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Ballet Sweater Pattern
Not sure if this will help but here is one...
This sweater features a surplice (cross over) front,
with decorative knitting along the diagonal fronts, and
set in sleeves with shaped sleeve caps. It is worked
in reverse stockinette (i.e. purl) to emphasize the
fuzzy yarn, and to soften the stripes formed by the
varigated yarn. Note that the body of this sweater was
knit sideways, in order to create vertical stripes with
the varigated yarn. Sleeves are picked up from the
shoulder edge, and knit down, using short rows for
Instructions given are for child's size 5, sweater
chest = 26 inches. Sweater is designed to fit closely
(for ballet class) in the body, with a little fullness
and extra length in the sleeves for growth.
Gauge: 42 rows = 4 inches; 26 sts = 4 inches
Recommended needle size: US #2. You will need a #2
circular needle to work front band.
Original Yarn: sportweight varigated wool/mohair boucle
(sorry, I don't know how much, the skeins were
unmarked, and I haven't weighed the sweater yet).
Width of back - 13 inches
Width of front (at bottom) - 13 inches
Length from bottom to underarm - 8 1/4 inches
Length from bottom to shoulder - 14 inches
Width of sleeve at underarm (widest point) - 12 1/2
Width of sleeve at cuff - 7 1/2 inches
Length of sleeve - 14 1/2
SSK: With the yarn beind, ready to knit, slip 1 stitch
as if to knit. Slip 2nd stitch as if to knit. Slip the
lefthand needle into the fronts of these two stitchs
and knit them together.
SSP: With the yarn in front, ready to purl, slip 1
stitch as if to knit. Slip 2nd stitch as if to knit.
Slip both stitches back to the lefthand needle. Insert
the righthand needle from the back, and purl the two
stitches together. This is the equivalent of the SSK,
but is worked on the purl side of the fabric.
Cast on 40 sts. Work even in reverse stockinette (i.e.
purl side is right side of knitting) for 3/4 inch (8
Inc 1 st at beg of every other row 4 times (44 sts).
Work 1 row even. Cast on 34 sts at beginning of next
row (78 sts).
Work even in reverse stockinette until piece measures
10 inches from beginning.
Shape second armhole:
Bind off 34 sts at beginning of row (be sure to start
binding off from the shoulder edge). Dec 1 st at
beginning of every other row 4 times (40 sts). Work
even for 3/4 inches (8 rows). Bind off.
Work the same as for back until the armhole has been
shaped and there are 78 sts. Begin decreases for
diagonal front immediately. These decreases are worked
as follows: At the shoulder edge, maintain two stitches
in stockinette (NOT REVERSE STOCKINETTE). Decrease 1
st every row, four times, then work the fifth row even.
In other words:
Rows 1,3: K1, SSK, P across.
Rows 2,4: K across until 3 sts remain. SSP, P1.
Row 5: K2, P across.
Rows 6,8: Repeat row 2.
Rows 7,9: Repeat row 1
Row 10: K across until 2 sts remain, P2.
Repeat these 10 rows until 2 sts remain, and front
measures 11 1/2 inches from side seam to point at
bottom of front. K2 tog.
Work same as for left front, reversing shaping. Work
decreases for diagonal fronts as follows:
Rows 1,3,7,9: P across until 3 sts remain. K2 tog, K1.
Rows 2,4,6,8: P1, P2 tog, K across.
Row 5: P across until 2 sts remain, K2
Row 10: P2, K across.
DECORATIVE FRONT BANDS (work this on both of the
Use any decorative pattern you like. I used beading,
but a fair isle color pattern, or a lace pattern would
work just as well. The decorative panel is 13 1/2
inches wide (that's the length from shoulder at neck
edge to the waist, along the diagonal front) by 2 1/4
IF WORKING IN STOCKINETTE, pick up 87 sts along
diagonal front edge.
IF NOT WORKING IN STOCKINETTE, do a swatch in your
pattern stitch to find gauge, and calculate the number
of sts needed to cover the 13 1/2 inches.
Work in pattern for 2 1/4 inches, while shaping
shoulder edge and waist edge as follows:
IF WORKING IN STOCKINETTE, decrease 1 st at shoulder
edge every 4th row, and at the same time, increase 1 st
at waist edge every 4th row.
IF NOT WORKING IN STOCKINETTE, you will need to
calculate how often to decrease/increase. You want to
decrease/increase 1" at the shoulder/waist edge. Take
the number of rows you expect to work in your pattern
and divide them by the stitches per inch in your
pattern. This will give you the number of rows between
decreases. For example, in my gauge (which happens to
be for stockinette), there are 10.5 rows per inch times
2.25 inches in my decorative border = 23.625 rows,
which rounds to 24 rows. There are 6.5 sts per inch.
24 rows divided by 6.5 sts = 3.69, which is rounded to
4. Therefore the decrease/increase is worked every 4
The beading pattern I used was:
Before knitting, string 84 beads onto yarn. When the
pattern calls for "Bead," bring the yarn to the front
as if to purl. Slip a bead up the yarn all the way to
the knitting. Slip the next stitch as if to purl.
Bring the yarn to the back, leaving the bead in front
of the knitting.
Work two rows in reverse stockinette before beginning
the beading pattern.
Row 1: K 5, bead. Repeat this across.
Row 2 (and all other wrong side rows): Purl.
Row 3: K2, *Bead, K5*. Repeat between ** across,
Row 4-8: Stockinette.
Row 9: K5, *Bead, K11*. Repeat between ** across,
Row 11: K4, *Bead, K1, Bead, K9*. Repeat between **
across, ending K5.
Row 13: Repeat row 9.
Rows 14-18: Stockinette.
Row 19: Repeat row 3.
Row 21: Repeat row 1.
Row 22: Purl across.
Row 23: Purl across.
Row 24: Knit across.
Note that the pattern is given for an even multiple of
12 sts. It does not center the pattern. I began
working row 1 with K2, then a bead. The
increases/decrease to maintain the diagonal shoulder
and waist edges also throw the instructions off.
Beading chart (only right-side rows are shown)
x = bead
| = knit st
Do not bind off.
Sew fronts to back at shoulders. On right side,
starting from bottom edge of right front, using a
circular needle, purl 87 sts. Continue across back
neck edge, picking up 32 sts (in knit). Purl 87 sts
from left front. (206 sts total)
Next row (wrong side), beginning and ending P2, work in
K2 P2 ribbing. Continue in ribbing for 3 more rows,
then bind off.
Beginning at the underarm side seam, pick up 84 sts
along armhole edge as follows: This is 1 st in every
other row at the bottom of the armhole (total 4 sts), 1
st in every other row along the diagonal section where
the underarm decreases were worked (4 more sts), and 1
st in each stitch up to the shoulder seam (34 more sts)
for a total of 42 sts. Continue down the other side of
the armhole, picking up 1 st in every st along the edge
34 times, then 4 sts (1 every other row along the
diagonal), and 4 more sts (1 every other row across the
underarm). Total 84 sts.
Work in reverse stockinette throughout the sleeve.
Work the first 62 sts (wrong side). Begin working
short rows to shape sleeve cap: turn and work back 40
sts. Turn and work back 41 sts. Turn and work back 42
sts. Continue to work back and forth, working one
additional stitch each row, until 76 stitches have been
worked (4 sts remain unworked at each end of needle).
Now begin working across all 84 stitches.
Work 11 rows even. Then begin decreasing 1 st at each
edge of sleeve, every 4th row, until 48 sts remain.
Sleeve should measure about 8 inches from underarm.
Work in K2 P2 ribbing for 24 rows. Bind off.
Sew side and sleeve seams.
On right side of knitting, beginning at point of left
front, pick up 85 sts across bottom of front. Continue
across back, picking up 84 more sts. Continue across
right front, picking up 85 sts. Total 254 sts.
On wrong side, begin working K2 P2 ribbing (starting
and ending with P2). continue in K2 P2 ribbing for 24
Overlap fronts and sew down ends of ribbing to side
NOTES AND OPTIONS
I didn't want to sew any seams, so I knit the back,
then picked up stitches across the side seam and knit
the front onto it. I picked up stitches for the other
front and knit it onto the back also. Then I knitted
the decorative bands on the fronts, and sewed the
shoulder seams. I picked up the sleeve stitches and
worked in the round on dp needles, so there were no
sleeve seams to sew. It was a little annoying keeping
track of all the dp needles while working short rows to
shape the sleeve cap. A set of 5 needles would be very
convenient for this purpose.
There is no reason to knit the back and fronts sideways
if you don't want to. Simply calculate the number of
stitches to cast on for the bottom of the back (13
inches across) work your ribbing and knit up desired
length to the under arm. Bind off enough sts at each
underarm to make 3/4 inch, then decrease 1 st every
other row at each armhole edge 4 times. Work 6 1/4
inches from underarm bind off to shoulder.
Begin the fronts the same as the back. At the top of
the waist ribbing, begin decreasing to form diagonal
fronts. Calculate the number of rows from waist to
shoulder, and the number of stitches from side seam to
neck edge (i.e. the length of the diagonal neck edge).
Divide rows by stitches to find how often you will need
to decrease. You may want to work your decorative
front band in one piece with the front, and do your
decreases along the inner edge of the decorative band.
Cables and lace are easy to incorporate in this
version, because the pattern is a vertical one, rather
Work button holes, or crochet buttonhole loops at the
ends of the waistband ribbing, and use buttons to close
front, or use ties as fasteners.