Whooo stole my heart?

October 23, 2019

This is my favorite baby sweater to knit. The Owl Cardigan pattern is by Penny Straker and has been around since the 60s. From Penny: “No one knows who originally conceived of making owls with cabling but when I opened my first yarn shop in 1962 a dear and elderly customer came in to wish me well and gave me her hand written copy of the owls. From this worn and dog-eared direction I designed this cardigan. Now in its eighth printing, Owl has continued to be a cherished and popular design through the decades. Grown women have asked for an adult version – I’m working on it!

Now owls are everywhere, and they should be, they are such an adorable design element for littles and adults. This is the child's cardigan, size 2, 4, 6 and 8 years. There is also a baby sized cardigan pattern as well.

I made the size 4 for my two year old grandson. He is a big boy for his age and it fits well, but remember, this pattern is an old one designed when children's sweaters were meant to be worn with little or no ease. I do feel it is sized small so just want to warn you of that. The yarn is a new one from Rowan, Baby Cashsoft Merino, easy care and delightful softness. It is a sport weight yarn and I knit is as a sport weight for this sweater, but it will work equally well as a DK weight with a needle size switch.

Since the pattern is an older one, it is knit in pieces and seamed, although it does have you attach the shoulder seams with a three-needle bind off so that is good. Also the button bands are knitted as you go saving another step. The one thing I did change was the sleeve construction. I always choose the set-in, short-row technique. Do plan to spend a few hours sewing on 16 button owl eyes!

So does Carter like it? He does! He loved the owls and before he would even put on the sweater he had to give each one a kiss. It's a super soft and light, not overly warm sweater. I love lightweight wool sweaters for active children. Wool has a way of "breathing" and regulating body temperature to keep a child warm when he is playing quietly indoors or actively outdoors. Scroll down for the shopping links.

This color is more accurate in the modeled pictures but I show you this to see the sleeve technique.

Carter wrote a letter to me and I asked him to read it. He stood up straight and held the paper in his hands and said, "You are nice." This made me very happy because I know children this age mimic what the adults around them are saying. Deep sigh.
Penny Straker's Owl Cardigan for children
Penny Straker's Owl Cardigan for babies
My Ravelry project page
Rowan Baby Cashsoft Merino

How to knit a top-down set-in sleeve.

If you are having a difficult time finding the tiny eye buttons,
Penny Straker sells them on her site here.

To make a comment, click here.  I love it when you do!


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  1. OMG ADORABLE, I could look at the darling face and beautiful sweater forever...lucky you!

  2. I love the sweater, but put away your knitting needles and become a photographer of children. Those photos are fantastic. Carter is adorable.


  3. Cutest baby. Cutest sweater. Love both! Thank you for sharing.


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