There is a sweater that has traveled throughout my immediate family – it first began with my cousins, was next worn by my brother and myself, then passed onto the children of my cousins, then to my nieces and nephews, and then down to me when our daughter Charlie was born in 2012. Knit by my Nana sometime in the early 1970s, it was made in a “typical” yarn of the era – not 100% acrylic, but definitely chosen with extreme washability (and durability!) in mind. I feel privileged to be the last of the line to have possession of the sweater, and will happily use it for our new daughter, Lucy, once she is big enough.
My Nana passed away in 2011, and as she is the one who taught me how to knit, I was lucky enough to receive what remained of her knitting and crochet pattern books. There weren’t very many – she moved about 4 times in the last ten years of her life, and did not do much in the way of any needle craft at that point – but to my astonishment, one of the books, the Fairytale Baby Book by Susan Bates, had the pattern for the sweater. (Creatively named #10 Sweater and Pants.)
This fall, in preparation for Lucy’s arrival, I set out to create my own version of the sweater using the stitch pattern and center panel as a starting point, and – of course – using a different yarn!
The end result is the garment you see here, Nana’s Pullover – an update of a classic, an homage to my Nana, and a look forward to the future. (Who knew so much could be wrapped up in one tiny sweater?)
As I was knitting, I opted to not use or follow the original pattern, and instead created a design of my own: knit in the round from the bottom up, the gauge is different, the sizing and stitch count were changed, the yoke is shaped with a seamless set in sleeve, there is no opening at the back neck, and the neck is finished in a simple single crochet. As a result, I thought it would be nice to provide a download for this new version for you to knit.
Perhaps it will one day become the sweater worn by countless cousins and multiple generations of your family?
/* Style Definitions */
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
Yarn: The Fibre Co. Canopy Fingering: Celeste, 2 skeins.
Gauge: 28 sts and 37 rnds = 4” (10 cm) in 3 x1 Broken Ribbing on larger needles, after blocking.
Panel Chart (23 sts) = 3” (7.75 cm)
Needles: US 1 (2.5 mm) and US 2 (2.75 mm).
Size: 20.75” (52.75 cm) body circumference, to fit 12-24 mos. (Schematic provided with more detailed finished measurements.)
You can download the PDF via our free patterns page here , or on Ravelry here. Enjoy!
5 thoughts on “Free Pattern: Nana’s Pullover”
I have a copy of that! My mother must have bought it originally, although I don’t ever remember seeing her knit baby clothes. I guess I took it from her when I moved out; however I got it, it’s accompanied me to homes on 3 continents over the years and I knit a few of the pieces as gifts in the 80s and 90s. What a surprise to see it here.
Hi Carol, that’s amazing! Have you knit the baby sweater in question? We’d love to see what you made out the same publication! We love a good serendipitous knitting moment!
This is a lovely little sweater, and a touching story to go with it. Thank you for making it available to your readers. Any hint on what age (approximately) this will fit, for those of us that have to knit thousands of miles away from the recipient?
This is such a pretty sweater! You did a fantastic job! I downloaded the pattern. Thank you for sharing it. I’m curious, how long did it take you to complete? For anyone interested, there are about 9 copies of "Fairytale Baby Book by Susan Bates" on eBay right now, and I just bought one. I really like the older pattern books.
Thanks for the pattern, it’s adorable. There aren’t any babies in the immediate future but you never know.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!