This sweet top for baby and toddler girls is inspired by a hand-me-down top my daughter received from a little girl named Nola Jane. I love the retro look with its 1980s silhouette, updated to fit a modern baby. And who can resist the sweet ruffles! They're well worth the extra effort, and if you don't know how to crochet, this is a good place to start, as it's very simple!
Newborn [0-3 months, 3-6 months, 6-12 months, 12-18 months, 18-24 months]
Shown in 12-18 months
Chest: 17 [18, 19, 20, 20½, 21] inches
Length: 9 [10, 11, 11½, 12, 12½] inches
Spud and Chloë™ Fine [80% Superwash Wool, 20% Silk; 248 yards/227 meters per 65 gram ball];
#7804 Cricket; 2 skeins for all sizes
US #2/2.75 mm 16 inch circular needle
US #3/3.25 mm 16 inch circular needle
US #2/2.75 mm dpns or long circular needle for magic loop (set of 5)
US #3/3.25 mm dpns or long circular needle for magic loop (set of 5)
5 stitch markers, one a different color to use as end of row marker
Size C-2 (2.75 mm) crochet hook for ruffle and provisional cast-on
Waste yarn for provisional cast-on and held sts
26 sts and 32 rows = 4 inches in St st with larger size needles
Nola Jane is worked from the bottom up with turned hems, raglan shaping, and a wide neckline. Purl sts are worked at intervals on the front yoke only, and those sts are later picked up to add the crocheted ruffles.
Provisional cast on: With waste yarn, crochet a chain that is several sts longer than your cast on number. Using your knitting needles, pick up and knit in the back of each crochet stitch, skipping a chain if the chain becomes tight.
An alternative to the provisional cast-on is to use a cable cast-on, which is very easy to join to your work as you would the provisional cast-on. Place a slip knot on your needle; knit into it and place the new stitch on the needle. *Knit into the space between sts and place the new stitch on your needle; repeat from * for desired number of sts.
Another alternative is to use your cast-on of choice and seam the hem at the end.
Single crochet: insert crochet hook into stitch, wrap yarn around hook and pull through; wrap yarn again, pull through both loops.
Note: I found it easiest, when changing balls of yarn, to use a Russian join. This eliminated the need to weave in ends, which can leave unsightly bumps in fabric made with such lightweight yarn. Instructions for the Russian join may be found here. There is also a video here.
Provisional cast-on, knitting in the round, decreasing, kitchener/grafting, crochet
With waste yarn, crochet hook, and smaller size dpns or smaller size long circular, provisionally cast on 36 [38, 42, 46, 48, 52] sts. Distribute over dpns or for magic loop. Join for working in the round, being careful not to twist, place marker.
Work in St st 1 inch.
Purl one round.
Work another 1 inch in stockinette.
Fold your work at the purl ridge so the cast on edge is inside, alongside your needles. Undo the crochet chain one stitch at a time and knit that stitch together with the next stitch on your needle. Repeat this all the way around until you have a neatly turned hem.
Switch to larger size dpns or larger size long circular needle and continue working in St st until work measures 2½ [3, 3¼, 3¾, 4, 4¼] inches from edge (purl round). Cut yarn, leaving an 8 inch tail. Transfer sts to waste yarn and set aside.
With waste yarn, crochet hook, and smaller size circular needle, provisionally cast on 110 [116, 124, 130, 134, 136] sts. and join for working in the round, being careful not to twist, place end of row marker.
Work 1½ inches in St st.
Purl one round.
Work another 1½ inches in St st.
Fold your work at the purl ridge so the cast on edge is inside, alongside your needle. Undo the crochet chain one stitch at a time and knit that stitch together with the next stitch on your needle. Repeat this all the way around until you have a neatly turned hem.
Switch to larger size circular needle and continue in St st until work measures 6 [6¾, 7½, 7¾, 8, 8¼] inches from edge (purl round). Do not cut yarn.
Join body and sleeves as follows: knit 24 [26, 28, 30, 30, 31] body sts, pm, slip next 6 body sts to waste yarn, knit 30 [32, 36, 40, 42, 46] sts from first sleeve, leaving 6 sleeve sts on waste yarn, pm, knit 50 [52, 56, 58, 62, 62] body sts, pm, slip 6 body sts to waste yarn, knit 30 [32, 36, 40, 42, 46] sts from second sleeve, leaving 6 sleeve sts on waste yarn, pm, knit 24 [26, 28, 30, 30, 31] body sts: 158 [168, 184, 198, 206, 216] sts.
Work yoke decreases over six-rnd pattern as follows, creating a purl ridge on the front of the sweater only on Rnd 6.
Rnd 1: Knit around.
Rnd 2: *Knit to within 3 sts of raglan marker, k2tog, k1, sl marker, k1, ssk; repeat from * around: 150 [160, 176, 190, 198, 208] sts (8 sts decreased).
Rnds 3-5: Repeat Rnds 1 and 2, then repeat Rnd 1 once more: 134 [144, 160, 174, 182, 192] sts.
Rnd 6: *Knit to within 3 sts of raglan marker, k2tog, k1, sl marker, k1, ssk; repeat from * once more, k1, purl to within 4 sts of next marker, k1, k2tog, k1, sl marker, k1, ssk, knit to within 3 sts of last marker, k2tog, k1, sl marker, k1, ssk, knit around: 126 [136, 152, 166, 174, 184] sts (purl ridge created, 8 sts decreased).
Repeat Rnds 1-6 for pattern until 62 [64, 72, 78, 78, 80] sts remain.
You may need to switch to dpns or magic loop.
Next Rnd: Knit around removing raglan markers as you come to them.
Switch to smaller size needles.
Next Rnd: Purl around.
Next Rnd: Knit around.
Bind-off all sts pwise.
Use kitchener stitch to sew up the underarm seams.
If you opted to seam the hems instead of knitting them together as you worked, fold your cast on edge to the inside of the sweater, pin it in place, and neatly whip-stitch it to the back of the last round knitted on smaller size needles.
With crochet hook and RS facing, join yarn with slip st in first st of purl ridge; chain 1, work 3 single crochets in same st and in each st of purl ridge across; fasten off.
Repeat for each purl ridge.
If you do not like the look of the ruffle this creates, try 2 or 4 single crochets per purl stitch, or try using a double crochet.
Weave in all ends.
Annika Barranti lives in Los Angeles with her novelist husband, four-year-old son, and one-year-old daughter. Her patterns are available at Popknits, Petite Purls, and Ravelry, where you will find her as noirbettie. She blogs at Through the Looking Glass.
Pattern & images © 2011 Annika Barranti. Contact