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Copyright 2001 Claudia Krisniski. All rights reserved.

Well, I did a pile of research on my baby sweater size yesterday. A little 3 months sweater will measure somewhere between 18-20 " around depending on the yarn thickness. Since I will be making a chunky knit (for this size) sweater from worsted weight wool, I will choose the largest option of 20".

This body measurement is a basis for plotting a percentage sweater. The late beloved Elizabeth Zimmermann's percentage sweater guidelines will be followed as I work through a raglan shaped sweater, knit from the bottom up. As she advised, we should make the infant's sweater on slightly different percentages than an adult sweater might be. I have found her yokes to be a tad shallow when following her exact percentage system, so I will tweak it a bit deeper, and have it match the sleeve width exactly, then add a slight ribbed neck to increase the total yoke by .5".

So, our basic sweater stacks up with the following numbers:
K = 20" around (at a suggested yarn-band gauge of 5 sts=1"...that would be 100 sts)
sleeve = 35% K = 7" around = 3.5" across top of sleeve

yoke depth = 3.5" (same as sleeve)
body length to underarm = 6"
sleeve length = 5"
neck = 45% K
(Note: I would make this neck bigger to go over baby's head but I will incorporate an open neckband/buttons to allow for easier dressing instead)

I think that's it. Once you make a gauge swatch and see what gauge you really get, you can adjust your needles to zero in on a gauge very close to 5 sts=1". I know my own knitting-style with Lamb's Pride Superwash worsted because I use it so much. I like to use #6 needles, knit loosely and get a gauge of 5 sts=1". This is measured over stockinette stitch.

Note for newbies: Stockinette Stitch: *knit a row, then purl a row* repeating * to *over and over till your knitting measures 4" deep, at which point you measure across the center of your swatch and count the stitches in your center 3", and divide by 3, for the gauge.

We all knit differently and you should choose needles and yarn that will knit at 5 sts=1". If you match this gauge, then the whole sweater will work for you. It does not matter what yarn and needles you use as long as you match that gauge. If your gauge comes close, then your size will also be close. And babies grow (and come in smaller sizes!) so however this first one turns out...let it be.

The next post will be all about actually starting the knitting. :)

Claudia at Countrywool

Esther S. Bozak
URL: http://www.cs.oswego.edu/~ebozak/knit/ck-patterns/wee.aran/part2.html