Whenever I give a baby shower gift I prefer to do something handmade but sometimes a knit blanket takes too long and I want something that still has that great wow factor and is just as special. Once I learned basic sweater construction I fell in love with making baby cardigans for gifts. They’re super quick, insanely adorable and you can customize them with so many color combos. I also fell deeply in love with Baby Sophisticate pattern (it’s free!) and loved the pattern so much that I bought the Child Sophisticate pattern so I could have a full range of sizes. The patterns are by Linden Down of Stockinette and instructions are easy to follow, especially for a beginner.
I mean, look at my godson, he’s giving you his best GQ look in his shawl collared cardigan. How can you not resist that face? What I really love about this pattern is how easily you can adapt it. I’ve made it without the shawl collar by just omitting the short row shaping, I’ve done a single button instead of an entire row and the color combinations you can do are endless. I use Caron Simply Soft yarn for these with a size 7 needles. It’s an acrylic yarn but I love the range of colors (solids, heathers, ombres and sparkles) and that the cardigans and blankets are machine washable and dryer friendly. As much as I love wool and natural fibers, no one wants to hand wash and air dry something for a baby. I’m just keeping it real. One of my favorite versions of this cardigan was for our friends who are Ravens season ticket holders.
When their son was born instead of making a baby blanket that matched his nursery, I made him a Ravens team colors blanket. They loved it and told me how everyone at the hospital was asking them about their blanket. So when his first birthday rolled around I decided he needed a Ravens cardigan to wear to daycare.
It’s the little touches that make it special. The football buttons, the varsity R patch and the color combo. I could even change the color combination up each year as he grows with a new cardigan. So this is my FAVORITE pattern and favorite way to get creative for a baby gift. What other types of patterns do you like to use for gifts?