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13 Top Down Sweater Knitting Patterns

These beautiful sweater knitting patterns take the easier, top-down route!

By: Morgan Metcalf, Editor, AllFreeKnitting.com
Top Down Sweater Knitting Patterns

Have you ever finished a knit sweater pattern you had been working on forever only to discover that it doesn't fit at all? Maybe it's not quite long enough and keeps riding up in the back; or maybe it's too tight in all the wrong places.

Since everyone isn't built the exact same way, general knitting patterns can only get you so far. Sometimes, you just have to tweak your favorite knit skirt or knit sweater patterns just a bit to better fit your body type. There's nothing wrong with that! However, knitting from the bottom up can make it a bit difficult to add in decreases and increases to the pattern to make the fit more tailored.

This is where the top-down knitting method comes in.

With top-down knitting, you don't have to wait until the end to figure out what parts of the pattern don't work for you. You can just make all of the necessary adjustments while you work and bind off on a beautiful knit that actually fits! It's really a win-win for you. After all, you can try on your garment before it's even completed. What better motivation to finish a long-term knitting project than actually knowing beforehand that it's going to look good on you when you bind off?

Winter Wonder Cabled Yoke Sweater

You've searched high and low for the perfect winter sweater, and here it is. The Winter Wonder Cabled Sweater mixes Celtic knot cable details with a classic top-down sweater body for a cold-weather creation you've got to have.

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Winter Wonder Cabled Yoke Sweater

Top Down Vintage Baby Cardigans

This darling free baby sweater pattern combines precious lace details with a simple stockinette stitches for a cute and cozy cardigan that's suitable for both boys and girls. Buttoned or unbuttoned, this baby cardigan pattern is sure to keep your little bundle of joy nice and warm.

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Top Down Vintage Baby Cardigans

Cranberry Lace Cardigan

The Cranberry Lace Cardigan, called Miette on the Untangling Knots, is one of those elegant easy knit cardigan sweater patterns that every knitter needs to have. 

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Cranberry Lace Cardigan

Mad Men Joanie Sweater

That's right, this seamless sweater is knit starting from the top down. That means you'll be able to easily try on and adapt the pattern as you go, adjusting as necessary to make your sweater fit and flatter your body.

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Mad Men Joanie Sweater

Falling Stars Top Down Sweater

And just as a falling star creates a flash of light against the dark sky background, this Falling Star Top Down Sweaters boasts an explosion of color towards the top of its non-traditional collar. To complement this bold design statement, the rest of the garment features a simple, chevron pattern made with black yarn.

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Falling Stars Top Down Sweater

Simple Top Down Baby Cardi

You'll love making the Simple Top Down Baby Cardi for the newest addition to your family.  Not only does this baby cardigan pattern knit up quickly, but its basic construction is also easy to follow.

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Simple Top Down Baby Cardi

Royal Baby Coat

The Royal Baby Coat is full of style and sophistication. Because this cardigan uses the garter stitch and stockinette stitch, it is a perfect knitting pattern for beginners. Easily adaptable to a short-sleeve version, this fuss-free baby sweater is perfect for little boys and girls as well as variable weather.

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Royal Baby Coat

Little Coffee Bean Baby Cardigan

Of all the beginning knitting patterns available online, this Little Coffee Bean Baby Cardigan is one of our favorites. This short-sleeved baby sweater is extremely versatile and can be worn all year long.

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Little Coffee Bean Baby Cardigan

Butterfly Lace Top

This openwork top features butterfly-style sleeves and a gorgeous lace construction. The stunning color combination of radiant orchid and muted mustard makes the top a fashion-forward piece any style-conscious knitter is sure to love.

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Butterfly Lace Top

Top-Down Seamless Dress

If you've always wanted to learn how to knit a dress, get your needles out and try this Top-Down Seamless Dress on for size. With the stockinette as its main stitch, this elegant knit dress pattern works perfect for the advanced knitter needing a relaxed knitting project.

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Top-Down Seamless Dress

Eyelet Cardigan Knitting Pattern

This Eyelet Cardigan Knitting Pattern is a fun and customizable summer knitting project. Available in a variety of sizes and with step-by-step instructions, this intermediate knitting pattern is sure to be a new staple for your summer cardigan collection.

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Eyelet Cardigan Knitting Pattern

Sandhurst Sweater

The neutral gray color of the yarn will work with practically anything and everything in your wardrobe. You won't be able to resist this free knitting pattern. In fact, as soon as you work it up, you'll want to wear it out and about right away.

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Sandhurst Sweater

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