This is it! It’s the final installment of our Simple Collection. If you’ve been knitting along with us this is your last project before you go forth and conquer the world of knitting.
If this is your very first garment there are two important things to consider: gauge and fit. Review our tutorial on gauge to ensure your sweater comes out to the dimensions you want, and learn about choosing your size to ensure you get a sweater that fits the way you want it to.
::: Get Started :::
Download a copy of the Harvest pattern (it’s free!) grab your yarn and needles, and let’s get down to business. If you have been following along and knitting the other free Simple Collection designs: Wheat Scarf, Malt Blanket, Oats Cowl, Barley Hat, Maize Mitts, Rye Socks, and Flax Pullover you will already have learned almost all of the techniques required to make the Harvest Cardigan. Believe it or not, there aren’t that many complex techniques required to make a simple sweater!
::: Yoke :::
Using larger needles, CO 10 (10, 12, 12, 14, 14, 14, 14, 14, 16, 16, 16, 16, 18, 18, 20, 20) sts provisionally using the crochet chain provisional cast-on method.
Setup row (WS – wrong side): p2, knit to end
Row 1 (RS – right side): knit
Row 2 (WS): p2, knit to end
Work rows 1-2 a total of 39 (46, 49, 52, 49, 49, 49, 59, 57, 62, 59, 60, 58, 58, 64, 66, 70) times; creating the same number of garter ridges. This is a total of 79 (93, 99, 105, 99, 99, 99, 119, 115, 125, 119, 121, 117, 117, 129, 133, 141) rows worked, including the Setup row. Your final row is a WS (wrong side) row.
Basically we are creating a strip of garter with a stockinette edge on one side. This will be the back neck of the sweater.
Ready to pick up stitches and place markers?
The next portion of the yoke involves picking up stitches along the stockinette edge, placing markers to indicate the garter panels, and unzipping your provisional cast on to give you live stitches.
Next row (RS): knit to last 2 sts, PM, k1, m1, k1 (this is the end of the row), next, turn work 90 degrees, and pick up and knit 52 (62, 66, 70, 66, 73, 73, 88, 85, 93, 89, 90, 97, 96, 107, 110, 117) sts along the edge of the collar (pick up at a rate of 2 (2, 2, 2, 2, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5) stitches in every 3 (3, 3, 3, 3, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6) rows).
When picking up stitches you will not be picking up 1 stitch in every single row, you need to pick up at the rate indicated instead.
Eg. for the smallest size you will be picking up 2 sts for every 3 rows. So you will pick up a stitch in each of the first two rows, then skip the next one. Pick up 2 sts in the next two rows, skip the next one. etc.
Finally, undo the provisional cast on (details here), put live sts onto LH needle, and work across them as follows: k1, m1, k1, PM, knit to end.
When unzipping/undoing the provisional cast on I often find I am one stitch short. This is because the edge stitches sometimes get lost when you undo the provisional cast on. Not to worry. Simply increase 1 stitch on the next row (you can use a m1 or a kfb) to make sure you have the same number of stitches in each garter panel and the correct stitch count overall.
Now it’s time to place markers (PM), setting up for the raglan increases.
Setup row (WS): knit to marker, p3, PM, p14 (17, 18, 19, 17, 18, 18, 23, 21, 23, 21, 21, 22, 20, 23, 23, 25) sts, PM, p24 (28, 30, 32, 32, 37, 37, 42, 43, 47, 47, 48, 53, 56, 61, 64, 67) sts, PM, p14 (17, 18, 19, 17, 18, 18, 23, 21, 23, 21, 21, 22, 20, 23, 23, 25) sts, PM, p3 (this brings you to the last marker), knit to end.
From now on you will be working paired increases at each of the 4 raglan markers every 2nd row, and increasing at the neckline every 4th row. Always slip your markers as you come to them.
Follow the raglan instructions for your size. The pattern includes the generic instruction ‘m1′ for increasing, but if you like, you can use mirrored increases at the raglan points: work m1R first, then k1, slip marker, k1, then m1L on the opposite side of the marker. You can learn more about increases in our tutorial here.
::: Separate Body and Sleeves :::
Now that your yoke is complete you will separate the body and sleeves. The sleeve stitches are put on waste yarn, stitches are cast on for the underarm, and the rest are left for the body. Remove raglan markers as you come to them.
Knit 20 (20, 22, 22, 28, 28, 31, 31, 34, 36, 39, 42, 45, 50, 53, 58, 61) sts (left front), place the next 26 (29, 30, 31, 33, 34, 38, 43, 45, 47, 49, 53, 58, 60, 67, 71, 77) sts on hold on waste yarn (left sleeve), cast on 4 (4, 4, 6, 6, 6, 6, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 10, 10, 12, 12) sts using backward loop method (left underarm), knit 36 (40, 42, 44, 48, 53, 57, 62, 67, 71, 75, 80, 89, 96, 105, 112, 119) sts (back), place stitches on hold for right sleeve as at left, CO sts for right underarm as at left, then knit to end (right front). The sleeves are on hold, and there are 84 (88, 94, 100, 116, 121, 131, 140, 151, 159, 169, 180, 195, 216, 231, 252, 265) body sts on the needles. The first and last markers indicating the garter edges remain in place. Work one WS row: knit to marker, purl to marker, knit to end.
It’s time for a lot of knitting! The sleeves are on hold, the body will be worked in rows down to the hem, then the sleeves are each picked up and worked last.
::: Body :::
The body is worked by continuing in pattern as set: garter panels at each side and stockinette in the middle. You will continue to work increases at the neckline as indicated for your size.
Then repeat rows 3-4 until body measures 4 (5, 5.5, 6.5, 8, 11, 13, 12, 13, 13, 14, 14, 14, 15, 15, 16, 16) inches from underarm (or 2 (2, 2.5, 2.5, 3, 3, 3, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4) inches short of desired length to hem). Work in garter stitch (knit all rows) for 2 (2, 2.5, 2.5, 3, 3, 3, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4) inches, then bind off.
::: Sleeves :::
To work sleeves you will need to first put all the stitches from the waste yarn onto your double pointed needles. If you don’t know how to knit in the round on double pointed needles, check out this tutorial. Knit across these stitches. Then you will pick up stitches from the body of the sweater at the underarm, place a marker as indicated, and you will be ready to work the sleeves in the round.
Knit all rounds until length indicated has been achieved.
Decrease round: k1, ssk, knit to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1
Knit 8 (8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 7, 6, 6, 5, 5, 5) rounds.
For child sizes: work one more decrease round.
For adult sizes: continue to decrease every 9th (9th, 9th, 9th, 8th, 7th, 7th, 6th, 6th, 6th) round 4 (4, 5, 5, 7, 9, 10, 12, 14, 15) more times. [26 (29, 30, 33, 35, 36, 40, 41, 43, 43, 45, 45, 46, 48, 51, 53, 57) sts]
Continue working sleeve as instructed, you already have all the skills required!
Tip: Making 2 the same
The important thing about knitting sleeves is making 2 the same (sounds obvious right?). So make sure to take notes on the number of rounds you work as you go.
- how many rounds to the first decrease?
- how many rounds after the last decrease but before the garter cuff?
- how many rounds in the garter cuff?
::: Finishing :::
You have put a lot of work into your first sweater so don’t skip blocking, it’s an important step. Blocking will make your stitches even out and lie flat and generally ‘smooth out’ your work. It’s easy to block a sweater out of proportion if you aren’t careful. Make sure you have your measuring tape handy and that your chest measurements and length are as desired.
The Simple Collection is for Sharing ::: This tutorial is part of The Simple Collection – our 100% free learn-to-knit series. Check out the 8 fabulous free patterns sized from baby to big, and get started making modern seamless knits for the entire family! And be sure to share this and our other Simple Collection patterns with your friend, fellow knitters, teachers, and knit groups. If you appreciate this project, please take a moment to help us to spread the word by clicking below to share on facebook, twitter, or by email.
Like our work? Get our email updates and we will let you know about new patterns, tutorials, and events.
The Simple Collection free patterns:
The backwards loop cast on is not recommended as a general cast on, but it works perfectly if you need to cast on stitches in the middle of a row, for example at the underarm of a top-down sweater, or at the ‘crotch’ of a mitten thumb.
Backwards Loop Cast On :::
Step 1: place the working yarn over your thumb
Step 2: the right hand needle goes under the yarn at the base of your thumb (as indicated below) and over the yarn at the top of your thumb.
Step 3: tighten your newly cast on stitch
::: how to place stitches on hold on waste yarn :::
This technique comes up rather often in knitting. Two popular examples are the sleeves on a top down sweater (like Flax or Harvest), or the thumb stitches on a mitten (like Maize). The example below is a mitten but the principles remain the same.
Voila, stitches have been place on hold! You can tie the ends of the waste yarn together (so it doesn’t slip out). Later on, when you want to continue knitting from these ‘held’ or ‘live’ stitches, simply slip them back onto needles, and pull the waste yarn out.
This tutorial is part of The Simple Collection – a series of 8 free patterns designed to help you knit modern, seamless knits for the entire family. Like it? Get our email updates, and share The Simple Collection with your friends!
Free Patterns from the Simple Collection:
Picking up stitches sounds intimidating but let’s work through it! The following example is a sock but the principles are the same when picking up stitches from stockinette no matter the project.
::: how to pick up stitches :::
To pick up stitches you need the right side of your work facing you (the knit side).
Step 1: Insert your needle into the stitch or between rows (from RS to WS)
Step 2: Loop the yarn around your needle (at the back of work)
Step 3: Pull the loop through to the RS (using the needle tip, as though you were knitting a stitch)
Now you will have a stitch on your right hand needle. You have picked up a stitch!
I’m sad to say that since Hunter and Jones came along I am a little less crafty. It’s not that I have less time, or that I don’t make time if I really want to do something crafty… there is just less time for things that involve glue guns, laptops, ink pads, or anything else that the kids would LOVE to get into, but I would rather they didn’t. This is not a complaint, because Hunter already loves to be crafty too and baking together has become one of our very activities. It’s just a fact of life these days. That being said, here are some crafty things I managed this Christmas!
::: Blankets :::
This project (accomplished with my wonderful mum) was a classic Alexa. It started with a couple of blankets for my brothers and spiraled out of control from there (Emily is probably shaking her head across the Atlantic right now, she is familiar with my over-enthusiasm). It started with ‘Hunter and Jones would love matching blankets with their uncles!’, then it was ‘I think Gary needs one too!’ then ‘Well we can’t miss Dad’, and well…. now there are a LOT of blankets going under the tree! They are relatively simple blankets, just flannel on one size and a monogrammed bit of jogging fleece on the other. I’m not much of a sewer though and jogging fleece stretches and moves like it has a life of its own! It was one of those classic crafting stories where you realize part way through things aren’t as simple as they seem.
::: Letters :::
These are my little letter ornaments. My mum and I created a letter for each member of our family (we did 13). We wrapped wooden letters in yarn (not surprisingly, yarny leftovers are something I have quite a lot of), then I got out the glue gun and had a little fun with my button stash! I started out with traditional colours but quickly ditched that plan for a more wild and fun palette.
::: Knitting :::
I didn’t end up doing too much gifty knitting this year, but I did complete an Oats cowl for my mummy. She has loved red my whole life so it was the natural choice. I had been dying to try Tanis Fiber Arts Orange Label Cashmere Silk and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to give it a whirl. It did not disappoint! The colour variations worked perfectly with the simple stitches and the softness, Oh the softness! It’s amazing and you simply must try it.
What wonderful crafty things will be under (or on) your tree this year? Do you sew, scrapbook, crochet, photograph… the list is endless!
More Tin Can Knits that would be perfect with Tanis’ Orange Label
I love holiday parties! And traditional Christmas party fare here in Scotland includes mince pies and mulled wine.
If you haven’t tried mulled wine (known as Gluhwein in German) then you definitely should – it’s delicious, sweet, spicy and tastes like Christmas.
If you want to keep it simple, you could always just go out to the Christmas Market, but mulled wine is easy to make at home for friends and family. I’d give you the recipe, but you’d be better served by listening to the expert – Jamie Oliver. He knows where it’s at! A dash of rum doesn’t hurt the mixture either… And for the non-drinkers, you could also whip up a pot of mulled apple juice!
I hope you are enjoying the last weekend before Santa! I’ve been doing some baking to take to the inlaws, and some last-minute shopping!
A lot of knitters (Alexa…) go a bit bonkers when it comes to holiday knitting for friends and family.
I am a bit more pragmatic (lazy? busy?), and despite ambitious master plans, end up knitting a grand total of about 1 gift per year. I’m still planning to make that happen… at some point in the next 3 days!
After your hectic holiday prep, with your baking and gift knitting done, it is time to plan an exquisite new project for just for you to knit on while you sip eggnog, listen to carols, and visit with the Family! Ahhhhh… put your feet up, grab some luxury yarn, and get stuck in!
These sweaters are simple, seamless, and aside from the yoke details, are perfect to take along to knit group, because they’re mostly stockinette.
Or maybe you’re planning for the future (which always seems to be full of babies…), or want a fresh throw to brighten up the living room…. Bring on the rainbows with the Vivid, Pop, or Dogwood blankets!
Each of these blankets is knit one square at a time, beginning at the centre with the elegant pinhole cast-on, and working outward. This means they are great projects for taking along with you on holiday travels!
For a high-pleasure experience (why else do we knit?!), Alexa and I recommend working with really beautiful yarn and taking the time to check gauge carefully (so you don’t spend 40 hours on a sweater that doesn’t fit…).
So what are we knitting for ourselves right now? Well, I’m working on an Antler cardigan just for me… It’s in the most luxurious yarn ever – Plucky Primo Worsted in ‘honey wilkes’. The yarn was my birthday present from Alexa (aka best business partner ever). Hopefully I’ll have some cute photos for you soon!
So what will you make just for you? And what is your yarn of desire for the new year?