Baby cardigan knitting pattern

Use our free baby cardigan knitting pattern to knit sweet cotton cardis for newborns all the way to 5 year olds.

baby cardigan knitting pattern main

This is a brilliantly practical baby cardigan knitting pattern which you are sure to knit again and again. The All Seasons Cotton yarn used is true to its name: the cotton means little ones can wear this as a bomber jacket outside in spring and autumn or as a baby cardigan indoors in winter, while the acrylic blends ensures it’s the practical choice in a knitted baby cardigan. The main body of the baby cardigan knitting pattern has a waffle look while the cosy rib stitch collar, cuffs and button and waistbands make a traditional edging. Five chunky brown granddad buttons put a retro spin on the baby cardigan, though make sure they are securely fastened to keep the buttons safe for little curious fingers – and mouths! For more ideas and safety tips, check out our baby knits article, or see our knitting for beginners for advice on getting started in knitting.

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The baby cardigan knitting pattern you’ll find on this web page is for 3-6 month olds. For sizes and stitch counts up to 5 years old, download the baby cardigan knitting pattern PDF  you’ll find lower down in this article, which, as well as being printer friendly for the 3-6 month size, with also give you the option of knitting the other baby cardigan knitting pattern sizes as well.

Baby cardigan knitting pattern sizes

The baby cardigan knitting pattern was designed by Sarah Hatton and first published in Knit Today magazine issue 117.

Baby cardigan knitting pattern materials

  • Rowan’s All Seasons Cotton yarn 4 x 50g balls
  • 4mm (UK 8, US 6) knitting needles
  • 4.5mm (UK 7, US 7) knitting needles
  • 5 child-safe buttons

You can use other Aran weight cotton or cotton blend yarns for this pattern. See our yarn weight conversion charts to help covert UK yarn weights to USA yarn weights.

Baby cardigan knitting pattern tension

20 sts and 29 rows to 10cm or 4in over pattern using 4.5mm knitting needles. To learn more about tension and why it is important, see our article on knitting tension squares.

Baby cardigan nititng pattern diagram

Baby cardigan knitting pattern abbreviations

The bay cardigan knitting pattern uses standard UK knitting abbreviations. See our knitting abbreviations article for a full list.

baby cardigan knitting pattern close

Bay cardigan knitting pattern

BACK

Using 4mm needles cast on 54 sts.

Row 1 (RS): K2, *p2, k2, rep from * to end.

Row 2 (WS): *P2, k2, rep from * to last 2 sts, p2.

These 2 rows set rib.

Work 5 rows more in rib, ending with WS facing for next row.

Next row (WS): Rib to end, inc 1 st and dec 0 st at centre of row.
55  sts

Change to 4.5mm needles.

Row 1 (RS): K3, *wyib sl1, k2, rep from * to last 1 sts, (wyib sl1) 0  time, k1.

Row 2 (WS): Purl.

Row 3: P3 , *wyib sl1, p2, rep from * to last 1) sts, (wyib sl1) 0 time, p1

Row 4: K3 , *p1, k2, rep from * to last 1 sts, p0, k1.

These 4 rows set pattern.

Working in patt as set throughout, cont until work meas 14 cm, 5½ in, ending with RS facing for next row.

SHAPE ARMHOLES
Dec 1 st at each end of next 3 rows, then on 2  foll alt rows.
45  sts

Cont without shaping until armhole meas 11  cm, 4¼ ) in, ending with RS facing for next row.

Shape shoulders

Cast off 5  sts at beg of next 2 rows.

Cast off 5 sts at beg of next 2 rows. 25  sts. Cast off rem sts.

LEFT FRONT

Using 4mm needles cast on 27  sts.

Row 1 (RS): *K2, p2, rep from * to last 3 sts, k2, p1.

Row 2 (WS): K1, p2, *k2, p2, rep from * to end.

These 2 rows set rib.

Work 5  rows more in rib as set, ending with WS facing for next row.

Next row: Rib to end, inc 0 sts and dec 0 sts across row.
27  sts

Change to 4.5mm needles.

Row 1 (RS): K3, *wyib sl1, k2, rep from * to last 3 sts, wyib sl1, k2.

Row 2 (WS): Purl.

Row 3: P3 , *wyib sl1, p2, rep from * to last 3 sts, wyib sl1, p2.

Row 4: K2 *p1, k2, rep from * to last 1  sts, p0 , k1 .

These 4 rows set pattern.

Working in patt as set throughout, cont until work meas 14 cm, 5½in, ending with RS facing for next row.

SHAPE ARMHOLES
Dec 1 st at beg of next row and at same edge of next 2 (2:2:4:4:4:4:4) rows, then on 2 (3:3:2:2:3:3:3) foll alt rows.
22 (22:23:23:24:24:25:26) sts

Cont without shaping until armhole is 9  rows shorter than back to start of shoulder shaping, ending with WS facing for next row. 

Shape front neck

Next row (WS): Cast off 6 sts, patt to end.

Dec 1 st at neck edge of next 5  rows, then on 1  foll alt rows.
10  sts.

Work 1 rows without shaping, ending with RS facing for next row. (Armhole should now match back to start of shoulder shaping).

Shape SHOULDER 

Next row (RS): Cast off 5 sts, patt to end.

Work 1 row. Cast off rem sts.

RIGHT FRONT

Using 4mm needles cast on 27 sts.

Row 1 (RS): P1, k2, *p2, k2, rep from * to end.

Row 2 (WS): *P2, k2, rep from * to last 3 sts, p2, k1.

These 2 rows set rib.

Work 5  rows more in rib as set, ending with WS facing for next row.

Next row (WS): Rib to end, inc 0 sts and dec 0  sts across row.
27 sts

Change to 4.5mm needles.

Row 1 (RS): K2, *wyib sl1, k2, rep from * to last 1  sts, (wyib sl1) 0 time, k1.

Row 2 (WS): Purl.

Row 3: P2 *wyib sl1, p2, rep from * to last 1  sts, (wyib sl1) 0  time, p1 .

Row 4: K3, *p1, k2, rep from * to last 3 sts, p1, k2.

These 4 rows set pattern.

Working in patt as set throughout, cont until work meas 14 cm, 5½ in, ending with RS facing for next row.

Shape ARMHOLES

Dec 1 st at end of next row and at same edge of next 2 rows, then on 2 foll alt rows.
22  sts

Cont without shaping until armhole is 10  rows shorter than back to start of shoulder shaping, ending with RS facing for next row. 

Shape front neck  

Next row (RS): Cast off 6 sts, patt to end.

Work 1 row.

Dec 1 st at neck edge of next 5  rows, then on 1 foll alt rows.
10 sts.

Work 2 rows without shaping, ending with RS facing for next row. (Armhole should now match back to start of shoulder shaping).

Shape shoulder

Next row (RS): Cast off 5 sts, patt to end.

Work 1 row. Cast off rem sts.

SLEEVES (Both alike)

Using 4mm needles cast on 24  sts.

Work 5  rows in rib, ending with WS facing for next row.

Next row (WS): Rib to end, dec 0 sts and inc 1  st at centre of row.
25  sts

Change to 4.5mm needles.

Row 1 (RS): K3, *wyib sl1, k2, rep from * to last 1  sts, (wyib sl1) 0 time, k1.

Row 2: Purl.

Row 3: Inc in 1st st, p2, *wyib sl1, p2, rep from * to last 4  sts, wyib sl1, p1 , inc in next st, p1.
27  sts

Row 4: K4, *p1, k2, rep from * to last 2  sts, k2.

These 4 rows set pattern placement.

Working inc sts into ridge pattern without slip stitches, inc 1 st at each end of 1st and 5 foll alt row then on every foll 4th  row to 45 sts.

Cont without shaping until sleeve meas 14½ cm, 5¾ in, ending with RS facing for next row.

Shape sleeve top

Dec 1 st at each end of next 3  rows, then on 2  foll alt rows.
35  sts

Cast off 5 sts at beg of next 6 rows.
5  sts. Cast off rem sts.

baby cardigan knitting pattern full

MAKING UP

Using mattress stitch, join both shoulder seams.

Buttonband

With RS facing, using 4mm needles pick up and knit 48  sts evenly along one front opening edge (left front for a girl, right front for a boy).

Row 1 (WS): K1, *p2, k2, rep from * to last 3 sts, p2, k1.

Row 2 (RS): K3, *p2, k2, rep from * to last st, k1.

These 2 rows set rib. Work 5 rows more in rib. Cast off in rib.

Buttonhole band

With RS facing, using 4mm needles pick up and knit 48 sts evenly along other front edge.

Work 2 rows in rib as set on buttonband.

Row 3: Rib 3, (cast off 2 sts (1 st left on needle), rib 7 ) 4 times, cast off 2 sts, rib 2.

Work 4 rows more in rib.
Cast off in rib.

Collar

With RS facing, using 4mm needles, starting and ending halfway across buttonbands pick up and knit
16  sts up right front neck, 24 sts from back neck & 16  sts down left front neck.
56 sts

Beg with a 2nd row, work four rows as set on buttonband.

Next row (RS of collar, WS of body): Rib 20, (m1p (by picking up loop between last and next st and purling into the back of this loop), rib 4)
4 times, m1p, rib to end.
61 sts

Next row: Rib 19, (k3, p2) 4 (4:5:5:6:6:7:7) times, k3, rib to end.

Next row: Rib 19, (p3, k2) 4 times, p3, rib to end.

These 2 rows set patt.

Cont in patt until collar meas 6 cm, 2¼ in, ending with RS facing for next row. Cast off in patt.
Join side and sleeve seams. Sew in sleeves using the semi set in method, matching decreases of body and sleeve. Sew on buttons. 

baby cardigan knitting pattern back

 Download the baby cardigan knitting pattern

To access to the larger sizes, to for a printer-friendly version of the baby cardigan knitting pattern, click this link to download the baby cardigan knitting pattern PDF . The download is an A4 PDF with 3 pages.

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