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Let’s Knit a Sweater

October 25, 2013

Are you ready? It’s time to knit your very first sweater! Two of the challenges many knitters face when creating their first garment are 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.

Flax is adorable on little men, big men, and on the ladies too! Make a little size to learn the techniques, or jump off the deep end and get started on a sweater for yourself.

::: Get Started :::

Download a copy of the Flax pullover 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 and Rye Socks, you will already have learned most of the techniques required to make the Flax Pullover.  Believe it or not, there aren’t that many complex techniques required to make a simple sweater!

::: Yoke :::

Using smaller circular needles CO 56 (62, 68, 74, 74, 76, 78, 86, 86, 86, 86, 90, 90, 90, 96, 96, 96) sts place BOR marker, and join for working in the round.

Ribbing: (k1, p1) around
Repeat ribbing until piece measures 1 (1.5) inches from cast on for Child (Adult) sizes. Change to larger needles. [an illustration of this technique shown here]

See this tutorial for details on casting on in the round. BOR is your beginning of round marker. This tells you where your round starts.

Next round: knit, increasing 4 (4, 4, 4, 8, 18, 16, 12, 18, 22, 26, 24, 36, 46, 48 54, 56) sts evenly spaced
[60 (66, 72, 78, 82, 94, 94, 98, 104, 108, 112, 114, 126, 136, 144, 150, 152) sts]

This may seem like a complicated instruction but follow along and we will do a little math. What this means is that you have 56 (62, 68, 74, 74, 76, 78, 86, 86, 86, 86, 90, 90, 90, 96, 96, 96) sts and you need to increase 4 (4, 4, 4, 8, 18, 16, 12, 18, 22, 26, 24, 36, 46, 48 54, 56) sts for a total of 60 (66, 72, 78, 82, 94, 94, 98, 104, 108, 112, 114, 126, 136, 144, 150, 152) sts. So how are we going to do this?

Take the number of stitches you have and divide them by the number of sts you need to increase:

eg. For the 0-6 mo size: you have 56 sts and you need to increase 4 sts, 56/4 = 14

So I will knit 14 sts, then make 1 stitch 4 times and I will have 60 sts.

It gets a little more complicated when the numbers don’t work so perfectly.

eg. for the size XS: you have 86 sts, and you need to increase 12 sts, 86/12 = 7.16. So I will knit 7 sts, then make 1, 12 times, then knit to the end.

Although this may seem unnecessarily complicated (why don’t we just do the math for you?!) it’s an instruction you will come across often in sweater patterns. If we wrote out each size every time we had to do an increase round like this our patterns would be 10 pages long!

Marker setup: [p10 (11, 12, 13, 13, 14, 14, 15, 15, 15, 15, 15, 16, 16, 17, 17, 17) PM, k20 (22, 24, 26, 28, 33, 33, 34, 37, 39, 41, 42, 47, 52, 55, 58, 59), PM] twice
(these raglan markers indicate the divisions between right sleeve, front, left sleeve, and back sections)


This establishes where the sleeves, front and back are. The sleeves are worked with a garter panel down the middle, while the front and back are worked in stockinette st.   [learn more about basic stitch patterns here].

When you are working back and forth, garter stitch is created by knitting every row, but in the round garter stitch is created by knitting on 1 round and purling on the next. Stockinette in the round is created by knitting every round. Since you never turn your work, the right side is always facing you, and therefore the stitches are created differently.

Tip: If you are having trouble remembering where the garter panel goes (or you just want things to be a little more fool proof) you may want to place a marker on either side of the panel.

The Yoke of the sweater is created by increasing (with a kfb) at 8 points on the sweater, 2 sts increased for each sleeve and 2 sts increased on the front and the back. Once you have completed the yoke increases it’s time to measure. You will be working rounds ‘even’ (this means without increases, keeping the garter panel on the sleeves as set). If your round gauge matches that stated in the patter, you will need to work 6 (4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 8, 6, 6, 8, 8,
8, 8, 4, 2, 0, 0) rounds even. If not you will work as many rows as necessary for your yoke to measure 5 (5, 5.5, 6, 6.5, 7, 7, 7.5, 8, 9, 9.5, 10, 10.5, 10.5, 11, 11.5, 12.5) inches deep. Measure from cast on.


::: Separate Body and Sleeves :::

Now for the fun part: Once you separate the body and sleeves it will start to look like an actual sweater! You will be placing your sleeve sts on waste yarn, casting on sts at the underarm, and joining the front and back.

Next Round: [place 26 (29, 30, 31, 33, 34, 38, 43, 45, 47, 49, 53, 58, 62, 67, 71, 77) sts on waste yarn (the sts from BOR to first marker), using backwards loop method <link> CO 4 (4, 4, 6, 6, 6, 6, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 10, 12, 12) sts, knit to marker] twice

sleeve sts on waste yarn

sleeve sts on waste yarn

Now you will have just the body sts on your needles with 2 sleeves on waste yarn. Starting to look like a sweater yet?


::: Body :::

Here comes the easy peasy miles of stockinette! Just knit knit knit until your piece is 5 (5.5, 6, 7, 9, 12, 14, 13.5, 13.5, 14.5, 14.5, 15.5, 16.5, 17, 17.5, 18.5, 18.5) inches from underarm (or 1 (1.5) inches short of desired length for child (adult) sizes). Change to smaller needles and rib for 1 (1.5) inches.

Binding off in pattern: for a regular bind off you are working 2 knit sts, passing the first over the second, knitting another stitch, passing the first over the second etc [tutorial here]. Binding off in pattern is almost the same, but instead of knitting each of the sts you are working them in pattern.

For this sweater it will be: k1, p1, pass st over, k1, pass st over, p1, pass st over, etc.


::: Sleeves :::

Place 26 (29, 30, 31, 33, 34, 38, 43, 45, 47, 49, 53, 58, 62, 67, 71, 77) held sts on larger dpns or 16” circ needle for larger sizes. Knit across these sts then pick up and knit 2 (2, 2, 3, 3, 3, 3, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 5, 6, 6) sts from body at underarm, PM*, pick up and knit 2 (2, 2, 3, 3, 3, 3, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 5, 6, 6) more sts from body at underarm, then join for working in the round.

Put your needle through the live sts before removing the waste yarn.

Put your needle through the live sts before removing the waste yarn.


All sts are on DPNs

picking up underarms sts.

picking up underarms sts.

If you are doing one of the larger sizes, it’s easiest to start with a 16″ circular needle and switch to DPN’s when you have worked a few decrease rounds.

For the smaller sizes you will be picking up your stitches on DPN’s and the easiest way to distribute them is putting the sts from the BOR to the garter panel on N1, the garter panel on N2, and the rest of the sts on N3. The beginning of your round is the first st on N1 (the middle of the underarm).

Once you have picked up all of your sts, you will join again for working in the round. You will have a small hole at the underarm, not to worry, we will stitch that up later.


Work even (maintaining garter panel as set) for 4 (4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 11, 8, 8, 8, 8, 7, 6, 6, 4, 3, 2) inches. If you want to adjust the sleeve length, this is a good place to do it. If you want a longer or short sleeve, here is where you should add or subtract inches.

Decrease round: k1, k2tog, knit to 3 sts before marker, ssk, k1

Work 5 rounds even.

Repeat the previous 6 rounds 1 (1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 5, 5, 6, 6, 7, 9, 10, 12, 14, 15) more times. [26 (29, 30, 33, 35, 36, 38, 39, 41, 41, 43, 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 ribbing?
  • how many rounds in the ribbing?

::: Finishing :::

Finishing a sweater can be the most important part. Block your sweater and weave in your ends. There will be a small hole at the underarm, use your tail to sew that up.

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.

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!  Like our work?  Get our email updates and we will let you know about new patterns, tutorials, and events.

128 Comments leave one →
  1. Jennifer permalink
    May 18, 2016 10:08 am

    I just started knitting in February and my dream is to someday knit myself a sweater. I just found your Simple Collection and I love it. I think I might actually be able to do this! Hope to start very soon. Thank you for the detailed, beginners’ level instructions and patterns.

  2. Xus permalink
    May 4, 2016 1:49 pm

    Love your pattern but I can’t understand what happy se to the raglan section once you stop increasing. When knitting even, raglan disappears!

  3. Xus permalink
    May 4, 2016 1:35 pm

    Hi, I can’t understand how it’s possible to keep the raglan pattern once you stop increasing. When working even, all stitches look the same, raglan disappears! Thanks xoxo

    • May 6, 2016 9:17 am

      The raglan does stop when you work even, I suppose you could increase and then decrease but it will look different still. The ‘knit even’ rounds tend to end up in the underarm (unseen) anyways.

  4. C A Cooley (Mrs ) (BA etc) (OAP) permalink
    May 3, 2016 1:48 am

    I have read through the above and feel I will stick to traditional ways of knitting.
    Maybe I am set in my ways, but there are many other wonderful patterns on your website
    to choose from I have studied, with beautiful results, I hasten to add. With best wishes for all those who wish to encourage knitting and traditional crafts.
    Creative Carol (OAP)

  5. Tara Bambauer permalink
    April 28, 2016 11:05 am

    This is my first sweater but I am stuggling with what needles to use where, I understood the required needles were a circular 16inch in US #4 and a 32 inch circular needle in US#4 and a set of dbl pointed needles in #4. Also a US #8 , 16 inch circular needle, a a US #8 32 inch circular needle and a set of dbl pointed needles in #8 US too. Did I miss understand this or am I missing when to change over? I fninshed the yoke but it is 3 inch shorter but I have been using a #4US 16 and the 32 inch circular needles for it…..bu4 my gauge was the #8 …what did I miss ? Thanks!

    • April 29, 2016 9:36 am

      Hi Tara – you are starting the ribbing with the smaller needle (a US 6 / 4mm in the pattern), then after the ribbing it says to switch to larger needles, that would be your 16″ US 8. Then, when your stitches get too squishy you can change to the 32″ US 8. The 32″ US 6 is for the ribbing at the hem.

      • Tara Bambauer permalink
        April 29, 2016 3:17 pm

        Oh! Dhuh! Should have seen that sooner! Thanks! :)

  6. Cornelius McCallum permalink
    April 27, 2016 4:10 pm

    Just a quick note to say thank you for the pattern. Yes it is my first jumper and I am onto the body, so as you say miles of knit knit knit 0:) . No real problems apart from gauge but you did tell me to knit a swatch……. Nonetheless I am enjoying it, not been knitting for long, granny squares, scarf, hats and then onto Kate Davies Rams and Yowes followed by, just finished, tir chonail blanket and thought enough with the blankets, sweater time and yours is just the ticket. I have used Jamiesons of Shetland Autumn tweed, which though an aran may be a little thinner than others hence my troubles with sizing. Much love to you and yours, Cornelius.

  7. March 30, 2016 4:40 pm

    Hi – thanks in advance for your help.
    My first question – after completing Setup round I counted my increases within the garter stitch section. I am working on the smallest size sweater so there are twelve stitches. The instructions say that I should only have ten stitches. I don’t think this is possible because we increased 2 stitches per section. Is this a typo or have I misunderstood?

    Second question – I started Setup round 2 by doing a k1, p10, k1 for the garter stitch section. The instructions do not tell me to knit straight in the next section and then repeat this in the garter section. Or is that what it means when you say “twice”.
    I know this is simple. Thanks for helping me understand.

    • April 4, 2016 2:27 pm

      Hi Barbara – While you have increased on the sleeves, you don’t want to increase the garter section. You will be knitting 1 stitch, purling 10, and knitting 1 on the next round.
      That is exactly what ‘twice’ means

  8. jane permalink
    March 11, 2016 7:48 am

    I forgot to put a BOR marker for my sleeve and now I cant quite figure out where to put the maker to start my decrease round. im doing the 4-6 yo size

    • March 14, 2016 10:47 pm

      Hi Jane- not to worry, the BOR marker comes at the middle of the underarm.

  9. Chris permalink
    March 5, 2016 4:26 pm

    love this pattern! very clear and actually makes sense. excited to give it a go, however, 1 question about the raglan increases. I will be knitting for the Adult Small, so it says “Round 1:[kfb, knit to 2 sts before raglan marker, kfb, k1] 4 times. Round 2: work as set; [knit to garter panel, purl garter panel] twice, knit to end of round. Work rounds 1-2 a total of (15) times. ” My only question about this, does that mean I am not increasing every round at the markers? Every other round increasing, but every even round keeping panel?
    Any explanation would be appreciated! (Also, if done by increasing every round (not every other), would it be acceptable to knit even every round (keeping panel) after the 15 increase rounds to achieve the correct measurement from CO?

    • March 9, 2016 2:53 pm

      Hi Chris – Yes, you are increasing every other round at the markers.

      • Chris permalink
        March 13, 2016 5:18 pm

        thank you!
        & correction: meant to say Adult MEDIUM with those numbers.

  10. March 4, 2016 9:35 pm

    Thank you for this free pattern! I just knitted this, my first sweater, for my one year old nephew and the pattern was so clear and easy to follow. (He’s going to get a gramps cardi next) I am going to knit a flax sweater for myself too and want to do the sleeves entirely in reverse stockinette. If I were to do this would I change the kfb increases in the sleeve panels of the yoke pfb’s instead? Or does it not matter?

    • March 9, 2016 2:56 pm

      I might work a make-1-purlwise if you were keeping it in reverse stockinette, rather than garter.

  11. jane permalink
    February 21, 2016 10:09 am

    I am knitting the 4-6 yo size. I am on the “round 1″ after the set up. There is only one stitch between my garter panel marker and my raglan marker. So, when the directions say to ” Kfb, knit to 2 stitches before raglan marker, kfb, k1″ I only have one stitch to increase on after my garter panel maker and my raglan marker…. or else I will be in my garter panel and i don’t think I am supposed to be increasing the garter panel more than the directed 14 garter stitches right? What do I do?

  12. lmnop permalink
    February 16, 2016 5:32 pm

    Hi there,

    I am about to cast on this sweater, my first one ever 😊
    I am excited, however I’m also a little confused about picking the right size. My chest measurement is smaller than my hip measurement and your instructions call for the chest measurement when the graphic seems to instruct to measure toward your hips at the bottom of the sweater. This is a difference in size for me. ….

    Could you please clarify?
    Thank you so much

  13. Kerrie permalink
    February 16, 2016 3:05 pm

    I am in love with this pattern and get tons and tons of compliments from all the moms-to-be who receive it – thanks for making me a star!
    In all seriousness – I would like to try something new with it and need advice – I would like to do the body, collar and cuffs one color and the sleeves another. is there a way to achieve this?
    Or is this craziness and maybe I should just look at stripes?

    • February 22, 2016 2:46 pm

      You can easily do the sleeves in a different colour starting from the sleeve split, but otherwise you would need to work it back and forth and seam it up at the end.

  14. Miss Cale permalink
    February 11, 2016 9:25 am

    I’m incredibly confused here. When you start the increasing of the yoke, it say increase rows 1-2 20 (for large) times. Is that 20 per each 1 and 2 row? I’m supposed to have 294 stitches and I’m short 80. I’ve been counting my stitches along the way to make sure my increases are correct. Where did I go wrong?

    • February 11, 2016 7:31 pm

      Hi Miss Cale – for the Flax sweater you are working row 1 and 2 20 times for your size, that means round 1, round 2, round 1, round 2, round 1, round 2, round 1, round 2, round 1, round 2, round 1, round 2, round 1, round 2, round 1, round 2, round 1, round 2, round 1, round 2, round 1, round 2, round 1, round 2, round 1, round 2, round 1, round 2, round 1, round 2, round 1, round 2, round 1, round 2, round 1, round 2, round 1, round 2, round 1, round 2. The math works out, you will have the right number of stitches! Remember that you are working 8 increases every other round.

  15. Jenny permalink
    February 3, 2016 7:41 am

    I read through the comments and didn’t see my answer- apologies if it was buried in there and I’m asking a question that was already answered.

    Once I’m through the increases and I need to knit even to get the yoke depth- do I measure down the front (or back) from the neck/cast on or do I measure (diagonally) down the raglan line from the neckk/cast on?

  16. Terry permalink
    January 21, 2016 6:37 pm

    I don’t have enough stitches I have 191 I should have 240 I am doing the smAll I don’t what I did wrong

    • January 25, 2016 1:01 pm

      Hi Terry – i would love to help but I’ll need a little more information. Are you increasing 8 sts on the increase rounds (either side of the marker)…maybe email us with a picture?

      • Terry permalink
        January 30, 2016 7:50 pm

        I found my mistake and took out and started over I didn’t knit 14 rows I do d 7 f I forgot they the 2 rows counted as 1 thanks for getting back to me

  17. January 20, 2016 11:56 pm

    Hello! I found your Flax pattern on Ravelry and thought why not! It looked ‘simple’ enough for a beginner like me…well, I frogged twice already before finishing the yoke part…(luckily, it is only little kids size…knits up quickly! 4-6yrs) I am enjoying the challenge! (I have only knitted blankets, scarves and hats so far…)
    Since English isn’t my first language, it really helps to see the tutorial with pictures. Thank you for providing that as well. (and its free!)
    However, I got stuck…toward the end of the Yoke section. I did finish the round 1 – 2 repeats 9 times but after that, it says to ‘work even'(no increases, keeping garter panel as set). Does this mean I will just do the ’round 2′, 10 more times?? Or am I understanding this whole part wrong??
    If you could please clarify that part, I would be very appreciative…thank you!

    • January 25, 2016 12:58 pm

      So, it won’t work to just knit round 2 because that won’t keep the garter panel in place. You need to keep the garter panel in place (knitting 1 round, purling 1 round) and knit all other sts for 10 rounds.

  18. Rachel B permalink
    January 18, 2016 7:10 pm

    You suggest, and I like the idea of placing markers on either side of the garter panel, but I’m confused, because I am to keep knit/purl the same 14sts (for so 6-8), but I continue to increase? Currently I have 16 sts between my markers, but does that mean that I’ve increased properly once, but need to relocate my markers? Also, why is it KFB as 1st st, but kfb is at 2st before marker? Can I k1, kfb, k to two before, kfb, k1 for raglan increase?

    • January 18, 2016 9:43 pm

      Hi Rachel – the panel remains the same. The first increase occurs within the panel on the knit round, but the same 14 sts are purled on the next round. Always the same number of panel sts. If you are placing markers around your panel you want to make sure you are not increasing at them (only at the raglan markers). The reason for the difference in the KFB is how the KFB look, it has the appearance of 1 knit and 1 purl stitch, to make it look properly even the increases are at different moments. If you work a few rounds of the pattern I think you will be able to see it.

  19. Anne permalink
    January 13, 2016 10:51 am

    Hi, I’m at the beginning of Setup round 1. If I kfb into the next stitch, which is the first stitch of the pearl panel, won’t this throw off the panel? Or, to put it another way, are the first increases supposed to be within the panel? Thanks, Anne

    • January 13, 2016 12:35 pm

      Hi Anne – yep, the first increase is within the panel

      • Anne permalink
        January 13, 2016 4:16 pm

        Thanks so much. I figured it out ;-)

  20. Ire permalink
    January 11, 2016 1:39 pm

    Will the XS size fit a twelve year old girl?

  21. Tracey Turko permalink
    January 3, 2016 4:02 pm

    My question is regarding my swatch…….because I will be working with circular needles, should my swatch be done on circulars as well?

    • January 4, 2016 7:50 pm

      Hi Tracey – IDEALLY your swatch should be knit and blocked just like you would block your sweater.

  22. ovie permalink
    December 18, 2015 9:39 pm

    do you have a video for this project? I am still learning knitting,and my english is bad ^^

  23. Sara permalink
    December 12, 2015 6:25 pm

    Please disregard my previous questions about marker set-up – I figured that out.

    But now I am confused about the instructions for the yoke – they look like they are intended for an experienced knitter (even though it says “beginner”) because it seems to be assumed that one knows how to alternate increases and even rows and many other things.
    So, here are my questions:

    It says :
    The Yoke of the sweater is created by increasing (with a kfb) at 8 points on the sweater, 2 sts increased for each sleeve and 2 sts increased on the front and the back. ” After this your instructions say to knit “even” without any increases. Totally confusing.
    1) first off, what are the 8 pts?
    2) kfg adds 2 sts right away. Does it mean that I am supposed to do one kfb per sleeve, per front and per back? If so, on the right or on the left? increases tend to slant to the left or right depending on the type of the increase, don’t they? So, if I keep adding kfb on the left, won’t it be slanted to the left?
    3) Also, based on the instructions it sounds like we have to add 2 sts and then just knit “even” until we get the right size of the yoke. That is, it sounds like I am supposed to do only one round with increases and then just knit “even.” BUt this cannot be right, because in your photo i is obvious that there are consistent increases along the raglan lines.
    So, how does it work? How many rounds of increases? Is increase supposed to be every round? every other round?
    Thank you

    • December 14, 2015 12:04 am

      Hi Sara – The pattern is a beginner sweater, not great as a first pattern over all. It is the 7th pattern in our 8 pattern learn to knit series.
      I think your questions are coming from only reading the tutorial, have you downloaded the full pattern? It gives line by line instructions including how many times to work the increases, how many ‘even’ rounds etc.
      1. The 8 points are on either side of the 4 markers.
      2. kfb only adds 1 stitch (you are knitting into the front and back of 1 stitch, creating 2 sts from 1 st, a net increase of 1 stitch)
      3. Again, I think you need to read through the whole pattern. The number of rounds are in there.

  24. Tavia Riley permalink
    December 9, 2015 2:37 pm

    Hi there! I am stuck after the marker setup. I just finished placing the last marker, but the next step (Setup round 1) says to “kfb, knit to 2 sts BEFORE raglan marker…” does that mean I have to undo stitches from the last step in order to do these stitches before the marker?

    • December 9, 2015 10:34 pm

      Hi Tavia- I’m not sure I understand, you have 4 raglan markers, you are increasing on either side of those markers (on the increase rounds), does that help?

      • Tavia Riley permalink
        December 16, 2015 3:34 pm

        Hi there! Sorry, I was reading the instructions wrong, but I figured it out! Thank you! =D

  25. Katie permalink
    October 8, 2015 2:02 pm

    About how long should by circs be? I’m probably going to go for the adult medium size.

    • October 8, 2015 5:00 pm

      You will need a smaller circ for the collar (I use 16″) and a longer one for the body, 24 or 32 inches

  26. Lucy permalink
    October 7, 2015 5:18 am

    Hi, I am totally confused about how I increase after doing my ribbing.
    I have 96 stitches and have to increase by 54.
    So I do 96/54= 1.7 then I am lost. How do I increase?

    • October 7, 2015 8:47 pm

      Hi Lucy – you can increase every 2 sts and throw in an increase every other stitch some of the time until you have increased 54 sts. It works out to an increase of 9 sts for every 16.

      • Lucy permalink
        October 8, 2015 8:24 am

        Thank you, it all makes sense again now!

  27. Dana permalink
    September 24, 2015 11:20 am

    Hi -Please disregard my previous post. I think I figured some of it out but still do have a question. I had 144 stitches and added 8 in the marker set up. Then I need to add 196 more to get to 344. Round 1 X 12 will add 96. When the instruction says work round 1-2 a total of 24 times, does that mean 24 times each or combined? If combined, should I also have been adding stitches in Round 2 (was that implied by “work as a set?”) and that is where the other 96 stitches come from? Sorry — I have really tried to figure this out and I think I’m in the ballpark of what went wrong, but not able to nail it down.

    • September 29, 2015 6:22 am

      Hi Dana. After adding the 8 stitches, you will have 152 sts. Then you will work rounds 1-2 a total of 24 times (this is a total of 28 rounds). Every time you work round 1 (24 times) it adds 8 sts to the count. 24 x 8 = 192 sts added. 152 + 192 = 344 sts total. Does this clear things up for you? Read round 1 through carefully, you will see that 2 sts are added in each section (front, back, sleeve, sleeve), for a total of 8 sts added each round 1.

  28. Dana permalink
    September 24, 2015 9:37 am

    Hi — Please help! I am a new knitter and thought I was having success with this pattern, knitting the XXL. I counted my stitches at the 144 mark and I had the correct amount. Now, after the 24 rounds of increasing two per section (for 12 of those rounds), I only have 239 stitches instead of 344 as the pattern says. When I do the math for the increases from 144 it looks like 32 in the setup round, and then 96 in round 1, which brings me to 272. Should I be increasing in Round 2 as well? When I add those number the stitch total comes to 368, which still doesn’t match 344. Can you tell me what I’m missing here? Thanks so much!

  29. Kquvien permalink
    July 17, 2015 2:18 pm

    Hi! I am knitting the flax sweater now. First sweater! I have only been knitting 8 months.
    I am totally confused about the sleeve separation and all of the steps that deal with putting waste yarn in the sleeve stitches to casting on before knitting the body. Any help would be lovely.

  30. Anidy permalink
    July 14, 2015 12:02 pm

    Bonjour ce petit pull est t il disponible en français ? Merci

  31. June 28, 2015 5:21 pm

    I just finished my first flax. Now my husband is impressed and wants one too. Mine actually fits him quite well as far as the width of the armholes and body. However it seems tight around the chest under the arms, and almost as if the yoke should be longer. Is there a way to start the collar smaller and do a more gradual raglan line so that there would be more space from neck to under arm? I don’t want to size up because the chest and waist are perfect.

    • June 30, 2015 4:23 am

      For your husband, just knit another inch or so without increasing, so the yoke depth is longer, before you place the sleeve stitches on hold and knit down on the body. You could also start with fewer stitches at the collar (with the stitch count for a smaller size), if he’s looking for a narrower collar. Then you’d still increase to the total desired stitch count for the size you knit. After you separate arms and body, you can have him try it on and see if the yoke fits well. Hope this helps!

  32. June 3, 2015 8:47 pm

    Having trouble with the underarms. Not sure how to do this.

  33. Lizzy permalink
    May 18, 2015 7:03 am

    Hi there, thank you so much for these free tutorials – they are so helpful.
    I have a question about yarn substitution for the Flax sweater. I want to knit one for my husband but he is allergic to wool. Seeing as our second wedding anniversary is coming up, which traditionally has ‘cotton’ as the theme, I wondered if it might be possible to knit this sweater with a cotton/acrylic blend of the same weight? I haven’t much experience at substituting yarn so would appreciate any advice if you have the time.
    Thanks so much for your help! :)

    • May 19, 2015 11:30 am

      Hi Lizzy – you can certainly substitute cotton or a blend, it just might have a bit more stretch to it, and a bit less elasticity. I would do a bit of a bigger gauge swatch than usual and wash and dry the swatch as you would the sweater. That will give you a better idea of what the fabric will do.

      • Lizzy permalink
        May 21, 2015 6:30 am

        That’s great, thanks so much, Alexa.

  34. Eugenia permalink
    April 14, 2015 10:49 am


    I love this pattern since the first time I saw it in Ravelry. Now I’m knitting it for my nephew. I started with the 4-6 years old size but it was too small, so I unravelled it and will start with size 6-8 years old (he’s 4!!!). The body won’t be a problem but sleeves were too tight, and there is just once stitch more in the 6-8 size. Should I knit sleeves with a larger needle, maybe? or can I increase more stitches only for the sleeves? I’m at a loss. Thanks for your help!


  35. Lovelee permalink
    March 30, 2015 12:22 pm

    I love the flax pattern with the stripes (seen on Bodi). Is that pattern going to be available soon?

    • March 30, 2015 9:15 pm

      It’s just a few stripes in the Flax pattern, without garter on the sleeves. So if you want to do it in a worsted weight, go forth an conquer! I DID, however, do this one in a sock weight and the pattern for that will be coming in the next few months.

  36. Ida permalink
    March 9, 2015 11:52 am

    Can you tell me what size you made your little one in the green or teal color. I’m making one now but I’m knitting up a size 1 and loving the pattern.

  37. Susana Rodriguez permalink
    December 22, 2014 10:17 am

    I am trying to understand the Flax pattern and I would like to know what does it mean to change to larger needles after I finish the ribbing (1.5).
    I already got the gauge with neddle #6.
    So for me which is my larger needle? Or do I have to get the gauge with needle #8? Please is there some person that will help me? Thank you very much

  38. Boo permalink
    December 5, 2014 11:31 am

    I am confused here. I am currently learn how to increase after the collar. I have 86 sts and I need to increase 26 sts. I was not sure which one of these I need to increase” M1L or M1R”. Please help me to understand. Thanks!

    • December 12, 2014 9:07 am

      Doesn’t really matter, I did all m1r’s

    • Susana Rodriguez permalink
      December 22, 2014 10:31 am

      May I ask you a question? After you get your gauge and you are going to use needle #8 do you still use neddle #6 for the collar? I am so confused because in my case I get the gauge using #6 so which would be my larger needle?

      • December 23, 2014 10:35 am

        So, if you are getting gauge on #6 needles, that will be your larger needle. Your smaller needle will be a #4.

  39. Arta permalink
    December 2, 2014 11:58 am

    I’m confused about this bit – The Yoke of the sweater is created by increasing (with a kfb) at 8 points on the sweater, 2 sts increased for each sleeve and 2 sts increased on the front and the back.
    I’m knitting the biggest possible size here, which means I measured 17 sts for the sleeve part, but if I use 2 of these 17 to create an extra st by kfb method, than I’ll be left with only 15. And why is it 2 for the sleaves and 1 for the front and back?
    Sorry, if this doesn’t make sense. It’s been years since I last knitted and then I had a teacher.

    • December 3, 2014 5:29 pm

      I think you will find it does work. On the set up round you are ‘using’ one of your garter sts to work an increase but after that the increases will fall in the stockinette portion of the sleeve. There are 2 sts increased per section, 2 for left sleeve, two for the front, 2 for the right sleeve, and 2 for the back.

  40. Mercedes permalink
    November 24, 2014 10:36 pm

    I’m a fairly new knitter, first attempt at a sweater! Love this pattern!!
    I’m on my second attempt, and for some reason, I’ve had to do the opposite of what the pattern says(stitch wise) when setting up the raglan markers for the yoke. Instead of k26, I’ve had to purl(2-4yr size). Any idea why? I don’t have the experience to understand where I’m going wrong! Thank you!

    • December 3, 2014 5:34 pm

      Sorry, I have no insight on this one! You are setting up the raglan markers on the first row and it’s a purl row. Are you working from the most recent version of the Gramps pattern? If you aren’t sure you can either check your Ravlery library (the updated version is there) or email us and we can sort it out.

  41. lauraodonnell permalink
    November 15, 2014 6:24 am

    Thanks so much for this fantastic pattern! Is there a tutorial or instructions on the best way to sew up the underarm hole?

  42. Charlotte permalink
    November 5, 2014 10:11 pm

    After the ribbing part, I don’t understand what you mean by increasing by 4 and etc. Do I just knit the whole thing and increase by 4 or do I follow the marker set up and increase by 4? (I’m doing the 2-4 years old size)

    • November 6, 2014 11:24 pm

      You are knitting the whole round, and increasing 4 sts.

    • jana permalink
      November 24, 2014 10:54 am

      After the ribbing part you split your work in four parts usually i´m using by 52 stiches i´m splitting the part for sleeves back and front like: first 2 stiches increase to 4 and after i count 16 normal stiches than another 2 to 4, than normal stiches 6, than another 2 to 4 and next is also 16 and resst 2 to 4 and finishing the round with 6 normal stiches. i´m not increasing like here, but i make a hole around raglan line. I hope i explained well, english is not my native language ;o)

      note 52 stiches i use for the stronger yarn when i´m using 6-8 mm needle. I´m talking about size, because i did the sweater for almost 3 year old boy.

  43. Cindy permalink
    October 28, 2014 6:26 pm

    Love your patterns! I’m working on Flax now, size Medium. I’m concerned because I’ve needed to knit 19 rounds of straight stockinette after the increases in the yoke to reach the prescribed 9.5 inches. My round gauge is 28 rounds (the pattern says 22 rounds)/4 inches. Is this going to be a problem? Thanks so much for any advice.

    • November 4, 2014 10:28 pm

      Hi Cindy

      I would probably just work to 9 inches. It shouldn’t be too much of a problem, it will mostly be hidden in the underarm. But definitely put in a lifeline (a piece of yarn or thread that is threaded through your live sts, but isn’t knit in) before your sleeve split and try the sweater on after you have knit an inch or 2 of the body. Then you will know if you are going to get a bit of a pouch.

      Alternatively, if you have to go back, you could work disperse the extra rounds within the increase section. You could work 2 rounds even every once and a while while between your increase rounds.

      • Cindy permalink
        November 5, 2014 7:12 pm

        Great suggestions all. I love the support you give to your outstanding patterns. Thank you!

  44. nicole permalink
    October 13, 2014 4:53 pm

    I was hoping you could help me with the sleeve portion of the pattern. I have distributed all of my stitches onto DPNs and i am ready to knit but how do I add the yarn? please help! Thanks!

    • October 17, 2014 2:30 pm

      To join a ball you are just going to start knitting with the new yarn. Put your left needle in the stitch, ready to knit, and put a loop over the left needle and pull the loop through (aka knit the stitch with your new yarn). When knitting the next stitch just be careful not to pull the first stitch out.

  45. Dai permalink
    September 15, 2014 4:28 pm

    The tutorial says that : “If your round gauge matches that stated in the patter, you will need to work 6 (4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 8, 6, 6, 8, 8,8, 8, 4, 2, 0, 0) rounds even.” Not sure if this might be an error as the pattern says to work rounds 1-2 a total of 7 (8, 8, 8, 9, 9, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26, 29) times.

    Thank you for this tutorial! Makes getting back into knitting much easier.

    • September 18, 2014 11:04 am

      It means you should work rows 1 and 2 (increase round, work as set) a certain number of times, then work a certain number of rounds even. Glad you like the tutorial!

  46. Nicole permalink
    September 7, 2014 11:14 am

    After a big headache i’ve found the mistake: on this tutorial for the knit increase the second bold # for the size small is 108. Where as on the actual pattern download its 104. Can you refer me to a tutorial where you can take out stitches?

    • September 7, 2014 9:37 pm

      Hi Nicole, sorry, you are correct, I have updated the tutorial page. You should have 104 sts.

  47. Nicole permalink
    September 7, 2014 10:44 am

    Hi, I am currently working on this sweater and I have a question. I am working the Small size and I am at the point where you are suppose to place the marker setup. I have purled 15 PM and then Knit 37 and PM. I then see outside the [ ] it says twice. so I then again purled 15 PM and then knit 37 and PM but i’m left with 4 extra stitches? is that correct? please help, this is my first sweater and i want to make sure i am doing it correctly :) Thanks!!!

  48. Margret permalink
    August 18, 2014 6:27 pm

    Question – for this sweater in S/M, could you please verify: the 3 circular needles suggested (if the knitter’s gauge is correct) are: US#6, 16″ circular needles, and US#8 “32” circular needles, and for the sleeves, US#8 24″ circular needles, and then DPNs in sizes US#6 and US #8?

    What length of DPNs are best for the S/M sizr?

    Thank you!

    • August 18, 2014 10:51 pm

      Hi Margret

      For the sleeves and the collar you can start on the 16″ circulars. For the body of the sweater you can switch to a 24″ or a 32″ circ when there are too many stitches on the 16″, it’s up to you, I knit it on 24″ circs but I don’t mind squishing my stitches on the needle.

      For the DPN’s it’s knitters choice. Longer needles (like 8″) are a little easier to learn on, but I like a short, (5-6″), DPN myself.

  49. July 20, 2014 8:47 am

    Great pattern, and the best kudos for your wonderful step-by-step instructions!
    One question: would the pattern accommodate knitting the garter stitch sleeve stripes with another colored yarn?

  50. Eric permalink
    June 9, 2014 6:45 am

    I am hoping to make two of these for a friend’s wedding present. His wife likes the pattern but would like a v-neck. How could I alter this patter to make a v-neck? Thank you very much.

    • June 10, 2014 10:12 am

      Hello – There’s no easy answer to this one: altering this pattern to make a v-neck would essentially require writing an entirely new pattern… So I’d suggest you find a pattern that already has v-neck shaping included, rather than work with this pattern. Good luck with the wedding knitting!

      • Eric permalink
        July 29, 2014 5:00 am

        I’ve reached the sleeve and have gotten confused. I’ve had to work out my own gauge because my stitches are tighter than yours. When I finish decreasing for a men’s size Large, how long should the sleeve be at that point? Ideally?

      • August 5, 2014 10:08 pm

        It doesn’t really matter, just 2 inches short of your desired length at the longest (if they are shorter than that, that is okay, just keep in pattern until your sleeve is 2 inches short of desired length)

      • Eric permalink
        August 22, 2014 7:03 pm

        How about if i just wanted to make the collar smaller? Pull it in at the shoulders so it’s closer to a true circle? Any suggestions on how I can do that? Thanks

      • August 24, 2014 2:38 pm

        I’m afraid nothing quick. Altering a pattern in such a way really amounts to a re-design, it will involve a little trial and error!

  51. Lucio permalink
    May 10, 2014 7:53 am

    Absolutely lovely explanation, so useful indeed for me. I might be more encouraged now as I’ve never made a sweater before!
    I’d have a question. I do not particularly like the garter panel on the sleeves. I was wondering: can I just go with stockinette stitch all around the sleeves, or would that mess up the pattern?
    Many thanks for your kind attention ;D

    • May 22, 2014 7:27 am

      It will work just fine if you substitute stockinette for the garter stitch panels on the sleeves, good luck with your first sweater!

  52. marsha shartzer permalink
    April 17, 2014 7:47 am

    your instructions are the best! thanks :)

  53. Nancy G permalink
    March 14, 2014 9:20 am

    I’ve just found your web site via Ravelry and I must say it is fantastic. I wish you had been around when I first returned to knitting. However, I know I will be visiting often. I have just placed Flax and Harvest on my list of “Must do”. I will be referring my future daughter-in-law who is a brand new knitter. I’ve not seen better instructions anywhere. Thank you so much for providing free instructions and patterns. You deserve a gold medal!

  54. TheresaW permalink
    February 15, 2014 10:50 am

    Have made a couple of flat-constructed cardigans and, after reading these awesome instructions set, am ready to go for a fast workup with this Flax sweater in the round. Thank you!

  55. 369877412 permalink
    December 26, 2013 11:04 pm

    I love your design

  56. Rachel Mitchell permalink
    November 13, 2013 6:53 am

    I’ve made two of these in the past couple of weeks, and I absolutely loved knitting them. I’ve been knitting for 20 years and I love the simplicity of the construction (I loathe seaming.) The garter stitch section on the sleeves add visual and knitting interest. I whipped up one in a size 4 and another in a size 8 for my two girls in just a couple of weeks. They really like them too, which is great for a 2 1/2 and 5 year old. I think this will be my go-to pattern from now on for their casual play sweaters. I’m planning on making them the snowflake sweaters for Christmas! Thank you for these awesome patterns and tutorials. Your designs are fantastic and practical!

  57. Sylvia permalink
    October 26, 2013 10:02 am

    This is wonderful! Thank you.

  58. October 26, 2013 9:38 am

    Nice tutorial. Wish this had been around when I first started knitting.


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