A while back a dear friend of mine was expecting twins, a boy and a girl. It was easy to find something to knit for Baby Girl, but for Baby Boy I was stuck. Nothing was cute enough, so I made up my own pattern, loosely based on a (store-bought, non-knitted) romper my son had worn as a baby. Since I couldn’t knit little monkeys onto it, I put in wide stripes, which are suitably boyish but perfectly okay for a girl as well. Now that I have one of each myself, a little bit of gender-neutrality is extra important to me. I’ve reworked the pattern for multiple sizes, and that baby boy is a big toddler now, modeling the biggest size!
Preemie/Newborn[0-3 months, 3-6 months, 6-12 months, 12-18
months, 2 years]
Size Shown in Picture: 2 years
Chest: 161/4[171/2, 181/2, 193/4, 21, 22] inches
Blue Sky AlpacasTM Dyed Cotton [100% Organic Cotton; 150 yards/137 meters per 4 ounce/100 gram hank];
#634 Periwinkle [MC]; 1[1, 1, 2, 2, 2] hank(s)
#616 Sky [CC]; 1 hank for all sizes
US #10/6 mm 16 inch circular needle
US #10/6 mm double pointed needles (set of 5)
US #8/5 mm 16 inch circular needle
US #8/5 mm double pointed needles (set of 5)
6 st markers
3/4 inch shank-style buttons - 3[3, 3, 3, 4, 4]
1/2 inch sew-through buttons - 3[3, 3, 3, 4, 4]
strong thread or embroidery floss, for sewing on buttons
sewing needle for sewing on buttons
tapestry needle for grafting and weaving in ends
14 sts and 20 rows = 4 inches in St st with larger size needles
Romper is knit from the top down with raglan shaping. It is worked flat to the bottom of the button placket, which is extra-long. After the placket, the piece is joined to work in the round. Sts are divided for the legs, with crotch sts grafted together using kitchener st. Sleeve cuffs are worked last. Colors are changed on wrong-side rows, creating a little blip of color in the button bands on the right side.
The best instructions I have found for kitchener st are in the book Last Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson. If you do not have the book, or are a visual learner, here is an excellent video demonstration.
M1R: Insert left needle between sts from back to front, lift the bar, and knit into the front loop.
M1L: Insert left needle between sts from front to back, lift the bar, and knit into the back loop.
You may also want to try this helpful video demonstration.
Knitting in the round, increasing, knitting on dpns, grafting (kitchener stitch)
With CC and smaller circular needles, cast on 32[32, 40, 40, 48, 48] sts. Work 3[3, 5, 5, 7, 7] rows of garter st (knit every row).
Switch to MC and larger circular needle.
Next row (WS): K3, p to last 3 sts, k3.
Next row (RS): set up for raglan increases as follows: K3, pm, k 4[4, 5, 5, 6, 6], m1R, pm, k1, m1L, k2[2, 4, 4, 6, 6], m1R, pm, k1, m1L, K10[10, 12, 12, 14, 14], m1R, k1, pm, m1L, k2[2, 4, 4, 6, 6], m1R, pm, k1, m1L. K4[4, 5, 5, 6, 6], pm, k3: 40[40, 48, 48, 56, 56] sts.
Next row and all WS rows: K3, p to last marker, k3.
Next row (Boy - buttonhole row): K2tog, yo, k1, slip marker, k to marker, * m1R, slip marker, k1, m1L, knit to marker; repeat from * across to last marker, do not increase, slip marker, k3.
Next row (Girl – buttonhole row): K3, slip marker, k to marker, * m1R, slip marker, k1, m1L, knit to marker; repeat from * across to last marker, do not increase, slip marker, k1, yo, k2tog: 48[48, 56, 56, 64, 64] sts.
Work WS row.
Next row and all RS rows except buttonhole rows: K3, slip marker, k to marker, * m1R, k1, slip marker, k1, m1L, knit to marker; repeat from * across to last marker, do not increase, slip marker, k3: 56[56, 64, 64, 72, 72] sts.
Continue to increase 8 sts on every RS row as established, working buttonholes every 2 inches, 4[5, 5, 6, 6, 7] times more: 88[96, 104, 112, 120, 128] sts total.
Raglan seam (measured over MC) is 23/4[31/4, 31/4, 31/2, 31/2, 4] inches.
Switch to CC.
Next row: Work one WS row.
Next row, K3, slip marker,
k12[13, 14, 15, 16, 17],
use tapestry needle to slip 16[18, 20, 22, 24, 26] sleeve sts onto
waste yarn, cast on 2 sts using cable cast on or backward loop, k26[28,
30, 32, 34, 36] sts, use tapestry needle to slip 16[18, 20, 22, 24, 26]
sleeve sts onto waste yarn, cast on 2 sts using cable cast on or
backward loop, k12[13, 14, 15, 16, 17], slip marker, k3. You will now
be working 60[64, 68, 72, 76, 80] body sts total, with 16[18, 20, 22,
24, 26] sts held for each sleeve.
Continue in pattern, working buttonholes every 2 inches and changing colors as follows: When CC stripe measures 11/4[11/2, 13/4, 13/4, 2, 2] inches, switch back to MC and work 23/4[31/4, 31/4, 31/2, 31/2, 4] inches. Switch to CC, work one round. Button band measures 63/4[8, 81/4, 83/4, 9, 10] inches, not including the collar.
Next row (RS): Knit to last 3
sts, slip 3 sts just to worked to a dpn, bring work around to join in
the round, and hold dpn sts behind (for boys) or in front (for girls)
the first sts to be knit, overlapping the buttonbands. Keeping both st
markers, join work by knitting one st from your main needle together
with one st on dpn; repeat for next 2 sts. Work is now joined in the
round and buttonbands are overlapped, knit around: 57[61, 65, 69, 73,
Next round: Knit around increasing 7 sts evenly spaced (do not increase in the button band): 64[68, 72, 76, 80, 84] total sts.
Continue in CC and St st until stripe measures 11/4[11/2, 13/4, 13/4, 2, 2] inches measured on the front of garment. This stockinette portion is the place to add short rows for the bum, if desired.
Work Short Row round as follows (optional):
K44[47, 50, 53, 56, 59], turn work (do not wrap st); slip the first st (the last st knitted on right side) to the right needle, p21[23, 25, 27, 29, 31], turn work; slip the first st, k20[22, 24, 26, 28, 30], slip one st (the st you slipped on the purl row) to the right needle; pick up the st 2 rounds below st just slipped and place it on the needle, slip both sts back to the left needle and knit them together through the back loop, knit around until you reach the gap formed by the other side of the short row; pick up the st below the next st on the left needle and place it on the needle. Knit it and the following st together through the front loop, knit around.
Continue in pattern as established, working short rows approximately every inch or as desired.
Switch to MC and knit 23/4[31/4,
31/2, 4] inches.
Before you proceed, cut a 12-inch length of CC yarn and set aside.
Switch to CC.
Knit 3 front sts, then slip sts just worked onto a smaller
k29[31, 33, 35, 37, 39] sts. You may leave these sts on your circular
or slip them onto waste yarn. Knit 3 sts onto a smaller dpn. Knit
remaining 29[31, 33, 35, 37, 39] sts onto larger dpns, dividing evenly
over four needles.
Take your 12-inch length of CC and use it to graft together the six sts
being held on smaller dpns.
Begin working the leg sts on larger dpns: Pick up and knit 3 sts at the crotch, knit around: 32[34, 36, 38, 40, 42] sts.
Continue working until CC stripe measures 11/4[11/2, 13/4, 13/4, 2, 2] inches.
Switch to MC and work 23/4[31/4, 31/4, 31/2, 31/2, 4] inches.
Switch to CC and smaller needles.
Work 3[3, 5, 5, 7, 7] rounds in garter st, beginning with a knit round.
Bind off loosely in purl.
Slip remaining leg sts to larger dpns.
With CC pick up and knit 3 sts at the crotch: 32[34, 36, 38, 40, 42] sts.
Complete same as first leg.
Slip held sts onto smaller dpns. With CC pick up and knit 2
sts at underarm: 18[20, 22, 24, 26, 28] sts.
Work 2[2, 4, 4, 6, 6] rounds in garter st, beginning with a purl round.
Bind off loosely in purl.
Repeat for second sleeve.
Weave in all ends, taking care to close up any holes at armholes or crotch. Firmly sew buttons opposite buttonholes, using the 1/2 inch button inside the garment to secure the 3/4 inch button.
Annika has been knitting for five and a half years. She lives in Los Angeles where she is a writer and compulsively designs clothing for her two children and any other small people that cross her path. She blogs about life, parenting, and knitting at Through the Looking Glass and is on Flickr, Twitter, and Ravelry as noirbettie.
Pattern & images © 2010 Annika Barranti. Contact