October Sweater Knitting Pattern

Introducing: the October Sweater! A simple, top-down, raglan style knitting pattern!

The October Sweater is a perfectly simple, top down, raglan style knitting pattern worked in the round.  Simple shaping at the neckline, a relaxed fit, and gorgeous tweed yarn combine together to create a sweater that will certainly become a wardrobe classic.

This sweater is worked in stockinette stitch with simple rib stitch detailing at the hem, cuffs, and neckband. The October Sweater is unisex and available in 9 sizes. Its the perfect, simple, no nonsense raglan sweater you’ve been looking for!

October Sweater knitting pattern main image showing model wearing the sweater, standing on steps with one arm up.  Raglan detailing and neckline detailing are shown

Available as a free pattern, a printable PDF on Ravelry and Etsy, and as a kit with Lion Brand Yarn. Scroll down to access the free knitting pattern or continue reading to learn a bit about the design and some pointers to help you out!

**please note, some links may be affiliate links which will allow me to make a small commission on products purchased through my referral. This does not influence my opinion or the price of the item that you are purchasing in any way.

The Design

The October Sweater knitting pattern is constructed using the ever popular top down, raglan style technique. Many knitters love this technique because you can try it on as you go! If you’ve never done this before, you can simple slip your stitches onto a longer circular needle or a piece of scrap yarn and put it on! This will give you an idea of what the sweater will look like as you knit. Check out this post for tips on trying it on.

Neckline detail of a top down raglan style sweater knitting pattern laying on top of a marble table.  The neckline in nicely curved and lower in the front for a comfortable fit.

Out of all the top down raglan style sweaters patterns out there, my biggest criticism about them is the neckline. I think that necklines can truly make or break a handmade sweater. The neckline on the October Sweater is shaped by increasing on either side before you join to work in the round. This makes it both comfortable and aesthetically pleasing!

This sweater is the go-to sweater knitting pattern of my dreams. Truly, I wish I would have been able to find something like this when I started knitting.

Size and Fit

As I mentioned earlier, this sweater is unisex. Because of this, there is very minimal shaping, almost like a sweatshirt. The body is designed to be worn with 6-10″ of positive ease for a cozy, relaxed fit. The sleeves are also slightly relaxed but not too loose where they would be uncomfortable under a jacket or coat. Just that nice, slightly loose, comfortable fit.

If you prefer your sweaters to be a bit more fitted, choose a size with less ease! If you prefer your sweaters oversize, choose a size with more ease! I designed this sweater to work for a wide range of sizes, as you size up or down based on the bust measurement, the neckline and sleeves will not become too tight or too loose. I frequently see patterns size necklines and sleeves poorly, just because a larger size might gain 10″ across the bust does not mean it needs to gain 10″ at the neckline!

I’m getting ready to cast on another sample for my husband. Once I finish, I’ll update this post with more photos to showcase this sweater on a man!

Model sitting on steps smiling swearing a tan, tweed hand knit sweater.  The sweater is classic and looks comfortable

Yarn and Materials

The yarn that I chose for this sweater is Lion Brand Re-Tweed. If you are interested in using the same yarn I used, you may want to check out the kit. The kit is based off the price of the yarn and contains all the yarn needed to make the sweater in your chosen size, optional needles, and a free printable PDF of the pattern!

I have always been obsessed with the tweed, textured look of this yarn. I also used this yarn on the Quinn Pullover if you want to check out that pattern!

I will note, Re-Tweed is a bit rustic and some might find it itchy. I am quite sensitive to itch and this yarn doesn’t bother me but I do want to point that out. I wouldn’t use this yarn for babies or anyone who hates more rustic wools or wool blends.

I have linked some great yarn substitutions below if you want to check them out! This sweater is knit using worsted weight yarn so the options for substitutions are almost endless!

Top down raglan style sweater worn on a woman with one hand on her hip and her other arm slightly out to the side to showcase the relaxed, comfortable fit

Yarn Substitutions:

  • Twill from KnitPicks: This is a great 100% merino wool option if you are looking to make a wool sweater but want one that isn’t rustic at all. It is very soft and luxurious! This yarn has a pretty good twist to it so the stitches will look really crisp and with great definition.
  • Preciosa Tonal Worsted from KnitPicks: This yarn is an amazingly soft, 100% merino wool single ply. Quite possible one of my favorites out there. I haven’t made myself anything out of this yarn but I knit my husband a color work sweater with it a few years ago. I will note, since this yarn is single ply it is a bit delicate. This adds to the appeal for me but I wouldn’t use this yarn to make a gift unless the recipient knew how to care for wool and be gentle with the item.
  • Comfy Worsted and Comfy Color Mist from KnitPicks: I love this yarn because its a luxurious cotton option that isn’t too heavy. I will note, this yarn is definitely on the lighter side of worsted so I’m not sure how it will work up on the size 9 needles used for this sweater, I think it will probably depend on your technique. That being said, I think this yarn would be a really nice option for someone who likes the luxury of natural fibers but doesn’t love wool.
  • Mako Cotton from LB Collection: This yarn is sold out in most colors but check back because they may be restocked. It always shocks me that this yarn is cotton because its so light and fluffy!
  • Chainette from LB Collection: This yarn is made a lofty, fluffy yarn made using baby alpaca! Definitely use this yarn if you want a fluffy but lightweight sweater.
  • Cotton Jeans LB Collection: Cotton Jeans is listed as a category 3 but I think it works better as a worsted weight. I love the way this yarn feels, it’s cooling and honestly feels like a worn pair of jeans. This yarn would give a really nice vintage looking sweater.

Always remember to gauge swatch especially when substituting yarn in a pattern! Small changes in gauge can lead to large changes in the finished garment so assure a proper fit with the proper gauge!

close up neckline detailing of the October Sweater knitting pattern being worn on a model.  The neckline is nicely shaped and finished.  Photo displays the top down raglan style increases

October Sweater: Top Down Raglan Style Sweater Knitting Pattern

© ORIGINALLY LOVELY 2021

This pattern and photographs of this garment are property of Kaitlin Barthold of Originally Lovely. This pattern, photos, and design are subject to copyright and are for personal use only. All commercial use is strictly prohibited. You may not reproduce or distribute this pattern under any circumstances.

The free version of this pattern must be viewed from the webpage.

Shop the kit with Lion Brand Yarn HERE

To purchase an ad-free, printable PDF of the October Sweater on Ravelry, CLICK HERE

To purchase an ad-free, printable PDF of the October Sweater on Etsy, CLICK HERE

Model sitting on steps smiling at the camera.  She is wearing a tan tweed sweater

Skill Level

Easy+

In this knitting pattern, you will need to know how to knit flat and in-the-round, increase using M1L and M1R, and be comfortable with simple shaping using increasing and decreases. You will also need to pick up stitches and feel confident following written patterns.

Materials

4, (4, 5, 5, 5), (6, 6, 6, 7) skeins / 808, (808, 1010, 1010, 1010), (1212, 1212, 1212, 1414) yards Lion Brand ReTweed Yarn (shown in Hay)

Size US 9 (5.5 mm) 32” circular knitting needles (for body of sweater)

Size US 9 (5.5 mm) circular needle for magic loop, double pointed needles, or small circular needle (for sleeves)

Size US 7 (4.5 mm) 32” circular knitting needles (for hemline)

Size US 7 (4.5 mm) double pointed needles or small circular needle (for sleeve cuffs and neckline)

Stitch Markers

Tapestry Needle to weave in ends

Woman wearing a tan sweater while sitting down.  She is smiling slightly at the camera with one hand up.  Hand Knit raglan style sweater looks comfortable and cozy.

Notes

This raglan style knitting pattern is worked from the top, down. After the first few rounds are worked flat to shape the front neckline, this sweater will be worked in the round.

Finished Dimensions

XSSMLXL2X3X4X5X
Bust/Chest Circumference384246505458626670
Finished Length222222232323242424
Measurements are finished top dimensions and are given in inches

XS, (S, M, L, XL), (2X, 3X, 4X, 5X)

Pattern is written for smallest size with changes for larger sizes in parenthesis. When only one number is given, it applies to all sizes. To keep track of your size, you may highlight or circle all numbers for your chosen size before you begin.

Help Choosing Size

This raglan style sweater is designed to be worn with 6-10” of positive ease at the bust. Model is 6” tall, has a 33” bust, and is wearing a size small with 9” of positive ease. For best fit, choose a size that is 6-10” larger than your corresponding bust measurement.

Gauge

15 stitches and 22 rows = 4” in stockinette stitch with larger needles

Arms crossed in front of sweater showcasing the way the sweater folds and drapes nicely

Abbreviations

This pattern is written using U.S. English Terminology.

BO = bind off

CO = cast on

K = knit

k2tog = knit 2 stitches together (right leaning single decrease)

M = stitch marker

M1L = make 1 left. Pick up the bar between the stitch you just knit and the one you are about to knit with your left needle from front to back, knit through the back.

M1R = make 1 right. Pick up the bar between the stitch you just knit and the one you are about to knit with your left needle from back to front, knit through the front.

P = purl

PM = place stitch marker

RS = right side

sl1 = slip 1 stitch purlwise with the working yarn in back

SM = slip stitch marker

Ssk = slip slip knit (left leaning single decrease)

st = stitch

Stst = stockinette stitch

WS = wrong side

[ ] = work instructions within brackets as many times as directed

* = repeat the instructions following the single asterisk as directed

Girl wearing a hand knit top down raglan style sweater with her arms crossed in front of her smiling at the camera.  The sweater is tweed and looks textured from the yarn

October Sweater Knitting Pattern

With size 9 needles, cast On 67 (70, 70, 73, 73) (76, 76, 79, 79) stitches.

Set-Up Row: p2, PM, p3, PM, p11 (12, 12, 13, 13) (14, 14, 15, 15), PM, p3, PM, p29 (30, 30, 31, 31) (32, 32, 33, 33), PM, p3, PM, p11 (12, 12, 13, 13) (14, 14, 15, 15), PM, p3, PM, p2.

Row 1 (RS): k1, M1L, [k to M, M1R, SM, k3, SM, M1L] 4x, k to last st, M1R, k1. [77, (80, 80, 83, 83), (86, 86, 89, 89) sts].

Row 2 (WS): purl, slipping Ms as you pass.

Repeat rows 1-2 five more times. Then, repeat row 1 once more. [137, (140, 140, 143, 143), (146, 146, 149, 149) sts].

Neckline Join:

You will now join the neckline and begin working in the round.

Cast on 11 (12, 12, 13, 13) (14, 14, 15, 15) at the end of the row you just worked. Do not turn, with RS facing you and careful not to twist your work, join to work in round. PM to denote beg/end of each rd. [148, (152, 152, 156, 156), (160, 160, 164, 164) sts].

Round 1: knit, slipping Ms as you pass.

2: [k to M, M1R, SM, k3, SM, M1L] 4x, k to end of rd. [156, (160, 160, 164, 164), (168, 168, 172, 172) sts].

Repeat rounds 1-2 5 (4, 4, 2, 2) (3, 4, 5, 9) more times. [196, (192, 192, 180, 180), (192, 200, 212, 244) sts total].

3: knit, slipping Ms as you pass.

4: [k to M, M1R, SM, k3, SM, k to next M, SM, k3, SM, M1L] 2x, k to end of round. [200, (196, 196, 184, 184), (196, 204, 216, 248) sts total].

5: knit, slipping Ms as you pass.

6: [k to M, M1R, SM, k3, SM, M1L] 4x, k to end of rd. [208, 204, 204, 192, 192), (204, 212, 224, 256) sts total].

Repeat rounds 3-6 zero (2, 4, 6, 8) (9, 10, 11, 11) more times. [208 (228, 252, 264, 288), (312, 332, 356, 388) sts total].

Work even (knitting every round) until piece measures 8.5 (9, 9.5, 10, 10.5) (11.5, 12.5, 13.5, 15)” from original CO edge (back of neck). Depending on your size, this may be anywhere from a handful of rounds to 1-2 rounds more.

Woman wearing a tweed sweater looking away from the camera.  Raglan style sweater looks cozy with a relaxed fit.

Separate for Body:

You will now separate separate the sleeves from the body of the sweater and begin working the body in the round.

Next round: removing Ms as you pass, k to 1st M, remove M, k3, remove M, place next 39 (42, 46, 47, 51) (56, 60, 65, 73) sts on st holder or scrap yarn, CO 6 (6, 6, 8, 8) (8, 10, 10, 10) sts, k next 65 (72, 80, 85, 93) (100, 106, 113, 121) sts, place next 39 (42, 46, 47, 51) (56, 60, 65, 73) sts onto st holder or scrap yarn, CO 6 (6, 6, 8, 8) (8, 10, 10, 10) sts. Continue knitting body sts to join in round. PM to denote beg/end of each round.

You now have your body sts joined in the round and your sleeve sts on scrap yarn. [142 (156, 172, 186, 202) (216, 232, 246, 262) sts total].

Body:

Work the body sts even in stockinette stitch until piece measures 11.5 (11, 10.5, 11, 10.5) (9.5, 9.5, 8.5, 7)” from underarm CO sts. You may work more or less at this point to make your sweater longer/shorter.

On the next round, switch to size 7 needles. Knit one more round. Then, work 2” in [k1, p1] rib stitch. BO using tubular bind off method or bind off method of choice.

Sleeves:

Using double pointed needles or circular needle of choice for small circumference, slip the 39 (42, 46, 47, 51) (56, 60, 65, 73) sts set aside for one sleeve onto your needle. At the underarm, pick up, 8 (8, 8, 10, 10) (10, 12, 12, 12) sts total. PM after the first 4 (4, 4, 5, 5) (5, 6, 6, 6) sts picked up. This M will denote beg/end of each round. [47, (50, 54, 57, 61), (66, 72, 77, 85) sts total].

Round 1: knit.

Decrease Round: k2tog, k to last 2 sts, ssk. [45, (48, 52, 55, 59), (64, 70, 75, 83) sts total].

Continue knitting stockinette stitch in the round decreasing every 24 (18, 12, 10, 9) (6, 5, 4, 4)th round 3 (4, 6, 7, 8) (11, 13, 15, 18) times until you have 41 (42, 42, 43, 45) (44, 46, 47, 49) sts remaining.

Then, continue working in pattern until your sleeve measures 13” from underarm sts. You may work more/less at this point to make your sleeves longer/shorter.

On the next round, switch to size 7 needles.

Sizes XS, L, XL, 4X, 5X: k2tog, knit to end of round.

Sizes S, M, 2X, 3X: Knit one more round.

Then, work 2” in [k1, p1] rib stitch. BO using tubular bind off method or bind off method of choice.

Repeat for second sleeve.

Flatlay photo of the neckline shaping and raglan increase detailing of the top down raglan style sweater knitting pattern, the October Sweater.

Neckline:

Using size 7 needles and beginning at right side of back left raglan, pick up and knit: 2 sts at the raglan, 12 (13, 13, 14, 14) (15, 15, 16, 16) across left sleeve, 2 sts at the neck raglan, 9 sts down left side of neckline, 12 (13, 13, 14, 14) (15, 15, 16, 16) sts across front of neck, 9 sts up right side of neckline, 2 sts at the next raglan, 12 (13, 13, 14, 14) (15, 15, 16, 16) sts across right sleeve, 2 sts at final raglan, and 30 (31, 31, 32, 32) (33, 33, 34, 34) sts across back.

Join to work in round. PM to denote beg/end of each round.

Work 2.5” in [k1, p1] rib stitch. Bind off loosely. Fold neckband in and seam to inner edge to create a foldover neckband.

Finishing:

Weave in all ends to secure.

Block by soaking in warm water and lay flat to dry.

Enjoy!

For questions, please email kaitlin@originallylovely.com or comment below!

I’d love to see your finished work! Share on social media using the hashtag #originallylovely or by tagging @originally.lovely on Instagram!

I hope you enjoyed this pattern! If you are looking for more top down raglan style knitting patterns, check out the Sunday Morning Rib Stitch Sweater, the Rainbow Stripe Sweater, or the Polo Sweater!

Girl wearing a top down raglan style sweater knitting pattern, smiling at the camera with one hand in her hair

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20 Comments

  1. This is a gorgeous sweater and it’s fun to knit! I do have one quick question. I am at the point of joining my neckline, but I’m unsure where to place a marker to note the beginning of the round. I’m sure it’s obvious, but I’m dealing with “fog brain” and thought I’d ask instead of messing up and having to start over. Thank you again for yet another wonderful pattern!

    1. Hi Heather! So glad you are liking the pattern! You can just simple place the marker right where it says PM which will be right as you join in the round. This marker is just to help you count your increase rows and stay on track (so that you don’t continue increasing when you should switch to a ‘knit’ row, or continue knitting in the round when you should increase). When you separate the yoke and begin working only the body, the beg/end will move. Hope that helps! Be sure to let me know if you have any more questions 🙂

  2. Hey! Thank you for this amazing pattern because it seems so easy and fun and I can’t wait to start it! I just had a little question in mind. Before you join for the neckline, you’ve worked those few rows flat. So I was wondering if those rows could be worked in the round as well? Or if they cannot, do I have to seam that up later? (I don’t know if this question makes proper sense :p but I hope you answer it 🙂 <3 )

    1. Hi! So unfortunately, to get a nicely shaped neckline that is lower in the front, you must knit those flat before working in the round! There is really no shortcut to making the neckline this way! At the end, you will pick up stitches around the neckline to make a neckband so not necessarily seaming but a little extra work. There are a lot of sweaters where the neckband is worked right into it but trust me, you’ll like this way so much better that you won’t mind the extra couple steps 🙂

  3. I purchased the kit for October Sweater. I am having a problem understanding the first 2 rows. I did rows 1 & 2. Ready to repeat row 1. This is where I get confused. Should I be making the increases before and after knitting k3, always having 3 stitches between markers.
    I am making size larger. I do have 83 stitches after completing row l.
    Having trouble wrapping my old brain around repeating rows 1 & 2 five times more.
    Your help would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you

    1. Hi Betty! Thanks so much for reaching out! So yes, you will always have 3 stitches between the markers, these are your raglan stitches. You will work your increases on the outside of these markers that border the raglans. This is done so that the markers always mark where the raglans are whereas if you increased inside the markers, they would slowly move their way further and further from the raglans and it would be a bit more work to pay attention to! Hope that makes sense. I am sure you’ll be able to visualize it a bit more as you work a few more rounds! Let me know if you have any other questions 🙂

  4. Hi Kaitlin, thank you for your quick response. I have another question regarding increases. Do I also increase after the first stitch and before the last stitch, making a 10 stitch increase with row 2 , repeating 5 times.
    Thank you for your patience. I have made top down, in the round sweaters in the past. I am excited to be able to knit a much better fitting neckline!

    1. Yes, correct! At the very beginning when shaping the neckline you’ll also increase after the first and before the last stitch. So while you are working the neckline you will be increasing 10 stitches per round. After you join the neckline, you’ll only be increasing according to the raglans (8 or 4 sts per round depending on the size and round number).

      I’m excited for you to knit a better fitting neckline too! I think you’ll love it 🙂 Happy Knitting!

  5. Hi,
    Thanks for creating the pattern! It’s very pretty. Another question on the neckline join. So, following the instructions available on the website:
    Row 1 (RS): k1, M1L, [k to M, M1R, SM, k3, SM, M1L] 4x, k to last st, M1R, k1. [77, (80, 80, 83, 83), (86, 86, 89, 89) sts].
    Row 2 (WS): purl, slipping Ms as you pass.
    Repeat rows 1-2 five more times. Then, repeat row 1 once more. [137, (140, 140, 143, 143), (146, 146, 149, 149) sts].
    So, row 1 is completed 7 times, and row 2 is completed 6 times. This has you ending on a WS row after you cast on the extra stitches to join in the round. Should I just purl an extra row prior to joining in the round? I do not want to purl an entire sweater.

    Thank you!!

    1. Hi Erin! You won’t have to purl the entire sweater, don’t worry! I wouldn’t want to do that either 🙂
      So after you repeat row 1 a final time, you do not turn your work. You simply cast on the stitches and then begin working along the other side of the row (what would be the end of the row if you turned the piece) to begin working in the round! If you keep reading underneath the Neckline Join section, this is explained a bit further. It might be confusing at first but it will totally make sense after you do it.
      Let me know if you have any more questions!

  6. Love this pattern! I’m working on the sleeves, and I have a question:

    Round 2 is decrease round, and I’ve completed that! Should I now decrease after every 12 rounds starting on round 12, or 12 rounds after round 2?

    In other words: should I decrease on round 12, or 14?

    1. Hi Briana! So for this size (size M), You will be decreasing every 12th round after round 2. So decreasing on the second round, the 14th round, the 26th round, and so on… Hope that helps!

  7. Hi,
    I am having a problem with row 1. I had several other people at my knitting group take a look and they think there may be an error . Please help.
    The section (k to M, M1R, SM,k3,SM,M1L). Can you offer some guif=dance?
    Thanks

    1. Hi Nancy, there is no error! I’ve even looked again. What is it about this row that is throwing you off?

      I’ll explain it a bit more in hopes I can clarify it for you. Basically, row 1 and 2 are what will be repeated to shape the front neckline. In row 1 ‘k to m’ is only one stitch that is knit before the marker. So, as noted, you knit to this marker, then make one right, slip the marker, knit 3 (these will be the ‘raglans’), slip the next marker, and then make one left. It might seem odd to work the M1R and M1L before and after the M’s, respectively, but this is so that the M’s are continuously noting the location of the raglans. Otherwise, they markers would slowly move further away from the raglans as you worked and wouldn’t be as effective at ‘marking’ the stitches. The reason this part is repeated 4 times is because there are 4 raglans. In this section, you are also increasing at the very beginning and end of each row to shape the neckline.

      Hope that helps. Please be sure to let me know if you still have questions. I’d love to hear what it is about the row that is confusing! Happy Knitting 🙂

  8. I am wondering if it’s possible to use 16″ circulars to finish the neckline ribbing, or must I use magic loop again there as well?

    Thanks!! I am really loving this pattern!

  9. Hi Kaitlin! Thanks so much for this pattern – it’s my first sweater and I’m loving it!

    I do have one question – after placing the sleeve stitches onto a holder and casting on the extra underarm stitches, where is the new BOR? Is it directly after the second set of 6 CO stitches?

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Bailey! Yes, correct. This will be the new beginning of round! You can place the marker here just to mentally know where the beg/end of each round is as you work but if you prefer to work without a stitch marker, you can leave it out! It’s not super necessary since its just worked straight in the round at this point. Then when you get to the bottom and begin working the ribbing, just start directly down from the underarm when you get to that point. Hope that helps!

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