Every so often, there is a request on knitting boards such as knittyboard.com for an easy-to-make sweater. This is one of the easiest. The pattern itself is such that it can be made with almost any yarn and in almost any size. The sweater pictured is the 3rd sweater I ever made. The second sweater I ever made was to the same pattern. But, it's no longer with us. I accidently washed it on too high a heat setting and because of its acrylic content, it blossomed to twice its original size. The sweater pictured is too big for me. I made it before I learned to adjust a pattern. The stripes are optional. (There are a lot of major changes in the pattern below from the original pattern.)
Generic Drop-Sleeve Boat-Neck Pullover
The garment front and back are essentially large rectangles with ribbing at both top and lower edges. These are knit first. Then the top (leaving an opening for the neck) and the sides (leaving an armhole opening on each side) are seamed up. Last, stitches are picked up around each armhole to begin the sleeves. (I use 2 circular needles of the same size to make the garment.)
The pullover is named after a cat of ours who used to help me knit by lying on top of the yarn.
1. Calculate your gauge. Then decided how wide around you want the sweater to be.
2. Calculate the sweater circumference.
A gauge of 4 sts and 6 rows per inch and a width of 36”.would give 4 x 36 = 144 sts.
Half of these belong to the front and half to the back – 72 sts for the front.
Because of the ribbing pattern at the top, we want an odd number of sts on both front and back.
Add a st to give 73 sts for the front.
3. Then decide on how many sts to cast on for the front. Because of the nature of ribbing in general, cast on approximately 10% fewer sts
90 % of 73 is 65.7. So, cast on 66 sts.
4. Work k1, p1 ribbing for approximately 2". The knit 1 at the beginning and end of each row, except the first will make seaming easier (although some people prefer starting each row with a slip 1).
Row 1: K1, *p1, k1* 32 times, k1
Repeat Row 1 approximately 14 times. (edited: 13 Dec 2007)
5. Increase evenly across to an odd number of stitches.
Increase from 66 sts to 73 sts across.
K1, *p1, kfb, (p1, k1) 4 times*, repeat * to * across row, ending with k1
kfb is knit into the front and then the back of a stitch)
6. Knit body of sweater. (Until now the sweater has no right/wrong side.)
Row 1 (RS): K73
Row 2 (WS): K1, p71, k1
Repeat these rows until the sweater is 3 - 4" inches less than the desired length. End with a RS row.
7. Work top ribbing for 3 - 4". Bind off later.
Row 1: K1,*k1, p1* 35 times, k2
Row 2: K1, *p1, k1* 36 times
Repeat Rows 1 and 2 -- 11 times, approximately. Place sts on scrap yarn or a spare needle. Leave long enough tail to bind off 49 sts (2/3 of the sts).
8. Work sweater back the same as the front. (I worked back and front at the same time.)
9. Seam up garment top edge, leaving enough room for the neck. (Try on the garment with the top pinned together about a fourth of the way from each shoulder.)
Place garment right sides together. There will be a tail of yarn at each shoulder. Starting at one of the shoulders, bind off 20 sts from front and back (at the same time) using a 3-needle bind off. Then bind off 33 more sts from the part of the garment furthest away (using perhaps the decrease bind off). There are now 20 sts left on the back needle. Repeat this process starting at the other shoulder and the other yarn tail.
10. Seam up garment sides, leaving room for the sleeves. (Try on the garment to help decided how big a hole to leave for the sleeves.)
You can stop at this point and weave in all loose ends. The result is a nice-looking shell.
11. Pick up stitches to begin knitting a sleeve from the armhole down, starting at the bottom of the armhole. Because of the gauge, pick up 4 sts for every 6 rows on the armhole opening. Also, pick up an extra stitch at the garment side seam and the garment top seam. The total number doesn't matter, just so the same number of stitches are picked up when doing the other sleeve.
12. Knit the sleeves. Mark the starting point. This is the beginning of all rounds. For a tapered sleeve, make decreases every inch and a half, approximately.
Rounds 1-8: Knit around
Round 9: K1, k2tog, k to last 3 sts of round, ssk, k1
Repeat these 9 rounds until sleeve is desired length.
13. Make sleeve ribbing and bind off.
Round 1: *K1, p2 tog, k1, p1* around, ending either with k1, p1 or k1, p2tog
OR -- Round 1: *k1, p2tog* around, ending with k1, p1 or k1, p2tog or k1, p3tog
Round 2: *K1, p1* around
Repeat Round 2 for about an inch and a half. Bind off.
14. Make second sleeve the same as the first.