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Whit's Knits: Baby Girl Fair Isle Cardigan

I love to knit for babies. Not just for the usual reasons of it being fast and immediately gratifying, but because I love while I'm knitting to think about the baby herself, her budding life and the amazing road ahead of her. I love to think about the explosion of feelings the baby's parents are experiencing and the cocoon of love they are busy creating for their little one. And I love to think that all of these thoughts and good wishes are soaking right into the gift I'm knitting!

I wanted to design a sweater that would reflect these thoughts, that would feel almost as precious as the baby herself.  I wanted it to be delicate and pretty, but practical too, a small version of something that I would want to wear. In short, I wanted to design a super special baby sweater!

Of course a super special baby sweater would have to be made out of something incredibly soft and beautiful and so I turned to Blue Sky's Royal Alpaca. Spun from a very rare quality of luxury alpaca fiber, this yarn is as sumptuous as cashmere and as singular as the baby herself! Royal Alpaca comes in a vintage palette of gentle colors, from petal pink to warm cocoa, perfect for heirloom baby gear. (You'll only need one skein for the newborn or 6 month size and two skeins for the 12 month size.)

So things didn't get too serious, I decided to add a burst of happy color around the yoke in a simple fair isle pattern. When just a little bit of yarn is needed, we love to use mini skeins of embroidery or needlepoint yarn, like Gumnut's Blossoms crewel yarn. It's 100% wool and comes in such a huge array of rich and sophisticated colors that choosing four is a real pleasure.

Our Baby Girl Fair Isle Cardigan is sized for newborns, 6 and 12 month olds. Included in the pattern is a complete list of materials, detailed finished measurements, beautiful photographs and thorough instructions for making your own very special sweater.

If you'd like to get started, you can find the pattern right here.  

You will also need:

I hope you enjoy knitting yours as much as I enjoyed knitting mine! - Whitney

Reader Comments (60)

This is beautiful! I'd love to make it for my granddaughter who is 3 years old. Could you please provide instructions for that size and maybe also some larger sizes?
February 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterIrene
This pattern is very cute and I love that you chose non-traditional baby colours. I think that this style of sweater would look equally cute on a boy- I hope that the "girl" name doesn't discourage anyone!
February 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKim
Consider creating an adult pattern at some point; these are such lovely sweaters!
February 27, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteranne
What a gorgeous little cardigan/sweater. Would look lovely on any sweet babe. Jacinta
February 27, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterembracingitall
I think my baby boy would look smashing in this sweater!
February 27, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjennifer
And please consider creating the pattern in child's' sizes (especially size 3-4)!
February 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterIrene
I just love these so much! Any chance you could give the measurements for the 12 month size before I purchase the pattern? My daughter is 18 months but tiny and I'm hoping the 12 months will fit her.

February 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGwen
... stunning colour on the projects from molly and whitney ... and a lovely redesign of the purlbee header ... happy days all around ... inspiration does abound!
February 27, 2011 | Unregistered Commentertante sophie
I love this pattern so much! I'm going to purchase it even if my girl is almost 2... I hope I can figure out how to make it bigger. But if you considered to create the pattern for older babies I might wait...
I never liked typical baby colours, that's why it attracted me so much, it's absolutely beautiful.
February 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterIrina
I love the coloring, it's kind of vintage! Thanks!
February 28, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterheidi
they are absolutely stunning little cardigans!
February 28, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterruth
Yes, please ! An adult pattern would be lovely !
February 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLaurence
Oh my, this is just gorgeous. You people really have a way with colours. Love it ;)
February 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNaomi
That is soooo beautiful - love the colour :)
February 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSiobhan Rogers
Absolutely lovely! I've been looking for a not-too-detailed fair isle type pattern for a few weeks now for a gender neutral newborn cardigan, and think this one might be perfect!
February 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJo
They are very beautiful!! :)
February 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSilvia
Anne and I are on the same page, I would love to see this in adult size. Just enough color to make it fun while keeping it a nice 'neutral' to keep at the office. Please??
February 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFran
So sweet, I would love to size it up for my 9yo!
February 28, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterheathers
Wish you would offer the option to buy the pattern in PDF form. Wonderful sweater can it be sized up for toddlers?
February 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPat
I would love you to have this sweater is Toddler sizes!!! Gorgeous. I love it.
February 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara Dua
I too would love to see this in an adult size. Any chance of that sometime VERY soon?
February 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPaula
Please do consider making a pattern for adults, these are just beautiful!
February 28, 2011 | Unregistered Commentertamara hecko
I never think to use needle point in a Fair Isle pattern but this looks really delightful. I'll keep that in mind when I ever get around to making a Fair Isle sweater.
These are so beautiful. I vote with the other comments for an adult size pattern, please? By the way I love the new Purl Bee header. It's very colorful and it reminds me of some of the great project you guys have offered over the years. I especially LOVE the seeing quilt again...that one was a beauty.
February 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSimi
Knitting clothes have always been the best type of clothes to wear especially for my children because young ones are very sensitive to cold temperature, especially now that its still snowing in our place. We don't have a baby in our family but we have a toddler. She is so cute when she wears these kinds of clothes. Love them. The colors are very enticing.
February 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHelp For Families
Is the fair isle design done as actual fair isle knitting or is it stitched over after the sweater is complete?
February 28, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermillymom619
I would love to see an adult version of this too!
I am planning to make this for my 2 new nephews with some boy colors.
February 28, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterkathyt
oh my goodness, how wonderful! I have no children small enough for this, sadly, I wish there was a pattern for one in my size (which is still pretty small, seeing as I still fit in girls and juniors cloths...)!
February 28, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterowlie
Hi Milly,
Yes, the fair isle is actual fair isle (not stitched on top).
February 28, 2011 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Would anyone be able to recommend a website or book where I could find simple childrens' sweater patterns? I've tried Lions Brand and Ravelry, but haven't found anything I like. I have some good books for baby knits (mainly Debbie Bliss), but there's not much out there for toddlers and young children that I've been able to find. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
February 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterIrene
Like many others, would LOVE you to expand sizing on this to toddler 4 or so. Thx
February 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnn-Marie
February 28, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlightbluegrey
I have a 2 year old- does the pattern come any biggers? So so sweet
February 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterConnie
I agree that these sweaters would make wonderful adult patterns.

I would keep them similar, with a gauge and needle adjusted to mimic the same slightly bulky quality that the baby versions have, buttoned at the top and flaring loosely below, almost like a "swing" shape. The color mix is brilliant and timely, no matter the size and age.
February 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterClare
Who cares about babies, I want one!
February 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJessica
Absolutely gorgeous. And could be adapted easily with different colors for baby boys. I am in love with this sweater!
February 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterErin
so so so cute!
March 1, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermsstitcher
OMG!!! These sweaters are so gorgeous, so sweet, so vintage, so modern, so GREAT! Whitney, you are genius of color and knitting (and I am sure hundreds of other categories)! I will buy this wonderful pattern even though I have no baby girls on the horizon. Just gotta have it!! Thank you, oh brilliant pattern maker!
March 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie
Thank u so much for Idea!! Kisses :* from italy!!! byeeee
March 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLeilluna
Hi, I just have 2 quick questions... I was wondering if this sweater was top-down or bottom up ( I have a thing for top-down construction) and wanted to know before buying. The pattern page doesn't say.
Also, if I wanted to use the embroidery thread in other projects, how many strands did you have to put together to equal the width of the yarn you used?
I see it is listed as a fingering, and I usually use fingerings or sport weights in my knitting. Thanks, it seems like an easy way to add a dash of color- and I couldn't believe how many colors to pick from too! What a great array of rainbow!
Thanks, Juli
March 2, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjuli
Just beautiful little sweaters!! Please, please toddler and child sizes!! I have three grandchildren from 3 months to 5yrs. Would love to knit one for each. How cute would that be!!!!
March 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKaren
I too love knitting for babies! makes me sad that I'm not having any more.
March 3, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterangie
A quite popular question - should the shirt cuffs be hidden under cardigan sleeves, or rather they should stay visible?
March 9, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjongyoojin_jane
So many of us have asked about larger sizes for this adorable sweater. Will we ever get an answer?
March 9, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterbarbara
To everyone asking about other sizes of this pattern,

We're so happy that so many people are excited about this pattern and want to make it in different sizes! While we'd love to accommodate everyone it does take time for us to write and test a pattern like this so we don't have an ETA on releasing larger sizes. We will try to make them available in the future though.

Thanks everyone for all the nice comments!

- The Purl Bee
March 9, 2011 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I just thought you would like to know that we've featured this lovely pattern on Baby Gift Hot List.
March 9, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterangie
This is so precious. I'm rather inclined to make it for my forthcoming niece or nephew, perhaps in taupe with accents of robin's egg blue. Oh goodness, I can feel the creative gears turning!

*starts plotting*
September 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSami K
What a gorgeous baby sweater .!!
I think it would look as lovely on a baby boy ! Why did you call it baby girl cardigan ?
I ll try to arrange a 2 yo size for my daughter. Thank you so much
September 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommentermadameOscar
Have you come up with bigger sizes yet? It looks like people have been asking for it for many months. It is beautiful and I would love to make it for my three granddaughters, age 1, 2 and 4.
September 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJanice C
Absolutely lovely sweater pattern. Sorry to repeat the request others have made but I would LOVE to have this pattern for adult sizes as well!
September 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

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