Knitting a sweater in the round from the bottom up gives you the option to customize the length and make sure that the sweater fits as you knit. With some basic math and knitting skills, even a beginning knitter can design a perfect fitting sweater. This is a basic pattern which uses rib and stockinette stitches, but you can substitute different stitch patterns for a different look and texture.
Things You'll Need
Knit the Body
Measure around the hips, the waist and the bust. Measure from the hips to the waist and from the waist to the bust. Measure around the wrist and the top part of the arm. Measure from the armpit to the wrist. Write down all measurements. Knit a gauge swatch in your desired yarn and stitch pattern. Measure across the swatch to determine the number of stitches per inch.
Multiply the number of stitches per inch by the hip measurement. Add in an inch or two for ease if desired. Cast on the number. Place a marker and join to begin working in the round.
Knit one stitch then purl one stitch until half of the stitches are worked. Place a different colored marker for the side. Knit one stitch then purl one stitch and repeat to the end of the round. Work in knit one, purl one ribbing until the sweater measures 2 inches from the cast on edge. The ribbing will keep the edge from curling up at the bottom.
Work in stockinette stitch for 2 inches or for the desired length.
Decrease stitches for the fit for the waist. To determine the number of stitches to decrease, subtract the waist measurement from the hip measurement. Multiply the answer by the number of stitches per inch. Decrease by knitting two stitches together right before and right after each stitch marker for a total of four stitches decreased per round. Work the decreases evenly spaced over the number of inches in Step 1 from the hip to the waist.
Work in stockinette stitch for 2 inches. Increase stitches by knitting into the front and back of the stitch right before and right after each stitch marker for a total of four stitches increased per round. To determine the number of stitches to increase, subtract the waist measurement from the bust measurement and multiply the answer by the stitches per inch. Space the increases evenly over the desired number of inches determined in Step 1 from the waist to the bust.
Work in stockinette stitch until the sweater is the desired length from the cast on edge to the underarm.
Knit the Sleeves
Multiply the wrist measurement by the stitches per inch. Cast on the desired number of stitches onto the double point needles and divide the stitches evenly over three needles. Join to begin working in the round. Work in knit one, purl one ribbing for 2 inches.
Work in stockinette stitch until the sleeve measures about 3 inches or the desired length to the beginning of the sleeve shaping.
Increase for the top of the arm. Subtract the wrist measurement from the top of the arm measurement and multiply the answer by the number of stitches per inch. The increases on the sleeves are worked by knitting into the front and back of the first stitch and the last stitch of the round for a total of two stitches increased on each round. Space the increases evenly over the desired number of inches from the wrist to the underarm.
Work in stockinette stitch until the sleeve is the desired length. Set aside and make the other sleeve in the same manner.
Knit the Yoke
Join the sleeves to the body. Knit to 1 inch from the side marker. Slip the next 2 inches worth of stitches onto scrap yarn. Repeat for the sleeve. Place a marker on the circular needle and knit across the sleeve stitches. Place a marker and knit until 1 inch before the next marker. Slip the next 2 inches of stitches to scrap yarn. Repeat for the sleeve stitches. Place a marker on the circular needle, knit across the sleeve stitches then place another marker which will mark the new beginning of the round. Knit one round.
Knit two stitches together. Knit to two stitches before the next marker. Slip two stitches to the right hand needle then knit the two stitches together. Slip the marker and knit two stitches together and repeat until the end of the round. Knit one round without shaping. Repeat these two rounds until the sweater is the desired length from the underarm to the neck.
Work in knit one, purl one ribbing for 2 inches.
Bind off all stitches. Cut the yarn and weave in the end on the wrong side of the sweater. Place the underarm stitches on one double point needle then place the underarm body stitches onto another double point needle. Turn the sweater inside out and bind off the stitches using the three-needle bind off to close up the underarm. Repeat for the other side. Weave in all ends on the wrong side of the sweater.