Our Smarty Pants recognize the utter cuteness of well-clad baby legs. After all, pudgy little thighs and big ol’ diaper bottoms are half the fun of babies!

Smarty Pants | Purl Soho

Knit in the round from the top down, starting with a drawstring channel and finishing with either tapered pant legs or short little shorts, they’re a smart (and fun!) knit. And so then, what yarn to use? We couldn’t decide either, so we knit up the pants style in our Cygnet and the shorts in our Santolina, two great options with so much to love!

Smarty Pants | Purl Soho

Cygnet is our incredibly soft and gentle 70% undyed white cashmere and 30% natural-color baby alpaca blend. It comes in a handful of quiet neutrals, just how the alpaca grew them, and is the perfect choice for knitting an heirloom.

Smarty Pants | Purl Soho

Or Santolina… 70% organically grown cotton, 20% rayon from bamboo, and 10% hemp, it is also wonderfully soft and beautiful in the hand. In addition, it is machine wash- and dry-able and comes in 16 whisper-y colors, just right for smarty pant babies on the move!

Smarty Pants | Purl Soho

Designed for Purl Soho by Joelle Hoverson.

Materials

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Pants

  • 2 (2, 3, 3) skeins of Purl Soho’s Cygnet, 70% undyed white cashmere and 30% natural-color baby alpaca. Each skein is 164 yards/ 50 grams; approximately 200 (270, 370, 492) yards required. We used the color Silver Stone, shown above left.

OR

  • 1 (1, 2, 2) skein(s) of Purl Soho’s Santolina, 70% organically grown cotton, 20% bamboo, and 10% hemp. Each skein is 328 yards/ 100 grams; approximately 200 (270, 370, 492) yards required.

You will also need…

Shorts

  • 1 (2, 2, 2) skein(s) of Purl Soho’s Cygnet, 70% undyed white cashmere and 30% natural-color baby alpaca. Each skein is 164 yards/ 50 grams; approximately 155 (200, 255, 310) yards required.

OR

  • 1 (1, 1, 1) skein of Purl Soho’s Santolina, 70% organically grown cotton, 20% bamboo, and 10% hemp. Each skein is 328 yards/ 100 grams; approximately 155 (200, 255, 310) yards required. We used the color Heirloom White, shown above right.

You will also need…

  • US 2 (3 mm), 16-inch circular needles
  • A set of US 1 (2.5 mm) double pointed needles
  • Spare 16-inch circular needles, size US 2 or smaller
  • Stitch markers, including one unique
  • Scrap yarn for provisional cast on
  • A safety pin

Gauge

28 stitches and 37 rounds = 4 inches in stockinette stitch

Sizes

0-3 months (3-6 months, 6-12 months, 12-18 months)

  • Finished Waist Circumference: 14¾ (16½, 18¾, 20½) inches
  • Finished Total Length of Shorts: 7 (8, 9, 10) inches
  • Finished Total Length of Pants: 11½ (14½, 17½, 20½) inches
  • Finished Inseam of Pants: 5½ (7½, 9½, 11½) inches
  • Finished Ankle Circumference of Pants: 4 (4¼, 4¾, 5¼) inches, unstretched

Sample: We knit both the Pants and the Shorts in the 3-6 months size.

Notes

Construction

Both the Pants and Shorts are knit in the round from the top down. You’ll start at the Waist with the Drawstring Channel, then knit the Hips area, and then divide the stitches for the two Legs, binding off at center front and back for the crotch. For Pants, you’ll shape each Leg down to Cuff, and for Shorts, you’ll immediately work the Cuff.

Provisional Cast On

For assistance, including how to put live stitches back onto needles, please visit our Provisional Cast-On: A Two-Step Method Tutorial.

Pattern

Waist + Hips: Shorts + Pants

With scrap yarn and using a Provisional Cast-on (see Notes), cast 104 (116, 132, 144) stitches onto main circular needles.

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

Make Drawstring Channel

Rounds 1-5: Knit to end of round.

Round 6: Purl to end of round.

Rounds 7 and 8: Knit to end of round.

Round 9: K26 (29, 33, 36), yo, knit 2 together (k2tog), knit to end of round. 

Rounds 10 and 11: Knit to end of round.

Carefully remove scrap yarn from provisional cast on, slipping stitches onto spare circular needles as you go.

Fold piece at purl round, bringing cast-on edge up the of the inside of the work so purl sides are facing each other and knit side with eyelet is facing out. Spare needles are behind working needles.

Round 12: Using right working needle, *knit first stitch on left working needle together with first stitch on left spare needle, repeat from * to end of round.

Shape Back

Next Round: K78 (87, 99, 108), place marker for center Back, knit to end of round.

Knit 5 rounds.

Increase Round: Knit to 1 stitch before next marker, make 1 left (M1L) [link], k1, slip marker, k1, make 1 right (M1R) [link], knit to end of round. [2 stitches increased]

Working in stockinette stitch, repeat Increase Round every 6 (7, 6, 5) rounds 6 (7, 9, 13) more times. [118 (132, 152, 172) stitches]

Continue in stockinette until piece measures 6 (7, 8, 9) inches from top of I-cord Channel.

Divide Legs

Division Round: K23 (25, 28, 30) stitches, bind off 6 (8, 10, 12) stitches, knit to 3 (4, 5, 6) stitches before next marker, bind off 6 (8, 10, 12) stitches (removing marker).

Continue to Pants or Shorts instructions below.

Pants Only

Right Leg

Set-Up Round: With larger double pointed needles, slip remaining stitch from last bind off onto first double pointed needle, then k17 (18, 21, 24) onto same double pointed needle; k18 (19, 22, 24) onto second double pointed needle (removing original end-of-round marker); k16 (19, 21, 24), place marker for new end of round, k1 onto third double pointed needle. [53 (58, 66, 74) stitches on double pointed needles]

Leave remaining stitches on circular needles. You’ll come back to them for the Left Leg.

**Join Leg stitches for working in the round.

Knit 6 rounds.

Decrease Round: K2, slip slip knit (ssk), knit to last 2 stitches, k2tog. [2 stitches decreased]

Working in stockinette stitch, repeat Decrease Round every 7 (10, 12, 11) round 3 (4, 5, 7) more times. [45 (48, 54, 58) stitches remain]

Work in stockinette stitch until Leg measures 4 (6, 8, 10) inches from Division Round.

Switch to smaller double pointed needles.

Work Cuff
Size 0-3 Months Only

Decrease Round: K2tog, *p1, k1, repeat from * to last stitch, p1. [44 stitches remain]

All Sizes

Next Round: *K1, p1, repeat from * to end of round.

Repeat last round until Cuff measures 1½ inches.

Bind off loosely in rib.

Left Leg

Returning to stitches on circular needles, use larger double pointed needles to rejoin yarn to front of Left Leg and knit remaining stitches as follows: K18 (19, 22, 25) onto first double pointed needle; k18 (19, 22, 24) onto second double pointed needle; k16 (19, 21, 24), place marker for new end of round, k1 onto third double pointed needle. [53 (58, 66, 74) stitches on needles]

Work from ** of Right Leg to end of Cuff.

Go on to Finishing section, below.

Shorts Only

Right Leg

Set-Up Round: With double pointed needles, slip remaining stitch from last bind off onto first double pointed needle, then k17 (18, 21, 24) onto same double pointed needle; k18 (19, 22, 24) onto second double pointed needle (removing original end-of-round marker); k16 (19, 21, 24), place marker for new end of round, k1 onto third double pointed needle. [53 (58, 66, 74) stitches on double pointed needles]

Leave remaining stitches on circular needles. You’ll come back to them for the Left Leg.

Join Leg stitches for working in the round.

Work Cuff
Size 0-3 Months Only

Decrease Round: K2tog, *p1, k1, repeat from * to last stitch, p1. [52 stitches remain]

All Sizes

Next Round: *K1, p1, repeat from * to end of round.

Repeat last round until Cuff measures 1 inch.

Bind off loosely in rib.

Left Leg

Returning to stitches on circular needles, use double pointed needles to rejoin yarn to front of Left Leg, and knit remaining stitches as follows: K18 (19, 22, 24) onto first double pointed needle; k18 (19, 22, 24) onto second double pointed needle; k16 (19, 21, 24), place marker for new end of round, k1 onto third double pointed needle. [53 (58, 66, 74) stitches on needles]

Join Leg stitches for working in the round.

Work Cuff as for Right Leg.

Finishing: Pants + Shorts

Work I-Cord

Note: For help with this technique, please visit our I-Cord Tutorial.

With double pointed needles (larger size, if making Pants), cast on 3 stitches.

*Knit 3 stitches. Do not turn work. Slide the stitches to opposite end of needle. Bring yarn firmly behind stitches and repeat from * until I-cord measures 26 (28, 30, 32) inches.

Bind off stitches.

Pin a safety pin to end of I-Cord and pull it through Drawstring Channel.

Sew Crotch Seam

Seam together two sets of bound-off stitches. For help, please visit our Seaming Stockinette Stitch Horizontally Tutorial.

Weave In Ends + Block

Weave in ends and wet block gently as desired.

Smarty Pants | Purl Soho
Smarty Pants | Purl Soho
Smarty Pants | Purl Soho