We are very excited to share a Purl Bee exclusive, the Fiddlehead Pullover with you! I designed this sweet pullover for infants 0-6 or 6-12 months and it was featured last week on the Purl Bee website.
The Fiddlehead Pullover uses Canopy Fingering, just 2 or 3 skeins. For more information on Canopy Fingering, check out our yarn spotlight from last week.
The sweater is knit in pieces and seamed together, and both shoulders have a buttoned closure to make it easier to fit it over baby’s head. I know from experience how difficult dressing a floppy little bundle o’ baby can be, and promised myslef I would never knit a pullover for babies ever again unless there were buttons on the shoulders.
It is shown in our favorite color of Canopy Fingering, Fern. It’s a perfect baby green–not too blue and not too yellow and perfectly gender neutral!
Don’t have a little one to knit for? Some readers commented on The Purl Bee that they would like to have an adult sized version of the pattern for themselves and we couldn’t agree more. We thought a blog tutorial and knit-a-long was in order. So, over the coming weeks we will be knitting the prototype and talking about how to adapt the pattern for your size and specifications. The tutorial is designed for you to take charge of your knitting, like a choose your own adventure. At the end of it all, we will format a traditional pattern you will be able to download from Kelbourne Woolens.
I ran some numbers and knit some swatches last night and here’s what I found:
If you follow the 0-6 month size and cast on 86 stitches at a gauge of 5 sts per inch using Canopy Worsted the finished bust circumference is 33.6, which is a women’s small (or perfect for the hard-to-knit-for ‘tween’ in your life). The 6-12 month size, with a cast on of 94, will give you a 37.6″ circumference. The difference in stitches for the two sizes is 8 stitches so let’s assume that if we keep increasing our cast on by 8 sts or 1.6″ we’ll be good to go. (Cast on 102 for a 40.8″ bust, 110 for a 44″ bust, 118 for a 47.2″ bust, 126 sts for a 50.4″ bust, etc). Keep adding 8 to the cast on number, divide that by 5 (the number of stitches per inch) and multiply by 2 (once for the front and once for the back) and you’ll have your finished circumference.
I cast on for the 38″ bust and her bust measures 39″. I want the sweater to be fitted, and plan on adding some waist shaping to give it a better fit as well. Ultimately, the fit you choose is up to you — you can go for a comfy oversized fit, or a more tailored tighter fit. A good “average fit” would be about 2″ positive ease, or, if your bust is a 42″ and you cast on 110 for a finished measurement of 44″ you would have a comfortable, well fitting sweater.
For the adult sweater, work in a k1, p1 rib for about 3″, but the length of the ribbing is up to you in the end. In a more fitted sweater we think a slightly longer ribbing looks best, and for larger sizes, a longer ribbing is good as well for better proportioning. For a looser fitted sweater you could get away with ribbing for just a couple of inches.
After you have worked your ribbing for the desired length, you will begin the body panel. The center panel pattern is a multiple of 7 sts+4, which is NOT the same thing as a multiple of 11. Why? Well, this particular panel is 18 sts, which is 7 repeats 2 times (14 sts) plus 4 sts. There are 4 seed sts on either side of each mock cable. 4 seed, 3 cable, 4 seed, 3 cable, 4 seed.
When you start working the center panel — which will be either 18 or 32 sts depending on what you decide is best for you — you have to center it. For the first two sizes and an 18 st panel, the numbers are the same as in the original pattern. For the other sizes, you will have to subtract the center panel sts–again, 18 OR 32–from your cast on number. Cast on 126? Want a wider 32 st center panel? 126-32=94. Now, divide the answer by 2: 94/2=47. So you would work k47, [work center panel], k47. One more time. Did you cast on 118 sts? Want to work a narrower 18 st center panel? 118-18=100/2=50. So, k50, [work center panel], k50. Great!
So, go cast on! What are you waiting for? Stay tuned for waist shaping…