Fancy Pants Pattern

This pattern is for solid color fancy pants.  Fancy pants can be used as soakers.  They work great as diaper back-up, especially as pajama pants at night over a cloth diaper with a cover or disposable diaper.  I think every baby should have a pair of knitted pants, so knit some for your favorite babies, but please don’t take credit for my pattern. 

This is the first pattern I’ve ever written.  I’m bad at math, so let me know if there are any mistakes!

Materials: soft worsted weight wool yarn–I like Cascade 220, Malabrigo and Paton’s Classic Wool Merino.  Size NB with ruffles uses 1 skein of Malabrigo with a few yards left over.

Gauge: 5 stitches/in worked in round

Approximate width around hips: NB 14.5″, S 17″, M 19″, L 21.5″, Toddler 24″

Directions are for NB with changes in parentheses.

CO 60 (70, 80, 90, 100) stitches, be careful not to twist and join in round.  For a nice looking edge, use this technique.   

K3P2, repeat 12 (14, 16, 18, 20)  for 7 rounds

Round 8:  *K3, yo, P2tog* repeat 12 (14, 16, 18, 20) times

Round 9-12: go back to K3P2 ribbing

Round 12: *K4, Kfb* repeat 12 (14, 16, 18, 20) times.  You should have 72 (84, 96, 108, 120) stitches.

Round 13: K 18 (21, 24, 27, 30) PM, K 36 (42, 48, 54, 60) PM, K 18 (21, 24, 27, 30)

Round 14: K to 1 stitch before marker, wrap stitch and turn, P back to 1 stitch before marker, wrap stitch and turn.  K around, knitting wraps as you come to them

Rounds 15, 16: K

Round 17: repeat Round 14 (if you are knitting these for a baby who doesn’t wear cloth diapers, then K this round)

Rounds 17, 18: K

Round 19: repeat Round 14

Rounds 20, 21: K

Round 22: either repeat Round 14 for extra room or K

Continue knitting every round until front + back = 15 (17, 19, 21, 23) inches.  If you are knitting these for a baby who does not wear cloth diapers, you may want to make the rise a little shorter.

Next round: K3 then slip those stitches onto a dpn, K30 (35, 40, 45, 50) then slip those stitches onto waste yarn, K 6 then slip those onto a different dpn, K 30 (35, 40, 45, 50) then slip those stitches onto waste yarn, K 3 then slip those stitches onto the other end of the first dpn

Graft the 2 sets of stitches on dpn together.

Legs: Transfer the stitches from the waste yarn evenly onto 3 or 4 (whatever you prefer) dpn. 

Pick up and knit 2 stitches (one from either side of the graft) and knit around, PM

For ruffle fancy pants:  K every round until inseam measures 8.5, (9.5, 10.5, 11.5, 12.5) inches.

Next round: Kfb every stitch

Next round: P every stitch

Next round: Kfb every stitch

Next round: bind off loosely purlwise 

For ribbed cuff fancy pants: K every round for 1 (1, 1.25, 1.5, 1.5) inches.

Next round: K2tog, K the rest of the stitches.

Continue in this pattern until you have 25 (30, 35, 40, 45) stitches. 

K every round until inseam measures 7.5 (8, 8.5, 9, 9.5) inches.

K3P2 5 (6, 7, 8, 9) times for 24 rounds, bind off loosely.  If you don’t want a cuff, only knit ribbing for 12 rounds.

For capris: K every round until inseam measures 1.5 (1.75, 2, 2.5, 3) inches.

Next round: K2tog, K to last 2 stitches, SSK

*K3, P2* 6 (7, 8, 9, 10) times for 6 rounds.

Next round: *K3, yo, P2tog* 6 (7, 8, 9, 10) times.  If you want capris without a tie, continue this round in K3P2 ribbing.

Go back to K3P2 ribbing for 6 more rounds.

Bind off loosely.  Thread a ribbon through the eyelets.


Finishing: make a drawstring by either braiding or crocheting a chain or knit an I-cord.  Make sure it is long enough to tie!  Thread through eyelets  in the waistband.


11 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Sharon  |  April 2, 2007 at 10:30 pm

    You know I am going to ask…. any good non-wool substitue for cascade 220?

  • 2. geckogrrl  |  April 2, 2007 at 10:47 pm

    Congrats on writing your first pattern! Looks like it’d be fun to work up for my niece (and maybe something to submit to Magknits???)

  • 3. myhobbyisyarn  |  April 5, 2007 at 11:30 pm

    If you make a pair, I’d love to see them!
    I think instead of wool, you could probably use a cotton blend–something with some spring to it. Otherwise, I think Caron Simply Soft would work well if you’re not too much of a yarn snob! I’m going to try a pair in Knitpicks Crayon (100% cotton) and see how saggy baggy they get.

  • 4. Nicole  |  June 5, 2007 at 9:09 pm

    If you are using these as soakers–in other words, if they are going to be functional and not just decorative–you do not want to use cotton. Have you ever been caught in a rainstorm in a cotton sweater? Cotton does not absorb moisture nor wick it away from the skin/diaper the way wool does. Also wool is naturally antibacterial, meaning it won’t need to be laundered after each wearing, unlike acrylic, which will need to be laundered after each wearing. Also, wool can be lanolized, making it even more effective for absorbing wetness.

    Paton’s Classic Wool is also a poor choice for soakers, IMO, as it pills extremely quickly and easily. If the baby is crawling, or even moving around at all, the soaker will pill within just a handful of wearings. This is the voice of experience talking!


  • 5. myhobbyisyarn  |  June 7, 2007 at 2:57 am

    Non-wool is great for people who don’t use cloth diapers and don’t want to deal with special wool treatment or people who are allergic. I have heard of people using acrylic soakers, but I don’t know how well they work. So far, the Paton’s hasn’t been too pilly. The Malabrigo gets super pilly, though. 🙂 I think they’re cute regardless of the yarn used!

  • 6. tbirdscraftyblog  |  June 10, 2007 at 10:27 pm

    non-wool soakers (all synthetic, obviously no cotton!) work just the way fleece wraps work, the yarn isn’t absorbant to won’t wick through from the nappy at all however, they need washing more often than lanolized wool would. Alpaca works fantastically well and doens’t need lanolin (and is so much nicer than synthetics!)

  • 7. penny  |  June 11, 2007 at 1:13 am

    Just Adorable !!!

  • 8. Jill  |  August 6, 2007 at 11:24 am

    This is absolutely adorable, wish more people were writing patterns when I cloth diapered my son! Good for you send to Knitty!


  • 9. Nic  |  December 15, 2007 at 9:51 am

    What size/length circular needles did you use?

  • […] pattern is Caffeinated Knitter’s fancy pants pattern. I’ve never knit longies in the round before, so this should be fun/interesting. I started it […]

  • 11. Jerry Mills  |  May 18, 2008 at 2:32 am

    Try a yarn called WICK it is soy and poly. It was made for socks because it wicks moisture from your feet. I’ll bet it will work for soakers. worsted weight. cute colors, varigated too as well as solids. It’s from knit one, crochet too. Available at Knit Witz Yarn Boutique in Stockton, CA. I am casting on a pair as we speak!!


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