Searching For Sweater Jacket Knit Patterns

Rowan Amber: Nell

It’s late Sunday night and I can’t sleep. I’m daydreaming about making a sweater. I’m really intimated by the huge process being that I’ve only finished a few hats, scarves and mittens. But sweaters are like scarves just bigger, right?

My house is freezing in the wintertime due in part to our lack of insulation. In January and February you can usually catch me in jeans with a bulky sweater and hat on with my bathrobe tied over the top—super sexy I might add.

So why not trying making a sweater coat? I know I’ll get a ton of use out of it. The one downside is the cost. A few of the patterns I picked out the yarn would cost between $100-$200. I realize I can find affordable alternatives already knit for that price but most mass market versions contain acrylic, yuck. I want something made of natural fibers that’s super soft and warm.

Below a few patterns I’ve gathered. I’m not sure if I can conquer any of them? I don’t want something too complicated because the one thing I hear from other sweater newbies is that they take forever. The bottom image “The Bradford” is not a cardigan but I love the texture and it’s made with really chunky yarn–which means you can whip it up fast! Maybe I should start there? Have you ever made a sweater? Any advice or a favorite pattern you would like to share or suggest for beginners?

While I’m writing this I’m oohing and awing over hand-knit afghans and pillow patterns. Why can’t I have two sets of hands? Oh gosh how do I choose?

Debbie Bliss Winter Essentials: Odette

Debbie Bliss The Big Easy: Daisy Stitch Coat

Debbie Bliss Rialto Aran: Helena

Rowan Rowan Magazine 46: Bradford

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Handknit Pillows
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  1. wonderful points altogether, you simply gained a brand new reader. What could you suggest about your post that you just made a few days in the past? Any positive?


  2. Thank you so much for the info on Nell. I will definitely check local places before ordering on line.


  3. I love all the comments! I am so interested in the Nell pattern but have been unable to find it. If there is someone out there that has it, or knows where I can get it, I would love to hear from you.


  4. Big yarn on big needles = near instant gratification and a sense of major knitting accomplishment. I had only completed a few simple projects when I bought Twinkle’s Big City Knits. It took me about 2 weeks and $60 to complete my first sweater. Good luck!


  5. Run… Don’t walk…over to Yarns In the Farms in Beverly Farms. Talk to Jill or Carolyn and ask them to show u their Einstein Coat. Also they have other fabulous sweater coats u will adore. And there is an upcoming class on one whose name I cannot remember! Enjoy!


  6. These are beautiful. One of my very first knitting projects was a chunky sweater from Twinkle’s Big City Knits. I figured if I knew how to knit, purl, and follow instructions, I’d be fine, and I was. It was not hard, it didn’t take too long, and it was lots of fun–but I have to admit that it definitely has a certain handmade wonkiness (which doesn’t bother me). I wish I had gotten help with sewing the arms to the body and with blocking for a cleaner look, but I still love my sweater. Have fun!


  7. I’m glad to see I’m not the only “but I only knit scarves and hats” type person. I mostly do small projects because I get bored easily if a knitting project takes weeks on end. My favourite part of the whole thing is picking the pattern and the yarn; not the actual knitting itself.

    That being said, I know I really need to start ramping up my skill level when it comes to knitting. I’ve decided to pay a little extra to take some private lessons so I can learn to make some new things (cowls, coffee cup jackets, etc…) I’ve tried learning from a book and it doesn’t work for me; I really need to see stitches done in person in order to make sense of them. I would love to one day learn how to make a sweater, but that seems like a long way off.

    I think you’re heading in the right direction by going to the yarn store and asking for some help. I think the Odette and Daisy Stitch Coat are the most attractive options, personally. I should probably try making one myself, since I too live in jeans, a sweatshirt and a bathrobe during the winter months.


  8. i have to second the post above recommending wendy barnard for great looking and approachable patterns. her “custom knits” book is fantastic and has a great sweater coat in it that i’ve been meaning to knit for a while now. maybe i’ll get to it this autumn, when all the holiday gifts are done (if they’re ever done!).

    i’d also highly recommend a top-down raglan for your very first sweater. less finishing (which can be extremely difficult) and easier to fit. a good first cardigan is the february lady sweater (free on ravelry). you could increase the length and turn it into a sweater coat.

    another good idea that i picked up from my yarn shop is to knit a baby sweater as a first garment since they require less time (and yarn!) but allow one to understand the construction of a sweater. plus it’s a show stopper of a shower gift.


  9. Wow thanks everyone for the great advice and comments. I’m on Ravelry too! Even though I haven’t uploaded any photos yet.

    I’m going to bring the patterns over to my yarn shop tomorrow and she what they suggest. They really understand my skill level. And I imagine they’ll have some tips for more affordable versions of the Debbie Bliss Yarns.

    I really like the Daisy Coat too. And I think it would be pretty easy to add a belt in garter stitch to tie it all up?


  10. Okay, finally, Emily – I can give you some advice. After all the good advice you’ve provided on your blog, it’s only fair, right? First off, are you on Ravelry? It’s like Facebook for knitters. You definitely should be – that way you can pick a pattern and see a ton of other FOs (finished objects) in that pattern by knitters all over the world.

    Second, knit a sweater jacket – do it! But…do knit something all in one piece, please! My rationale – you can knit it to actually fit you. If you go to all the trouble of knitting a sweater coat you want it to fit you after all, no? Wendy Bernard and Stephanie Japel are two designers whose work you should check out. Easy, peasy patterns with quick and beautiful results.

    Third, yarn selection….I too am averse to acryl. Try Cascade 220 (comes in more colors than you can shake a stick at and gets softer when you block it), Brown Sheep or (my favorite) Stonehedge Yarn made in Michigan. Their worsted weight merino is so, so soft and comes in a million colors. Plus, it’s a locally (for me) made yarn.

    Please keep us updated on your progress!


  11. I’d maybe advise trying a shrug or small cardigan first…something that won’t take a few hundred dollars worth of yarn, so if it doesn’t turn out you won’t be too devestated. Sizing for sweaters can get a bit tricky and it might be good to practice on something smaller and less complicated…even though those sweater coats are super beautiful and quite tempting!


  12. I second the recommendation for You can search by yarn weight and find something for bulky or aran weight yarn that is going to knit up quickly and suits you. There are no less than a zillion (ok, that might be an exaggeration) patterns on there, some free. And, the added benefit is you get to look at other people’s finished products and read any comments they made about the process. It’s very helpful.

    I’m also planning on doing sylvi. You can find it here… You might not be ready for that chart. But, I’d recommend against picking something too simple. A coats worth of stockinette stitch could drive a person batty. I recommend picking something that’s a bit of a challenge and then just follow the recipe.

    Maybe we could do a coat knit along. I’ve had the pattern and yarn for Sylvi since it came out almost 2 years ago! Maybe I just need that added push to get me out of the bathrobe over the clothes look this winter too.


  13. I love the “Daisy Stitch coat” pattern. Totally gorgeous and cozy looking! I can’t give knitting advice (scarfs are the extent of my skills) but I can give shopping advice if you decide not to knit a sweater jacket. I have a gorgeous wool/cashmere sweater jacket from Barbour – very soft, natural fibers – maybe they will make a version this year?


  14. Hi Katy,
    I am knitting a sweater coat at the moment which is in a 12ply wool and knitted on 6mm needles which are chunky and knit up really fast. I am knitting the Sylvi pattern (google it. Its georgous!) I am a member of the Ravelry knitting site. ANY pattern you want to knit someone will have made it and have helpful tips etc. I find the Debbie Bliss patterns really easy to follow and while her wools are also georgous they are REALLY expensive.
    I am lucky as I am a Kiwi (New Zealander) so I have access to really great NZ merino wools at good prices.
    I always find that a cable pattern knits up faster than other patterns. I guess for me its just more interesting.
    I always photocopy the pattern then just run a highlighter though the rows as I go. Then i never lose my place.
    good luck with your search. I love the first one.


  15. If you have never knitted a sweather before, I will advice you to pick somthing more easy than the patterns abowe. They are really beautiful,but tricky…
    If you take a look at you will find lots of free patterns… thousands!
    Good luck !


  16. My mother has been knitting since she was 20 and right now she knits while watching TV-not very complicated patterns, but she’s doing it without paying very much attention, so I think that if you pick a pattern that is quick to learn you could do other things while knitting, so it doesn’t seem to take so much of your time.

    A chunky yarn sounds great, and as far as I remember that’s usually used with a bigger knitting needle, but you might have problems with patterns, because the more intricate ones are made for a specific type of yarn. Another option would be crocheting. For me, it was a lot easier to pick up more complex patterns for crochet than knitting.


  17. What an exciting project! I tend to knit most often for my children because the projects finish up so much faster and I am much too impatient.

    My vote is for “the big easy.” The fit doesn’t have to be perfect to look good and that’s one problem newbie knitters sometimes have. Also, no fussy button holes and you can make it the length that you like best. I have knit from Debbie Bliss patterns in the past and find them reliable and easy to follow.

    My advice is to practice the pattern for a bit first to see how your tension and yarn are working for you. It’s tough to wait but it means that both sleeves will look the same.