A few weeks ago this pattern was being shared widely on Facebook following a request by Auckland NICU for baby singlets. While it is already a pretty simple construction there were comments suggesting some knitters would prefer the pattern in the round. So using the original pattern I have worked out a fairly simple conversion. Please let me know if you are using a screen reader and would like this pattern in text form. While it is being freely shared it is not my design so I haven’t converted it to HTML.

Image of knitting pattern for charity singlet

For my version I used a white 4 ply merino from deep stash. For premature babies and newborns pure, very soft 100% wool is important for helping them maintain even body heat. For lots of reasons acrylic is just not okay to use for this purpose – if you are worried about machine washing use superwash wool.

  • I started by casting on the 42 body stitches using a provisional crochet cast on – but any provisional cast on would do. I then did two rows to set the body rib, if I did it again I would do three starting with a purl row to make it easier when I picked up the provisional stitches. As you cast on leave a long enough tail for sewing the underarm of the sleeve. An alternative cast on would be to cast on over a spare cable you could attach your needle to when you get to the body join.
  • I then followed the pattern as written from the shape sleeves instruction until the end of the shape neck section. After I had cast off the sleeve stitches I worked two rows finishing with a purl row (or three if I had started with a purl row rather than a rib row)
  • I then picked up the stitches from my provisional cast on using the needle tip from the front right  as that was the direction of the provisional cast on and then transfering the stitches to bottom left tip ready to knit. The following pictures will give you a rough idea of how that went.
    Neck and sleeves completed ready to join.

    Neck and sleeves completed ready to join

    Provisional cast on stitches picked up and needle pulled through.

    Provisional cast on stitches picked up

    Knit to pattern (rib row in this case) across original live stitches (picked up stitches to the back)
    At the end of the row – pull needle through enough and turn to knit in pattern across the picked up stitches (at this stage you will not have joined in the round.)

    Yarn coming from back

    Turn and knit across all stitches. I haven’t pulled the yarn tightly enough at the join here.

    Joined for magic loop

I have used magic loop for my singlet – its very small so might need a 23cm short circular to be workable if that is your preference.

Continue in the pattern as written except rather than purling the wrong side row, as you are working in the round you will knit it. Note that on the rib row you will have 4 knit stitches together under the sleeve as both front and back pieces start and finish with knit 2. If you wanted to to you could k2tog at the edges as you join (last stitch of back with first stitch of front and last stitch of front with first stitch of back in the first two rows) but I dont think it’s necessary as its easy enough to keep track of when you are using magic loop.

You will still need to sew the short sleeve seams up which is not much more than a long end weave in. In theory this pattern could also be worked without adding in the additional stitches for the sleeves to make a sleeveless singlet.

This is where mine has got to – its going in my carry on to finish on my flight to New Zealand. This is not a particularly sophisticated modification – all I have done is the thinking for you. I have switched from Royales to Nova (nickel) to keep the stitches moving easily through the magic loop.

13 thoughts on “Charity prem singlet – from flat to in the round”

  1. Natalie I love the singlet as is. It is simple and looks great. I have also done beanies in the same stitch.
    Slowly I am building up a wee supply to send to Neo natal possibly here in Invercargill. I have passed the pattern on and others are doing likewise. At 70plus it is a simple way to keep fingers mobile.
    Many many thanks

  2. Hello Natalie

    As a charity project for our Lions club, we are doing premature baby knitting, and was wondering if I could copy off your Basic Premature Singlet pattern – which would need to be enlarged to read easily, also the instructions which helps any knitter, and photos of the instructions if possible.
    This is an ongoing project we are doing.
    When you are in your 70’s, you need to keep those fingers mobile, although I do have some younger ladies helping out.
    Look forward to your reply.
    Heather F.

    1. I am not the original author of this pattern – I just adapted it for knitting in the round but as it is freely shared in New Zealand for charity knitting I am sure there would be no problem with you using it.

  3. I am having trouble viewing this pattern. I can see the blog post but cannot download the pattern. (Page NOT Found! Oops that page can’t be found) is the message I get. Does any one know if I can get access to this pattern a other way?

    1. Hi Lucy – sorry I haven’t replied sooner. I moved the blog and all the images were broken and its taken a while to get that sorted as I have been travelling.

  4. Hi Im excited just to find a singlet pattern
    My Great Grand son was born 1600grams
    he will turn 1year in May so instead of presents Mum and Dad are asking for as many prem vests beanies mittens and booties as possible for our Neonatal intensive care units and wards

  5. This looks so lovely but I’m not very confident about knitting in the round yet. Do you have the link to the flat knit pattern by any chance? Thanks 🙂

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