First Words Baby Sweater Knitting Pattern

30 June 2021
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Sponsored in part by:

Ad for the book Gathering Colour, featuring the book cover and the words, "Use natural pigments to make dyes, inks & paints from the world around you." A button at the bottom says, "Buy now."

Let a little one join the conversation before they can even speak in sentences with a cozy sweatshirt-style pullover that says it all. The sweater is worked flat in pieces from the bottom up, with a simple intarsia speech bubble on the front that’s perfect for those new to the technique. Then the pieces are joined and worked briefly in the round before the button placket is created to make dressing less fussy. A “first word” of your choice is added to the speech bubble with backstitch or chainstitch embroidery before finishing, making the sweater infinitely customizable.

image description: close up of baby in handknit sweater, focused on lower torso


Yarn: Smooth DK weight yarn that is easy care for inevitably frequent launderings. CC1 and CC2 should be high-contrast for legibility.

Main Colour (MC): 200 (230, 275, 330, 360) m/220 (250, 300, 360, 390) yd.
Contrast Colour 1 (CC1; speech bubble): 23 m/25 yd.
Contrast Colour 2 (CC2; text): 9 m/10 yd.

Sample shown in Tanis Fiber Arts Purewash DK (100% organic merino, treated; 260 yd/238 m per 113g skein).
MC: 1 [1, 2, 2, 2] skeins or; sample uses Smoke.
CC1: 1 skein or 25 yds/23m for all sizes; sample uses Charcoal.
CC2: 1 skein or 10 yds/9m for all sizes; sample uses Natural.

3.75 mm/US #5 needles for working flat.
3.75 mm/US #5 circular needle, 40 cm/16 inches long.

Stitch markers
Stitch holders or waste yarn
Yarn needle
Three 13 mm/.5 inch buttons
Thread and sewing needle for buttons


22 sts/28 rows = 10 cm/4 inches in stockinette stitch

Size & Finished Measurements

Baby: 3 months (6 months, 12 months, 18 months, 24 months).

Shown in size 6 months on 3 month-old Ewen.

Chest circumference: 46 (48, 53, 56, 58) cm/18 (19, 21, 22, 23) inches.

Length: 28 (29, 30.5, 33, 35.5) cm/11 (11.5, 12, 13, 14) inches.

Copyright © Lynne Sosnowski except as indicated.

About Lynne Sosnowski

After a career of producing large scale municipal festivals and events, Lynne now splits her time between designing knitwear, teaching knitting classes that specialize in “knit literacy”, and producing stand-up comedy festivals and live shows. She’s funny for a regular person.

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