When there's a baby in the picture, knitters have a hard time sitting idle. Our fingers twitch until we've outfitted that little bundle in our finest efforts. So when Molly's baby Guadalupe joined the Purl Bee family, that was my cue to get knitting!

I designed this Baby Jumper to appease little Lupe's budding sense of style but also her mother's legendary concern for practicality! Loose and soft and comfy, this simple dress is easy to slip over a squirmy baby's head and really works for the longhaul, first as a jumper, then as a tunic, and even later as a shirt. Plus, it's machine washable. Even Molly has to approve!

And since every hand knit baby gift has heirloom potential, I knit this one up in Anzula's very special Sebastian yarn. Sebastian combines superwash merino with sea cell, a newfangled seaweed-cellulose fiber that offers durability, drape and a very pretty soft shine!

PS Want to catch a glimpse of sweet Lupe in her Baby Jumper? Click here to see her on Instagram!

 

The Materials

  • Anzula's Sebastian, 70% Superwash Merino and 30% Sea Cell.
    • Main Color: 1 (2, 2) skeins. I used the color Seaside (above, right).
    • Contrast Color: 1 (1, 1) skein. I used the color Hyacinth (above, left).

 

The Pattern

Gauge

7 3/4 stitches = 1 inch in stockinette stitch with larger needle

Finished Sizes

Small, Medium, Large: 6-9 (9-12, 12-18) months

Circumference around bottom hem: 28 1/2 (29 3/4, 31) inches

Circumference around top band: 18 (18 3/4, 19 1/2) inches

Length from underarm (top of band) to bottom hem: 12 (13 1/4, 14 1/2) inches

Length from shoulder to bottom hem: 15 1/4 inches (16 3/4, 18 1/4) (adjustable)

Neck opening: 4 1/2 (4 3/4, 5) inches

NOTE: The photos that accompany this pattern are of the Small size.

Begin

With the US #2 circular needle and the Main Color (MC), cast on 221 (231, 241) stitches. 

Place marker and join for working in the round, being careful to not twist the stitches.

Round 1: Purl.

Round 2: Knit.

Rounds 3 and 4: Repeat Rounds 1 and 2.

Round 5: Purl.

Change to US #3 circular needle and knit every round until piece measures 11 (12, 13) inches from cast on edge.

Cut yarn.

The Band

Change to US #2 circular needle and the Contrast Color (CC), leaving a 12-inch tail.

Round 1: *K1, (ssk, k2tog), repeat from * to last stitch, k1. 133 (139, 145) stitches

Now work back and forth in rows, turning the work at the end of each row.

Row 1 (wrong side): With the purl side facing you, knit.

Row 2 (right side): Knit.

Row 3: Purl.

Repeat Rows 2 and 3 four (five, six) more times.**

Repeat Row 2.

Repeat from Row 1 to ** one time.

Finishing the Band

Fold the band over so the wrong sides are facing each other and...

1. With the right needle, pick up the purl bump from the color change round that is directly in line with the first stitch on the left needle.

2. Slip the purl bump onto the left needle.

3. Knit two together (the purl bump and the first "regular" stitch).

(At the beginning of the row, repeat these three steps one more time so that you are able to do the next step.)

4. Slip the second stitch on the right needle over the first (just like binding off).

Repeat these 4 steps all the way to the end of the band. (Tip: Check frequently that the stitch you're picking up is still in line with the first stitch on the left needle, otherwise the band will start to skew.)

Cut the yarn, leaving a 12-inch tail.

With a size B crochet hook, use the CC tails to crochet closed the ends of the bands. Here's how:

Insert the hook through the edge of both layers of fabric.

Pull a stitch through and chain 1. On the right-hand side, make 8 (9, 10) slip stitches along the edge of the band, inserting the hook through both layers of fabric each time. Cut the yarn and pull it through the remaining stitch.

On the left-hand side, create a small buttonhole. Here's how: make 6 (7, 8) slip stitches to 1/4 inch from the top of the band, chain 6, reinsert the hook right next to the chains and make 2 slip stitches to the end. Cut the yarn and pull it through the remaining stitch.

Weave in the ends, using the MC tail to close the gap at the base of the band.

Right Strap

With the right side facing you and using a US #2 double pointed needle and the CC, begin 3 1/4 (3 1/2, 3 3/4) inches to the right of the back split...

... to pick up 8 (9, 10) stitches along the top of the band (working toward the split).

Row 1: [kfb] 8 (9, 10) times. 16 (18, 20) stitches

Row 2: Slip 1 knitwise through the back loop, *bring the yarn forward, slip 1 purlwise, bring the yarn back, knit 1, repeat from * to last stitch, purl 1. (For a photo tutorial of this row, visit our Double Knit Belt Project Journal here.)

Repeat Row 2 until strap measures 6 1/2 (7, 7 1/2) inches. (If the recipient of your jumper is on hand, take a measurement from an inch below her armpit, over the top of her shoulder and to the other side of her armpit. Knit the strap to this length minus an inch [because the strap will stretch with the weight of the finished jumper].)

Bind Off Row: [K2tog] 2 times, *pass the first stitch over the second stitch (like a normal bind off), k2tog, repeat from * until one stitch remains. Cut the yarn, leaving an 8-inch tail, and pull it through the remaining stitch.

Fold the dress in half at the back slit and mark the front center of the band.

Situate the bind off end of the strap (making sure it's not twisted!) so that its right edge is 2 1/4 (2 3/8, 2 1/2) inches left of the center front mark.  

Using the bind off tail, sew the end of the strap to the top of the band. For a neat finish, sew under the band's top purl bump...

...then under the bottom half of the bind off stitch.

Left Strap

With the right side facing you and using a US #2 double pointed needle and the CC, begin 2 1/4 (2 3/8, 2 1/2) inches to the left of the back split...

... to pick up 8 (9, 10) stitches along the top of the band (working away from the split).

Work from Row 1 through the Bind Off Row of the Right Strap instructions, above.

Then situate the bind off end of the strap (making sure, again, that it's not twisted) so that its left edge is 2 1/4 (2 3/8, 2 1/2) inches left of the center front mark. Sew the strap's end to the top of the band.

Sew a button onto the band across from the buttonhole.

Weave in any remaining ends, gently block and you're done!