Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Single Crochet Kimono Style Baby Sweater

A friend requested a baby sweater for her little boy who will be showing up in March. I decided on a kimono-style sweater since it doesn't have buttons. It was crocheted with Lion Brand Homespun Yarn in Apple Green with a little bit of Colonial (blue) as edging.

It was very simple and easy to crochet. The back panel and two front panels are crocheted flat in single crochet and the sleeves were crocheted in a spiral (I couldn't figure out how to crochet "in the round" correctly but I think that spiral crochet works just fine).

I don't have a pattern for it, but it's so simple that I don't think it really needs one. I bought a cheap long-sleeved baby t-shirt in the size I wanted the sweater to be (1Y, one year), measured it, then used those measurements to make the sweater.

The measurements I took from the comparison shirt were the height of the shirt (H), the width of the shirt (W), the width of the sleeves at the shoulder (WS), the length of the sleeves (LS), and the distance from the shoulder seam to the edge of the neck (N).

The body of the sweater consisted of three pieces: two trapezoidal front panels and one rectangular back panel.

The back panel was the simplest. I used single crochet to make a large rectangle that matched the measurements of the comparison shirt. I figured out my stitch gauge and then crocheted enough stitches in a row to equal W. I then crocheted enough rows to make the height of the rectangle equal to H.

I started crocheting the front panels at the shortest edge, N. I increased gradually every few rows, always on the same edge so that one side would slope and the other side would remain straight. I continued increasing until the width of the front panel was equal to W and the height was equal to H.

This is what I ended up with:

Next I placed both front panels in position on top of the back panel with their right sides together and sewed the fronts to the back along the shoulder seams (N):

On each side of the sweater, I started at the shoulder seam and measured down the amount given by WS to determine how much space was needed for the sleeves. I marked that with a stitch marker and then sewed from there down to close up the side seam.

This left me with what was basically a vest. To add sleeves to it, I crocheted around the edge of the armhole and then just kept going in a spiral until my sleeve was as long as the comparison sleeve (LS).

After finishing the ends, I turned the sweater right side out. Using a contrasting color of yarn, I added a row of single crochet to the ends of the sleeves. I did single crochet around the edge of the body of the sweater as well, and while doing that edging I made the four ties that keep the kimono shut. Whenever I reached one of the shoulder seams or the bottom corners of the front panels, I made a chain of about 20 stitches, slip-stitched back down the chain and then continued on the with the edging:

That's it! Hopefully it will actually fit the baby, I won't get to find out until next winter when he will be old enough to wear it.


Jenz said...

Cute! I think the spiral thingie you did with the sleeves is the "right" way to crochet in the round—at least I can't think of any better way to do it.

He can probably wear it sooner than next winter if the sleeves are rolled up. That's one of the nice things about the kimono style, it's size-versatile.

Cat Carlisle said...

Thanks! It's good to know that you think spiral is the right way to go. I thought there was some way to crochet in the round where a slip stitch is done at the end of the round. I couldn't figure it out, but thankfully the spiral method worked just fine!

Jenz said...

Oh yeah, I forgot you could do it that way and join each round (heh, it's been so long since I crocheted my brain was just stuck in knit mode). But still, I think your way there won't be a visible seam or join the length of the sleeve, so that works out pretty good.

Silk Kimono said...

Cute! This is a good craft project. I'd like to give the little kimono to my niece.

Cat Carlisle said...

Glad you like it! Let me know if you end up making one, I would love to see pictures.

bratts said...

What a lovely and unique gift. As a new mom I certainly appreciate anything that is easy to put on and take off. Too bad those of us who aren't "crafty" can't purchase this kimono cardigan online.

Cat Carlisle said...

Thanks bratts! If you're interested in buying a sweater like this, try Etsy. I did a search there for "kimono baby sweater" and there were a number of people selling them.

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