How to Knit a Sweater With a Straight Needle

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Knitting a cardigan with two straight needles is child's play.
Knitting a cardigan with two straight needles is child's play. (Image: Rayes/Lifesize/Getty Images)

Knit your first sweater on straight needles to practice the basic skills of knitting, purling, binding off and decreasing. By making a small child's cardigan, you'll also learn to make a simple buttonhole, to place buttons correctly and to pick up neckband stitches. You can incorporate an elementary pattern by alternating four rows of knitting and purl. The result is a cozy cardigan that any baby will love to wear.

Things You'll Need

  • 400 gram worsted weight yarn
  • Two pairs single-pointed knitting needles US sizes 7 and 9
  • Tape measure
  • Contrasting yarn scraps
  • Scissors
  • Blunt tapestry needle
  • Five 1 1/4-inch buttons
  • Sewing thread
  • Sewing needle

Back

Roll the yarn into two separate balls. Cast on 63 stitches using the larger needles and one ball of the yarn. Work one inch of stockinette stitch, ending with a purl row.

Work the ridge pattern by purling two rows, knitting one row, and purling the fourth row.

Repeat these four rows until your knitting is 9 3/4 inches long. Mark the beginning of the armhole with a scrap of contrasting yarn at each side. Work another 5 1/4 inches, ending with a purl row.

Knit the first third of the next row. Attach the second ball of yarn and bind off the one third of the stitches. Knit the last third of the stitches. Work the shoulders in the ridge pattern using a separate ball of yarn for each side

Purl the next row until you're two stitches away from the bound-off neck stitches. Purl the last two stitches together to decrease. Skip the bound-off stitches, decrease in the first two stitches on the other side, and purl to the end of the row. Work the next row the same way.

Continue in the ridge pattern until you're 5 3/4 inches above the yarn scraps markers. Bind off both shoulders. Cut the yarn with the scissors, fasten it off and weave in the end with the tapestry needle

Fronts

Cast on 32 left front stitches using the larger needles. Work one inch of stockinette stitch, ending with a purl row. Cast on four more stitches at the beginning of the next row. Work the ridge pattern until the left front is 9 3/4 inches long from the beginning, ending with a purl row. Mark the end of the last row with scrap yarn. Work for another 3 3/4 inches, ending on a right side row.

Bind off five stitches at the beginning of the next row and work to the end. Bind off the first four stitches of the next row and work to the end. Decrease one stitch on a wrong side row at the neck edge three times. Work 5 3/4 inches of ridge pattern, ending on the same row as you did for the back. Bind off the shoulder. Use the scrap yarn to mark the buttons' positions. The first one is 3/4 inch above the four stitches you cast on, the second is 3/4 inch below the neck shaping. The remaining three are spaced evenly between these two.

Cast on 32 right front stitches. Work one inch of stockinette, ending with a purl row. Cast on four stitches at the beginning of the next row. Work in the ridge pattern for 3/4 inch, ending on its second row.

Make a button hole by knitting three stitches, binding off the next two and completing the row. Work the next row, casting on two stitches above the ones you bound off on the last row. Work to the end of the row.

Work the right front as a mirror image of the left front, reversing the armhole and neck shaping. Make a buttonhole that corresponds to the button marker on the left front. Bind off the shoulder and sew the two front shoulders to the back shoulder.

Sleeves and Finishing

Turn the sweater so the right side is facing you. Use the larger needles to pick up and knit the sleeve stitches along the armhole edge between the scrap yarn markers. Purl one row. Work six rows of the ridge pattern, ending on a wrong side row. Decrease one stitch at the beginning of the next two rows. Repeat the decreases every 3/4 inch 10 times.

Work the sleeve straight down until it's 10 1/2 inches long, ending on the wrong side. Work one inch of stockinette and bind the stitches off. Cut the yarn, fasten it and weave in the end.

Work the opposite sleeve the same way.

Sew the side and sleeves together. Turn the sweater so the right side is facing you. Skip the first four stitches of the right front. Use the smaller needles and yarn to pick up and knit the right front neck stitches, the back neck stitches and the left front stitches excluding the last four. Work one purl row, then work one inch of stockinette stitch ending on the wrong side. Sew on the buttons with the thread and sewing needle.

References

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