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How to Knit a Sweater: 7 Free Sweater Patterns

Dress yourself for cold winter weather with this collection of stylish knit sweaters. You'll find sweaters for men and women all within the pages of this FREE eBook!

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All-Time Favorite Knit Sweater Pattern

This sweater's flattering construction fits all the right places, so it's sure to be YOUR all-time-favorite, too.

All-Time-Favorite Knit Sweater Pattern
All-Time-Favorite Knit Sweater Pattern

There is a reason that this All-Time Favorite Knit Sweater Pattern is a favorite of Marly Bird's. It hugs the upper body while remaining loose and comfortable in the lower body, giving it a universally flattering shape. The bright stripes are a cheery addition that are gorgeous in the gray and pink colors shown, but could easily be changed to your favorite color combination, or the colors most flattering to your own complexion and wardrobe. The deep v-neck of this sweater knitting pattern makes it perfect for layering, while the off-set striping in the back make it memorable. Watch this sweater become YOUR all-time favorite!

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Intermediate

Knitting Needle Size8 or 5 mm, Circular Knitting Needles

Yarn Weight(4) Medium Weight/Worsted Weight and Aran (16-20 stitches to 4 inches)

Gauge18 sts = 4" (10 cm); 27 rows = 4"  in stockinette stitch AFTER BLOCKING!

Finished SizeXS (S, M, L, 1X, 2X, 3X). Sized to be 2" negative ease at bust and positive ease at hips.

Materials List

  • Red Heart Chic Sheep by Marly Bird™, Art. R170 100% Merino Wool, available in 3.5 oz (100 g), 186 yd (170 m) balls

    • MC: Stiletto 3 (3, 4, 5, 5, 6, 6)

    • CC: Sterling 3 (3, 4, 5, 5, 6, 6)


  • Needle: Size 8

Instructions

Notes

  1. Finished Measurements

    Bust: 26.5 (30, 33.75, 39, 42.5, 46, 49.75)"
    Length: 29.75" (all sizes; to lengthen, add depth to the hem of each body piece)

  2. Stitch Guide


    Broken Ribbing (odd number of sts):
    Row 1 (RS): Knit.
    Row 2 (WS): P1, *k1, p1; rep from * to end.

    Rep Rows 1-2 for patt.

    Stripe Sequence (any number of sts):

    Working in stockinette stitch, alternate MC and CC every 20 rows as indicated in pattern. Cut yarn after each Stripe.

    Sloped Bind-Off:

    On the row before the bind-off: slip the last stitch of the row purlwise without working it.
    On the bind-off row: slip the first 2 stitches purlwise, pass the first slipped stitch over the second slipped stitch (1 st bound-off), bind off rem sts as usual.

Sweater Pattern

  1. Left Front

    Hem

    With MC, cast on 45 (49, 53, 59, 63, 67, 71) sts.

    Rep Rows 1 & 2 of Broken Ribbing patt, 10 times. 

    Note: If you wish to add length to the sweater, work more Hem rows.

  2. Main Front

    Note: Switch to CC and begin Stripe Sequence. Cont in Stripe Sequence throughout remainder of piece. Not including the hem, there will be a total of 9 stripes throughout.

    Row 1 (RS): Knit.
    Row 2 (WS): Purl.
    Dec row (RS): K2, k2tog, knit to end -- 1 st dec’d. Continuing in Stripe Sequence, rep Dec row every 10 (10, 10, 8, 8, 8, 8) rows, 3 (1, 1, 11, 10, 9, 8) more time(s), then rep Dec row every 8 (8, 8, 6, 6, 6, 6) rows, 10 (12, 12, 2, 3, 4, 5) times -- 14 total sts dec’d, 31 (35, 39, 45, 49, 53, 57) sts rem. 

    Work even in Stripe Sequence and stockinette stitch until 132 (130, 126, 122, 120, 118, 116) rows in Stripe Sequence have been worked (6 (6, 6, 6, 6, 5, 5) full Stripes + 12 (10, 6, 2, 0, 18, 16) rows from the next Stripe. Piece meas approx 22.75 (22.25, 21.75, 21.25, 20.75, 20.5, 20.25)"

  3. Shape Left Front Armhole

    Note: Read through remainder of Left Front before proceeding. Neck Shaping is introduced for some sizes before Armhole Shaping is complete.

    Bind off 2 (3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8) sts at beg of next RS row -- 29 (32, 35, 40, 43, 46, 49)  sts rem. Work a WS row even.


    - (-, -, L, 1X, 2X, 3X) Sizes only:

    Dec row (RS): K2, k2tog, knit to end -- 1 st dec’d.
    Dec row (WS): Purl to last 4 sts, p2tog, p2 -- 1 st dec’d.

    Cont to work a Dec row every row, for - (-, -, -, -, -, 2) more rows -- - (-, -, 38, 41, 44, 45) sts rem.

    All Sizes:

    Dec row (RS): K2, k2tog, knit to end -- 1 st dec’d.
    Next row (WS): Purl.

    Cont to work a Dec row every RS row, - (-, 1, 2, 4, 6, 6) more times -- 28 (31, 33, 35, 36, 37, 38) sts rem.

    At the same time, when Armhole meas .5 (.5, .75, 1, 1, 1, 1)”, begin Neck Shaping:

    Neck Dec row (RS): Work as est’d to last 4 sts, ssk, k2 -- 1 st dec’d at Neck Edge. Rep Neck Dec row every RS row, 14 (14, 15, 15, 13, 14, 13) more times, then rep Neck Dec row every other RS row, 2 (3, 3, 3, 5, 5, 6) times.

    After all Armhole and Neck decs are complete, 11 (13, 14, 16, 17, 17, 18) sts rem for Shoulder.

    Work even in Stripe Sequence until 8 full Stripes + 14 rows of a ninth Stripe have been worked. Armhole meas approx 7 (7.5, 8, 8.5, 9, 9.25, 9.5)".

  4. Shape Shoulder

    Using the sloped method, bind off 3 (4, 4, 5, 5, 5, 6) sts at beg of next RS row, 4 (4, 5, 5, 6, 6, 6) sts at beg of next RS row, and rem 4 (5, 5, 6, 6, 6, 6) sts at beg of next RS row.

  5. Right Front

    Hem

    With MC, cast on 45 (49, 53, 59, 63, 67, 71) sts.

    Rep Rows 1 & 2 of Broken Ribbing patt, 10 times.
     
    Note: If you wish to add length to the sweater, work more Hem rows.

  6. Main Front

    Note: Begin Stripe Sequence, continuing with MC and then switching to CC after 20 rows.

    Cont in Stripe Sequence throughout remainder of piece. Not including the hem, there will be a total of 9 stripes throughout.

    Row 1 (RS): Knit.
    Row 2 (WS): Purl.
    Dec row (RS): Knit to last 4 sts, ssk, k2 -- 1 st dec’d. Continuing in Stripe Sequence, rep Dec row every 10 (10, 10, 8, 8, 8, 8) rows, 3 (1, 1, 11, 10, 9, 8) more time(s), then rep Dec row every 8 (8, 8, 6, 6, 6, 6) rows, 10 (12, 12, 2, 3, 4, 5) times -- 14 total sts dec’d, 31 (35, 39, 45, 49, 53, 57) sts rem. 

    Work even in Stripe Sequence and stockinette stitch until 133 (131, 127, 123, 121, 119, 117) rows in Stripe Sequence have been worked (6 (6, 6, 6, 6, 5, 5) full Stripes + 13 (11, 7, 3, 1, 19, 17) rows from the next Stripe. Piece meas approx 22.75 (22.25, 21.75, 21.25, 20.75, 20.5, 20.25)"

  7. Shape Left Front Armhole

    Note: Read through remainder of Left Front before proceeding. Neck Shaping is introduced for some sizes before Armhole Shaping is complete.

    Bind off 2 (3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8) sts at beg of next WS row -- 29 (32, 35, 40, 43, 46, 49) sts rem. 

    - (-, -, L, 1X, 2X, 3X) Sizes only:

    Dec row (RS): Knit to last 4 sts, ssk, k2 -- 1 st dec’d.
    Dec row (WS): P2, ssp, purl to end -- 1 st dec’d.

    Cont to work a Dec row every row, for - (-, -, -, -, -, 2) more rows -- - (-, -, 38, 41, 44, 45) sts rem.

    All Sizes:

    Dec row (RS): Knit to last 4 sts, ssk, k2 -- 1 st dec’d.
    Next row (WS): Purl.

    Cont to work a Dec row every RS row, - (-, 1, 2, 4, 6, 6) more times -- 28 (31, 33, 35, z36, 37, 38) sts rem.

    At the same time, when Armhole meas .5 (.5, .75, 1, 1, 1, 1)”, begin Neck Shaping:

    Neck Dec row (RS): K2, k2tog, work as est’d to end -- 1 st dec’d at Neck Edge. Rep Neck Dec row every RS row, 14 (14, 15, 15, 13, 14, 13) more times, then rep Neck Dec row every other RS row, 2 (3, 3, 3, 5, 5, 6) times.

    After all Armhole and Neck decs are complete, 11 (13, 14, 16, 17, 17, 18) sts rem for a Shoulder. Work even in Stripe Sequence until 8 full Stripes + 15 rows of a ninth Stripe have been worked. Armhole meas approx 7 (7.5, 8, 8.5, 9, 9.25, 9.5)".

  8. Shape Shoulder

    Using the sloped method, bind off 3 (4, 4, 5, 5, 5, 6) sts at beg of next WS row, 4 (4, 5, 5, 6, 6, 6) sts at beg of next WS row, and rem 4 (5, 5, 6, 6, 6, 6) sts at beg of next WS row.

  9. Right Back

    Work as for Left Front until Armhole meas 5 (5.5, 5.75, 6.25, 6.5, 6.75, 7)”, ending with RS row.

  10. Shape Neck

    Using the sloped method, bind off 7 (8, 9, 9, 9, 10, 10) sts at beg of next WS row, 5 sts at beg of next WS row, 3 sts at beg of next WS row, and 1 st at beg of next 2 WS rows -- 11 (13, 14, 16, 17, 17, 18) sts rem for Shoulder.

    Work even in Stripe Sequence until 8 full Stripes + 14 rows of a ninth Stripe have been worked. Armhole meas approx 7 (7.5, 8, 8.5, 9, 9.25, 9.5)".

  11. Shape Shoulder

    Work as for Left Front.

  12. Left Back

    Work as for Right Front until Armhole meas 5 (5.5, 5.75, 6.25, 6.5, 6.75, 7)”, ending with WS row.

  13. Shape Neck

    Using the sloped method, bind off 7 (8, 9, 9, 9, 10, 10) sts at beg of next RS row, 5 sts at beg of next RS row, 3 sts at beg of next RS row, and 1 st at beg of next 2 RS rows -- 11 (13, 14, 16, 17, 17, 18) sts rem for Shoulder. 

    Work even in Stripe Sequence until 8 full Stripes + 15 rows of a ninth Stripe have been worked. Armhole meas approx 7 (7.5, 8, 8.5, 9, 9.25, 9.5)".

  14. Shape Shoulder

    Work as for Right Front

  15. Sleeve

    With MC, cast on 36 (38, 38, 40, 40, 42, 42) sts.

  16. Cuff

    Work in Broken Ribbing patt until piece meas 5" from cast-on edge, ending with WS row.

  17. Main Sleeve

    Note: Switch to CC and begin Stripe Sequence. Cont in Stripe Sequence throughout remainder of piece.

    Row 1 (RS): Knit.
    Row 2 (WS): Purl.
    Inc row (RS): K2, m1, knit to last 2 sts, m1, k1 -- 2 sts inc’d. Rep Inc row every 8 (8, 6, 6, 4, 4, 4) rows, 5 (9, 7, 9, 4, 6, 12) more times, then rep Inc row every 10 (-, 8, 8, 6, 6, 6) rows, 3 (-, 4, 3, 11, 10, 6) times -- 55 (59, 63, 66, 73, 77, 81) sts.

    Work even in stockinette stitch and Stripe Sequence until piece meas 18.5 (19, 19, 19.5, 19.5, 20, 20)" from cast-on edge, ending with WS row.

  18. Shape Cap

    Bind off 2 (3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8) sts at beg of next 2 rows -- 51 (53, 55, 57, 61, 63, 65) sts rem.

    Work 0 (0, 2, 4, 2, 2, 2) rows even.

    Dec row (RS): K2, k2tog, knit to last 4 sts, ssk, k2 -- 2 sts dec’d. Rep Dec row every RS row, 18 (19, 20, 21, 23, 23, 23) more times. Bind off rem sts.

  19. Finishing

    Weave in ends. Block pieces to finished measurements. Sew center front seam, aligning Stripes from Right and Left Front pieces. Sew center back seam, aligning Stripes from Right and Left Back pieces. Sew Shoulder seams. Sew Sleeve Caps into armholes. Sew Sleeve and side seams.

  20. Neck Edging

    With circular needle, beg at Right Shoulder seam, pick up and knit 45 (47, 51, 51, 53, 55, 55) sts along Back Neck, 37 (39, 41, 43, 45, 47, 47) sts along Left Front Neck, 1 st in center seam (place removable marker on this st), and 37 (39, 41, 43, 45, 47, 47) sts along Right Front Neck -- 120 (126, 134, 138, 144, 150, 150) sts. PM and join to work in the rnd.

    Set-up Rnd: * K1, p1; rep from * to end.
    Dec Rnd: Work in est’d rib to 1 st bef marked center st, sl 2-k1-p2sso (marked center st will be in the middle of this decrease), work in est’d rib to end -- 2 sts dec’d.

    Rep Dec rnd every rnd, 3 more times. Bind off all sts in patt.

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