Modern Vintage Sweater – Free Knitting Patter

I present my first knitted garment pattern. This is a slightly oversized cropped sweater. Ideally it should finish just at the level of the bones above your hips, just below the waist to create a modern fashionable look. Cables create a lovely slimming effect, so that your body looks great despite the comfy wideness of the sweater. This is further enhanced by a deep V-shaped neckline.

You can download the PDF for free over here.

The detailed pattern with row-by-row instructions and charts is for size S/M, to fit chest measurement of 85-90 cm / 34-36in. The finished width of the sweater is 50cm/19in. The pattern further gives some information on how to adjust the instructions for different sizes and/or different tension. I am also happy to take on a group for KAL to help you with the process! Please comment if you are interested.


Reverse stockinette stitch, 5mm needles – 13.2 sts x 20 rows – 10×10 cm (4×4 in), cable – 6cm /2.5in wide. I recommend making a large swatch, that would have a cable on one side, and at least 15 cm /6 in of stockinette wide and about 20cm/8in long.


I used a wide array of techniques to make this sweater:

  • Cables are the accent of the model – there are 3 cables in front, creating a slimming effect, and only 2 on the back.
  • Tubular/Italian cast on (you can use long tail instead, but tubular looks nicer on the ribbing, and will match the bind off for the neckline and sleeves).
  • Short row shaping was used for shoulders, and for the neckline on the back. I made a video tutorial to explain it.
  • Three-needle bind off for the shoulders.
  • Picking up stitches for the neckline and sleeves. There is a video on that, too.
  • Italian bind-off for ribbing on the neckline and sleeves.

Tools and materials

  • Drops Nepal (65% wool, 35% alpaca, aran weight) yarn – 11 balls or 550g /19.36 oz of yarn (cca 825m/900yds) for size M. As a substitute I recommend other soft yarns medium weight yarns (#4) that have a bit of fluff. Mohair and angora blends will work well. You may use a lighter weight, but I do not recommend using yarn that is thicker than 82 yards (75 meters) per 50 grams (1.76 ounces).
  • Needles – 5mm (US size 8) for the main part, 4mm (US size 6) for ribbing, or any other combination of sizes that would work with your yarn. The larger needle size should give you a soft fabric in stockinette stitch, and the smaller should be 2 sizes less to create a neat ribbing. I have used circular needles with for the whole project, as I usually do. The front and the back are worked separately and can be done on straight needles. You will need a circular needle for the neck opening edge and sleeves.
  • Two extra needles to hold the shoulder stitches for the three-needle bind off.
  • A cable needle.
  • At least 3 stitch markers – preferably the safety-pin like ones that you can attach to a stitch rather than put on the needle.
  • A wool needle to sew up the side seams and weave in the ends.

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