Linden Down’s aptly named Baby Sophisticate cardigan is yet another testament to our favorite local designer’s creativity. Since Linden published this free pattern on Ravelry in April 2009, over 1,000 Ravelers have cast on, and we could hardly resist, either! This adorable little cardigan is certain to become a staple item for fall, and its ease of construction means that it’s hardly too late in the season to cast on.
The construction is rather simple: the cardigan is knit seamlessly from the top down, with raglan sleeves and a stockinette body. (“Seamless,” of course, is the magic word for knitters who prefer to skip all the tediousness of finishing pieced garments.) In my opinion, it’s the details that really “make” this sweater. Garter stitch accents on the edges provide a visual counterpoint to the stockinette, and ensure that the cuffs and bottom of the sweater don’t roll. My favorite design aspect of this cardigan is the shawl collar, which is what lends this sweater its air of sophistication. I couldn’t agree more with Linden when she says the collar makes her think “this baby should be in a library, sipping tea and reading Shakespeare!” The Baby Sophisticate would also seem to be well-suited for a romp through the garden:
The great thing about this pattern is that it combines sophistication and durability, which we all know is a must for kids’ clothing. There are several yarns that lend themselves well to this project. Linden chose Mission Falls 1824 Wool, a washable aran-weight merino wool that comes in a wonderful palette of colors. The cardigan in the photograph was knit out of Classic Elite Yarn’s Sprout, a bulky weight organic cotton yarn that washes beautifully. Although Sprout has a textured look in the hank, its bumpiness smoothes out upon being knitted up, resulting in fabric that’s buttery soft to the touch. It’s truly a luxurious cotton!
Depending on the color of yarn and the buttons you choose, this sweater can easily be tailored towards a little boy or a little girl. Both the Sprout and the 1824 Wool are great choices for kids’ clothing, due to their hard-wearing nature and washability.
All in all, this sophisticated little cardigan is a winner. We hope you enjoy knitting it as much as we did!