Mom’s Improvised Sweater – Knitting Instructions Included

Mom's Improvised Drop Shoulder Ribbed Sweater

Mom's Improvised Drop Shoulder Ribbed Sweater

To show that I come by my ability to visualize and adapt knitting patterns naturally, I am showing off my mother’s grey improvised sweater.

I gave my mom this wonderful grey linen blend which contains flecks of white since my mother always has room for one more grey item in her wardrobe. One of my uptown knitting buddies had given it to me when she was destashing. It seems that my knitting friends all know that I can envision how to turn some longer cherished stash into something wonderful.

Since there was sufficient yarn for a sweater, my mother decided to adapt a simplified pattern that she had used before. At its core, the pattern consists of two rectangles which are sewn together at the shoulders forming a boat neck. Then stitches are picked up for sleeves which are knit down. This has the great advantage of allowing the knitter to measure the length as she goes which is good because the sweater has a dropped shoulder.

Before she started, my mom knit a swatch and we measured it. The swatch allowed my mom to try out a couple of variations of stitches. Then I took her measurements and applied some easy math to get the basic cast on. And she was off and knitting.

You’ll note that my mom used a variety of ribbed stitches to make the sweater more fitted.

If you’re interested in trying it, follow these easy steps:

  1. Knit a swatch of at least 20 stitches using the appropriate needle for the yarn and your gauge.
  2. Take your measurements. Add 2 inches to your widest measurement and divide that number by 2.
  3. Multiply the number of stitches per inch by half of your measurement to get your cast on number of stitches.
  4. Knit 2 rectangles to the length that you want your sweater to be. My mom knit about 24 inches.
  5. Sew the shoulders together (Take the measurement from step 2 and subtract 8 inches. Then divide by 2 this is the number of inches that you need to sew on each shoulder.)
  6. Pick up stitches at the armhole. My mother used 8 inches * her stitch gauge (with half of the stitches picked up on either side.) She then slowly decreased to her wrist. I usually decrease every 10 rows a couple of times, then 8 rows a couple of times, etc. until I have the appropriate amount for my wrist.

Happy knitting!

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