Learn to Knit a Men’s Sweater

Finally, something for the guys in a pattern + video tutorial! While my original sketches for this included cables, a shawl collar, buttons, stripes, (and more); masculine feedback on the design helped me to edit it down to something that even the most conservative dresser will want to wear. (And just enough going on to keep it interesting for the knitter.)

Skill level – Most of my patterns/video tutorials are for beginners and advanced beginners, this one is not. I have listed this pattern as “intermediate”. This pattern includes a video tutorial, but it is not appropriate for beginning knitters. Before taking on this project, I suggest that you have previous sweater knitting experience (or at least lots of shaped knitting experience), and plenty of experience with reading patterns. If you are unsure, watch some of the video to see if this project is appropriate for your skill level. Additionally, while I provide as much pattern support as I can, I cannot help with pattern modifications.

This pattern includes links to eight instructional videos to walk you through the tricky parts of working the pattern. You can view the videos for free at the bottom of this post.

The details:
Sizes: Small, Medium, Large, XLarge, XXLarge [to fit actual chest measurements of 34 (38, 42, 46, 50)”]
Needles: Size 6 US circular or straight needles, size 7 US 24 or 32” circulars, size 7 US double pointed needles. Also, size 7 US 16” circular needles are optional, but very nice to have for the sleeves.
Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Tweed in Farmhouse Heather, 12 (12, 14, 16, 17) skeins. Or this many yards of any worsted yarn: 1300 (1400, 1550, 1700, 1850).
Additional Materials: clippie marker, 4 ring stitch markers, 12” zipper, bias tape (optional), knit picker tool (also called a snag fixer) for installing the zipper
Gauge: 5 stitches per inch in stockinette

This pattern is available in three different formats, each includes links to 8-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): $7.00 US

3. eReader (For non-Kindle eReaders, like Sony eReader and Barnes & Noble Nook, or any device using the Google Play Books app) $7.20 US

171 comments on “Learn to Knit a Men’s Sweater

  1. Is there any chance of writing a pattern for a men’s sweater using a 5 ply yarn. As my son in law is quite small (often gets mistaken for a student) I find that a 10ply is too large for his frame. I have looked on ravelry and all men’s sweater appear to be the larger ply, with absolutely nothing in a finer knit.

  2. Almost done. It is SO beautiful. Just one quick question: At the bottom of the sleeves, before the I-cord bind-off, do I k2 together every ribbing panel as I did on the body before bind-off?

  3. Hi Ann – not necessary. The sleeves will hang straight without flaring without a decrease round.

    You’re almost finished!
    S t a c i

  4. I’m still “almost done,” but have another question. My husband definitely needs the short rows, but I’m confused by the instructions. I did the first w&t both RS & WS. The words that are confusing me are “wrapping every 4th stitch from your last wrapped stitch.” So I had done the w&t 3 stitches from the marker. Am I now doing the w&t 4 stitches from the last wrapped stitch?

    Thanks so much. I’d love to finish this before all cold weather disappears!

  5. Hi Staci,
    I’m about to embark on knitting this sweater but need to clarify the instructions for the raglan increases. I’m good up to and including Row 14. Then it says to “repeat these 14 rows until the work…”. So does that mean I continue the same pattern from rows 1 – 14, increasing the number of stitches before the markers on the odd rows? i.e. Row 15 would now have 9 stitches before the marker?

  6. David – yes, you repeat rows 1-14, then back to Row 1 after you finish 14, “until the work measures…”. That part is correct.

    The pattern is written so that the markers always stay in the correct place, and your rib always stays on track with the increases. The continued increases will give you more and more stitches between the markers.

    S t a c i

  7. Hi Staci, I am just starting this sweater and will be joining a new ball of yarn soon. I am using a super wash wool blend and need to join a new ball, where is the best place to do this? Thank you, Melissa.

  8. Hi Melissa – you want to attach a new ball of yarn in the middle of one of the raglan increases (even if it’s not an increase row). The last place you’d want to do it is in a “sea of stockinette” where the evenness of the stitches could be disrupted. There is enough going on at the increases where it will hide any tension bloopers that come from attaching a new ball of superwash yarn.

    I hope you washed and blocked your swatch before you checked gauge! Superwash yarns are notorious for going nutso when when they get wet!
    S t a c i

  9. Staci, Thank you so much for all your help. I did wash and block my swatch before checking guage and had to go up another needle size.

  10. Hello Staci,

    I’d love to start this project as my first sweater ever, because the video support would give me more courage in my first attempt.
    My question is: I’d like to make a traditional round-necked version of this pattern. Is there, by any chance, any variation in the PDF file I could use to make it?
    On the top of that: If I do not mistake, there are some evenly distributed purled stitches in the body and the sleeves, which I do not particularly adore. Could I go just plain stockinette stitch all around?
    Many thanks for your kind attention and help.
    You’re of great inspiration to all of us.

  11. Lucio – I wish you the best of luck on your first sweater, but I’m afraid I can’t support modifications to my designs. (If I did, that would be ALL I did, all day, nothing else!) There are tons of mens sweater patterns available on Ravelry – hopefully you can find what you’re looking for, and perhaps you’ll find video support, too.

    You can read my Frequently Asked Questions page for more info: http://verypink.com/frequently-asked-questions/

    S t a c i

  12. That’s all right Staci,

    I will take it as it is. Your clarity and the quality of your teaching are worth more than any other pattern anywhere.
    And, to be perfectly frank, it’s not that I don’t like to collar. I am just afraid I dunno how to attach a zip .___.”

    Thanks so much and all the best!

  13. Hi Staci, my question is as far as the swatch (sorry if this was asked before I read all the thread and I don’t think I found an answer to my question). I am knitting the sweater in an xtra large size, given the fact that you give the pattern with the exact measurements I wouldn’t have to do a swatch if I use exactly the yarn and needle size you described for this project?
    Thanks in advanced, you got gifted hands, mine as a guy are still mutating into the ability of knitting,. lol

  14. Matt – yes, it is always important that you knit a gauge swatch, then wash and block your swatch, for each project. Even if you use identical yarns and needles, people knit with different tension. If your tension is slightly tighter than mine (the pattern designer, in this case), and you don’t adjust your needle size to get correct gauge, you will end up with a much smaller sweater than intended. And the reverse is true – if you are a looser knitter than me, you will end up with a huge sweater.

    S t a c i

  15. Quick question for you…the pattern says that when you reach 12″ from CO ending after a RS row…in the video it looks like you are taking out the 3 sts on the knit side. Wouldn’t you be taking out the 3 sts on the purl/ws as written in the pattern or am I missing something? Thanks

  16. David – you ended after a RS row, and you want to take out the last three stitches you just worked to continue. Knit side/purl side doesn’t really play into it – it’s just the last three stitches you worked on a RS row.

    Hope that helps!
    S t a c i

  17. One more question for you (hopefully I won’t have to bug you too much after this one). I’ve finished with knitting the 3 sts together and am now getting ready for the next rows/rounds. You indicate that we will need to work the 14 row pattern x number of times. It looks like that the first row/round will be #3 as there are 3 sts left before the first marker…do I have that correct? And then I would just count the rounds and number of sts required as indicated in the pattern.
    Hopefully I have this right ( I just assumed I would be starting with row/round #1 of the pattern)

  18. David – you can stop anywhere in the 14 row repeat to begin working in the round…what row did you leave off? You want to continue, in order, from the last row you worked.

    S t a c i

  19. Hi Staci,

    I’m almost at the point of separating the sleeves and noticed that your total stitch count are odd numbers. In checking, I have an even number and can’t see where there was any problems in my work. I would of thought that if we started with 116 sts and each round is 8 increases our number would always be even…is there something I’m missing ( my count is off by +1 from the pattern)

  20. David – I know the stitch count is correct, and without going back to the pattern, I think that it is odd because you turned six stitches into three at the very center panel of the stockinette, where you have 9 stitches.

    S t a c i

  21. Hi, Staci,
    I’m a pretty solid intermediate knitter, but I’m having a heck of a time at Row 14. Maybe I’m overthinking it or something. At the end of Row 13, the pearl stitch is 8 stitches from the marker (P1, K6, M1R, K1=8). Then on…..oh wow. By writing this out, I just realized that I was treating Row 14 as a regular ribbing row (despite your clear instructions to work in ribbing “EXCEPT ROW 14”!). Okay, so now I’m really writing to say that both my mom and I adore you and you’ve really helped me improve my knitting skills in a short amount of time — but apparently not my pattern reading skills!

  22. Hi Staci, I have a question on the paragraph that starts by saying “work in pattern without increasing…” It’s after the separate the sleeves part when you are knitting the trunk/body of the sweater: it reads “Now you are finished increasing! Just work in pattern, knitting the knits and purling the purls, until your sweater measures 25 (26.5, 27, 27,28) *** so first question is until the sweater measures (X) amount of…what.?…inches?? If so, (X) amount of inches from where the ribbing starts at the neck the down or from right under the arm till you finish the I-cord bind off???
    Thank u in advance for answering my question.


  23. Hi Staci,
    I am at the point where I have put the sleeve stitches back on my 16″ needle to begin knitting a sleeve. The pattern states to “pick up the same number of stitches under the arm as you CO when you separated the sleeves” (4 in my case). Where are these stitches/how do I “pick them up”? Thanks!

  24. Great Staci, thanks for the quick response and the link to the video. Very excited to be in the final stages of the sweater! It’s been so much fun to work on.

  25. Hi Staci! I was just wondering if you knew of a simple way to convert this to a cabled sweater? My brother wants a cabled sweater but I just really love this pattern because it seems so simple as my first sweater πŸ™‚ I love all your patterns and videos by the way!

  26. Crimzyn – you can add cables wherever you like, it should be a simple thing to do. I’m always here to answer any questions you have on the pattern, but unfortunately, I can’t help you much with pattern modifications.

    Good luck!
    S t a c i

  27. Hi Staci.
    I’m knitting this great sweater pattern, and am just at 12 inches and ready to start to knit in the round. Your instructions say to do this after a RS row.
    I’m confused because your video shows the tink back and 3 needle bind off on the right side? Shouldn’t I do this after a wrong side row?
    Am missing something?

  28. HI again Staci.
    So, right after asking about the change to knitting in the round a lightbulb went off and I got it!!
    Thanks for your fabulous tutorials. I think I’ve watched every one of them!

  29. Oh dear, I seem to have messed up somehow.

    After starting to knit in the round, I was doing just fine with all the cable rows lining up nicely, and the raglan increases all tidy. Until I got to row 14 for the first time now that it’s all right side knitting. Following the instruction that two stitches before the marker I should knit one then purl one I end up with the purl bump in the wrong place. It seems it would be right if instead of knit one purl one before the marker it would be purl one knit one? I just can’t figure out what else it could be…..I even got graph paper out and drew it out, and thats the only thing that seems to make sense to me?

    Could it be I miscounted my rows? would that make it be off?


  30. Hi Staci,

    Can I use this pattern with a different yarn? I like the Capra DK Yarn from knitpicks. It’s almost the same gauge. 5 – 5.5 sts = 1″ instead of 4.5 – 5 sts = 1″ .


  31. George – if you can get the correct gauge, you can use any yarn you like. I think the Capra yarn is thinner than the yarn used (DK vs Worsted), but if you get the correct gauge and like the fabric you’re creating, you’re good.

    S t a c i

  32. Im getting ready to start knitting in the round but I am curious about the measurements. My icord is measuring 10 1/2 inches and my body is 11 1/2. Which measurement do you go by to determine the 12 inches before knitting in the round?

  33. Dear Staci,

    I am knitting your wonderful jumper for my husband. His chest and belly measurements are both 39 to 39.5inches and he wants a loose fitting jumper, like the model in this photo. I was thinking of knitting him the medium size but am now not sure if that’s a good choice or if I should knit him the next size up. What would you advise me?

    Many thanks,

  34. i have reached the point where I start to work on trunk of sweater. I counted up stitches and I have way too many! Following the 14 rows aren’t I increasing 8 stitches every other row? What am I doing wrong???

  35. Kathy – sorry you’re having trouble. I don’t know where you might have gone astray, but yes – there are 8 increases, every other row. The numbers given in the pattern are correct. I hope you are able to discover the issue soon!

    S t a c i

  36. I was increasing for the length of the zipper. I was also increasing for the working in the round part. Was that right? If I add the increases from working in the round to the 116 I started with that gets me to about the 353 for medium. But I was also increasing for the length of the zipper. Was that wrong?

  37. Kathy – I’m not sure if I understand what you’re saying, but the only increase points are at the markers, not at the zipper opening.

    S t a c i

  38. My dad has a 40″ chest; would the medium with the 2″ ease make it a good fit, or would you recommend going up a size? (Sorry I ask this for every pattern, guess it hasn’t clicked for me yet!)

  39. Dear Staci, I’m currently knitting this pattern. Many thanks for your amazing instructions. I am knitting the medium size and am starting the last 4 rows. However, I am one stitch short and will end up on 352 instead of 353 stitches. I checked all the ribbing and I also counted the number of stitches at the increases and I can’t find for the life of me where I lost a stitch. Do you think it matters hugely that I’m short of just 1? Thank you for your help. I really don’t want to mess this up!

  40. Karen – one stitch won’t make any difference at all in the circumference of an entire sweater, but it will throw your ribbing off. If you find the place where the ribbing is off, just add a stitch there – then forget about it! No one will be the wiser. πŸ™‚

    S t a c i

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