Learn to Knit a Sweater – Woman’s T-shirt

Summertime knitting, and no prior sweater knitting experience needed!

This sweater is a top-down raglan style, knit in a light summery yarn. Learning to knit (and fit) this style of sweater will set you up to knit all kinds of other patterns. I’ve sized this sweater from XS to 3X.

Sizes: XS (S, M, L, 1X, 2X, 3X) [Actual bust measurements 29” (32”, 36”, 40”, 44”, 48”, 52”).] The fit of this sweater includes 1 inch of ease at the bust.
Needles: Size 7 US 24” circular needles, size 7 US double-pointed needles, size 10.5 US needle (for loose bind-off)
Yarn: Knit Picks Comfy Sport in Honey Dew, 5 (5, 6, 6, 7, 8, 8 ) skeins
Additional Materials: 4 stitch markers, scrap yarn for reserving stitches, tapestry needle for weaving in ends
Gauge: 18 stitches and 23 rows over 4 inches (blocked)

This pattern is available in three different formats, each includes links to 7-part video tutorial:

1. PDF Pattern, traditional and printable. $8.00 via PayPal

2. Amazon Kindle digital download (suitable for Kindle devices and devices that use the Kindle app): $6.00 US

3. eReader (For non-Kindle eReaders, like Sony eReader and Barnes & Noble Nook, or any device using the Google Play Books app) $6.72 US

150 comments on “Learn to Knit a Sweater – Woman’s T-shirt

  1. Melinda – getting correct gauge is very important. If you are even one stitch off per inch, that is multiplied around each inch of the entire sweater, and you will end up with a sweater that is huge, or tiny. To get the sizing listed in the pattern, your gauge needs to be spot on.

    It’s just a matter of finding the correct needle size – it can be done. This video should help: http://verypink.com/2010/12/21/checking-gauge/

    S t a c i

  2. Hi Staci,

    Hope you have room for another fan! I’m a new knitter (about two months old) and I’m jumping in with this sweater as my first “real” project. I’ve chosen my yarn, have my needles and am ready to begin my swatch. I’m thinking of wearing this as a dressy sweater and want the sleeve to be loose rather than fitted. Any help/suggestions on how to achieve this or will that completely change the sweater? Look forward to your response.

    Thank you for your help and professional, yet friendly teaching manner. Because of you I’m attempting a sweater and then I’m on to socks! LOL

    Best,
    Cheryl

  3. Hi Cheryl – thank you for the note! It is possible to make wider sleeves in a top-down raglan sweater, but it’s not a modification I would suggest that a new knitter tries, as it really requires re-doing the proportions of the sweater, and ultimately rewriting the pattern.

    Hope that helps!
    S t a c i

  4. Staci,

    That is what I thought but I’m glad I asked anyway for confirmation. Yes, that definitely helps, thank you.

    Cheryl

  5. Love this pattern and the videos have been so helpful. I am a new knitter (one washcloth and the Moebius scarf) and I have been doing pretty good with the pattern so far after the first couple of times I had to pull it all apart and start over. I am pretty far along on the increases and now notice that two rows ago on one of the stitch marker areas I forgot to do the increases. My husband must have been trying to converse again! Anyway I am afraid that if I pull out these two rows I won’t get the markers back in the correct places. Is there anyway to go to that area again and just take out those stitches and add the increases or should I just remove the last few rows and correct it?

  6. Marsha – you really need to rip back to get this right. If you’re worried about finding the correct place to put the marker, you can always use a safety pin to mark the spot. Just trace down from where the marker is now to the row before the mistake, and pop your safety pin in that spot. That will make it easier to find.

    Good luck!
    S t a c i

  7. Hello Staci

    Last night (July 23) I purchased the Women’s Tshirt pattern using my paypal account. I thought I had it saved on my ipad. I was going to transfer it to my laptop when I got home from work. When I tried to open the link, I got a message that the link was expired. Is there any chance you could resend me the copy of the pattern, please?

  8. Hi Staci! This is my first sweater and I am having SO much fun! I chose to make a size M, even though that is larger than my usual size. I am now at the trying on stage before separating the sleeves and like a previous person, I am finding the sleeves way too small even though the body looks about right. Maybe I am doing the math wrong, but 44 stitches for each sleeve at 18stitches/4″ gauge would mean under 10 inches for the sleeve circumference…? I am not a large person, but no way are my arms only 10 inches around–more like 12-14″ (it’s kinda hard to measure them by myself, lol). What am I not understanding? I’ve already added 4 more rows, so my arms are now up to 48 stitches (which is what they should be for a large, and my bust is just NOT 40″)…but even that means only 10 1/2 inches (or so) circumference. I’m afraid to keep increasing, but I also want it to fit right… Thanks for any help you can give. 🙂

  9. Ann – the sleeves are meant to fit snugly, with “negative ease”, meaning the actual measurement of the sleeve will be smaller than the actual measurement of your arm. I haven’t tried this myself, but I know that more than one gal has had success with doing a few rounds of increases only at the sleeves to change the proportions a bit (and not increasing at the front/back for those rounds). Hope that helps!

    S t a c i

  10. Oh, I get it now. I think even with negative ease they might still be a bit too small… So I’ll rip back a few rows and try what you suggest. Thanks so much!! I’m a newbie to knitting, but for some reason I am just getting such a kick out of it! 🙂 And you are one of the reasons why–your videos are so well done and have really helped me figure stuff out. Thanks again! 🙂 🙂

  11. Hi Staci,

    thanks a lot for the videos, they are really helpful!
    I just have one question, I remember you used to show a way of securing the ends by hiding them in stockinette pattern. Do you think cotton is too slippery for that method? So a double knot and then hide the ends is too risky?

    Thanks,Athena

  12. Staci, I have my pattern and yarn but have a question about guage… I Thought guage swatch for in the round knitting should be knitted in the round?

  13. Judy – if you notice a difference in your gauge when you’re knitting flat or in-the-round then yes – you should knit your swatch in-the-round.

    S t a c i

  14. Staci, I am approaching the moment of truth when I try on the sweater for fit, but am thinking that I made a mistake in joining the yarn. I have never worked with cotton yarn before. I thought you said to tie a knot and continue knitting which I did, but now I am wondering if the knot was just to anchor the yarn and you wanted at least one stitch with the old and new yarn together and that you intended the knot that you leave in the work to be after you weave the end and split the plies and knot as you demonstrated in your cotton potholder video. I think I can still fix the ends if you did not mean the knot to be left at the yarn join.

    I love your patterns and videos. I need the 3x size in patterns for me though and you have some lovely patterns that are not big enough. I will continue to learn from you on other patterns though. Thank you.

  15. Judy – it sounds like you did it correctly. Just join the new yarn at one of the increase points by just knitting a new stitch, then tie the old tail together with the new tail.

    S t a c i

  16. Sorry but your capta web box would not accept characters.

    Staci, I love your tutorials. You have encouraged me to try more and more things. I have purchased and have almost finished the woman’s sweater. My problem is that the neckline is a little too big and my bra straps show. (I was more worried about the bust area when I tried it on.) I am finishing the sleeves anyway to make sure that I am happy with the sweater fit and look. I would value any suggestions you can offer about making this sweater something I will be comfortable wearing. It was suggested to me to pick up stitches at the neckline in a complementary color and add a few rows and do the same at the bottom to tie it together. Or, I considered crocheting a scalloped neckline edge in the same color.

    I could rip it out and start over taking a few inches out of the cast on and adding them to the body when I start the body, or I could try casting on the smaller size and just keep knitting till it fits my bust. I would like to make the sweater again. Do you have any suggestions for me? Thanks for all the help you provide to starting knitters.

  17. Judy – this sweater is meant to have a wide neckline, and the suggestions you have been given for tightening that up after-the-fact sound good to me. If you want to make another one, your instinct is correct – start with a smaller size (with fewer stitches CO), and continue the increases until it fits comfortably around your bust, then separate the sleeves.

    Good luck!
    S t a c i

  18. Staci –
    I have watched so many of your videos and decided it was time to make the jump and try this sweater. I have purchased the pattern and have my yarn. I purchased Cascade Ultra Pima. I have had a hard time getting to the correct gauge with this yarn and wondered if you thought it might still work. I did get the correct gauge by going up to a size 9 needle, although I don’t care for the way the stitches look as much as the size 7 or 8. I guess I am a tighter knitter that I thought. Please let me know if you think it will still work out OK. I guess I am just still a little nervous about all of this
    🙂 Thanks so much for all of your help!

  19. Charla – thank you for the note. To answer your question – every time you knit something, you’re kind of on your own adventure. Since you’ve gotten the correct gauge, my inkling is that you will be fine and your sweater will turn out the way you want, but your swatch is your best indication of how your finished knit will look. If i were you, I would move forward with confidence.

    S t a c i

  20. Hi

    Please tell me what type of join you used once past the raglan increases to add new ball of yarn. I am using the same yarn you did for this pattern . In the video you mentioned that the knots would be noticeable.

    Thank you

    Pam

  21. Hi Staci! Bought your pattern, watched your great tutorial, did my swatch (three times to get correct gauge) and now I’ve cast on with 24 inch circular needles for the medium size and it’s not enough cast ons to join in the round… (108)… even if I stretch out the cast ons like crazy, it’s not going to reach 24 inches. What am I doing wrong?

  22. Hi Staci. I love your videos and have learned a ton from you. I also admire your ability to take something you love and make a successful business from it.

    My question: I’ve knit to about 6 inches below the raglan increases into the body to the point that it actually looks like a sweater! :o) I know you said to add a new skein at the raglan increases, but below that, do you have any tips? I added my first one a couple of inches below the armpit (kind of where a seam would be if there were a seam) and I’ve kept on knitting. I’m not that thrilled with how it looks because it’s all otherwise so nice and smooth with the stockinette. I’ll probably be the only one who notices it, but just wondered if you had any other suggestion.

    Thanks so much!
    Leslie

  23. I cant tell from the video or pattern instruction if you include those two backwards loop cast on stitches in the knitted roundss that complete the body of the sweater or if they just hang out with the sleeves until you come back to the sleeves. I did a few rounds including them with the body but started to rethink about this. Please let me know. Thanks so much!

  24. Hi!
    Love this sweater! But, before I purchase it I’d like to know if the bust is measured at the fullest area of the bust or measured above this area, when measured around the body, the tape measure is almost under the arm? I ask these questions because I’ve found that different designers do bust mupeasurements in different areas – THANKS!
    Additionally, is shaping created/knit within the sweater?
    Thanks for all of your hello, both on your website & your videos.
    Becka

  25. Hi Becka – the bust measurement is for the fullest part of the bust. And no – there is no waist shaping, more of a casual fit.

    S t a c i

  26. Hi Stacy! I just wanted to say THANK YOU SO MUCH for having these patterns available on Kindle!! That is so awesome!! ????

  27. Thank you for the lovely tutorials! I have a question regarding the raglan sweater pattern. If I want to have very short, cap-style sleeves, does your pattern account for this? I’m a new knitter and really want to make myself some summer tops 🙂

    Amanda

  28. Amanda – you can make the sleeves any length you like, to a point. The top-down raglan style of sweater gives you a little bit of sleeves before you “knit the sleeves” – you can see this in the video.
    S t a c i

    • Thank you so very much! I just got the pattern and will be starting on it.

      One more question. I have a small frame, but a large bust. Should I start with the bust size I fall into, or start smaller and increase to fit the bust?

      Thanks again,
      Amanda

  29. I’m really enjoying learning to knit with your great lessons! I do have to keep going back unfortunately. I keep either missing the increase on a row, or adding too many on e wrong rows. I’ve done a lifeline on the setup row the last time I goofed, but now I’m into the 6th increase, with a goof after the 3rd increase. How do I know where to thread my lifeline in order to go back and correct my goof? I’ve got a gaping hole after the 3rd set of increase row/plain knit. Any ideas are greatly appreciated!

    Thank you,
    Amanda

  30. Amanda – you may want to thread regular proactive lifelines every couple of inches. Just thread the scrap yarn through the live stitches at regular intervals, then you always have a safe place to rip back to. As for threading a reactive lifeline, just be sure to put it in anywhere before the mistake, so that the mistake disappears when you unravel.

    S t a c i

    • Thank you. I’ll start threading in a line from now on. Since I’m still learning how to knit, is there an easy way to see which stitches are in which row, especially the increase rows, for threading the lifeline?

      Thank you,
      Amanda

  31. Amanda – it’s easy to see the stockinette stitches, right next to each other, but you kind of just have to do your best through increases and decreases. Good news is that it is only a few stitches to recover if you make a mistake.

    S t a c i

    • Hello again!

      I’m getting so much better at knitting, thank you! I have yet another question: for the sleeves, may I use my same circular needles instead of the double pointed needles? I feel like I’ve gotten pretty good at the ‘magic loop’ you’ve also taught through other tutorials.

      Thanks!
      Amanda

      • I’m also interested in binding off the sleeves, without adding any extra length. Would I follow your ‘bind-off in the middle of a row’ for this, then pick up the pattern again?

        I appreciate all your work so very much. Thank you for putting out so many wonderful tutorials!

        Amanda

  32. When knitting the body of the sweater, is the ‘knit to x inches’ length a total length or from the sleeve-split.

    Thanks,
    Amanda

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