little jelly bean, a free pattern

February 01, 2019


Here's our little guy wearing a sweater I made 3 years ago for my hope chest of baby sweaters--hoping to one day have another grandchild, and here he is!  At 18 months, an image of stillness he is not, and for these pictures my husband stood behind me and made funny faces. If I point my camera in his direction for 20 seconds or so, I'll get enough good shots of him and the sweater! These were taken minutes before we headed out the door for the coast for a walk on the wharf and lunch at our favorite beach eatery, Sam's Chowder House in Half Moon Bay. We had all been sick with colds for weeks, so going on an outing was a celebration of sorts--celebrating good health!  Sam's has a beautiful view and great food, plus there are easy steps to the sand of a very gentle cove. I always order grilled sardines much to my husband's dismay. He loves to eat my leftovers but won't touch the sardines. But for me they are hard to resist. They catch them fresh right off the coast every morning and are so healthy and good. My guy always gets the linguini or fish and chips and without fail, a bowl of clam chowder. We ordered popcorn shrimp for the baby. He dipped his little shrimps into the cocktail sauce, made a face and proclaimed it to be too spicy, cried for milk, took a desperate gulp, told us it was too cold, then repeated the little scene. Again. And again. And again. Finally the plate of popcorn shrimps and the glass of milk were gone. We think he likes spicy food! After lunch we walked on the beach and climbed rocks. We strolled on the pier and talked about the pelicans and seals. We saw so many boats! We had a perfect day. Oh my, it's so nice not to have a cold and especially nice to spend the day with the baby.

This pattern is the famous and free Little Coffee Bean cardigan for 3, 6 and 12 months. I modified it a bit to make it more like a size 2-3 toddler. That is easy to do in this pattern: Cast on for the largest size adding stitches in multiples of 4. I added 4. Knit as directed making the raglan increases until you have the size you want. If you are unsure what the measurement should be, you can measure it up against a sweater whose fit you like, or use this site to find the standard child/youth measurements for sweaters. The pattern is knit with worsted weight wool which is somewhat bulky on a little one, so consider that before you begin and make sure you want that look and feel. There are other patterns available that will make the same sweater using dk or fingering weight yarns for a more lightweight sweater. Go to this post for the links to those free patterns, plus ideas and tips for scrappy sweaters galore! This one knits up very quickly with such a big gauge and would be perfect for using up your scraps as it would look darling in crazy stripes of leftover colors. I used Madeline Tosh Merino Worsted in Optic and the red is Rowan Pure Wool Superwash Worsted in Cardinal. 

with links for free patterns and tips for making a perfect baby sweater

My Ravelry project page for Little Jelly Bean

Below are Rowan yarns I love that are perfect for baby.

Cotton Cashmere (heavy DK weight)
Handknit Cotton (light worsted weight)
Baby Cashsoft Merino (sport weight)

I have knit with and can highly recommend all of the above yarns. The ball bands prefer hand washing (and I do too), but if any of these yarns go in the washing machine it will not be a terrible disaster. Garments will last longer if hand washed of course, but if gifting a hand knit to a busy new mom, you'll at least know the sweater won't felt with the above yarns. 

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  1. So adorable.🥰 Being a grand parent is the best. I asked my 3yr olds mom about a sweater and she said navy. Should have asked the 3yr old. He wanted red 😂 so, reknit in red. 😍

    1. Haha! That is right! Three year olds have opinions, don’t they?

  2. I have knitted this pattern and really like the results.You have a good eye for color.Thank-you.Yvonne

    1. Thank you Yvonne. It is so nice when designers offer their patterns for free, and this one is just so perfect for exploring with color!


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