*Update* If you like these baby pants, you will be happy to know that we have created a new version of the pattern with more sizes, directions for an optional picot edging, a schematic, and handy tips. This new version is available here in the Bella store, where you can purchase the pattern alone, or as a complete project. We have two great yarn options for the project: Cascade Pima Tencel, a super-soft cotton with a slight sheen, or Karabella Aurora 8, a plump and squooshy washable wool available in a plethora of beautiful shades.
You will need approximately 200 yards of any soft yarn you like which makes a nice squooshy fabric when knit at 5 stitches to the inch. (I used yarns labeled as "aran" weight and knit them a little tighter than the gauge on the label, which was around 4.5 st/1" for each of the yarns I used.) I've put in lots of links to helpful tutorials in case you haven't come across some of these techniques before, or if you might just need a refresher.
Size: approximately 16" circumference at waist, 10" long
Gauge: 5 st/1" on size 5 needles or size needed to get gauge
Needles: set of 5 DPNs in size needed to get gauge
These pants are worked in the round, with a folded hem at the top for a drawstring closure and shaping across the backside to make room for the diaper. The cuffs of the pants are also worked with a folded hem, to match the top of the pants. The pocket is worked separately, then sewn on later.
CO 80 st using waste yarn and provisional crochet cast on (our tutorial is here), change to main yarn. Join to work in the round. Round begins at side of waist.
Knit 6 rounds
Purl 1 round (turning round)
Knit 2 rounds
Knit 17, yo, ssk, k2, k2tog, yo, knit to end of round. (This forms the eyelets you will later pull the drawstring through.)
Knit 2 rounds
“Unzip” provisional cast on, holding live stitches on a smaller circular needle or flexible holders, then fold over the hem at the purl ridge and join the sides of the hem together in the next round by knitting together one stitch from each needle until all stitches have been worked (because of the nature of the knit stitch, there may be only 79 live stitches from the provisional cast-on side – this is fine, if this is the case simply knit the last stitch plain.) The eyelets will be at the center of the front of the pants.
Continue in stockinette stitch (knit every round) for 5 rounds, then work increase round as follows:
Knit across 40 stitches (front of pants), k1, M1, k to 1 stitch from end of round, M1, k1. Repeat this increase round every 6th round 3 more times for a total of four increase rounds (88 stitches.) Continue in st st until work measures 5" from turning round (purl round) of hem, then work decrease round as follows: Knit across 40 stitches (front of pants), ssk, k to 2 st from end of round, k2tog. Repeat this decrease round every round a further 3 times for a total of four decrease rounds (80 st). Knit 20 stitches, place next 40 stitches on a holder. You are now ready to begin working the first pant leg.
40 of your stitches are on a holder. The other 40 live stitches will be used to work the first (right) leg. Using the working yarn, which should be at the center front of your work (remember, the eyelets are at the center front) CO 4 stitches using the backwards loop method, and join to work the 44 live stitches in the round (the 4 stitches you have just cast on will form the crotch seam). Continue in stockinette stitch in the round (knit every round) for 4 ½” or desired length of leg. Purl one round (this is the turning round for the cuff of the pant leg) then work a further 5 rounds in stockinette stitch. Bind off using the suspended bind off method. Cut the yarn, leaving a long tail for seaming the hem of the leg.
To work the second (left) leg, rejoin the yarn at the center front of the work. (If you leave a long tail, you can use it to sew the crotch seam later.) Knit 40 stitches, then CO 4 stitches using the backwards loop method and join to work these 44 live stitches in the round. Continue to match first leg.
Using two of your DPNs or a single circular needle, CO 3 stitches and work an i-cord long enough to thread through hem and tie at waist, about 32" or desired length. (To work an i-cord, knit your stitches, then -- never turning your work -- slide them down the needle to knit them on the following row, pulling the yarn tight across the back. Repeat ad infinitum.)
CO 12 stitches. Work in st st for 12 rows, then bind off. Sew three sides of pocket to pant leg. To work pocket flap, pick up 12 stitches (Knitty tutorial here) above pocket.
Row 1 (WS) k2, p8, k2
Row 2 (RS) k across
Repeat these two rows to close to desired length of flap, knit 3 rows (garter stitch), bind off. You may wish to tack down the top of the sides of the flap, so that it will appear to lay flat over the pocket.
Fold down seams on pant cuffs at purl ridge. Whip stitch hem to inside of pant cuffs. Thread drawstring through eyelets on waist hem (the easiest way to do this is to thread a tapestry needle or large safety pin onto one of the yarn tails on the i-cord, then push this through an eyelet and around the hem.) Sew crotch seam. Weave in all ends. Block if desired.