Pikkutylli baby cardigan12:24 PM
Pikkutylli ("Little Ringed Plover") cardigan is designed for a newborn. Knitted from top down in one piece, it has no seams or buttons that would press against delicate skin. The cardigan is tied with thin crocheted cords that will not make a big lump in a baby's armpit. This is a fast knit, and the construction will keep your interest in it for the short while that it takes to knit this.
If you are not familiar with adding crocheted strands on a knitted item, I have made an instruction video for that part. The video shows how you can avoid weaving in the ends while crocheting the strands.
The background for this design is in my experience with babies. All babies like to be held on someone's shoulder, facing backwards. Another favorite position is to be on someone's arm, facing away from the person holding the baby (place the baby on your arm, facing down, your arm going between the baby's head and shoulder, and grab the top leg pulling it in a "frog" position and you are sure to have a happy baby - and a free hand to do chores while holding the baby). If you're not holding the baby, they are usually happiest lying on their stomach. What is common to all these positions is that there should be no buttons in the front of the garment the baby is wearing, and this is where the idea for this design comes from.
This project had a long lead time. A friend of mine gave birth to twin girls in May, and I made a plan to visit them in July. I even bought the yarns in May already. But then I wasn't sure what I wanted to knit for the baby girls. Slowly the design started evolving in my head, and I started by making the first swatch in June. This project involved plenty of prototyping, however, and all of a sudden I noticed that I have two days left and this is what the project looks like:
Well, nothing works like a little time pressure and I was able to finish the fourth prototype the day before leaving. This time I finally had the fit I had envisioned, so then it was just about writing notes and knitting the second cardigan for the rest of that day. I had to write the pattern as well before leaving, as I would be giving the samples to the little babies during the trip!
The yarn I chose was Novita puuvilla-bambu, a 50-50 cotton - bamboo mix. The yarn is soft and makes a lovely knit for a baby. However, you need to pay attention while knitting, as the plies come apart easily and you will notice having knitted only half of a stitch.
As winter is coming, I wanted to try the pattern with a wool yarn as well. It also seems, that there's a sudden baby boom around me, so there are plenty of recipients for these small newborn knits. This winter version was made with Drops Merino Extra Fine. This one, as well, was given to a tiny newborn before I got a chance to take a picture of the finished item.