Would you look at that?!? A cute striped baby sweater with a zipper! If you remember, this project started when I got my hands on some beautiful New Zealand Polwarth wool, hand-dyed by David Schulz in the Budgie colorway, then hand-spun by Stacie. So fantastic and inspiring was this yarn that I simply had to make it work for a very special baby sweater, even though the skein contained only 220 yards. And so the idea of striping two yarns was born.

While I was knitting the sweater (the striped version, that is: the solid version was painfully short-lived), I got the same feeling as when I was knitting Odessa… the sweater just emerged, and it was effortless. I don’t get that feeling often, to be honest with you. When I design, usually there is a lot of muttering, frogging, and uncountable “do overs.”

I was so pleased with the way the sweater came out, especially the gradual decreases on the yoke, that I decided to write up the pattern. Here are the details! Enjoy!

Budgie Budgie

Pattern: Budgie Striped Baby Sweater by me! Click the “buy now” button to purchase for US $8.00.

Payment will be processed by PayPal, and pattern (2.11 MB, PDF format, 8 pages, full color) will be delivered by Ravelry: neither requires having an account.

Description: In this design, the two sleeves and the body are knitted back and forth (flat) until the armholes. The three pieces are then joined, and the yoke is worked back and forth to the end. For zipper facings, stitches are picked up along each edge of the cardigan opening, then bound off using the i-cord bind off.


Difficulty: Intermediate to advanced. The pattern is quite straightforward and uses only basic techniques: knitting, purling, decreasing, and increasing. However, the pattern also contains a number of special details and techniques, such as a contrast edge cast on, carrying colors for stripes, installing a zipper, and neatly seaming the sleeves. Not to worry! I included several picture tutorials, and many explanations and guidelines to ensure your success! Read them if you’d like, skim/skip them if you’d rather get started right away!

Budgie Budgie

Sizes: 3-6 months (6-12 months, 12-18 months, 18-24 months). To fit chest circumference 18 (19, 20, 21)” [45.5 (48.5, 51, 53.5) cm]. Finished chest circumference 20½ (21½, 22½, 23½)” [51.5 (54.5, 57, 60) cm]. Please refer to schematic for additional finished measurements.

Needles: US 6 (4mm) and US 5 (3.75) circular needles.

Notions: Lengths of scrap yarn or stitch holders, separating zipper, darning needle. Optional: some grosgrain ribbon to cover the back of the zipper.

Gauge: After blocking, 21.3 sts and 32 rows = 4″ [10 cm] in Stockinette stitch. You may find it convenient to measure gauge over 3″ for a round number: 16 sts and 24 rows = 3″ [7.5 cm] in Stockinette stitch.

Yarn: DK or light worsted weight, about 150 (170, 195, 225) yd [137 (155, 178, 206) m] of each color. Using light worsted weight yarn will create a slightly denser fabric, perfect for using this sweater as outerwear on chilly days.

I used the aforementioned hand-dyed, hand-spun Budgie yarn (100% New Zealand Polwarth), and Classic Elite Princess (40% merino, 28% viscose, 15% nylon, 10% cashmere, 7% angora).

Because the sweater is knit back and forth without steeking, practically any baby-friendly, machine-washable yarn can be used, including superwash wool, cotton, and blends (bonus: working stripes back and forth also means the cumbersome “color jog” is avoided!). Some yarns which I think will work for this design include Berroco Vintage, Louet Gems Worsted, Rowan Wool Cotton, Manos Silk Blend, Berroco Ultra Alpaca, and Rowan Calmer. (Cascade 220? Maybe ;). Let me know if you try it.)


28 thoughts on “Budgie!

  1. lauren

    Congratulations! It is completely adorable and with all the attention to detail and perfection that I would expect from a grumperina design. 🙂

  2. Laura

    That is too friggin cute! I love it. I’m a sucker for 2×2 stripes with self-striping yarn, and this one is really really cute.

  3. Maijamirjami

    I love this and how convenient; my friend just gave birth to a boy! Straight to the needles it goes.

  4. J Strizzy

    What a cute sweater! I’m so glad you are offering the pattern – I think this is going on my list of things to knit for the kiddos for the fall. So many possibilities for yarn pairings…!

  5. Mary K. in Rockport

    I’m in love – that is EXACTLY the sweater I like to make for kids, except mine don’t come out that well!

  6. sallya

    Love it! Bought the pattern already. The 6-month old grandgirl is getting one for sure! Thanks! Just adorable.

  7. Joanne

    And I just finished 210 yards of light worsted to DK weight handspun last week… in superwash. Now to find a commercial yarn to go with it!

    Beautiful pattern!

  8. Jennifer

    I love your design skills. I am a beginner knitter and hope someday to get to a level where I am comfortable enough to design knit items on the fly. But your knitting skills really show in the items you showcase on your knit blog! Great work on the baby sweater.

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