Alexa and I are a little bit obsessed with the Flax sweater. Why do we keep ‘selling’ you this FREE pattern?! Well, probably because it’s one of our best basics, and we can’t help knit it over and over (and over) again. This time I’ll show you how I’ve hacked the Flax pattern and made it all pink and girly for my adorable little niece, for her birthday! If you haven’t joined our Hackathon yet, you can get all the details here. We’ve got PINK (it’s intense), and we’ve got LACE… There’s no way this could fail to be fabulous!
flax sweater : a free pattern that’s dead easy to hack
The Flax pattern is a perfect blank canvas, it’s very easy to add a panel of lace, cable, or texture on body or sleeves. Flax is a from the Simple Collection, our learn-to-knit series. If you’ve never knit a sweater before, it’s the perfect pattern to start with, and we’ve got a complete tutorial on how to work each step. If you are dying to use up some fingering weight yarn from your stash we also have the Flax Light.
I found a lovely lace pattern that I was itching to try, so I used flax as a base to hack. The lace pattern has a 12-stitch repeat, with one edge stitch. So I decided to put a 13-stitch panel on each sleeve, and a 25 stitch panel, with 2 purl stitches either side, on the front of the pullover.
I looked at the Flax pattern to find the sleeve and body stitch counts for my chosen size (2-4 yrs). Following the pattern, after marker placement, there are 13 sts at sleeves, and 26 sts at front and back, for a total of 78 sts. (13 + 26 + 13 + 26 = 78)
To place a 13-stitch panel at the sleeves, I would need a couple extra stitches each side, in which to work the increases. So I’d start with 15 sts at the sleeves. At the front and back, I’d place the 25 stitch panel, 4 purl sts (2 each side), and then 1 extra stitch each side in which to work the increases, for a total of 31 sts at front. (15 + 31 + 15 + 31 = 92 sts). So after the neckline ribbing was worked per the 2-4 year size (74 sts) I increased 18 sts, evenly spaced, and then set up markers to divide the body and sleeve sections.
Not sure how to calculate ‘evenly spaced’ increases? You can do the math (74 /18 = 4.111, so just [k4, m1] 18 times, knit to end), or you can use a handy-dandy calculator, like this one by the Knitting Fiend.
I placed the lace panel in the centre of the front and back sections, and the smaller lace panel on the sleeves. I worked the remainder of the sleeves in reverse stockinette, and the body in stockinette.
I followed the raglan shaping pattern (increasing 2 sts at each raglan marker every 2nd round) simply working the number of increases stated in the pattern (8). Then I worked a few more rounds even, continuing the panels, to create a bit more yoke length. After separating body and sleeves, I worked body to hem, and when I worked the sleeves, I created a stockinette stitch panel at the underarms, which I felt was a nice tidy detail. To shape the sleeves, I worked p2tog either side of this stockinette panel.
I loved the combination of yarn and details on this simple hack. It was such a pleasure to work with such an intense and beautiful colour!
The free Flax and Flax Light patterns are perfect to hack or use as a base for your own inspiration. It’s so easy to add in a panel or a pattern, and we’ll share another adorable version with you next week!
There is one more week left to join in our #TCKhackathon – a knit-along with a fantastic prize, and even better chat and support on the Facebook group, or if you prefer, the Ravelry group! Remember to tag your projects #TCKhackathon when you share on your favourite social spot!
other flax hacks:
We’ve got another special flax hack to share with you next week!
Other Simple Sweaters from TCK: