This is worked completely in the round, from the top down.
Top down sweaters are addictive. They are fast to knit, no seaming, and you can have the end receiver (in this case, my energetic two year old) try them on as you are working to see how it fits. This is if you can get them to stand still for a good 30 seconds.
Materials: Lang Yarns Java, 80% Cotton 20% Nylon (92 yards each), or other bulky weight ribbon yarn, 3 balls. Size 9 DPN, size 10 16" circular needle (or size needed for gauge).
Gauge: 14 sts = 4" Pattern below can be adjusted for any gauge.
Size: 2T (can also be adjusted, just measure your toddler's favorite shirt and follow the width)
Using smaller needles, loosely cast on enough sts for 12 or 13" circumference with a number divisible by 4. In this case I cast on 44 sts. PM to indicate beginning of round. Join rnd, being careful not to twist sts. Work in k2 p2 rib for 1 inch.
Switch to larger size needles. Knit 5 (sleeve sts), PM, Knit 17 (front body), Knit 5 (sleeve sts), PM, Knit 17 (back body).
Increase rnd: KFB, K to 1 st before marker, KFB, slip M, KFB, cont to increase 1 st before M and the next st after M. 8 sts increased.
Next Rnd: Knit.
Repeat last two rounds until front and back sts have been increased enough for desired width. In this case, I wanted the width to be 12 inches, so I continued the last two rows 12 times until I had 41 sts between markers for the front and back portions. 41 sts divided by my gauge (3.5 per inch) = 11.71 inches.
Place sleeve sts on scrap yarn, Knit 41 (or number for front sts), place 2nd sleeve sts on scrap yarn, Knit 41. 82 sts total, join to work in the round.
Knit every round and continue until 1 inch before desired lenth.
Next rnd: Decrease 2 sts evenly (80 sts total). If using a different number of sts decrease evenly number of sts needed to make the total number divisible by 4.
Switch to smaller needles. Work in K2, P2 rib for 1 ". Bind off loosely.
Transfer 29 sleeve sts to smaller dpn's. Pick up 3 sts on underarm to close gap (or the number needed to make the total number of sts divisible by 4). Join, work in k2 p2 rib for 1", bind off loosely.
Weave in ends. Fringe bottom hem if desired.