Knitting & Crochet

Knitted maternity sweater

Author: Canadian Living

Knitting & Crochet

Knitted maternity sweater

How often have you said, "What a great idea! Now why didn't I think of that?" That's exactly what we said when we saw Lois Haywood's ingenious cardigan jacket. Lois, a psychiatric nurse from Chelmsford, Ont., spends some of her spare time designing sweaters. She created this cardigan to wear before - and after - baby comes, so the handknit gets maximum mileage. A simple pie-shaped panel with buttonholes down either side, buttons onto the sweater front to reach around an expectant and expanding Mom. When the baby's born, Mom can simply remove the panel and one row of buttons, which hides a row of buttonholes. The colour is natural #151; a combination of wool from both black and white sheep. The yarn is pure wool #151; a medium-weight two-ply yarn from Woolly Harvest: Manitoulin Yarns, a family-run business owned by Lois's friends and fellow sheep farmers, Bill and Deb Colville.

Before and After cardigan
Roomy A-line cardigan with small shawl collar, drop shoulders, cuffed sleeves and button-on maternity panel is knit in garter stitch (knit every row) throughout.

See size chart

Instructions are written for Small (S) size. Any changes for Medium (M), Large (L) or Extra Large (XL) sizes are written in brackets. If there is only one set of figures, it applies to all sizes. A zero indicates no sts worked at that point in pattern for that particular size. Standard abbreviations are used.

Recommended for knitters with some experience.

YOU NEED:
• 11 (12,13,14) balls (100 g) of Woolly Harvest 2-ply wool (Order wool at colville@onlink.net)
• Two 5 mm circular needles, 80 cm long OR whichever needles you require to produce the tension given below
• One 6 mm needle
• Stitch markers or scrap yarn
• Tapestry needle
• 13 (13,13,15) shank buttons, 22 mm in diameter

Tension
16 stsand 32 rows = 10 cm/4 ins in garter stitch using circular needles. Work to exact tension with specified yarn to obtain satisfactory results. To save time, take time to check tension.

TO MAKE:

Body

GENERAL NOTES:
• Refer to diagram
(PDF format, requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader) for your size.
• Body is knit in one piece with wrong side facing as shown, working from right-hand to left-hand edge, back and forth from one hem edge to the other, on circular needle.
• Extra rows are added so sweater flares slightly at hem edges. For back and right front, measure placement of each increase row along broken line from right-hand edge to X marking top of row; for left front, measure along broken line from cast-on centre-front edge to X marking top of row (do not measure along hem edges).
• Increase-row measurements are shown above and below hem edges on charts.
Increase rows are shown on diagrams by red lines and are worked between each X and hem edge adjacent to it.
• As each increase row is complete, mark top at X with stitch marker.
• Work increase rows shown on diagrams AND, AT SAME TIME, work shaping as directed until sweater body is complete.
• When you've completed a few centimetres of work, label front and back on wrong side.

With 1 circular needle, cast on 200(208,216,224) sts. Mark centre stitch (shoulder line) with stitch marker. Work even in garter st until work from beg measures 6.5(6.5,6.5,5) cm/2-1/2-(2-1/2,2-1/2,2) ins.

Next: Work the first increase row on right front as follows: knit from right front hem edge to X, turn and knit back to right-front hem edge, then resume knitting back and forth from one hem edge to the other.

Continue knitting across sweater AND, AT SAME TIME, work increase rows as above on front and back, until work from beg (shoulder width to neck edge) measures 18 (20,23,25.5) cm/7 (8, 9,10) ins, ending at back hem edge.

TO SHAPE BACK NECK EDGE:
Work increase rows as above, AND, AT SAME TIME: Beg at back hem edge, knit 100(104,108,112) sts of back, then slip rem 100(104,108,112) sts (right front) onto spare circular needle, turn, then cast off 2 sts (back neck edge) and knit to back hem edge. Work 3 rows even. Cast off 2 sts at beg of next row (neck edge) and work to end of row. 96(100,104,108) sts now on needle. Work even until back neck edge from beg measures 18.5 cm/7-1/4 ins, ending at neck edge. Cast on 2 sts, turn, then work 4 rows even, thus ending at neck edge. Cast on 2 sts, turn, then work 2 rows even, thus ending at neck edge. 100(104,108,112) sts now on needle. Leave sts on needle; do not cut yarn.

TO SHAPE RIGHT FRONT:
Return to 100(104,108,112) sts of right front. Work increase rows as above, AND, AT SAME TIME: Join new ball of yarn at neck edge. Cast off 4 sts (front neck edge) and work to end of row, thus ending at front hem edge. [Work 3 rows even, thus ending at neck edge. Cast off 2 sts at beg of next row and work to end of row] 3 times. 90(94,98,102) stitches now on needle.

Work increase rows as above, AND, AT SAME TIME: Continue knitting across sweater front until work from right hand edge measures 28(30.5,33,35.5) cm/11(12,13,14) ins, ending at neck edge.
Buttonhole row: K3(3,3,4) sts, cast off 2 sts, [k14(15,16,13) sts, cast off 2 sts] 6(6,6,7) times, k5(4,3,6) sts.
Next: Knit, casting on 2 sts over each pair of cast-off sts.

Work 3 rows even, then, with 6 mm needle, cast off.

TO SHAPE LEFT FRONT:
With 1 circular needle, cast on 90(94,98,102) sts (centre-front edge). Work increase rows as above, AND, AT SAME TIME: Knit across sweater front until left-front neck edge is same width as right-front neck edge (between end of shaping and centre-front edge), ending at neck edge. [Cast on 2 sts, turn, work 4 rows even] 3 times, thus ending at neck edge. Cast on 4 sts, turn, work 2 rows even, thus ending at neck edge. 96(100,104,108) sts now on needle.

Join left front to back as follows: Using working yarn from last st worked at neck edge on back, knit back down left front to front hem edge. 200(208,216,224) sts now on needle. Work increase rows as above, AND, AT SAME TIME: Continue knitting across sweater front until shoulder width from neck edge measures 18(20,23,25.5) cm/7(8, 9,10) ins, ending at back hem edge. With 6 mm needle, cast off.

TO FINISH NECK EDGE:
Note: This finishing edge will prevent the neckline on the completed garment from stretching out of shape.

With 1 circular needle, pick up and knit 25 sts up right-front neck edge, 40 sts across back neck edge and 25 sts down left-front neck edge. 90 sts now on needle. Cast off.

Sleeves
With 1 circular needle, cast on 50(50,52,52) sts. Work cuff even in garter stitch for 13 cm/5 ins.

Next: Inc 1 stitch at each end of needle on next row once, then on every foll 4th row 0(4,0,3) times, then on every foll 6th row 10(14,14,16) times, then on every 8th row 4(0,3,0) times. 80(88,88,92) sts now on needle.

Continue even in garter st until sleeve from beg measures 43(45.5,48.5,48.5) cm/17(18,19,19) ins. With 6 mm needle, cast off.

Collar
With 1 circular needle, cast on 6 sts.

Row 1: K1, k2 into next st, k to last 2 sts, k2 into next st, k1.
Row 2: Knit. Repeat last 2 rows 3 times more. 14 sts now on needle.
Row 9: Marking first st of row (outside edge), k1, k2 into next stitch, k to end of row.
Row 10: Knit. Repeat last 2 rows 3 times more. 18 sts now on needle. Continue even until collar from beg measures 43 cm/17 ins, ending at outside edge.
Next: KI, k2tog, k to end of row.
Next: Knit. Repeat last 2 rows 3 times more. 14 sts now on needle.
Next: K1, k2tog, k to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1.
Row 26: Knit. Repeat last 2 rows 3 times more. 6 sts now on needle. Cast off.

TO FINISH:
Sew yarn ends in on wrong side of work. Sew inside collar edge to finished neck edge. Place markers 24(26.5,26.5,28) cm/ 9-1/2(10-1/2,10-1/2,11) ins down from shoulder line on front and back side edges. Sew in sleeves between markers. Place markers for side slits 10 cm/4 ins up from hem edge on front and back side edges. Reversing seam at cuff fold line 6.5 cm/2-1/2 ins above cuff edge, sew each sleeve/side seam from cuff edge to marker. On left front, sew buttons to correspond to buttonholes.

Maternity Panel
With 1 circular needle, cast on 90(94,98,102) sts. Work 3 rows even in garter stitch, ending at neck edge.
Next: Work buttonhole row as given for right front.
Next: Knit, casting on 2 sts over each pair of cast-off sts.
Next: Knit 3 rows even, thus ending at hem edge.

TO SHAPE LEFT-HAND EDGE:
Next: K7, turn, k back to hem edge.
Next: K10, turn k back to hem edge.
Next: Continue shaping side edge by knitting 3 additional sts up row each time, before turning and knitting back to hem edge, until there are 33 working sts on needle, then knitting 2 additional sts up row each time, until 5 unworked sts rem at neck edge AND, AT SAME TIME, begin left-hem-edge shaping as follows: K2 into second st from hem edge, on 5th row once, then on every foll 8th row 6 times, mark last inc, then knit to end of row, working 5 rem sts and ending at neck edge. 97(101,105,109) sts now on needle.
Next: Knit 2 rows even.
Next: Marking first and last stitch in row (centre-front row in panel), knit. Measure distance from marked inc to centre-front row and use measurement* below.
Next: Knit 2 rows even, thus ending at hem edge.

TO SHAPE RIGHT-HAND EDGE:
Next: Knit to last 5 sts on needle, turn, knit back to hem edge.
Next: Knit to last 7 sts on needle, turn, knit back to hem edge.
Next: Continue shaping right-hand side edge by knitting 2 fewer sts up row each time, before turning and knitting back to hem edge, until there are 33 working sts on needle, then knitting 3 fewer sts up row each time, until 7 unworked sts rem, ending at hem edge AND, AT SAME TIME, at measurement (above) from centre-front row, begin right-hem-edge shaping as follows: Ktog 2nd and 3rd sts up from hem edge on next row once, then on every foll 8th row 6 times. 90(94,98,102) sts now on needle.
Next 3 rows: Knit, thus ending at neck edge.
Next: Work buttonhole row as given for right front.
Next: Knit, casting on 2 sts over each pair of cast-off sts.
Next: Knit next 3 rows, thus ending at hem edge.

With 6 mm needle, cast off.

In room-temperature water and a small amount of dishwashing liquid, carefully handwash cardigan and panel, then spin in machine on gentle cycle. Block and let dry. Do not press.

TO ADAPT FOR PANEL:
On sweater, sew 1 button over each buttonhole except top buttonhole, catching buttonhole edges in stitching. At each top corner of centre-front sweater edge, sew 1 button, 1.3 cm/1/2-in down from neck edge and 2 cm/3/4-in in from centre-front edge.

TO WEAR WITH PANEL:
Do up original top-button closing, then button each side of panel to remaining buttons on each side of sweater.

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Knitted maternity sweater

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