to adjust the pattern to bigger sizes? Thanks – Karen

  5. purl bee says:

    Hi Karen-

    We have no plans to make a larger size of this pattern at this moment but we will keep it under advisement as we move forward.

    Thank you for your comment!

    Molly

  6. Amy says:

    I too would love a larger size pattern. My son would be bigger than that by the time I could finish. (I'm a new knitter). Also is there a pattern for the hat b/c its adorable. And one final thing… I love your site!!! so many patterns I love and want to try.
    thanks,
    Amy

  7. PaperDollyGirl says:

    Love it!! I bought 4 skeins of Koigu at the grand opening party for the new store and just frogged the shawl I was halfway through with it. This sweater will be perfect for it and really takes the disappointment out of my shawl not working out.

  8. Susan says:

    I'm also interested in this pattern sized for children. My girls are 3 and 5, and this lightweight pullover would be perfect for our weather here in Paris.

    Merci Beaucoup,
    Susan

  9. hgk says:

    I too would love this pattern to be released in a bigger size (age 7 and/or up).
    It looks lovely! I can't wait to try knitting this :)

  10. Lynn says:

    Just chiming in that I would love to see the pattern in larger sizes too!

  11. mondayjane says:

    Beautiful sweater – I love that the pattern could go either way gender-wise and plan on knitting one up for the little one we are expecting this spring. Thank you so much!

  12. Kiry says:

    I, too, would love this in larger sizes, or tips on how to figure it out myself.

  13. Danielle says:

    I'd love the pattern in a bigger size, but not because I have older children… I want it for me! It's so boho lovely!

  14. Tara Jane says:

    Please work on bigger sizes. It is a great sweater and would really suit the older kids too!

  15. Soledad says:

    This is lovely! I am adapting it for a 3 year old (trying to!). Doing the numbers can be a bit dizzying, but can you confirm that the front ends up having 4 stitches fewer than the back? (71-67=4)

  16. Hope says:

    I'm working on this one for my very small 27 month old boy. I'm customizing to fit his proportions and it has become clear to me how easy it is to make a bigger size as long as you are thoughtful along the way understanding your gauge the the dimensions of the person who will be wearing it.

    Because he is so slim, I cast on 67 stitches but knitting up to the start of the sleeve I went up to 7.5″ because he's a bit longer than the sweater pattern is made for. I want the sweater to last a while so will make the sleeves long enough to fold up at first and then unfold as his arms get longer.

    Anyhow, the point is that you can adjust most patterns to meet your needs.

  17. purl bee says:

    Soledad! Oh my goodness, you are completely right! The front and back differ by 4. I'll let you in on a secret… we are planning to repost this pattern with additional sizes on the February 19th. The date is tentative, but if all goes well, keep your eye out! We will be sure to re-work the pattern before then! Thank you so much for writing in, Laura.

  18. Soledad says:

    Thanks for the news, and for the clarification…. and for the new pattern. I have to check it out, and will probably undo the front of the sweater :)
    If you want to check out what it looks like now, it's here: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/solitaet/easy-baby-pullover/photos

  19. Suzanne says:

    I'm definitely going to queue this. thank you for a lovely pattern

  20. Lisa says:

    Yes, I definitely would love to make one for me! What a great year round pullover. Thank you so much for sharing this pattern…going to make it for my grandson who is 5.

  21. K says:

    Any chance you can make the pattern into an adult size? I absolutely love this sweater but too small for me!

  22. wendy says:

    I too am casting my vote for adult sizes and for older children-size 12 and up. I have three girls 10, 15 and 19 and they would all look fantastic in this-easy to wear for the 10 year old and totally retro cool for the other two! Boy, would this be a solution to a bunch of birthday/holiday presents…and I want one too!
    I love your patterns and have made many-thank you so much for your creative fun designs!

  23. purl bee says:

    Hi K and Wendy-

    We are planning making adult sizes in this pattern. However it does take some time so we don't have an ETA just yet.

    Thank you both for the nice comments!

    Molly

  24. Wendy H. says:

    HI. I am a new knitter and this would be my first attempt at a “non-scarf”! Do I stitch the seams before or after I block the sweater? it would be my first time blocking too!
    Thanks and I adore your site!
    Wendy

  25. purl bee says:

    Hi Wendy,
    Congrats on making your first non-scarf! Typically you block and then seam. Hope you enjoy this project!! -Laura

  26. rayya says:

    Hi thanks for posting this lovely pattern – it was my first go at knitting from the back over to the front and I will definitely try it again. I will also do this pattern again! I made my life pretty difficult because I added stripes and then decided that they wouldn't look good if they went all the way to the edges of the sleeves or neckline. I am extremely happy with the way it turned out though. You can see it on my Ravelry page: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/iridescent/easy-pullover-for-babies-toddlers-and-kids

  27. Cristina says:

    I am a new knitter and saw that u mentioned that u were going to re-work a new pattern because of the 4 stitch difference. Is this the new one? And also in the pattern it says to seed stitch for 1 1/4 inches and it looks like more than that on the picture.

  28. purl bee says:

    Hi Christina-

    Yes, this is the corrected pattern and all the measurements seed stitch instructions are correct.

    Thank you for your question!

    Molly

  29. Amy says:

    My collar looks different than it does in your picture. I looked online on Ravelry and found other people who have completed this sweater. Their collars look similar to mine too. The part in the front where the seed stitchs go into a V shape. Yours has more length from the neck to the bottom of the V. Hard to describe, but if you compare the pictures on Ravelry and yours it is pretty different. Kind of frustrating.

  30. purl bee says:

    Amy, Thanks for writing in! I am so sorry this has been frustrating. I looked on Ravelry. You are right, there is a difference in the collars. The pattern for this sweater was written just recently, but it was knit a while back. The sweater was a prototype for another pattern and we just brought it back out of the archives. I am sorry for the discrepancy. 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. Hope this helps. -Laura

  31. Amy says:

    Thanks Laura, I thought I might have been crazy!
    As far as increasing every other row, which part in the pattern are you talking about? Under “Shape Front Right/Left Neck”?

  32. purl bee says:

    Hi Amy, sorry for my lack of clarity! I was referring to Shape Front Right/Left Neck! -Laura

  33. Suzy says:

    Hi there. I am knitting this in the smallest size at the moment and really enjoying the lovely pattern and over-the-top construction.

    I am just at the end of the 'Finish Right Sleeve' instruction, and I am a bit confused about when to join the stitches from the two sleeves into a single row for the front section. Is this immediately after the 1 stitch cast-on in the middle of the 'Finish Right Sleeve' row? If so, looking at what I have, I am concerned that the neck opening will be too small to fit over the child's head.

    To create the neckline shown in the picture, I wonder if I should be stitching a few extra rows separately on to each sleeve after the bind-offs, and then joining these two sections into one row to finish the rest of the front. Hard to explain! I'd appreciate any advice you can give.

  34. purl bee says:

    Hi Suzy,
    Under 'Finish Right Sleeve' it tells you to cable cast on, after this you will continue working across the stitches from the Left side. The head opening worked out for our sweater. But if you are concerned with the neck opening, feel free to knit a few extra rows separately on to the Front Right and Front Left after the bind-offs but before working across entire row. It is not how we made our sweater though so I cannot tell you exactly how this will look. Hope this helps. Luck with the sweater. –Laura

  35. Suzy says:

    Thanks Laura for your quick and clear reply! I'll give it a try adding the extra rows after the bind-offs and repost to let you know how it goes.

  36. Lorraine says:

    HI I am at the part of pattern where I shape back neck:that is done then repeat for a total of 3/4 inch

    my question is where it says work in pattern to second marker , work 5 stitches in pattern,( then bind of 29 stitches in pattern) , work in patteren to end I am not sure of where I am binding of the 29 stitches? Where am I at this juncture is this around the neck…any help would be appreciated!!!
    thanks Lorraine

  37. purl bee says:

    Hello Lorraine,
    Those 29 stitches are bound off for the back of the collar or neckline. They are the center 29 stitches.
    Please let us know if you have any additional questions.
    Laura

  38. Ajaire says:

    Hmmm so far this pattern has been great, but I'm stuck in the same spot as Lorraine. For a differen reason though. I am making the smallest size and as I'm working on the two separate sleeves there are four stitches of seed stitching on the left side and five on the right. I'm not sure how this is happening. Can this be right? I bound off the 29 stitches and there are 81 stitches on both sides left. I'm baffled. Please help if you can :)

  39. purl bee says:

    Hi Ajaire,
    Oh dear, I am not totally sure what has happened. My initial guess is that you bound off one too many, but if the stitch count is correct, I am not totally sure where things went awry. I am sorry to not be of more help? Are you local? Can you stop by the shop? Or do you have a local yarn store that might be able to take a look with fresh eyes?
    Laura

  40. Ajaire says:

    Thanks for your reply. As long as I know that their isn't supposed to be 4 stitches I can figure out what happened. I though I was going crazy. Seed stitch doesn't even work well with 4 stitches hehe.
    Thanks again!

  41. rachel says:

    I am converting the pattern and would like to know the rows per inch. Thank You!

  42. purl bee says:

    Hi Rachel-

    There are 10.5 rows per inch.

    Thanks so much for writing in and please let us know if you have any more questions!

    Molly

  43. klara says:

    Hi, i love the pattern, i am really enjoying knitting it. I was just wondering if the increas
    e was always kfb on both sides or purl increase on the purl side. Thanks a lot.

  44. purl bee says:

    Hi Klara,
    Yes, I used a kfb increase on both the right and wrong sides. You can definitely do a pfb on the wrong side though. Hope this helps.
    Laura

  45. maria says:

    hello! in Italy we are not yet used to circular needles. is it possible to use straight needles? thank you very much!
    maria

  46. purl bee says:

    Hi Maria-

    Yes, you could use very long straight needles for this project!

    Thank you for your question!

    Molly

  47. Ruth says:

    Have just come across your wonderful pattern have read all the comments and was wondering if you have made this patter to fit a 10 &12 year old yet it is exactly what i have been looking for. Hope to hear from you

    regards Ruth

  48. purl bee says:

    Hi Ruth-

    Unfortunately we don't have this pattern in any larger sizes but thank you so much for your interest and for writing in!

    Molly

  49. Dawn says:

    really enjoying making the sweater up til this point but just got to the section “finish right sleeve” and got super confused. My understanding of the instructions here make it seem like after I did the 1 cable stitch I would be joining the bottom part of the front right neck to the shoulder part of the top left neck. So discombobulated! what am I missing?

  50. purl bee says:

    Hi Dawn,
    Thanks for writing in with your questions. It's good to know if portions of the patterns are hard to understand.

    After that cable cast on you work the cco stitch(es) in seed stitch, then across the Left Side stitches. The Front Left Side should have been already worked similarly to the Right Side at this point (having worked the Left Sleeve, the Left Neck, etc).

    Is there a chance you are confusing the sweater's Left and Right with your Left and Right?
    Please let me know if I can help in any way.
    Thanks.
    Laura

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