Peeks of progress

Whether it’s apparent from my blog or not, I’ve been knitting quite a bit over the last few days! The sweater for LL is almost done! I can’t finish completely until I visit Windsor Button to get some (you guessed it!) buttons. Otherwise, all done.

Although I’ve knit several baby sweaters before, they were all a long time ago, the last one being completed in December of 2004. Now that I’m a bit more experienced, I approached knitting this project the same way I approach knitting adult sweaters. First, I leafed through a gazillion patterns only to discover that the discrepancy in sizing for baby garments is freaking unbelievable. Even more variable than for women’s clothing! What some patterns suggest for a 6-months old baby others claim will fit a 3-year old. Having no baby on hand to measure, I did the only reasonable thing: got myself to a Baby Gap, selected a machine-knit sweater of what I think is the appropriate size, and knit LL’s sweater to exactly the same dimensions, from the neckhole opening, to the depth of the armhole, to the length between armhole and hem (the style is different, though, just the sizing is the same).

The Baby Gap sweater is on top, the one I knit is hidden below. Just so we’re perfectly clear ;).

I can’t guarantee that the Baby Gap sweater is a well-fitting sweater, but I think it’s a reasonable assumption. Considering that this is how I make sure my own sweaters fit, I’m crossing my fingers and hoping for the best!


35 thoughts on “Peeks of progress

  1. abi

    Debbie Bliss patterns come out enormously wide but never quite long enough. The thing with babies is, they grow at such an alarming rate, DB likes you to knit big (and purchase more yarn?) so it fits longer. I knit for my neice and made her a jumper with arms far too long because my sister refused to measure her arms for me. Actually, Yarn Harlot just did a post about baby arm lengths.

    So, miss tease, when do we get to see it!

  2. Angela

    Babies vary enormously in size, is one problem; I found the Gap sizes to be quite accurate for my older son, who fell right in the middle of the pediatrician’s height & weight charts. Hey, if in doubt, err on the big side; oversized can be cute (on babies anyway), sleeves can be rolled up, babies grow.

  3. Karla (threadbndr)

    Baby’s heads are enormous in proportion. The neck opening will seem to be MILES too big. Sleeves are almost always too long. And I never knew why until Yarn Harlot’s post yesterday.

    Shall we assume the underneath baby sweater is a for someone who reads your blog? You are being so coy about it *G*

  4. Betty

    I have found baby clothing labeled 6 months to be smaller than ones labeled 3 months. I suppose wonky baby sizing is similar to adult clothing sizing. It varies. I have also found that my 11 month old son’s friend at daycare is 2 months younger but is twice as big. If you are in doubt, definitely knit larger.

    I think what you did in buying that Gap sweater for measurements is absolutely the best idea. I have some store bought sweaters in future sizes for my son, and I will be using those measurements to knit some things for him.

  5. Carolyn

    Great idea. The sizes for babies and children are way out there. The gap is usually close to what children actually are. I find that many knitting patterns make the garment to wide. Can’t wait to see the sweater!

  6. Marianne

    Babies are kind of floppy (well, they ARE), so I think simple things are much easier. I can’t imagine trying to wrestle a baby into that Gap sweater, much less getting the crossed front to sit right and stay tied!

  7. LaurieM

    Make sure you check out the Yarn Harlot’s take on sleeve length for infants. She’s got experience backing her, that’s for sure.

  8. marie in florida

    that’s exactly what makes EZ’s Baby Surprise such a good basic pattern. BUT one does like to show off one’s skills with a tiny tiny baby sweater jewel at times. so show already! hehehe

  9. Nicole

    Seems arbitrary but probably not that big a deal since babies tend to grow quickly. I knit baby booties for a friend’s baby once and though they were very cute, the baby’s feet were so long and narrow that they only fit for a short period of time. Maybe shapeless socks next time.

  10. elaine

    jsut so you know, in my experience with clothing my daughters, gap and old navy seem to run most true to sizing (in pounds) on their labels. i’m sure you could find others that think differently but…

  11. Carrie

    The reason baby sizes are more variable is that babies are more variable. (Sizing babies by age is ridiculous anyway.) My 9 mo old son wears 12 mo, 18 mo, and 24 mo clothes, depending on the maker. He weighs a few pounds more than my friend’s three year old. So, basically, it’s anybody’s guess. I haven’t knitted anything for my boy because I’m such a slow knitter, he’ll outgrow anything I try to make.

  12. Cin

    Sigh. I love the design. and your colour choice rocks. Makes me want to knit something small and dainty…

  13. Carolyn

    Dang, that’s sharp. Nice color, too. I need to get one of those jobs where you sit on the phone all day. So my hands can be free to knit. Yes, this is my new goal. I want to be able to do a sweater like that one. I just found out that I have a grandchild on the way. Mom and dad are in Wyoming. It’s always the right time of year to wear knitted things there.

  14. Kim

    Okay, this is off the subject, but can I just say that I LOVE the jaywalker sock pattern???? I love it! It is so neat and succinct. I am making my first pair and I love this pattern. Thanks very much, Grumperina! You’re the coolest…..

  15. Beak Knits

    I always found baby gap stuff fit my girls pretty well. That is the nice thing about babies…even if the sweater is a bit big, they rapidly catch up.

  16. Martha (another one)

    Reading your sizing approach, I had a cross between a “D’oh!” and an “Ah-ha!” moment. Brilliant! Baby Gap! I was searching on the internet to find some average size charts for children, they have to be out there somewhere, maybe in a medical textbook. Futile search. This will be so much better.

  17. Heide

    Man, I want to see what’s under that Baby Gap sweater! You’re cruel. On a side and completely irrelevant note, my oldest daughter has the same comforter this is pictured on. Can’t wait for big reveal with your knitting projects!

  18. Dove

    Yeah, I ran into that problem knitting for my niece. I finally found a booklet of baby sweaters that gave not only finished dimensions, but also the actual chest size for each age, and went from there. Because one sweater I was knitting claimed that an 18-month-old would be dandy in a sweater 24 inches across, and knitty’s Trellis demanded that a younger baby have a 28-inch-across sweater. 28 inches??? That’s the size of ME!

    By the way, not showing the sweater you actually made is cruel.

  19. ana

    Such secrecy and anticipation around the blog worl these days! I have to agree…cruel.

    I’ve had a lot of problems knitting for babies and small children. I think one of my problems is that I just don’t think something looks large enough until I actually see it next to the child. It’s worked out because the kids are growing into things. I’ve only knit one sweater for my niece and I just don’t think she liked it very much. I’m going to try again, but I’ll follow your advice and get something that I know will fit her as a guide.

  20. Kim

    Off the subject, can I just say how much I LOVE the jaywalker pattern???? It is the coolest!! Thanks so much Grumperina for sharing it with us!!! I am just finishing my first sock, and plan to make more jaywalkers! Love it. Thanks again,


  21. Kim

    Okay, oops. I see that I already posted twice about the beloved jaywalkers. No, the Grumperina isn’t paying me to boost her pattern; I just think I need to borrow my grandpa’s Alzheimer meds though….

  22. Leslie

    I must admit that I seem to spend half of my waking knitting hours on baby clothes and have often given clothes made for 6 mos. old babies that wouldn’t even fit a three year old based on the pattern.

    Your idea of buying a baby sweater from the Gap is genius. I’m running out today to buy one for my baby knitting needs.

    Thank you for sharing your cleverness!

    Oh, and I love love love your site. Your knitting is spectacular. Can’t wait to see how this dress turns out!

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