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How to knit a sweater for a man


Yarn - Bernat Softee Baby / light 3 / Net Weight - 120 g / 310 yds (283 m) / 3 balls needed
Needles - 29 in. and 16 in. long circular needles US 5 (or other size needle to obtain the gauge)
Sweater Size - S 34 - 36
Gauge - 17 stitches in 4 inches
Complexity - Easy

Images & Captions: 

Men’s sweater knitting pattern
Step-by-step knitting instructions
Step 1
Cast on 150 stitches (multiples of 5 sts) on two knitting needles to make the loops bigger. That way it will be easier to knit your first row.
Step 2
Before starting knitting your first row in round, make sure that you did not develop any twists and all your loops are straight. If the mistake occurs at this point, you won’t be able to fix the problem later on. The only way might be just to start all over again.
Ribbing – knit 3, purl 2 for 10 rounds.
Step 3
Knit all stitches for 80 rounds.
Step 4
Increase the number of stitches from both sleeve sides before starting sleeves. You should have 160 stitches in total.
Step 5
Slide a half of your stitches on the other knitting needle, long pin, or just yarn to work with those sts later.
Step 6
Continue knitting just half of the stitches (the front piece of the sweater). Bind off 4 stitches from both sleeve sides. Knit all stitches on the right side and purl all stitches on the wrong side for 30 rows.
Step 7
Cast off all the 72 stitches, cut the yarn, secure and hide it.
Step 8
Work the back.
Attach the yarn and bind off 4 sts from both sleeve sides the same as you did for the front piece.
Knit all stitches on the right side and purl all stitches on the wrong side for about 36 rows.
Step 9
Cast off the 72 sts, cut the yarn, and secure it.
Step 10
Cast on 20 stitches for a sleeve.
Knit it for 28 – 30 rows or more depending on a head circumference.
Step 11
Pick up additional 45 stitches.
Knit in round for 8 rounds.
Step 12
Begin to gradually decrease the number of stitches.
Knit two stitches together one time in each row every other round until 55 stitches left.
Step 13
Start to reduce 1 stitch in 5 rounds until 40 sts left (or other number of multiples of 4 stitches).
Step 14
Ribbing – purl 2, knit 2 for 10 rounds.
Cast off the 40 stitches and cut the yarn.
Connect the last and 1st stitches.
Secure and hide the tail of the yarn.
Step 15
Join both shoulder pieces to front and back parts of the sweater.
Step 16
Attach the yarn and pick up stitches for the neck. Pick up as many sts as you can and then decrease it to the needed number in order to avoid holes or other imperfections near the neck line.
Step 17
Reduce the number of picked up stitches to 76 stitches (or other number of multiples of 4 sts).
Knit all the stitches for 6 rounds.
Step 18
Ribbing – purl 2, knit 2 for 30 rounds. Since the wrong side of the ribbing mostly will be visible, it might be desired to knit your wrong side as right side in order to get a better look.
Cast off the 76 stitches.
Cut the yarn, connect the last and first stitches, and secure the tail of the yarn.


Sweater knitting pattern


Hi vmpn,

Hi vmpn,
After you stop knitting in the round, you may slide half of stitches on straight knitting needles and leave the other half of the sts on circular needles. The other option is to continue knitting half of your sts using circular needles and slide the other half on a large safety pin or just yarn. Happy knitting!

Hi Sana,

Hi Sana,
Thank you very much for your guidance. Hope to start knitting soon.


I stitched 170 stitches. to what length should that 80 rounds of knitting be done. I mean should it be only 80 rounds or till the lower arm pit point? Or to what length I should continue knitting after ribbing.(in your case it is 80 rounds)

Hi vmpn,

Hi vmpn,
You may knit as many rounds as necessary until you reach the desired length of the sweater to your underarm point. It will depend on many factors like your gauge/tension, the size and height of a person, preferences, and so on.

Hi Sana,

Hi Sana,
Thank you very much for the reply. Then in that case i would need to stitch until 18". As in step 4 its its increase the stitches to 160, is it to the shoulder height i need to increase the stitches or do I need to increase only 10 stitches and make 180 as in my case.

Hi vmpn,

Hi vmpn,
It is necessary to increase just 10 sts in total or 5 sts from one side of the sweater and 5 sts from the other one. For that, you may work additional 5 rounds and increase 1 st from both sides in each round.

Hi Sana,

Hi Sana,

Can you please explain me again? I mean, will that be sufficient for any size? I have knitted 108 rounds now for my husband's ht (in your case 80). Gauge is 19 st in 4 inches. Even then I need to stitch 5 rounds, increasing 1 st from both sides?

Hi vmpn,

Hi vmpn,
I increased 10 sts to widen the garment from the top. I gave you just a suggestion how you may do it. If you think that it is not necessary to increase sts in your case, then you do not have to do it. You may increase just 1 st from both sleeve slides, and continue knitting half of your sts.

Hi Christine,

Hi Christine,
Besides the gauge swatch, it is necessary to measure a person's chest circumference and know his preferences whether he wants to wear it loosely or snugly to the body. In addition, you may measure from the underarms down and his arms length. Happy knitting!