knitting a sweater without a pattern

As you may have read in the previous post, I unraveled my first attempt at knitting a sweater without a pattern – well, that is, without a pattern written by someone else. That first attempt was for a modified drop-shoulder sweater, which is shaped more or less like this:

I made it too big, not that that’s a bad thing, because it’s supposed to be big, but it was taking up so much yarn – it seemed like it would ultimately take about twice as much yarn as I had originally expected, and I wasn’t too happy with it anyway.

So I cut my losses and started anew, this time with a set-in-sleeve sweater, which has more shaping to it so it should be harder to calculate the increases and decreases and such – so I should learn more from it! I guess the first try gave me the confidence to give it a go.

I used a 5 cm (2″) ease at the waist, bust, and hem, and made it high-hip length (as opposed to the original which was tunic length) – so the yarn I have should be enough.

I already finished the whole sweater back! And started knitting the sweater front, which is the same as the back, except for the neckline, and for a stitch pattern I want to incorporate starting below the bust.

It wasn’t that hard, after I broke it down to its sections, and watched some parts of the “Handknit Garment Design” Course by Shirley Paden again.


the almost finished back


breaking it up into sections. Some sections are worked even, some are worked with increases, some with decreases and the final section is worked with bind-offs.


the bind off at the shoulder and neck of the completed back section

So far, so good! I hope to be posting the finished front soon. And I still have to work out the set-in sleeve (it’ll be a short sleeve).

Have a good day, everyone!

One thought on “knitting a sweater without a pattern

  1. That is so cool that you are knitting without a pattern! I bet you can do it. have you read or seen the book ‘Knitter’s Handy Book of Top-Down Sweaters: Basic Designs in Multiple Sizes and Gauges’ by Ann Budd? It’s pretty genius, and has recipes for general guidelines for you to follow based on what type of sweater you want, neckline, sleeve style, etc, and your gauge. It might be handy if you hit any more snags on your unpatterned sweater.

    Liked by 1 person

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