How to Knit Baby Green Jeans

Create these Captain Kangaroo-inspired infant overalls using circular knitting techniques.

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by Geneve Hoffman

One-Skein Wonders for Babies(Storey Publishing, 2015) edited by Judith Durant includes full instructions for 101 knitting projects for infants and toddlers. This is the seventh book in the One-Skein Wonders series, and has ideas for everything from tops and bootees to blankets and toys. You’ll find tips for success along with beautiful photographs, providing inspiration throughout the entire book.

How to Knit Baby Green Jeans

Captain Kangaroo was a favorite TV show for many baby-boomer babies, and at least one of them wished she could have overalls like Mr. Green Jeans. The legs are knit circularly from the bottom and then joined together above the crotch for circular knitting from the hips to the waist.

What You’ll Need:

Size and Finished Measurements: To fit 3-6 months: 19″/48.5 cm waist, 13″/33 cm from waist to ankle

Yarn: Imperial Yarn Tracie Too, 100% wool, 395 yds (361 m)/4 oz (113 g), Color 331 Honeydew 2

Needles: Set of five US 3 (3.25 mm) double-point needles and one US 3 (3.25 mm) circular needle 16″/40 cm long or size needed to obtain correct gauge

Gauge: 24 stitches and 37 rounds = 4″/10 cm in stockinette stitch

Other Supplies: Stitch marker, scrap yarn for stitch holder, two 1/2″/13 mm buttons, sewing needle and coordinating thread, 20″/51 cm of 3/4″/19 mm elastic, yarn needle

Pattern Essentials

Moss Stitch (in the round; multiple of 4 stitches):

• Rounds 1 and 2: *K2, p2; repeat from * to end of round.
• Rounds 3 and 4: *P2, k2; repeat from * to end of round.
• Repeat Rounds 1 through 4 for pattern.

Moss Stitch (back and forth; multiple of 4 + 2 stitches):

• Row 1 (WS): *K2, p2; repeat from * to last 2 stitches, k2.
• Rows 2 and 3: *P2, k2; repeat from * to last 2 stitches, p2.
• Row 4: Repeat Row 1.
• Repeat Rows 1 through 4 for pattern.

Knitting the Legs

• With double-point needles, cast on 60 stitches. Join into a round, being careful not to twist the stitches. Work 12 rounds of Moss Stitch.

• Next Round: Knit 30, pm, knit to last 2 stitches, kfb, k1. You now have 61 stitches and the round begins at the inside leg.

• Round 1: K1, M1L, knit to marker, sm, slip 1, knit to last stitch, M1R, k1. You now have 63 stitches.

• Round 2: Knit.

• Continue in stockinette stitch, slipping the marked stitch on every other round and at the same time increasing at the beginning and end of every 4th round 5 more times, then at the beginning and end of every 6th round 2 times. You now have 77 stitches. Work even until piece measures 71/2″/19 cm.

Shaping the Crotch

• Work 2 rounds as established, continuing the slip stitches on every other round at the outer leg “seam,” and ending last round 4 stitches before end of round. Bind off next 8 stitches. You now have 69 stitches. Work back and forth as follows.

• Row 1 (RS): K1, ssk, knit to last 3 stitches, k2tog, k1. You now have 67 stitches.

• Row 2: Purl.

• Rows 3-8: Repeat Rows 1 and 2 three times. You now have 61 stitches. Cut yarn leaving a tail long enough to sew the crotch seam and place stitches on hold. Knit a second leg to this point but do not cut yarn.

Joining the Legs

• Place stitches of both legs side-by-side onto a circular needle.

• With attached yarn and RS facing, continue as established to last stitch of first leg, pm for center front, knit the last stitch together with the first stitch of second leg; work to last stitch of second leg, pm for center back, knit last stitch of second leg together with first stitch of first leg. You now have 120 stitches.

Knitting the Hips

• Work in rounds of stockinette stitch for 1″/2.5 cm, continuing to slip stitches at the outside legs and also at the center back and center front of every other round. Piece should measure approximately 93/4″/25 cm.

• Increase Round: (K6, M1R) 4 times, work in established pattern to last 24 stitches, (M1L, k6) 4 times. You now have 128 stitches.

• Work even in pattern as established until piece measures 13″/33 cm.

Knitting the Waistband

• Discontinue slip stitches; purl 1 round for turning ridge.

• Work even in stockinette stitch for 1″/2.5 cm, ending last round 4 stitches before end of round. Bind off next 8 stitches. Cut the yarn, leaving a 30″/76 cm tail, and pull the tail through the last bound-off stitch.

• Fold waistband to wrong side at turning ridge. Thread tail onto yarn needle and sew live stitches to the inside, making sure you join to the same round throughout, and join one live stitch to each stitch in the round. You now have a casing with an opening to insert elastic. Do not weave in end; leave the remainder of tail for finishing.

Knitting the Bib

• With circular needle, RS facing and beginning in the stitch after the left side “seam” stitch, pick up and knit 58 stitches to 1 stitch before right side “seam” stitch, skipping the center front stitch. Work back and forth as follows.

• Row 1 (WS): Work Moss Stitch over 6 stitches, p46, Moss Stitch over 6 stitches.

• Row 2: Moss Stitch 6, k46, Moss Stitch 6.

• Row 3: Moss Stitch 6, purl to last 6 stitches, Moss Stitch 6.

• Row 4: Moss Stitch 6, ssk, knit to last 8 stitches, k2tog, Moss Stitch 6.

• Repeat Rows 3 and 4 thirteen more times. You now have 30 stitches.

• Work in Moss Stitch for 10 rows. Bind off in pattern.

Knitting the Straps

• With circular or double-point needles and RS of center back facing, skip 13 stitches to left of right side “seam” stitch, then pick up and knit 10 stitches.

• Work in Moss Stitch for 5″/12.5 cm or to desired length. Place stitches on hold.

• Repeat for second strap, beginning in the 11th stitch to the left of the center back stitch.

Joining the Straps

• Place stitches for both straps side-by-side on a needle.

• Continue in Moss Stitch as established for 8 stitches; place next 2 stitches on a spare double-point needle and hold in back of and parallel to the following 2 stitches; work the next 2 pairs of stitches together in pattern to join straps, work in Moss Stitch to end of row. You now have 18 stitches.

• Work even in Moss Stitch until piece measures approximately 1″/2.5 cm from the join.

Continuing the Straps

• Next Row: Moss Stitch 8; place these stitches on hold, bind off 2, Moss Stitch 8.

• Continue in pattern as established until strap measures 5″/12.5 cm from separation.

• Next Row: Pattern 3, yo, k2tog, pattern 3 (buttonhole made).

• Work in pattern as established for 4 more rows, decreasing 1 stitch at the beginning and end of every RS row. You now have 4 stitches. Bind off in pattern.

• Place held strap stitches back onto needle and repeat for second strap.

baby wearing knitted green overalls

Knitting the Pockets (make 2)

• Cast on 22 stitches, leaving a long tail for sewing. Work Moss Stitch for 8 rows.

• Next Row (RS): Moss Stitch 4, k14, Moss Stitch 4.

• Next Row: Moss Stitch 4, p14, Moss Stitch 4.

• Repeat these 2 rows two more times, then decrease as follows.

• Row 1 (RS): Moss Stitch 4, ssk, knit to last 6 stitches, k2tog, Moss Stitch 4.

• Row 2: Moss Stitch 4, purl to last 4 stitches, Moss Stitch 4.

• Repeat Rows 1 and 2 five more times. You now have 10 stitches.

• Work 4 rows in Moss Stitch. Bind off in pattern.

pattern showing measurements for baby overalls


• Thread yarn tail from first leg onto yarn needle and sew the crotch seam together.

• Thread elastic through waistband, overlap the edges by 1/2″/13 mm, and stitch the ends together.

• Thread waistband yarn tail onto yarn needle and sew the bound-off stitches to the bottom of the waistband.

• Use yarn tails to sew pockets in place using the photograph as a guide.

• Use sewing needle and thread to sew buttons to top of bib. Weave in all ends. Block.

book cover with babies wearing knitted clothes

Excerpted from One-Skein Wonders for Babies (c) Judith Durant. Photographs by (c) Geneve Hoffman Photography. Illustration by Ilona Sherratt. Used with permission of Storey Publishing.

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