Garter Stitch Swingy-Sweater

Requested by some nice folks on Ravelry…


Yarn: Vanna’s Choice Solid…or any worsted weight yarn you prefer.
(late) ETA: A note about blocking…
This pattern is knit entirely in garter stitch, and was originally knit in acrylic yarn…meaning it’s nearly impossible to block. The sproingy-ness of acrylic actually suits this pattern very well, as it helps to keep the yoke and underarm of the sweater snug and fitted, without feeling restrictive.
If you follow the directions as written, knitting in wool, remember that garter stitch will expand considerably when blocked. You may knit the garment to fit, finish the whole thing, block, and discover that the shoulders and yoke appear saggy and larger than you intended.
It will help to keep this in mind when you try the garment on as you go. If you intend to block, make sure when you fit the yoke, that you don’t have extra room. It should not be too easy to fit the arm sections around your underarms when you try the yoke on. Keep in mind that the fabric will expand.
If you are knitting with acrylic, or if you plan to forgo blocking, knit as written, but you should still be sure that you don’t have too much extra room at the underarms for a nice snug fit.

Gauge: Approximately 17 stitches in 4 inches…
**Gauge in this project is not terribly important, as the sweater is a knit-to fit deal. I would suggest knitting a swatch in garter stitch with the yarn and needles you would like to use. Cast on amount and increases can be adjusted according to your gauge and the size you would like the sweater to be.**

The following is a description of the process I used to construct my own version of this sweater. This is another simple top-down raglan that can easily be customized to fit your own measurements.

The Simple Top-Down Raglan Formula:

Your first order of business is to knit a swatch and figure out your gauge. Once you have this, you can do the math and find out how many stitches you need to cast on for your neckline. (I am a size XS or S in most patterns–34 inch bust–and I cast on 90 stitches for a semi-wide boatneck.)

To make your calculations extra simple, make your cast on amount a multiple of three. When the total cast on amount is divided by three, one third will make up the front of the garment, one third will be the back, and the last third will be split to make the arms, like so:

M x x x x x x x x x x M
x x
x x
x x
x x
x x
M x x x x x x x x x x M

This diagram shows stitches (x) and markers (M) as they would be placed for a raglan beginning with 30 cast on stitches. The front and back are made up of 10 stitches each, and the sleeves are made up of 5 stitches each.
(**The formatting on this diagram is giving me trouble…so please just imagine that it makes a nice neat rectangle :)**)

This basic formula works as the beginning of just about any sweater you could imagine.

Swingy Sweater Instructions:

CO 90 Stitches (or your preferred amount, divisible by three)

Row 1: Knit (RS)
Row 2: Purl (WS)
Row 3 (Set Up Row): K8, PM, K15, PM, K30, PM, K15, PM, 22
Row 4: Purl
**To make a nice even edge, slip the first stitch of each row, beginning with row two**

Begin Increase Rows:
Row 5 (and all RS rows): K to two stitches before first marker, KFB, K, slip marker, KFB…repeat these instructions at each marker.
Row 6 (and all WS rows): K to end

Continue Raglan increases until sleeve sections fit comfortably around your upper arms. This sweater is super easy to try on as you go. When you think you’ve gone far enough, transfer sleeves to waste yarn (or some spare circular needles, if you have them). To transfer sleeves, knit like so:
Beginning with a RS row: K to first marker, slip marker, move all stitches between marker one and two onto waste yarn or spare needle, remove marker 2, knit all stitches until you come to marker 3, slip marker, move all stitches between markers 3 and 4 to waste yarn or spare needle, remove marker four, knit to end.

Body: Knit every row until garment is as long as you’d like, remembering to slip the first stitch of every row to maintain a clean edge. When you reach the desired length, work 4 rows in Stockinette stitch to make a nice rolled edge. Bind off loosely.


Divide sleeve stitches evenly between DPNS and work in garter stitch until sleeves are nearly the desired length (I made mine elbow-length). On a knit row, decrease by evenly spacing K2tog’s over your total stitch count. You should have roughly 5-8 stitches between decreases, depending on your size. This will give you a nice semi-puffed, rounded sleeve opening. After decreasing, work 4 rows in stockinette and bind off loosely.

Repeat for second sleeve.


Attach two or three buttons at the bust, then pick up three stitches and knit an i-cord across from each button. Use yarn needle to attach i-cord ends to the edge of the sweater. Weave in all ends, block if desired, or just wear right on out of the house.


6 thoughts on “Garter Stitch Swingy-Sweater

  1. Thanks so much for sharing the pattern! I cast on today, and I love it already (though I have hundreds of rows to knit yet). 🙂

    ~KimberlyPye on Ravelry

  2. hi there!
    I’ve been almost virgin knitter for quite some time. Learned kinda in school. Found this cardie and it was the perfect project to start off on my quest. I’m good at buying wool needles etc. but never getting past row 5. Thankfully after two weeks of knitting addiction I finished. Love the cardie. Thanks so much for sharing it

  3. Thanks for sharing the pattern! This is my first sweater and it turned out great! 🙂 The instructions were easy to follow and I really like the “knit-to-fit” concept.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s