Introduction: Drop Sleeve Hooded Cardigan
I have been searching for a sweater pattern for months. The problem is that I know what I am looking for. If I had no preconceived idea of what I wanted, it would be so easy to find a dozen patterns. I wanted something that I could wrap up in like a blanket but that also had a hood.
I finally decided it was time to try to design a pattern of my own. This is my first attempt.
Before you get started, you need to select yarn and a set of needles. I chose a soft turquoise yarn that I already had in my stash. I had 3 large skeins so I was pretty sure I could make just about any length that this turned out to be. I assumed that I would change my idea several time during the process.
Knit a swatch. You need to know how many stitches per inch (or cm) before you start. I was going to use a plain stitch but changed my mind while knitting my swatch. I liked the following stitch because it was flexible and I liked the texture.
Row 1: Knit 1 stitch, purl 1 stitch--repeat to the end of the row
Row 2: Purl 1 stitch, knit 1 stitch--repeat
Row 3: Purl 1 stitch, knit 1 stitch--repeat
Row 4: Knit 1 stitch, purl 1 stitch--repeat
Repeat these 4 rows
Once you have size you can work with, try a few bottom holes. You will need to know how many stitches it will take to make a hole that is the right size for your buttons. I used a simple knit 2 stitches together followed by a yarn over.
I used a size needle. In order to fit all my stitches on, I chose to use a circular needle instead of a pair of straight needles. This is what I had on hand.
Step 1: Cast on and Start Knitting
I like to knit in as few pieces as I can so I decided to work the front and back as one piece.
Cast on 144 stitches
I knit the first 2 rows to make a stable bottom edge before I switched to the textured stitch from my swatch.
Knit in your pattern stitch until the piece measures 16 inches or the desired length below the arm hole.
At this stage, I divided the stitches into 3 sections--front left, back, front right. I hate having to constantly count rows to make sure all the panels are the same length, so I attached more balls of yarn and worked all 3 sections together. I chose to split the stitches up so that each of the front panels were 40 stitches and the back was 64 stitches.
Step 2: Arm Holes
Knit each panel until it measures inches from the beginning of the arm hole.
I decided that it needed to be a bit smaller near the shoulder, so I decreased 1 stitch at the arm hole edge of each panel every 4th row 5 times. This left me with 35 stitches on each front panel and 54 stitches on the back panel.
At this point I needed to bind off the shoulder stitches. The remaining stitches will make the hood.
Step 3: Hood
After binding off the shoulder stitches, I saved 18 stitches from each front panel and 36 from the middle of the back portion. I knit these 72 stitches in the textured stitch until the hood was long enough. In the next row, I spaced 6 holes uniformly across the first half of the hood stitches. After the holes, I continued with 4 more rows. Then I bound off all the stitches.
Fold the hood in half. The safety pins mark the placement for the buttons. I wanted the hood to be transformable into an extra layer for keeping my shoulders warm.
Step 4: Sleeves
I made both sleeves at the same time so that I was sure they were the same length.
Cast on 42 stitches. Knit 2 rows then switch to the textured stitch.
Block if necessary.
Step 5: Buttons and Seams
The buttons I chose were probably intended to be used as beads--they only have one hole, so used some small beads to hold them in place.
Start by marking the locations where you will be adding the buttons. I used safety pins so that I could check that they lined up properly with the holes.
I recommend using the same yarn that you knit with to attach your buttons. The stitches will hide well. You can also try an invisible thread.
Sew up the seams for the sleeves. Be careful not to pull too tight.
Attach the sleeves to the arm holes.
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