View Full Version : Spongebob - the sleeveless pullover for an 8-year-old

09-06-2010, 05:43 AM
I talked about my plan to make a Spongebob pullover in the forum, so I want to let you take part in my attempt.

my basic models are these 2:


one side smiles, one side grumps :)

I want to make a sleeveless pullover that basically is the shape and appearance of Spongebob. It is for my godson who is 8 years-old now. He LOVES the idea.

so, there was my task. I did not find a propper sample of a NICE boys pullover without sleeves that served the purpose. It is supposed to be straight but not endlessly bulky and so on. So I just made my own pattern. We will see how it works.

My idea is to make a pullover that has 2 front sides (both sides being the same) and 2 different facial expressions on it, so it can be worn either side around. (everything the same, except the face itself).

Saturday I bought the yarn. I did not get to chose the yarn I was intending because it wasn't there in the color range I needed, so I went for 2 yarns by Lana Grossa that had the same meters (160m) per 50 g and look similar.

I needed yellow, off-yellow-to greenish, white, brown, black and red (for the tie and some pieces)

I swatched and came out with 20 stitches and 27 rows on 10 by 10 cm on a needle size 4.5mm.

I decided to make the pullover 42 cm wide (approx a size 134 in German sizes and thereby a little big just now to grow into) and 46 cm high. It will be a little longer at first but he can grow within it. If I make all that efford, I want it to fit longer than just a few month. Kids that age grow taller faster than wider and he always is a skinny one anyways. So there will be some time in that piece.

I will do arm holes with some cast off alonge the edge and will make a relatively wide neck opening. I came up with approx. figures for that shaping already by consulting other patterns and books but I will wing it, mostly as I get to it.

knitted features:

the pullover is knitted in stochinette stitch (mostly) and has intarsia as well as stranding patterns in it.

bottom edge:
now, since it is a pullover to grow into, I did not want a cuff on the bottom that sits more or less tight on the hips. I wanted a straight edge.

I used needles size 3.5mm and cast on my 85 stitches (42,5 cm with 20st to the 10cm) with a provisional cast on (crochet on with contrast yarn).

after 15 rows of st st I undid the cast on, then purled the 2 sides of my seam line together stitch by stitch.

therefore I now have a tubular seam on the bottom that makes the pullover hang nice and straight but non-curling and with some weight to keep it straight.


spongebob wears square pants, as we all know.
so the bottom edge is brown, then gets 4 rectangles near the end of the pants section in black (the belt behind the loops). I used stranding technique, twisting the yarns after each stitch so there are no floats.

For that I used both yarns on my left hand (continetal knitter as I am) over the index finger, but my contrast color (black) runs over that finger reversed therefore hangs in the front. I then knit "over and under" alternatingly... I used to be really good at this, years ago, but I am rusty and need to practice again. the knits are fine, but the purls with the MC get me hard... I will keep trying)

small sections in black:
..like the corners of the shirt on spongebob: I used 2 yarn ends, 90 cm each, one for each corner of the shirt's collar. I started the first 2 stitches in the middle of that string and used either end for the edges running up to the collar line. like this I needed no stranding of black behind white ( I want to have as little string traveling the back as possible and also think, black behind white might show..)
this I will have to use again for the mouth and maybe around the eyes.
But I do reserve some lines of the desgin to embroidery after the fact. Not everything gets knit.

special feature:
Spongebob wears a tie. I made the tie (seed stitch) in a small piece, then, from the top of the pants, worked it into the knitting itself. So the tie is "part of" the shirt, but over the pants now, flapping. I will need to crochet and embroider some black around it to make the look better. By now the shape is not yet quite right, but then it will be sweet. The "knot part" of the tie is in garter stitch to change structure.

Where I am at:

by last night I was starting the yellow if the "body" and now need to work out the "spots" next.

09-07-2010, 03:15 AM
Where I am at now:

Last night I made it through a big part of the body, knit in the mouth (the small features will be embroidered) and started on the eyes, realizing in horror first, that I will have to work with a minimum of 3 colors simultaneously (yellow for the body, white for the inside of the eye and baby blue for the iris - this does not even count the black pupil that I might embroider to save my knitting from going insane).

So I bravely plunged back into stuff I have not done in 15 years or maybe 5 and now even want to do it better (no floating for 2 or 3 stitches as I used to do, but instant twisting / catching every stitch.

I made it with all 3 yarns running over my left index finger but I think I have to make a video to conserve that brain spark for myself. Or IS there a video for continetal knitting with stranding without floats (and without dropping the yarn every time?) Oh, well, since it works... I'll keep doing it this way until I find a better one. This way is not bad.

Now I will need to pull that first section of the eyes back out, I'm afraid, because I got offset with my starting point (figures on such a place) and I want them to be centered.

I will show pics of my progress as soon as I get to whip out the camera :D Took some with my cell but can't transfer them to my PC at the office, I think. I would need to find a mini-USB cable.

I forgot to say: from that poster I took the bottom right for the front side of the pullover and the top right will be the back.

Jan in CA
09-07-2010, 11:05 AM
Ha! Can't wait to see it!

09-07-2010, 12:16 PM
right now and here I only have this REALLY bad cell phone pic, but it gets the point across, I guess:

http://i20.servimg.com/u/f20/13/80/47/60/th/bild0810.jpg (http://www.servimg.com/image_preview.php?i=115&u=13804760)

What do you think? Spongy enough?

The teeth will get black edges and "facial lines", the mouth is only in first shaping (knit in) and the eyes I will get working on soon.

Jan in CA
09-07-2010, 12:20 PM
Love it!! :roflhard:

09-07-2010, 12:24 PM
Looks awesome so far! I'm sure your grandson will LOVE IT! :woot:

09-07-2010, 12:26 PM
thanks, girls! I will keep you posted on my progress.
(my god son, not grand son, thank goodness since I am only 34!!! but a kid, none the less that I concider part of my family.)

09-07-2010, 04:25 PM

09-07-2010, 04:44 PM
(my god son, not grand son, thank goodness since I am only 34!!! but a kid, none the less that I concider part of my family.)

Whoops! Sorry ... that's what I get for reading to quickly! :rofl:

09-07-2010, 06:10 PM
I have made the front. It knits up so much quicker than I thought. The embroidery is still missing, of course. But the front is done.
So now tomorrow I can do some fast knitting of the bottom part again. Progress on all fronts.

I will post a pic or two tomorrow on how the Sponge came to life!

I am happy he seems so well loved here :D - it is fun knitting him, too.

09-08-2010, 03:17 AM
My grand daughter would love a SBSP sweater. The whole idea is very cute.

09-08-2010, 05:23 AM
I bet a lot of kids would!

I keep you posted on my progress! Then just go ahead and make one. It is astonishingly quick (I surprised myself when I was done with knitting the front side of the pullover from Sunday to Tuesday and only had the evenings anyways...)

I will not make a real pattern for this one (too much work) but I will freely tell how I made it. I am also hesitant about making a real pattern because Spongebob is a cartoon figure under copy right. I can make it and take my pics, but I do not want to offer the design as "mine", you know?

What size will your little girl need? Maybe you can even use my stitch count!

09-08-2010, 05:25 PM
Here are my pics of what I had last night.
today I started out the bottom part of the next part. And at SOME point I will actually take real pics :wink:

http://i20.servimg.com/u/f20/13/80/47/60/th/bild0011.jpg (http://www.servimg.com/image_preview.php?i=117&u=13804760)

the back side
http://i20.servimg.com/u/f20/13/80/47/60/th/bild0010.jpg (http://www.servimg.com/image_preview.php?i=116&u=13804760)

the eyes with my tripple string combination (and weaving almost all strings correctly).
http://i20.servimg.com/u/f20/13/80/47/60/th/bild0012.jpg (http://www.servimg.com/image_preview.php?i=118&u=13804760)

09-09-2010, 03:42 AM
WOW! Besides being a great knitter, you are becoming a great.designer as well! Very thoughtful, and methodical! Producing great results!

09-09-2010, 08:49 AM
now I blush for all that compliment. :aww:
I have a lot of fun, making the piece!

Jan in CA
09-09-2010, 12:35 PM
Oh your godson is going to love it!

09-10-2010, 09:37 AM
thanks, Jan!
I have gotten to the second side now (not done the rest of the embroidery yet on the first side). Pants and shirt as well as tie are done (the tie now looks better in all garter stitch instead of seed stitch but they can well be different, I actually prefer that to a "mirror image".

Now I will have to make the pattern for the second facial expression (I almost started knitting the yellow part already when remembering that I needed to sketch out how.) and then I am off to speed through that part.

Then next comes the sewing, the picking up of stitches around the neck and the armholes and knitting some ribbing on. just about 10 rounds for each, I guess. Then cast off in pattern and that is that. With the neck I will have to see if I need decrease in the ribbing or if it will lie flat just knit up in 2x2.

the embroidery I will do in between here and there, I guess.
I keep you posted on my progress.

Oh, by the way: I have started my own blog just this week. I though especially my designs and own products will need a place to thrive and not drown in threats here. I am also planning on taking a few videos about 2-color knitting and weaving because I get asked how I do it and then could show it. I will try to keep my blog relatively active but not a diary. Maybe someone wants to come by?

The Frog Prince and The Spongebob have already made their way over there for greetings.

09-10-2010, 11:31 AM
Looks like you've made great progress so far ... you've done a great job designing the pattern yourself! I can't wait to see pictures of the final project!

And thanks for sharing the link to your blog as well! :thumbsup:

09-11-2010, 08:08 AM
That's going to be one happy little boy.
Can't wait to see it on him.

09-12-2010, 06:03 PM
Hi everybody!
Thanks, Lana. I really seem to be hitting the topic well, since you all like it so much.

here is my progress as of tonight....


Now I need to make the black embroidery on the eyes of the second side.

Then I sew up and do little cuffs of ribbing around the sleeve edges and collar line.

And then I am done.

I just don't want to think of all those strings to weave in and tie... well, they need to be done, so I will do it.

It is Sunday night and I started Saturday last week (while only doing very little that day and nothing on that sunday, really). So I would say it was a quick knit. I can only recommend it.

09-12-2010, 06:17 PM
Nice work. It really captures the essence of SBSP!

09-12-2010, 07:45 PM
Nice! I love the expression you chose for the second side ... the finished product is going to be awesome! :thumbsup:

09-20-2010, 01:18 PM
I agree! Patrick will mistake your godson for his best friend! :wink: It truly is absolutely wonderful and dead on look alike for ole Sponge!

11-13-2010, 11:22 AM
That is by far one of the cutest things I have ever seen!!
Keep it up!

11-17-2010, 11:54 PM
It looks like SBSP all right. :) How did the little boy you made it for like it?

11-26-2010, 09:24 AM
*blush* I still need to do the finishing. And I postponed the gift for x-mas. His sister will - hopefully - recieve a hello-kitty pullover by then and I have not seen him anyway. So x-mas it is.
I will post pics of the finished vest here when done.

01-04-2011, 04:00 PM
Looks awesome! Now I want one to match my SpongeBob sleep pants lol

01-05-2011, 05:28 AM
well, check my blog for the history of the project and jump right in. It really is not that hard.

02-01-2011, 11:44 PM
I have made the front. It knits up so much quicker than I thought. The embroidery is still missing, of course. But the front is done.
So now tomorrow I can do some fast knitting of the bottom part again. Progress on all fronts.

I will post a pic or two tomorrow on how the Sponge came to life!

I am happy he seems so well loved here :D - it is fun knitting him, too.

Can't wait to see the finished project. I love the pic you posted so far. IT looks fabulous!