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!
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 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.
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!
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!
- 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.
- Comfy Cotton Blend from Lion Brand: Again, this yarn is listed as a category 3 but I disagree. This yarn is a great, easy care, cotton blend! I’ve used this in projects such as the Piper Sweater and the Simple Summer Tank and I always come back to it!
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!
October Sweater: Top Down Raglan Style Sweater Knitting Pattern
© ORIGINALLY LOVELY 2022
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.
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.
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 7 (4.5 mm) 32” circular knitting needles (for hemline)
Tapestry Needle to weave in ends
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.
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.
15 stitches and 22 rows = 4” in stockinette stitch with larger needles
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
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].
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.
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].
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.
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.
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.
Weave in all ends to secure.
Block by soaking in warm water and lay flat to dry.
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