This is based on the Ribbed Baby Jacket http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/ribbed-baby-jacket from Prima July 2005. I made one of those in March 2010 using the pattern but was not really happy with the result (photo on my Ravelry page).
I’d become obsessed with garter stitch (2 rows =1 st, what could be nicer!!) after discovering Elizabeth Zimmermann and her BSJ in 2008! So I decided to unvent the pattern. The following is what I came up with. I have made three adapting the technique each time to avoid seams as much as possible and give a little shaping to the shoulders and collar. I have to say (modestly) that I really like the result (more photos on Ravelry http://www.ravelry.com/projects/fifalde).
The pattern was very tricky for me to write, I’m no expert knitter or designer. I use loads of diagrams and scribbled notes; I haven’t got the sort of mind to visualize a plan in my head; I NEED pictures! I have included my amazing final diagram at the end of the page; I hope it helps anyone brave enough to try the pattern which I really hope I’ve written clearly enough. If anyone tries it please let me know how you get on.
I used the method Elizabeth Zimmermann describes for the cast (bind) offs on the shoulders; it gives a much smoother finish and I used short rows to give shape to the neck part of the shoulders. I also used her method for One Row Buttonholes; Both methods are in her Knitters’ Almanac, and probably lots of web pages.
Final cast offs should be fairly loose. (Since I wrote this I have discovered Jeny’s Elastic Cast (bind) off (http://knitty.com/ISSUEfall09/FEATjssbo.php ) it would be perfect).
Ignore short rows when counting rows.
I used Double Knitting wool and 4mm Needles
Tension (gauge): 21sts x 42rows = 4inches
1. Provisionally cast on 108st.
Cast off 7st beginning of next 8 rows. (use EZ’s method) 52st
Put the sts on a holder, rt side facing, ready for knit row. B C on diag
2. Pick up and knit provisional cast on sts. (108sts)
Next Row: (short rows): K78, w&t, K40, w&t, K to end.
Divide for first front:
Next Row: K45, put next 18st for back of neck on a spare thread or holder, then 45st for second side on a second spare thread or holder (63st),turn.
3. First front:
Next Rows: Cast off 7st at cuff end of next 4 alt rows or use method described below to give better edge.17st
Put st on holder, rt side facing, ready for knit row.
4. Second front:
Pick up 45st from holder.
K 30 rows.
Next Rows: Cast off 7st at cuff end of next 4 alt rows use method described below to give better edge. 17st
5. Body Back and fronts):
With front edge on rt of needle pick up 1st st from each side of last cast off sts on sleeves, (A and B) then 52sts for back, again picking up 1st st from each side of last cast off sts on sleeves, (C and D) then second front, make sure to match stitches - next row will be a knit row.
Knit right across all st knitting the 2st from the sleeves together to ensure no holes at the seams. 86st
Continue until about 6.5in or desired length.
Cast (Bind) off.
6. Front Band/Collar (in contrast colour if desired):
Pick up and knit 1st for every other row ie 1st per ‘ridge’) up 1st front, the 18st from holder and down second front.
K 24 rows working buttonholes as required (about 3 st from bottom then 1.5in between).
NB. Rows 4, 6, 10: increase 1st each side of back of neck.
Row 23: inc 3 sts evenly around back of neck. This helps the collar to sit nicely.
7 & 8. Cuffs (in contrast colour if desired):
Pick up and knit 35 sts.
K 4 rows (or more if desired).
Join sleeve seams.
Sew on buttons.