Sideways sweater


I knit this sweater sideways from cuff to cuff, casting on stitches on both sides for the body and knitting the two sides separately around the neck opening. It’s purled, except for a 6 stitch band which runs up the arms and splits around the neck. There are cables on that band at the cuff and neck opening. The shoulders and sides are shaped with short rows.

I finished the sweater months ago and took the photos weeks ago, but haven’t posted because I’ve been trying to put together a pattern. I have concluded that this is not a good idea – it’s too difficult to grade and I’d need to knit another one from the pattern to be sure it works. Maybe next winter. For now, this is what I did to make an extra small…

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Finished measurements of the sweater: 23.5″ long, 29″ bust, 36″ hip
To fit someone with the measurements: 33” bust, 24” waist, and 36” hip (as shown in these pictures)

Yarn: Morris Empire 8 ply in smoke
Gauge: 19.5 stitches and 19 rows in 4″


Cast on 40 stitches for the cuff.
RS: Purl 17, knit 6, purl 17
WS: knit 17, purl 6, knit 17
Work in pattern for 2″, then on a right side row, purl 17, 3×3 cable, purl 17.
Work in pattern to elbow, then increase one stitch on each side every 8 rows to armpit.

Cast on 80 more stitches on each side – this will be the body of the sweater. New stitches will be worked in reverse stockinette (purl on right side rows, knit on wrong side rows). Work 1 1/2 inches, then begin shoulder shaping.

The shoulders are shaped with short rows. Begin with the 40 center stitches (Place markers at the edges) Work only these stitches for two rows. Then, work until 2 stitches before the marker, move marker in and turn. Repeat, making each row 2 stitches shorter than the row before it for 6 rows. Then make each 1 stitch shorter than the row before it for 10 rows. 18 stitches remain. Work all the way across for two rows, then begin side shaping.

The sides are also shaped with short rows so they flare out at the hips. I started the short row shaping a bit above my waist, 18 stitches down from the armholes, because I like that balance between fitted and relaxed. You might prefer to start it at your waist or immediately after the armholes. I moved each row by 5 stitches, but again it really depends on what shape you want. So, I began the short rows at the bottom corner of the front and made each row 5 stitches longer than the row before it until I reached a point 18 stitches down from the armholes. Then I knit across to the back of the sweater, and began another set of short rows at the bottom corner of the back.

Work in pattern for 1 1/2 inches after shoulder shaping, measured along the 6 stitch knit strip. Then, cable these stitches and attach a second ball of yarn in the middle of the cable to work the front and back separately. There should be 97 purl stitches and three knit stitches on each side.

The back is worked in reverse stockinette, except for three stitches along the neckline. Neckline decreases and increases are made in the last purl before the knit band (i.e. the fourth stitch from the edge). I decreased one stitch every row for 2 rows, then one stitch every other row for 3 repeats (6 rows), knit straight for 4″, then increased one stitch every other row for 3 repeats (6 rows), then one stitch every row for 2 rows.

The front is the same as the back, but with deeper neckline shaping. I decreased one stitch every row for 6 rows, then one stitch every other row for two repeats (four rows), knit straight for 3″, then increased one stitch every other row for two repeats (four rows), then one stitch every row for 6 rows.

Rejoin the two halves of the sweater and cable the knit stitches in the opposite direction from the first shoulder. Work for 1 1/2 inches, then work side short rows as on the other side (except this time you will start with the longest row and get 5 stitches shorter with each row). Then work shoulder short rows, beginning with the 18 center stitches and increasing by one stitch for 10 rows, then by two stitches for 6 rows. Work in pattern for 1 1/2 inches, then bind off 80 stitches on each side.

Decrease one stitch on each side every 8 rows until elbow, then work in pattern until 2″ above wrist. Cable knit stitches. Work to wrist and bind off!


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21 Responses to Sideways sweater

  1. Kristin says:

    This sweater is amazing! I would love to try making this in the next few months. Thanks!

  2. Jennifer Hill says:

    Hi! I’ve just discovered your blog and am so admiring your sewing, knitting and beautiful style! I’m looking forward to exploring previous posts. The only thing is, is there any chance you could put your blog on Bloglovin, as that’s where I follow blogs?? Sorry if this is a bit cheeky ; ) I’d love to see your gorgeous makes come up on my feed! Thanks if you can, Jen

    • Naomi says:

      I think you can already follow my blog on bloglovin! I tried typing “” into the search bar on their homepage and it came up as an option.

  3. Carine says:

    My 16 year old has decided to make this sweater
    I am helping her right now with the shoulders: you say that you take the 40 central stitches and stitch two rows (and then go on diminishing). Do you do a wrap and turn every time you turn around or or do you just flip your needles without wrapping? Thank you for your help on this!

    • Naomi says:

      I don’t wrap – for some reason my short rows look best without it. I get a fat lumpy stitch if I wrap, so I just turn. But I know other people sometimes end up with a little hole if they do it that way, and get nice even stitches by wrapping, so I don’t know what to recommend.

      • I not only wrap, but I slip a stitch too. Every time I get to the end of a short row it’s like this:
        1. wrap the next stitch
        2. turn
        3. slip one purlwise

        If I just turn I end up with a little hole, which can be kinda pretty with a lace effect, but if I’m going for a smoother look I do the above.

  4. Rebecca Berger says:

    I would love to knit this sweater for me, but I’m a relatively new knitter and certain of my dimensions are bigger. How would you recommend resizing?

    • Naomi says:

      Well, the basic way to make it bigger is to knit more rows across. Where the instructions for the back tell you to work in pattern for 4″, you might instead work for 5″, and where the front tells you 3″ you might do 4″. If you want to increase by more than a couple of inches, I would also increase before the neckline split. These directions say 1 1/2″, but you might instead knit until it measures 2″ from the shoulder shaping before you split for the neckline. That way it will stay proportionate and not fall off your shoulders.

      You will probably also want to make the sleeves a bit wider. Cast on a few more stitches at the cuff.

      If you want to change the bust/hip ratio, make the short rows at the side more frequent (to make the hip larger) or less frequent (to make the hip smaller).

      If you want to change the proportions dramatically, you may need to make other adjustments. If you’d like more specific advice, let me know what measurements are different.

  5. Hillary says:

    I am knitting this sweater now in Noro Kirara using a mosaic knitting pattern and making some modifications to it. It has lovely drape already and I am only halfway done. Thanks for writing out the short row shoulders. It’s very helpful.

  6. Lindsey says:

    This sweater is beautiful. I’m knitting it in Malabrigo, and this is my first time knitting a sweater. I’m at the side shaping and am a little confused. You say to knit the short rows by making each row 5 stitches longer than the previous row, but my understanding of short rows is that they’re knit by making each row shorter. How do I make each row longer without going back over what I’ve just worked? Or is that what’s intended?

    Many thanks!

    • Naomi says:

      Yes, you go back over what you’ve just worked, picking up the wrapped stitch (if you wrap) and working a few stitches further on each row. You’ll do regular short rows on the other side – this makes it symmetric.

  7. zepto says:

    This is such a great idea! Do you remember how much yarn you used? I’m about your size and wondering if 610m of sport weight would be enough.

    • Naomi says:

      I don’t think so. I used a bit less than 6 125m balls, somewhere around 700m of sport weight yarn. If you really want to use that yarn, you could make it a bit shorter by casting on fewer stitches for the body, or do half length sleeves (mine are full length but pushed up in some of the photos).

  8. Jacqueline Dubé says:

    Your sweater is simply gorgeous. I would love to knit this sweater but I measure 42 inches across my bust and 41 across my hip. I am not new to knitting but I’ve never had to figure out the sizing myself.

    Can you direct me to a resource that would help me figure out how I would adapt this sweater to my size? Or if possible, can you tell me what numbers I need to change in the pattern to make this work.

    Your help is much appreciated.

    Thank you!

    • Naomi says:

      You’ll want to knit more rows across the body to increase the size around, omit the short row shaping (unless you want it to flare out over your hips), cast on more stitches for the sleeves to increase the arm size at the wrist, and increase faster in the sleeve to increase the upper arm size. Adjusting the sleeve caps is going to be the trickiest part – you’ll have more stitches to work with, and while you’ll want to keep most of them in the center at the top of the cap, you’ll also want a deeper armhole, which means working extra short rows across the sleeve cap. I’m happy to help figure out the numbers. Other measurements which will be useful in figuring out the stitch counts are: upper arm (measure around the largest part of your arm), wrist (measure around), arm length (desired sleeve length from shoulder to wrist), sweater length (shoulder to hem), and shoulder separation (straight across from one shoulder to the other). If you give me these numbers I’ll calculate your size. If you’re comfortable sharing them here, I’m sure it would be helpful for other people to compare, but if you’d rather you can email me at [email protected].

  9. Margaret says:

    Can’t believe that I refound you. About 2 months ago I found your site and saw your wonderful jersey and thought that’d be perfect for my daughter. Then as one does got sidetracked looking at something else and couldn’t find my way back to you. Hah I am so chuffed I have found you again and have quickly printed out your knitting pattern. One does need the questions there that you have so kindly answered. Thank you so much for sharing your lovely pattern.

  10. Sandra says:

    Hi . I love this sweater and I love challenges. Im a few sizes bigger than this. Ha e you made a new pattern for bigger sizes yet? If you could email me personally, I would appreciate it.

    • Naomi says:

      Hi Sandra, I’m sorry to say I only have a pattern for this size. But if you love a challenge, maybe scaling it to fit yourself would be a fun project! You’d want to cast on more stitches for the sleeve to make the arms wider and knit more rows across the body sections to make the body wider. The body is particularly easy to adapt – just measure as you go and keep knitting until it matches your measurements.

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