As anyone who has ever knit a sweater knows, it can be a real juggling act! With this Deep V-Neck Sweater, I had the happy and lucky experience of somehow, someway managing to keep all the balls in the air. A seamless set-in sleeve pattern, a spectacularly seductive yarn and a very forgiving fit, all conspired to work together in beautiful harmony!

While set-in sleeves are perhaps the most flattering sweater construction, they traditionally involve the dreaded last step of laboriously sewing together all those pesky pieces. Determined to avoid that tedium, I embarked on this project armed with a few vague notes from Elizabeth Zimmermann and a cannot-fail doggedness (sound familiar, knitters?). Turns out a seamless set-in sleeve sweater is not only possible, it's fascinating and absolutely easy!

And what about that incredible yarn? Alchemy's Kozmos is an extraordinary blend of silk, mohair, wool and cotton, all hand dyed together to create a fuzzy, shiny, nubbly complexity of color and texture. It is this sweater's magic ingredient, infusing it with a truly unique flavor, expressive, elegant and very feminine. 

The Materials

  • 6 skeins of Alchemy Kozmos, 30% Silk, 26% Mohair, 13% Wool, 31% Cotton. This color is Platinum.
  • A US #8, 24 inch circular needle
  • A US #8, 12 inch circular needle
  • 2 double pointed needles, any size equal to or smaller than US #8
  • 4 stitch holders
  • 4 stitch markers
  • OPTIONAL: For a snugger fit around the waist and arm bands, use US #7 circular needles for the ribbing (24 inch for the waist and 12 inch for the sleeves). I didn't do this, but next time I would consider it. It just depends on your body and taste!

The Pattern

Gauge

For Size Small: 5 stitches = 1 inch in stockinette stitch

For Size Medium: 4.75 stitches = 1 inch in stockinette stitch (This is the size pictured in the pattern.)

For Size Large: 4.5 stitches = 1 inch in stockinette stitch

Finished Sizes

Small (Medium, Large)

Waist Circumference: 36 (38, 40) inches

From Shoulder to Shoulder Across the Back: 14 (14 3/4, 15 1/2 inches

From Bottom Edge to Underarm: 13 inches (with directions on how to vary)

Pattern Note

You will be asked to "purl 2 together through the back loop" (p2tog tbl). Here's how:

1. Slip the first 2 stitches knitwise from the left needle to the right needle.

2. Slip them back onto the left needle, maintaining their orientation. These 2 stitches are now on the left needle in a twisted position.

Reach your right needle around to the knit side of the work and insert the tip through the back of the second stitch and then through the first.

Now bring the tip of the right needle to the front of the work and purl together those two stitches.

That's it! Now...

Begin

With the 24 inch circular needle, cast on 180 stitches.

Place a marker and join for working in the round, being careful to not twist the stitches.

Round 1: *K2, p2, repeat from * to end of round.

Repeat Round 1 until piece measures 6 inches from cast on edge (or whatever your measurement is from the bottom of your hip bone to the middle of your waist).

Next Round: Knit 41, place a marker (pm), p1, k1, p1, k2, p1, k1, p1, knit to end of round.

Next Round: Knit to first marker, p1, k1, p1, k2, p1, k1, p1, knit to end of round.

Repeat last round 4 more times.

Shaping the V

NOTE: For the rest of the sweater, you will be working back and forth in rows, turning the work at the end of each row.

Preparation Row (right side): Remove the end-of-the-round marker, knit to first marker, remove marker, p1, k1, p1, k1, turn the work so the purl side is facing you.

Row 1 (wrong side): [P1, k1] 2 times, purl to last 4 stitches, [k1, p1] 2 times.

Row 2 (right side): [K1, p1] 2 times, ssk, knit to last 6 stitches, k2tog, [p1, k1] 2 times. (2 stitches decreased)

Row 3: Repeat Row 1.

Row 4: [K1, p1] 2 times, knit to last 4 stitches, [p1, k1] 2 times.

Repeat Rows 1-4 eight more times. 162 stitches

Repeat Rows 1 and 2. 160 stitches

Separate for Armholes

Row 1: [P1, k1] 2 times, p 37, put last 12 stitches on a stitch holder, p 90, put last 12 stitches on a stitch holder, purl to last 4 stitches, [k1, p1] 2 times. 29 stitches for each front and 78 stitches for the back.

Set the body aside.

Right Sleeve

With the 12 inch circular needle and a new ball of yarn, cast on 64 stitches.

Place a marker and join for working in the round, being careful to not twist the stitches.

Round 1: *K2, p2, repeat from * to end of round.

Repeat Round 1 until piece measures 5 inches from cast on edge.

Knit for 1 1/2 inches.

Next Round: K 6, put last 12 stitches on a stitch holder (removing the marker), cut the yarn, leaving a 24 inch tail. 52 stitches

Attach the Right Sleeve

Now return to the body with the right side facing, [K1, p1] 2 times, knit to first stitch holder, pm.

Situating the underarm stitch holders (one from the body and one from the sleeve) so that they are parallel and next to each other...

...knit across the right sleeve stitches, pm, knit across the back stitches to next stitch holder.

Set the body aside.

Make and Attach Left Sleeve

Make the left sleeve identical to the right sleeve.

Returning to the body, pm, situate the stitch holders parallel to each other and knit the left sleeve stitches, pm, knit to last 4 stitches, [p1, k1] 2 times.  240 total stitches: 29 stitches for each front, 52 stitches for each sleeve, and 78 stitches for the back.

Begin Working Set-In Sleeves

NOTE: Instead of every 4 rows, from now on you will decrease for the V-neck every 6 rows. Don't worry, the pattern will let you know!

Row 1 (wrong side): [P1, k1] 2 times, *purl to 2 stitches before next marker, p2tog tbl (see Pattern Note above), purl to next marker, slip marker, p2tog**, repeat from * to **, purl to last 4 stitches, [k1,p1] 2 times. (4 stitches decreased)

Row 2 (right side): [K1, p1] 2 times, *knit to 2 stitches before next marker, k2tog, knit to next marker, slip marker, ssk**, repeat from * to **, knit to last 4 stitches, [p1, k1] 2 times. (4 stitches decreased)

Row 3: Repeat Row 1.

Row 4: [K1, p1] 2 times, ssk, *knit to 2 stitches before next marker, k2tog, knit to next marker, slip marker, ssk**, repeat from * to **, knit to last 6 stitches, k2tog, [p1, k1] 2 times. (6 stitches decreased)

222 total stitches: 24 stitches for each front, 52 stitches for each sleeve, and 70 stitches for the back.

Decreasing the Sleeve Stitches

Row 1 (wrong side): [P1, k1] 2 times, purl to last 4 stitches, [k1, p1] 2 times.

Row 2 (right side): [K1, p1] 2 times, *knit to next marker, slip marker, ssk, knit to 2 stitches before next marker, k2tog**, repeat from * to **, knit to last 4 stitches, [p1, k1] 2 times. (4 stitches decreased)

Rows 3 and 4: Repeat Rows 1 and 2. (4 stitches decreased)

Row 5: Repeat Row 1.

Row 6: [K1, p1] 2 times, ssk, *knit to next marker, slip marker, ssk, knit to 2 stitches before next marker, k2tog**, repeat from * to **, knit to last 6 stitches, k2tog, [p1, k1] 2 times. (6 stitches decreased)

Repeat Rows 1-6 until 26 sleeve stitches remain for each sleeve, ending with Row 2.  162 total stitches: 20 stitches for each front, 26 stitches for each sleeve, 70 stitches for the back.   

Accelerate the Sleeve Decreases

Row 1 (wrong side): [P1, k1] 2 times, *purl to next marker, slip marker, p2tog, purl to 2 stitches before next marker, p2tog tbl**, repeat from * to **, purl to last 4 stitches, [k1, p1] 2 times. (4 stitches decreased)

Row 2 (right side): [K1, p1] 2 times, *knit to next marker, slip marker, ssk, knit to 2 stitches before next marker, k2tog**, repeat from * to **, knit to last 4 stitches, [p1, k1] 2 times. (4 stitches decreased)

Row 3: Repeat Row 1.

Row 4: [K1, p1] 2 times, ssk, *knit to next marker, slip marker, ssk, knit to 2 stitches before next marker, k2tog**, repeat from * to **, knit to last 6 stitches, k2tog, [p1, k1] 2 times. (6 stitches decreased)

Rows 5 and 6: Repeat Rows 1 and 2.

Repeat Rows 1-6 until 10 sleeve stitches remain, ending with Row 2. 128 total stitches: 19 for each front, 10 for each sleeve, and 70 for the back.

The Left Front

NOTE: For this section you will be working the left front stitches and half of the left sleeve stitches only. You will also no longer be decreasing for the V-Neck.

Row 1 (ws): [P1, k1] 2 times, purl to first marker, slip marker, p2tog. 1 stitch decreased. Turn the work so the right side is facing you and work back over these same stitches.

Row 2 (rs): Knit to last 4 stitches, [p1, k1] 2 times. Turn work.

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 two more times.

The next row finishes the left front and starts the back...

Next Row: [P1, k1] 2 times, purl to first marker, slip marker, p2tog, purl to 2 stitches before next marker, p2tog tbl, slip marker, purl to next marker, slip marker, p2tog. Turn work so knit side is facing you. 122 total stitches: 19 stitches for each front, 5 for left sleeve, 9 for right sleeve and 70 for the back.

The Back

NOTE: Now you will be working back and forth on just the back stitches and some of the sleeve stitches.

Row 1 (rs): Knit to 2nd marker, slip marker, k2. Turn work.

Row 2 (ws): P2tog tbl, purl to 2nd marker, slip marker, p2tog. 2 stitches decreased. Turn work.

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 two more times. 116 total stitches: 19 stitches for each front, 2 for left sleeve, 6 for right sleeve and 70 for the back.

Raising the Back with Short Rows

Now you're going to work short rows over just the back stitches. Click here for a great Short Row Tutorial to help you through!

Row 1 (rs): Knit to 5 stitches before 2nd marker, wrap and turn.

Row 2 (ws): Purl to 5 stitches before next marker, wrap and turn.

Row 3: Knit to 5 stitches before next wrapped stitch, wrap and turn.

Row 4: Purl to 5 stitches before next wrapped stitch, wrap and turn.

Repeat Row 3.

Next Row (ws): Purl to the last 4 stitches of the entire row, picking up the wraps as you work, [k1, p1] 2 times. (Don't worry that you picked up only half of the wrapped stitches. We'll get to the other half later! It's also okay that there is one fewer wrap on the right than on the left. No one will ever know!)

The Right Front

Now working just the stitches of the right front and some of the stitches of the right sleeve...

Row 1 (rs): [K1, p1] 2 times, knit to first marker, slip marker, ssk. 1 stitch decreased. Turn work so wrong side is facing you.

Row 2 (ws): Purl to last 4 stitches, [k1, p1] 2 times. Turn work.

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 two more times.

Next Row: [K1, p1] 2 times, knit to first marker, slip marker, ssk, knit to last 4 stitches of the entire row, picking up the wrapped stitches as you work. Place the last 4 stitches of the row on scrap yarn. 112 total stitches: 19 stitches for each front (including 4 on hold), 2 for each sleeve and 70 for the back.

Grafting the Shoulders

Slip the first 16 stitches onto a double pointed needle (removing the stitch marker).

Slip the next 16 stitches onto a second double pointed needle (removing the marker).

Cut the yarn, leaving a 24 inch tail, and use the Kitchener Stitch to graft the left front to the back.

With the right side facing you and using a double pointed needle, join a new yarn to the right front.

Bind off 4 stitches in k1, p1 pattern.

Slip the next 15 stitches onto this same double pointed needle (removing the stitch marker). (You should have 16 stitches on the needle.)

Slip the next 16 stitches onto a second double pointed needle (removing the marker).

Cut the yarn, leaving a 24 inch tail, and use the Kitchener Stitch to graft the right front to the back. 40 stitches remain for the back.

Finishing the Neckband

Slip the 4 edge stitches from the scrap yarn onto a double pointed needle.

With the right side facing you and joining new yarn, use the circular needle (that is holding the back stitches) to pick up 1 stitch from between the ribbing and the back stitches.

Still using the circular needle, slip 1 stitch from the neck ribbing and pass the picked up stitch over, k1, p1, k1. Turn the work so the wrong side is facing you.

Now using just the circular needle...

Row 1 (ws): P1, k1, p1, k2tog (the last stitch of the ribbing with the first stitch of the back). Turn work.

Row 2 (rs): Slip the first back stitch from the right needle onto the left needle, p2tog (the slipped stitch and the first stitch of the ribbing), k1, p1, k1. Turn work.

Repeat the last 2 rows until all of the back stitches have been knit, ending with Row 2.

Next Row (ws): P1, k1, p1, slip 1, keep the yarn in front and pick up a stitch from between the back and the right front ribbing (insert the right needle from the right side of the work to the wrong side and purl the stitch to pick it up), pass the slipped stitch over.

Next Row (rs): Bind off in p1, k1 pattern.

Cut the yarn, leaving a 12 inch tail.

Sew the two bound off edges of the ribbing together.

Finishing

Use the Kitchener Stitch to graft the underarms together.

Weave in all the ends and gently block. You're all done!