I’ve been a bit steek-crazed this season, first with our Learn-to-Love-Steeks Blanket and now with this Tiny Stripes Cardigan + Vest. Steeks may get the adrenaline pumping, but they’re not actually as hard or scary as you may think! One motto that has served me well in my knitting endeavors and that applies here: Test small.

Tiny Stripes Cardigan + Vest | Purl Soho

This way of knit life has landed me with a swatch-bin full of baby hats and sweaters. Most have been developed into larger scales, but this simple boxy construction and delicate striping beg for a tiny wearer.

Tiny Stripes Cardigan + Vest | Purl Soho

All four sizes of our Tiny Stripes Cardigan + Vest require just two skeins of yarn: one skein of our Line Weight merino and one skein of our Linen Quill, a merino-alpaca-linen blend. We’ve put together a few of our favorite combinations in our Tiny Stripes Bundles, but with 21 colors of Line Weight and 14 colors of Linen Quill, feel free to make your own color story. And one last motto to get on the right path: Measure twice, cut once! -Laura

Tiny Stripes Cardigan + Vest | Purl Soho

P.S. In love with the stripes, but not up for steeks? Check out our Tiny Stripes Hat, available in all sizes and no cutting required!

Materials

Top Row: Oatmeal Gray, Lavender Opal, Rose Granite
Bottom Row: Turmeric Yellow, Salt + Pepper, Kettle Black

Gauge

28 stitches and 40 rounds = 4 inches in stockinette stripe pattern on larger needles

NOTE: Take special care to also get the correct round gauge (40 rounds = 4 inches) so that your sweater will end up well proportioned!

Sizes

3-6 (9-12, 12-18, 18-24) months

  • Finished chest circumference: 18 ¾ (19 ¾, 21, 22 ¼) inches
  • Finished length from shoulder to bottom edge: 10 ¾ (11 ¾, 12 ½, 13 ¼) inches
  • Finished length of armhole: approximately 3 ½ (3 ¾, 4, 4 ¼) inches
  • Finished length from cuff to underarm (Long-Sleeve version): 6 (6 ½, 7, 7 ½) inches

Tiny Stripes Cardigan + Vest | Purl Soho

SAMPLES: Both the Long-Sleeve and Vest versions pictured here are size 3-6 months.

Notes

CONSTRUCTION: You knit this in the round, then cut up the front to create a cardigan.

VIDEO TUTORIAL: For a video tutorial on the entire steeking process, please visit our Steek with Knit Facing Tutorial.

STRIPES: For tips on carrying the yarn when working stripes in the round, check out our Stripes in the Round Tutorial.

Wrp-t (wrap and turn)

  • On the right side: Keeping the yarn in back, slip the next stitch purlwise from the left needle to the right needle. Bring the yarn to the front. Return the slipped stitch to the left needle. Bring the yarn to the back. Turn the work so the wrong side is facing you.
  • On the wrong side: Keeping the yarn in front, slip the next stitch purlwise from the left needle to the right needle. Bring the yarn to the back. Return the slipped stitch to the left needle. Bring the yarn to the front. Turn the work so the right side is facing you.

Pattern

Body

Begin at Bottom Edge

With Yarn A, cast 136 (144, 152, 160) stitches onto the larger circular needles.

Place unique marker for end of round and join for working in the round, being careful to not twist the stitches.

Set-up Round: With Yarn A, k62 (66, 70, 74), place marker (pm), [p1, k10, p1] for front steek, knit to end of round.

Round 1: With Yarn A, knit to marker, slip marker (sm), p1, k10, p1, knit to end of round.

Round 2: With Yarn B, knit to marker, sm, p1, k10, p1, knit to end of round.

Repeat Rounds 1 and 2 until piece measures 6 ½ (7 ¼, 7 ¾, 8 ¼) inches from cast-on edge, ending with Round 2.

Shape for Armhole Steeks + Continue

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Round 1: With Yarn A, k32 (34, 36, 38), pm, [p1, cast on 10 stitches using the backward loop method, p1] for left armhole steek, knit to next marker, sm, p1, k10, p1, k28 (30, 32, 34), pm, [p1, cast on 10 stitches, p1] for right armhole steek, knit to end of round. [156 (164, 172, 180) stitches]

Round 2: With Yarn B, [knit to next marker, sm, p1, k10, p1] 3 times, knit to end of round.

Round 3: With Yarn A, [knit to next marker, sm, p1, k10, p1] 3 times, knit to end of round.

Repeat Rounds 2 and 3 seventeen (18, 19, 20) times, ending with Round 2.

Cut Yarn B.

Next Round: With Yarn A, knit to next marker, sm, p1, bind off the next 10 stitches in pattern, knit to next marker, sm, p1, k10, p1, knit to next marker, sm, p1, bind off the next 10 stitches in pattern, knit to end of round. [136 (144, 152, 160) stitches]

Shoulders

Prepare to Shape Shoulders

Continuing in Yarn A only…

Round 1: Knit to next marker, sm, p1, pick up 3 stitches (one stitch in each of the first 3 bound-off stitches), skip next 4 bound-off stitches, pick up 3 stitches (one stitch in each of the last 3 bound-off stitches), p1, knit to next marker, sm, p1, k10, p1, knit to next marker, sm, p1, pick up 3 stitches (one stitch in each of the first 3 bound-off stitches), skip next 4 bound-off stitches, pick up 3 stitches (one stitch in each of the last 3 bound-off stitches), p1, knit to end of round. [148 (156, 164, 172) stitches]

Round 2: Knit to next marker, remove marker, p1, k1, k2tog, replace marker, ssk, k1, p1, knit to next marker, sm, p1, k10, p1, knit to next marker, remove marker, p1, k1, k2tog, replace marker, ssk, k1, p1, knit to end of round. [144 (152, 160, 168) stitches remain]

Shape Front Shouldes

NOTE: For this portion of the pattern, you will be working back and forth in short rows, turning the work partway through each row rather than continuing to the end of the row. For extra help, see both the Notes section and our Short Rows Tutorial.

Short Row 1 (right side): Knit to 3 stitches before next marker, p1, k2, sm, k2, p1, knit to next marker, sm, p1, k10, p1, knit to 7 stitches before next marker, wrp-t.

Short Row 2 (wrong side): Purl to 12 stitches before next marker, k1, p10, k1, sm, purl to 7 stitches before next marker, wrp-t.

Short Row 3: Knit to next marker, sm, p1, k10, p1, knit to 14 stitches before next marker, wrp-t.

Short Row 4: Purl to 12 stitches before next marker, k1, p10, k1, sm, purl to 14 stitches before next marker, wrp-t.

Short Row 5: Knit to next marker, sm, p1, k10, p1, knit to 21 stitches before next marker, wrp-t.

Short Row 6: Purl to 12 stitches before next marker, k1, p10, k1, sm, purl to 21 stitches before next marker, wrp-t.

Short Row 7: Knit to next marker, sm, p1, k10, p1, knit to 3 stitches before next marker working wrapped stitches with their wraps as you come to them, p1, k2, sm, k2, p1, knit to end of round.

Shape Back Shoulders

NOTE: You will continue working in Short Rows for this portion of the pattern. While shaping the Back Shoulders, you will be working between the Left Shoulder marker and Right Shoulder marker, slipping the end-of-round marker at center back as you come to it.

Short Row 1 (right side): Knit to 7 stitches before next marker, wrp-t.

Short Row 2 (wrong side): Purl to end-of-round marker, sm, purl to 7 stitches before next marker, wrp-t.

Short Row 3: Knit to end-of-round marker, sm, knit to 14 stitches before next marker, wrp-t.

Short Row 4: Purl to end-of-round marker, sm, purl to 14 stitches before next marker, wrp-t.

Short Row 5: Knit to end-of-round marker, sm, knit to 21 stitches before next marker, wrp-t.

Short Row 6: Purl to end-of-round marker, sm, purl to 21 stitches before next marker, wrp-t.

Short Row 7: Knit to end of round.

Finish Shoulders

Round 1: Working the wrapped stitches with their wraps as you come to them, bind off 14 (16, 17, 18) stitches for left side of Back Neckline; knit to 1 stitch before next marker, slip 1 purlwise, place previous 21 (21, 22, 23) Back Left Shoulder stitches onto one of the larger double pointed needles; remove marker, slip 1 purlwise, k20 (20, 21, 22), place previous 21 (21, 22, 23) Front Left Shoulder stitches onto a second double pointed needle; bind off 32 (36, 38, 40) stitches for Front Neckline, removing marker as you come to it; knit to 1 stitch before next marker, slip 1 purlwise, place previous 21 (21, 22, 23) Front Right Shoulder stitches onto a third double pointed needle; slip 1 purlwise, k20 (20, 21, 22), slip previous 21 (21, 22, 23) Back Right Shoulder stitches onto a fourth double pointed needle; bind off remaining 14 (16, 17, 18) stitches for right side of Back Neckline. [84 (84, 88, 92) stitches: 21 (21, 22, 23) stitches for each of Back Left, Front Left, Front Right, and Back Right Shoulders]

Tiny Stripes Cardigan + Vest | Purl Soho

You are now prepared to bind off or graft the Front and Back Shoulder stitches to one another. Turn your work inside out and use a 3-Needle Bind Off to bind the shoulders together, or leave your work right-side-out and use the Kitchener Stitch to graft the shoulders together.

Front Steek

Turn the piece inside out. You will see two pronounced columns of knit stitches at the center Front.

Prepare First Facing

With one of the smaller circular needles and Yarn A, start at the bottom edge and work towards the Neckline, picking up under both legs of each stitch of the knit-stitch column on the right.

Working these picked up stitches…

Row 1: Knit.

Row 2: Purl.

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 one more time.

Cut yarn and leave the stitches on the needles.

Prepare Second Facing

Tiny Stripes Cardigan + Vest | Purl Soho

With the second smaller circular needles and Yarn A, start at the neckline and work towards the bottom edge, picking up under both legs of each stitch of the knit-stitch column now on the right.

Working these picked up stitches…

Row 1: Knit.

Row 2: Purl.

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 one more time.

Cut yarn and leave the stitches on the needles.

Tiny Stripes Cardigan + Vest | Purl Soho

Cut Front

Turn the piece right side out.

Tiny Stripes Cardigan + Vest | Purl Soho

Note: If the yarn you used is very slippery, or if you are worried that the stitches will unravel after you cut them, secure each side of the steek with thread before cutting. Sew one or two lines of stitches down each side of the center of the steek (on stitches 5 and 6 of 10), either by hand with a needle and thread or with a sewing machine. This step was not necessary for the sample because the yarn is sticky enough that it would not unravel easily in the time it takes to secure the facings.

Between the two purl columns there is a column of 10 knit stitches. Beginning at the bottom edge and working towards the neckline, carefully cut up the exact middle of these 10 knit stitches for the entire length of the Front. As you cut the fabric, the two new edges are going to curl under. That’s okay, let them.

There are now 5 knit stitches at each newly-cut front edge.

Fold + Secure First Front Edge

Orient the piece so the bottom edge is closer to you.

Identify the column of stitches in the middle of the left front edge, the third stitch of the five. In the following section you will work along this center column, picking up into each row and knitting the picked-up stitch together with a stitch from the corresponding Facing, working from the bottom edge towards the neckline and binding off as you go. Here’s how…

Beginning at the bottom edge, insert one of the smaller double pointed needles under both legs of the first stitch in the center column, then insert the double pointed needle into the first stitch on the circular needles, join Yarn A and knit these two together…

…*insert the double pointed needle under both legs of the next stitch in the center column and the next stitch on the circular needles, k2tog, pass second stitch on double pointed needle over stitch just worked to bind off 1 stitch, repeat from * to end of column/last stitch on circular needles.

Tiny Stripes Cardigan + Vest | Purl Soho

You now have a precise fold with the raw edge sandwiched and secured between the facing and the striped fabric.

Fold + Secure Second Front Edge

Orient the piece so the neckline is closer to you.

Once again, identify the center (third) column of stitches between the purl column and now-left-hand edge. You will work along this center column similarly to how you did in the previous section, but remember, you’re now looking at the fabric upside down, so you’ll insert the spare needle under both legs of an upside-down V rather than a right-side-up V.

Tiny Stripes Cardigan + Vest | Purl Soho

Beginning at the neck edge, insert one of the smaller double pointed needles under both legs of the first stitch in the center column, then insert the double pointed needle into the first stitch on the circular needles, join Yarn A and knit these two together, *insert the double pointed needle under both legs of the next stitch in the center column and the next stitch on the circular needles, k2tog, pass second stitch on double pointed needle over stitch just worked to bind off 1 stitch, repeat from * to end of column/last stitch on circular needles.

Sleeves

NOTE: Work the following for each Armhole.

Prepare Armhole Facing

Tiny Stripes Cardigan + Vest | Purl Soho

Open the cardigan, revealing the inside of one of the armholes. You will see two pronounced columns of knit stitches.

With one of the smaller double pointed needles and Yarn A, starting at the bottom of the right-hand column and working towards the shoulder, pick up through both legs of each knit stitch in the knit-stitch column, ending with the last Yarn B stitch. [36 (38, 40, 42) stitches on this needle]

With a second smaller double pointed needle, pick up a stitch into each of the 3 remaining Yarn A knit stitches in the right-hand column. Rotate the piece and working down the left-hand column, pick up a stitch into each of the first 3 Yarn A knit stitches. [6 stitches on this needle]

With a third smaller double pointed needle, pick up through both legs of each knit stitch in the remaining knit-stitch column. [78 (82, 86, 90) stitches total: 36 (38, 40, 42) stitches on first needle, 6 (6, 6, 6) stitches on second needle, 36 (38, 40, 42) stitches on third needle]

Do not join. Work 4 rows in stockinette stitch as follows:

Row 1: Knit.

Row 2: Purl.

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 one more time.

Cut yarn.

From the 6 stitches on the second double pointed needle, transfer the 3 stitches that are adjacent to the right needle onto the right needle and the 3 stitches that are adjacent to the left needle onto the left needle. [39 (41, 43, 45) stitches on each needle]

Transfer the stitches from one of the double pointed needles to one of the smaller 16-inch circular needles. This frees up a double pointed needle and makes it easier to turn the piece right side out.

Turn the piece right side out. (You may see the tips of the two needles peeking through the shoulder.)

Cut

NOTE: You may secure each side of the armhole steek with thread before cutting, same as for center front steek.

Once again it’s time to cut your fabric. Between the two purl columns there is a column of 10 knit stitches.

Beginning at the underarm edge and working towards the shoulder, carefully cut up the exact middle of these 10 knit stitches for the entire length of the fabric.

There are now 5 knit stitches at each newly-cut armhole edge.

Fold + Secure Armhole Edge

In this section, you will fold and secure the cut edges similarly to how you did for the Front Edges. You will begin at the underarm edge, work up the left-hand side (as you look at the garment) of the armhole, across the top of the shoulder, and down the right-hand side of the armhole. Here’s how…

NOTE: If you are making the Vest version, as you work the following instructions, bind off as you go, just as you did for the Front Edges. Then move on to the Finish section.

Beginning at the bottom of the left-side of the armhole (as you look at the garment) and working towards the shoulder, join Yarn A and *insert a smaller double pointed needle under both legs of next stitch in the center column (third stitch over from the purl column), insert the double pointed needle into the next stitch on the needle holding the facing stitches, knit these two together, repeat from * until 3 stitches remain on the needle holding the facing stitches.

With a second smaller double pointed needle, continue in the same fashion across the last three stitches on the current needle and the first three stitches on the next needle.

With a third smaller double pointed needle, continue in the same fashion down the other side of the armhole. [78 (82, 86, 90) stitches]

Work Sleeve, Long-Sleeve Version Only

Join + Begin

Place marker and join for working in the round.

With larger double pointed needles and Yarn A…

Decrease Round: [K0 (0, 2, 2), k2tog] 2 (1, 1, 3) time(s), [k1, k2tog] 24 (26, 26, 22) times, [k0 (0, 2, 2), k2tog] 1 (1, 1, 3) time(s). [51 (54, 58, 62) stitches remain]

Stripe Pattern

Round 1: With Yarn B, knit.

Round 2: With Yarn A, knit.

Continue

Repeat Stripe Pattern until piece measures approximately 1½ inches from joining round, ending with Round 1.

Decrease Round: With Yarn A, k1, k2tog, knit to last 2 stitches, ssk. [2 stitches decreased]

Work 5 rounds in Stripe Pattern.

Repeat the last 6 rounds 6 (6, 7, 9) more times, then repeat the Decrease Round once more. [35 (38, 40, 40) stitches remain]

Continue evenly in Stripe Pattern until sleeve measures 6 (6 ½, 7, 7 ½) inches from joining round, ending with a Round 1.

Cut Yarn B. With Yarn A, bind off knitwise.

Finish

Neckline

With Yarn A  and two larger double pointed needles, and with right side facing you, beginning next to the finished Right Front edge, pick up 1 stitch in next stitch of neck edge, *pick up 1 stitch in next stitch of neck edge, pass second stitch on right needle over the stitch just picked up to bind off 1 stitch, repeat from * along neck edge of Right Front, Back, and Left Front, ending next to the finished Left Front edge. Cut yarn and pull through remaining stitch.

Bottom Edge

With Yarn A and two larger double pointed needles and with the right side facing you, beginning next to the finished Left Front edge, pick up 1 stitch in next stitch of bottom edge, *pick up 1 stitch in next stitch of bottom edge, pass second stitch on right needle over the stitch just picked up to bind off 1 stitch, repeat from * along bottom edge of Left Front, Back, and Right Front, ending next to the finished Right Front edge. Cut yarn and pull through remaining stitch.

Underarms

For both the Long-Sleeve and Vest versions: At each armhole, use Yarn A threaded onto a tapestry needle to sew the bottom left and bottom right edges together to close the hole at each underarm.

Weave + Block

Weave in the ends and block as desired.

Tiny Stripes Cardigan + Vest | Purl Soho