Friday, January 9, 2009


This pattern is named after the yarn because frankly, that's all there is. The simplest stockinette sweater, with very subtle waist shaping, was the best way I could think to show off a yarn that can speak entirely for itself. Of course, other yarns would work--anything drapey and soft and special will do. Worked with three inches negative ease, the sweater is comfy and good-looking to boot.

Sizes X-Small (32-34 bust), small (34-36), medium (36-38), large (38-40) (Shown in Size Small.)


2 (2, 3, 3) Skeins Brooks Farm Ellie (800-1200 yards DK weight)
US 9 20-inch circular needle.
Tapestry needle
5 stitch markers
2 stitch holders or spare yarn


32 rows=4 inches
20 stitches=4 inches


CO 96 (96, 100, 100) sts.

Join, PM, work in garter stitch for 4 rnds, beginning with a knit rnd.

Size XS & S: (k8, m1) 12X, k to end.
Size M & L: (k12, m1) 8X, k to end.

All sizes: 108 sts on needle.

k40, PM, k14, PM, k40, PM, k14.

(K to 1st st before m, m1, k1, slm, k1, m1, k to 1st before next m, m1, k1) around.

K 1 rnd.

Repeat last 2 rnds 14, 16, 18, 20X--228 (244, 260, 276) sts. On the last round, remove all markers except the end-of-round marker .

K across back sts, place 44 (48, 52, 56) sleeve sts on holder, PM, k across front sts, place 44 (48, 52, 56) sleeve sts on holder, PM, k across back sts to end-of-rnd marker--140 (148, 156, 164) sts.

K even until piece measures 8.5 (9, 9.5, 10) inches, measured from center back.

Waist shaping:

(k to 3 sts before m, k2tog, k2, ssk) 2x.

Work 6 (8, 10, 12) rnds.

Repeat these 7 (9, 11, 13) rnds 2x more--128 (136, 144, 152) sts.

Work another 12 (14, 17, 20) rnds even.

Hip shaping:

(k to 1 st before m, m1, k2, m1) 2x.

Work 6 (8, 10, 12) rnds.

Repeat these 7 (9, 11, 13) rnds 3x more --144 (152, 160, 168) sts.

Work even until piece measures 20.5 (22, 23.5, 25) in, measured from center back.

p1 rnd
k1 rnd
p1 rnd
k1 rnd
p1 rnd
k1 rnd

BO all sts loosely.


Place left sleeve sts on needles, RS facing, and attach yarn. Work even for 3 (3.5, 3, 3.5) inches, ending with a WS row.

k1, ssk, k to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1.

Work 7 (7, 9, 11) rows in stockinette.

Repeat these 8 (8, 10, 12) rows 2x more--38 (42, 46, 50) sts.

Work even for 18 (20, 18, 20) rows.

k1, ssk, k to last 3 st, k2tog, k1.

Work 3 (5, 7, 9) rows in stockinette.

Repeat these 4 (6, 8, 10) rows 2x more--32 (36, 40, 44) sts.

Work another 8 (8, 10, 8) rows in stockinette.

(k 8(9, 10, 11) m1) 3x, k7 (8, 9, 10), m1, k1--36 (40, 44, 48) sts.

Work 7 (7, 9, 11) rows in stockinette.

(k9 (10, 11, 12) m1) 3x, k8 (9, 10, 11), m1, k1--40 (44, 48, 52) sts.

Work 7 (7, 9, 11) rows in stockinette.

(k10 (11, 12, 13) m1) 3x, k9 (10, 11, 12), m1, k1--44 (48, 52, 56) sts.

Work 7 (7, 9, 11) rows in stockinette.

P 6 rows.

BO all sts.

Repeat for right sleeve.


Sew up sleeves, tack down any space under the raglan arms, weave in ends. Give it a good swirl in warm water to relax the thick-thin yarn, lay flat to dry.


Kim said...

very cute and so simple! thanks for sharing.

Vicki Suan said...

what a cute pullover! Thanks for sharing. I have so many handspun yarn that I can use for this one.

Brenda said...

Thanks so much for sharing. It is a gorgeous sweater.

Ginger said...

Hi! I absolutely LOVE this pullover, and I am eager to try to make it. I have a question, though: I love the yarn you used, but it's a bit too pricey for my budget right now. I'm a fairly new knitter, and I've never substituted yarn for a project like this before. Can you suggest some other type of yarn? I'm wondering if you think a DK weight Superwash Merino would work? Or...? Thanks!

Nikki Van De Car said...

Hmm...a DK weight might be a little on the thin side, but that might be exactly what you're looking for, if you want a kind of lacyish sweater. If you want something a little warmer, I'd go up to a light worsted or a worsted weight yarn.

Ginger said...

Thanks, Nikki--that's really helpful. I am having an easier time finding worsted weight yarns that I love--and can afford, anyway. I can't wait to start knitting!

Anonymous said...


You can substitute yarns. . . Always follow the needle size suggested by the yarn you are using (on the label) check with the sample you knit. Measure a 4 inch square and count the number of rows and stitches. . . for the 4 inches in each direction width is stitches per inch... and length is rows per inch. . . If you knit in the same gauge as the label says or the pattern requires. . .Great ! Otherwise simply adjust your needle sizes to match the required gauge for the number of stitches to use in the patern. I hope this helps you feel ready to substitute yarn. . .

Sacara said...

Hi, I am a new knitter and this is my first sweater. I have a fairly silly question. When in the pattern you have "Knit across back sts. . ." How do you tell which are the back stitches and which are the front? :)

Thanks in advance!

Nikki Van De Car said...

Hi Sacara,

Not a silly question, since the front and the back are exactly the same! I choose to call the side with the end of round marker the back, since it's a little less neat and then I won't be looking at it, but it really doesn't matter. When you complete the round, knit to the first sleeve, put that on hold, and knit to the second sleeve, and put that on hold. Call whichever side you want front or back--it makes no difference!

Anonymous said...


Love the sweater. I'm a new knitter too, and don't understand the count for increasing. Looks like increase before and after each of 3 stitch markers, which makes 6 stitches a row, times 20 plus 1 rows, which makes an increase total of 126 stitches for the large. So the total is 234?? Not 276?

Sure I'm counting wrong somehow but could you go into a tiny bit more detail for us novices?

A million thanks.

Anonymous said...

I am going to make this sweater if I can, but I am a beginner knitter. I just have one question about the pattern. It says several times,for instance: "Knit -However many stitches here- before m, m1, k2..." so on and so forth. Could someone please tell me what "m" means? I know "m1" means "make 1" so does "m" by itself mean "make"? Thanks so much, and sorry if I sound a little silly!
-15 Year Old Beginner

Nikki Van De Car said...


"m" means stitch marker...good luck!


maurak13 said...

I haven't started the sweater yet... but I am In the next day or so.

I am a fairly new knitter and my big question is "bind off loosely"?? I see this in many patterns and I have yet to feel as though something is loosely bound off.

How do you get the most flexable bind off??

Thanks a bunch :) I am looking sooooo forward to my new sweater!!!

Nikki Van De Car said...

Well, I just make sure not to pull the yarn too tight. There are several different kinds of bind-offs--sewn bind-off, etc. that you can google ( is a great resource) but generally, I just don't pull it too tight! Or you can use a larger size needle for the bind-off...That's another handy trick.



maurak13 said...

Thanks Nikki!!! That does help, you know us newbee's strangle every needle we see :) The larger needle is such a simple and easy fix as well

Grinning Big,

Liz said...

HI Nikki,
I too love the simplicity of this sweater. Couple questions, bare with me:
(1) I used a 9" circular with 8 ply merino wool, although the yarn label suggested a 6 US needle. But the tension was more than fine. Thoughts as to how this might play out with this, only my second, sweater (I thought DK and 8 ply were synonymous?). And (2) what do you think of the idea of trying a raglan sleeve with this silhouette? Thanks so much!

Liz said...

Rereading your directions I noticed that you refer to the sleeves as being raglan. Couldn't see it in the picture I guess! Also, what does "work 3 rows negative" mean? Sorry for the annoying tutorial questions.

Nikki Van De Car said...

Hi Liz,

You know, I don't spin, but the yarn I used is single-ply and was referred to on the label as single-ply....

Three inches negative ease is a descriptive term--the sweater is designed to stretch a little bit.



anadiazarte said...

Great job!, beautiful!

Mac Mom said...

Did you ever answer the Sept. 18 question from Anonymous? I have the same question. Am I correct that there is no M1 stitch after the third marker? Are the number of stitches after repeating the 2 rounds 14, 16,18,20 X correct? I end up with a lot fewer than what's stated in the pattern. Please clarify. Thank you!

Nikki Van De Car said...

It's a standard raglan sweater, so there's an increase before and after 4 stitch markers, but not around the center back (end of round) marker.

Hope said...

I just got the needles I ordered for this sweater in the mail today! I've been waiting forever it seems and I'm so excited :) Thank you for the free pattern. I will try my best to let you know how it turns out for me.

Hope said...

Okay. So I'm almost finished with the sweater here (SO EXCITED!) but I have a question. You say that you swirl it in water when you're finished with everything. Why? Would that direction majorly differ depending on the yarn used? I used yarn that's 80% Acrylic, 10% Wool, and 10% Mohair. The washing directions on the label say machine wash, lay flat to dry. Any suggestions anyone?
Also, the collar keeps flipping down because of the stockinette stitch even though it has a border. Tips anyone?
Btw, it's looking FABULOUS! :D

Nikki Van De Car said...

The swirling and laying flat is to block the sweater--which will take care of your curling problem.

amilwee said...

I'm so excited to start this! I've made 2 of your patterns so far and I have to say they are my favorites. They turned out beautifully and were so easy to follow. I just have one dumb question before I start this sweater: in the very beginning of the pattern, are you increasing during the garter stitch rounds or is it just one round of increasing as soon you finish the 4 garter rounds? Thank you!

Nikki Van De Car said...

Hi there,

I'm so glad you're enjoying the patterns!

Yes, it's just an increase round right after the garter collar--and then you go straight into the raglan yoke.

Hope said...

I loved your sweater patterns so much that now I'm altering it for a dress pattern of my own. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

This is such a love sweater! I'm excited to get started. I do have a question though, and maybe there's a simple solution that I haven't figured out?? Every time I cast on 100 onto my circular needle, I cannot get them joined to make a round to begin the collar. The cable seems to be too long, it's a 20" cable. I tried pulling the cable out between some stitches to get them closer, but now it seems like my needles are too long to allow me to join the stitches. Is there a simple solution that I'm unaware of, as this is my first sweater? I'd appreciate any advice!!

Nikki Van De Car said...

Well, I think if you're having trouble the simplest solution is to start with a shorter circular needle, or with dpns if you have those on hand, and then go back up to the longer needle when you have enough stitches.

I hate to tell anybody to go out and buy something, but if pulling on the cable isn't helping (which would have been my other suggestion) I don't know what to tell you--you don't want to cast on more stitches as that would make the neckline too big!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your quick reply! I've had someone suggest Magic Loop knitting to me, which is more steps than I was trying. I think I'll give that a try before going to buy DPNs! Not that buying more yarn or needles is ever a bad things. :-D Thank you! I'm so excited to start this sweater!

Anonymous said...

Ok, I have another question! You said in the comments to increase before and after 4 stitch markers, but not the end of round/center back marker. After I K40, pm, K14, pm, K40, pm, and K14, I'm back around to my marker at the center back, which is a total of four markers. Should I have two markers together there? Or should I stagger the markers so that the center back marker is in the middle of one of the K40 sections?

I'm sorry if this is something that should be clear. This is my first sweater and I'm struggling a bit! :-)

Nikki Van De Car said...

The center marker should be in the center of one of the 40 sts, yes--you should have a total of 5 stitch marker, and the center marker (I'd make it a different color) never gets increased around.

Anonymous said...

Ok, that makes sense. Thank you so much! I really appreciate your help!!

Jenna said...

Question: What does "K even until piece measures 10 increase, measured from center back.

How do you determine where the "center back is"? How many inches is this from the cast on?

Thanks so much for your help.

Nikki Van De Car said...

Well, I'm not sure where you are, as everything is written in inches, and I don't see the phrase "k even until measures 10 increase" (perhaps you misread the pattern?)

However, the center back is where the stitch marker is.

Jenna said...

Yea, sorry about that. Haha, major typo. I figured it out tho. I was confused when the pattern said "measured at the back center" I was thinking that I had to figure out where the sweater would hit the center of my back...vs measuring in the middle of the back collar. I got it though.

One other question you. I was reading the comment and someone had asked about substituting a yarn and asked about a DK weight Superwash Merino and you stated in your response that a DK weight might be a little on the thin side...but the Brooks Farm Ellie is also a DK weight???? Is it the fibre (Merino) that is thinner than other DK weight yarns? Because I thought it was the thickness of the yarn and a DK is a DK???

(novice knittier :) )

Thanks in advance :)

Nikki Van De Car said...

Because Ellie is so thick/thin, I think of it as a bit thicker than a standard DK. But it's not a big deal.

Cassy said...

Thanks for sharing this pattern!

I have the same question that cowgirl asked on 9/13/12 and I just want to make sure I understand your answer to her.

I have the same thing going on where when I'm placing the 4th marker, I'm back around to the center marker so they're next to each other. You said the center marker should be in the middle of the 40 sts, so does that mean I should move the center marker from it's current spot and place it half way through the 40 sts? Does it go in the first group of 40 sts?

Sorry if this is redundant, I just want make sure I'm understanding correctly.

Thanks for your help!

Nikki Van De Car said...

The center marker stays where it is--it's the end of round marker, not a marker for the raglan increases. There are 5 markers total. Does that make it a bit clearer?

Cassy said...

Oh okay, thank you so much for your help! All cleared up. I didn't think it made much sense to move the end of round marker...just got a little confused after placing the 4th increase marker right next to the end of round marker.


Rebecka M said...

Lovely pattern! Am translating this for my mum to use as pattern for her very first jumper - and I'm just a bit confused about the sleeves - are you using the circular needle for them too? From the pattern description for the sleeves(rows rather than rounds /WS and RS) it sounds as if you are using standard needles rather than the circular one? Any enlightenment would be appreciated. Thank you!

Rebecka M said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nikki Van De Car said...

I knit them straight, but they certainly could be worked in the round--whatever your mum finds easiest!

bex said...

Hi, thanks so much for the pattern! I have a quick question: at the start, where there's the first increase round, you say: '(k8, m1) 12X, k to end.'

Doing k8, m1 x 12 does take me to the end already, so does this mean I should knit another whole round till I get to the end again after I've done the increases?


Nikki Van De Car said...

Hi Bex,

I think you might not have placed the end of round marker in the right spot, but if you're at the end of the round and the increases are all looking right, I'm sure you're fine!

Anonymous said...

Hi there. I could be mistaken, but it appears to me that when you're initially placing markers for the front/back/raglans you never say to place a beginning of round marker - only the four. So the first increase round starts after the marker between sleeve and back. You should have an increase there. So you'd write *k1, m1l, k to 1 st before marker, m1r, k to marker, sm* and repeat that around. I'm just not seeing where you include placing a 5th marker in the center back anywhere in the pattern, and it seems like a lot of people are missing those 2 increases around the back edge of the left raglan.

Anonymous said...

I just started this pattern and am confused as well. There are only 4 PMs in pattern, not 5. Is the end of round at the middle of the back, so you knit half the back stiches, then put sleeve stiches on holder, then knit all front stiches, then put other sleeve on holder, then knit the other half of back? Thanks!

Nikki Van De Car said...

Sorry it's taken me a while to get back to you! The 5th marker is the end of round marker, at the center back. You would place that one right when you cast on.

Anonymous said...

Niki I love this pattern! Thanks! I'm confused about the decrease for the waist. Do I really begin three stitches before the marker and do it twice? And then if I'm correct I repeat this for 21 rows? Please clarify.

Thanks so much


Nikki Van De Car said...

Hi Kim,

You do the whole parenthetical statement twice, so (k to 3 sts before m, k2tog, k2, ssk) 2x means
K to 3 sts before the marker, k2tog, k1, slip marker, k1, ssk, k to 3 sts before the next marker, k2tog, k1, sl m, k1, ssk, k to end.

Does that help?

maestrakim said...

Going back I see now where I messed up. Do you have a suggesting for placing the markers now?

Anonymous said...

The Guage in the yarn I have chosen comes out 20 stitches but 25 rows. No where near 32 rows. Would it work if I just add more rows as I need to in the jumper?

Nikki Van De Car said...

I think that would be fine. Just keep checking your measurements to make sure things aren't going off!

Anonymous said...

The gauge I made with the yarn I have chosen is 20 stitches to 25 rows. Would it work if I used it anyway and not knit as many rows as you would have?

Anonymous said...

Thanks. These posts didn't show just now so I posted it again. But I realise that I would not need a many rows to made the same measurememts.

Anonymous said...

Hi Nikki,

Thank you very much for this lovely sweater.

I have a question regarding the waist shaping:
You say "K to 3 sts before the marker, k2tog, k1, slip marker, k1, ssk, k to 3 sts before the next marker, k2tog, k1, sl m, k1, ssk, k to end". I guess this is one round. So we have passed the round marker twice in this one round and the stitches are reduced by 4. Repeating this another 10 rounds for M size means that the stitches should be reduced more than 12, which is what you imply in the instructions. (Before waist shaping I have 156 stitches and you say that I should have 144 stitches after reducing, but I end up with much less...)
Could you please let me know what I'me getting wrong?


Nikki Van De Car said...

Hi Marina,

That "work 10 rounds" is work 10 rounds without decreasing--just straight stockinette. Then you repeat that whole set of eleven rounds (so the decrease round plus the 10 plain rounds) two times more. So you'll decrease only twelve stitches, over the course of 33 rounds.

Hope that helps!


Anonymous said...

Hi Nikki,

Thanks a lot for the immediate reply. I thought that "work" meant "continue as previously" in your instructions... Thanks again.

Have a nice day,

Sarah said...


I started this pattern and got about 10 rounds past the garter section and realized that it isn't right for two reasons. The first is that the pattern only specifies 4 markers (one at the beginning of the round and 3 in the increase section; even if you placed a 4th increase marker, it would be at the beginning of the round, not the middle back). So now I know to place 5 markers.

Then, if you place the marker at the beginning of the round, then do 40, 14, 40, 14, placing a marker between each, then one of the markers is with the beginning of round marker. This also leaves the beginning of round marker between a 14 and 40, not in the middle of the 40 stitches. So I am left thinking I should shift the pattern to do 20, 14, 40, 14, 20.

The second thing is that the pattern doesn't include enough increases. It specifies increases on both sides of the first stitch marker, increases on the first side of the second marker, increases on both sides of the third marker, and increases on the first side of the fourth marker.

I followed the pattern and had 4 markers, each at one raglan increase, and then two of the raglan increases had them on both sides of the marker, the other two had an increase on the first side of the marker (2nd and 4th markers).

This is my first sweater so this might be a mistake, but I'm going to shift to 20, 14, 40, 14, 20 and then do two increases at each raglan marker and hope for the best! The final product looks super cute and I'm still hopeful I can do it!