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Petite Purls
Leap Frog
» photos: Annika Barranti » model: Grace


By Annika Barranti

The house where I grew up had a frog pond in the backyard and in Spring we’d hear the frogs chirping while we played. I designed these pants to play in and named them for a children’s game in which one child hops over another’s back. The cable reminds me of braided hair and the color reminds me of all things spring, most especially the frogs!


Newborn/Preemie [6 months, 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 years]
Shown in size 6 months

Finished Measurements

Waist/Hip: 16[18, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 30] inches

Meant to fit with between zero and four inches positive ease; adjustable by drawstring.

Cloth diapered babies may need to size up to accommodate bulk. If in doubt, go up one size; the baby will grow into the pants! Shown on 7-week-old baby in a cloth diaper.


Blue Sky Alpacas Dyed Cotton [100% Organic Cotton; 150 yards/137 meters per 3.5 ounce/100 gram ball];

#607, Lemongrass; 1[2, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] skeins

Recommended needle sizes

US #8, 16 inch circular (24 inch circular may be used for the larger sizes)
US #8, set of 4 dpns (or your preferred needle for working a small circumference in the round)


5 stitch markers
Cable needle (optional, you may cable without a needle or use a DPN)
Tapestry needle


16 sts and 22 rows = 4 inches square in St st

Pattern Notes

These simple pants knit up quickly and are oh-so-comfy in Blue Sky’s organic cotton. Worked without purl stitches to delineate them, the braided cables grow organically down the sides out of ribbing and stockinette. Sized up to ten years, these are appropriate for a boy or a girl, soft enough to sleep in and sturdy enough for play. Blue Sky recommends hand washing their yarns, but I have tossed these in the washer with no ill effect (your mileage may vary).

Knit from the top down in one piece with just one small seam at the crotch.
Legs are intended to hit below the knee. Buy extra yarn for full-length pants.
Stitches should always be slipped as if to purl.
EOR: end-of-round

Cable Stitches:

C8F (cable 8 front): slip 4 sts to cable needle and hold to front, k4 from left-hand needle, k4 from cable needle.

C8B (cable 8 back): slip 4 sts to cable needle and hold to back, k4 from left-hand needle, k4 from cable needle

Skills Required

knitting in the round, knitting on dpns, cables, short rows


Use the long-tail method, cast on 72[80, 88, 96, 104, 112, 120, 128] sts. Place marker and join to work in the round (center back). Begin ribbing as follows. Note: In order to place the ribbing correctly at the sides where the cables will be, some sizes are worked in k4, p4 ribbing and some are in a more irregular ribbing.

Newborn/Preemie: K2, p2, k4, [p4, k4] 3 times, p2, k4, p2, [k4, p4] 3 times, k4, p2, k2.
6 Months: K2, [p4, k4] 9 times, p4, k2.
1 Year: P2, k2, [p4, k4] 4 times, [p4, k2] twice, [p4, k4] 4 times, p4, k2, p2.
2 Years: P2, [k4, p4] 11 times, k4, p2.
4 Years: K2, p2, [k4, p4] 5 times, [k4, p2] twice, [k4, p4] 5 times, k4, p2, k2.
6 Years: K2, [p4, k4] 13 times, p4, k2.
8 Years: P2, k2, [p4, k4] 6 times, p4, k2, p4, k2, [p4, k4] 6 times, p4, k2, p2.
10 Years: P2, [k4, p4] 15 times, k4, p2.

Repeat this ribbing round once.

Chart Key

Cable Chart


Chart 1
Cable Chart

Chart 2

Cable Chart

Next Round: Work Row 1 of the cable charts on the sides of the work only, as follows: Work 12[14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26] sts in ribbing, pm, work Row 1 from cable chart 1 (C8F, k4), pm, work 24[28, 32, 36, 40, 44, 48, 52] sts in pattern, pm, work Row 1 from cable chart 2 (k4, C8B), pm, work in established rib around.

Leap FrogNext Round: Knit around.

Next Round (eyelets): K3[4, 4, 5, 5, 6, 6, 7], yo, k2tog, * k7[8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14], yo, k2tog; repeat from * 6 times more, k4[4, 5, 5, 6, 6, 7, 7].
Next Round: Knit around.
Next Round: K12[14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26], slip marker, work Row 5 from cable chart 1 (k4, C8B), slip marker, k24[28, 32, 36, 40, 44, 48, 52], slip marker, work Row 5 from cable chart 2 (C8F, k4), slip marker, k12[14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26].
Next Round: Knit around. 

Work Short Row round as follows:
Knit to one stitch before cable marker. Turn work (do not wrap stitch) and slip the first stitch (the last stitch knitted on right side) to the right needle. Purl past the EOR marker to one stitch before the cable marker. Turn work, slip the first stitch. Knit to two stitches before cable marker. Slip one stitch (the stitch you slipped on the purl row) to the right needle. Pick up the stitch two rounds below stitch just slipped and place it on the needle. Slip both stitches back to the left needle and knit them together through the back loop. Continue around until you reach the gap formed by the other side of the short row (this will be one stitch past the second cable). Pick up the stitch below the next stitch on the left needle and place it on the needle. Knit it and the following stitch together through the front loop, knit to end of rnd.

DiamondContinue in pattern as established, working short rows on Row 3 or Row 7 of cable pattern, approximately every 1[1, 1.5, 1.5, 2, 2, 3, 3] inches, or as desired, until work measures 6[7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13] inches from cast on edge, measured at the front, ending with Row 2 or Row 6.

Divide for Legs
Knit around to last stitch before EOR marker. Bind off two stitches, one on each side of EOR marker, removing marker. Knit until there are 34[38, 42, 46, 50, 54, 58, 62] sts on right needle after bind off, slip sts just worked onto st holder or scrap yarn, bind off next 2 sts. K34[38, 42, 46, 50, 54, 58, 62] onto 3 dpns as follows: 11[13, 15, 17, 19, 21, 23, 25] sts on the first dpn, 12 cable sts on the second, and 11[13, 15, 17, 19, 21, 23, 25] sts on the third. Join these sts to work in the round for the first leg. Work in pattern, knitting all stitches on needles 1 and 3 and following cable chart 2 for needle 2, until leg measures approximately 4[5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17] inches or desired length ending with Row 2 or Row 6.

Bind off all sts in purl. (Alternately, you may work one purl round and then bind off in knit.)
Slip sts from st holder or scrap yarn onto dpns in same manner as first Leg. Complete same as First Leg.


Using the tail from the beginning of the second leg, sew up crotch stitches using mattress stitch or the technique of your choice. Weave in all ends.

Cast on 3 sts, knit across. Do not turn. Slide stitches to other end of needle and knit across. Continue until i-cord measures 34[36, 38, 40, 42, 44, 46, 48] inches. K3tog, cut yarn and pull through remaining stitch. Weave ends into center of knitted tube. Tie a knot in one end, thread the other end through the eyelets, and knot it to match. All done!


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Annika Barranti

Annika has been knitting for five years and started designing entirely by accident when she improvised some baby clothes. She hasn’t been able to stop designing since. She blogs about life, parenting, and knitting at Through the Looking Glass and is on Twitter and Ravelry as noirbettie.

Pattern & images © 2009 Annika Barranti. Contact