From a seaside town in Italy, the Serra-side of my family has always sparked my imagination. I grew up poring over old family photos of women promenading arm in arm, weaving in and out of little alleyways. So, when last year, I found myself in that same seaside town ringing in the New Year with a warm and boisterous group of Serras, I harbored secret hopes of living out those images I had so long adored.

According to the old photos and confirmed by my own experience, it seems that no Serra woman has ever left the house without tossing a sweater across her shoulders as a shawl. It’s a style I'd grown accustomed to seeing on my grandmother (a true lover of knitwear), but it never felt more right than in that seaside town.

This Sweater Shawl is my interpretation of a classic Serra sweater, the one you want to drape over your back but have no intention of actually wearing. With “sleeves” for crossing, wrapping or tying and a back placket for keeping warm and looking very Italian, this piece is half sweater, half shawl!

I knit it up in a lofty brioche stitch, using Anzula's very lovely For Better of Worsted. This hand-dyed merino-cashmere blend has a graceful drape and a cozy weight that hugs your shoulders beautifully!

The Sweater Shawl has been in the making for a year (or maybe a lifetime!), and now that it’s done, it has become a staple in my wardrobe. Over a coat, a buttondown shirt, a long sleeve T, I've worn it every which way. My favorite, of course, is over another sweater, because after all, I am a Serra, and for us, the more knits, the better! -Laura

Materials

Gauge

5 stitches = 1 inch in stockinette stitch

Size

  • Back Height, from Cast On Edge to Bottom of Collar: 11 inches
  • Back Width: 17 inches
  • Collar Height: 4 inches
  • Front Height, from Shoulder to Bound Off Edge of Ribbing: 29 inches

Notes

ss2togk [Slip 1, Slip 2 Together, Knit]: slip one knit-wise, slip next two together purl-wise, insert the left needle purl-wise into the front of the three slipped stitches, and knit the three stitches together. (2 stitches decreased)

k3togtbl [Knit 3 Together Through Back Loop]: insert the right needle knit-wise into the back of the first three stitches on the left needle, and knit the three stitches together. (2 stitches decreased)

Slip the slipped stitch at the beginning of the rows purlwise.

Pattern

Begin with Ribbing at Back

Cast on 86 stitches.

Row 1 (wrong side): Slip 1, p1, *k2, p2, repeat from * to end.

Row 2: Slip 1, k1, *p2, k2, repeat from * to end.

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 until piece measures 2 1/2 inches from cast on edge.

Continue in Lofty Brioche Stitch

Row 3 (wrong side): Slip 1, p1, k2, p2, k2, *yo, slip 1, k1, repeat from * to last eight stitches, [k2, p2] two times. (121 stitches)

Row 4 : Slip 1, k1, p2, k2, p2, *k1, k2tog, repeat from * to last eight stitches, [p2, k2] two times. (86 stitches)

Row 5: Slip 1, p1, k2, p2, k3, *yo, slip 1, k1, repeat from * to last nine stitches, k1, [k2, p2] two times. (120 stitches)

Row 6: Slip 1, k1, [p2, k2] two times, *k2tog, k1, repeat from * to last eight stitches, [p2, k2] two times. (86 stitches)

Repeat Rows 3-6 until piece measures 10 3/4 inches from cast on edge.

Repeat Rows 3-5 one time. (120 stitches)

Dividing for Right, Back Neck and Left

Row 7 (right side): Slip 1, k1, [p2, k2] two times, (k2tog, k1) 21 times, place previous 18 stitches on scrap yarn, *k2tog, k1, repeat from * to last eight stitches, [p2, k2] two times. (86 stitches total: 34 stitches Right Side, 18 stitches on scrap yarn for Back Neck, 34 stitches Left Side)

Work Front Left Side

NOTE: For this section you will just be working the 34 stitches of the Front Left Side. You may want to put the 34 stitches for the Right Side on scrap yarn if it bothers you to work the Left Side with the Right Side stitches still on the needle. The stitch count in the following section is for the Left Side stitches only.

Row 8 (wrong side): Slip 1, p1, k2, p2, k2, *yo, slip 1, k1, repeat from * to last eight stitches (before stitches on holder), [k2, p2] two times. (9 stitch increase)

Row 9: Slip 1, k1, p2, k2, p2, ss2k (see pattern notes above), *k1, k2tog, repeat from * to last eight stitches, [p2, k2] two times. (10 stitch decrease)

Row 10: Slip 1, p1, k2, p2, k3, *yo, slip 1, k1, repeat from * to last eight stitches, [k2, p2] two times. (8 stitch increase)

Row 11: Slip 1, k1, p2, k2, p2, ss2k, *k1, k2tog, repeat from * to last nine stitches, k1, [p2, k2] two times. (9 stitch decrease)

Repeat Rows 8-11 one more time. (30 stitches)

Row 12 (wrong side): Slip 1, p1, k2, p2, k2, *yo, slip 1, k1, repeat from * to last eight stitches, [k2, p2] two times. (37 stitches)

Row 13: Slip 1, k1, p2, k2, p2, *k1, k2tog, repeat from * to last eight stitches, [p2, k2] two times. (30 stitches)

Row 14: Slip 1, p1, k2, p2, k3, *yo, slip 1, k1, repeat from * to last nine stitches, k1, [k2, p2] two times . (36 stitches)

Row 15: Slip 1, k1, [p2, k2] two times, *k2tog, k1 repeat from * to last eight stitches, [p2, k2] two times. (30 stitches)

Repeat Rows 12-15 one more time.

Row 16 (wrong side): Slip 1, p1, k2, p2, k2, *yo, slip 1, k1, repeat from * to last eight stitches, [k2, p2] two times. (7 stitches increased)

Row 17: Slip 1, k1, p2, k2, p2, m1R, *k1, k2tog, repeat from * to last eight stitches, [p2, k2] two times. (6 stitches decreased)

Row 18: Slip 1, p1, k2, p2, k3, *yo, slip 1, k1, repeat from * to last eight stitches, [k2, p2] two times. (7 stitches increased)

Row 19: Slip 1, k1, p2, k2, p2, m1R, *k1, k2tog, repeat from * to last nine stitches, k1, [p2, k2] two times. (6 stitches decreased)

Repeat Rows 16-19 five more times. (42 stitches)

Row 20 (wrong side): Slip 1, p1, k2, p2, k2, *yo, slip 1, k1, repeat from * to last eight stitches, [k2, p2] two times. (55 stitches)

Row 21: Slip 1, k1, p2, k2, p2, *k1, k2tog, repeat from * to last eight stitches, [p2, k2] two times. (42 stitches)

Row 22: Slip 1, p1, k2, p2, k3, *yo, slip 1, k1, repeat from * to last nine stitches, k1, [k2, p2] two times. (54 stitches)

Row 23: Slip 1, k1, [p2, k2] two times, *k2tog, k1, repeat from * to last eight stitches, [p2, k2] two times. (42 stitches)

Repeat Rows 20-23 until piece measures 37 1/2 inches from cast on edge.

Row 24 (wrong side): Slip 1, p1, *k2, p2, repeat from * to end.

Row 25: Slip 1, k1, *p2, k2, repeat from * to end.

Repeat Rows 24 and 25 until you have 2 1/2 inches of ribbing.

Bind off in pattern.

Working Front Right Side

NOTE: If you had chosen to put your Right Side stitches on a holder, now slip them back onto your needle. With the wrong side facing, join yarn.

Row 26 (wrong side): Slip 1, p1, k2, p2, k2, *yo, slip 1, k1, repeat from * to last eight stitches, [k2, p2] two times. (9 stitches increased)

Row 27: Slip 1, k1, p2, k2, p2, *k1, k2tog, repeat from * to last eleven stitches, k3togtbl (see pattern notes above), [p2, k2] two times. (10 stitches decreased)

Row 28: Slip 1, p1, k2, p2, k2, *yo, slip 1, k1, repeat from * to last nine stitches, k3, p2, k2, p2. (8 stitches increased)

Row 29: Slip 1, k1, [p2, k2] two times, *k2tog, k1 repeat from * to last thirteen stitches, k2tog, k3togtbl, [p2, k2] two times. (9 stitches decreased)

Repeat Rows 26-29 one more time. (30 stitches)

Row 30 (wrong side): Slip 1, p1, k2, p2, k2, *yo, slip 1, k1, repeat from * to last eight stitches, [k2, p2] two times. (37 stitches)

Row 31: Slip 1, k1, p2, k2, p2, *k1, k2tog, repeat from * to last eight stitches, [p2, k2] two times. (30 stitches)

Row 32: Slip 1, p1, k2, p2, k3, *yo, slip 1, k1, repeat from * to last nine stitches, k1, [k2, p2] two times. (36 stitches)

Row 33: Slip 1, k1, [p2, k2] two times, *k2tog, k1 repeat from * to last eight stitches, [p2, k2] two times. (30 stitches)

Repeat Rows 30-33 one more time. (30 stitches)

Row 34 (wrong side): Slip 1, p1, k2, p2, k2, *yo, slip 1, k1, repeat from * to last eight stitches, [k2, p2] two times. (7 stitches increased)

Row 35: Slip 1, k1, p2, k2, p2, *k1, k2tog, repeat from * to last eight stitches, m1L, [p2, k2] two times. (6 stitches decreased)

Row 36: Slip 1, p1, k2, p2, k2, *yo, slip 1, k1, repeat from * to last nine stitches, k1, [k2, p2] two times. (7 stitches increased)

Row 37: Slip 1, k1, [p2, k2] two times, *k2tog, k1 repeat from * to last ten stitches, k2tog, m1L, [p2, k2] two times. (6 stitches decreased)

Repeat Rows 34-37 five more times. (42 stitches)

Row 38 (wrong side): Slip 1, p1, k2, p2, k2, *yo, slip 1, k1, repeat from * to last eight stitches, [k2, p2] two times. (55 stitches)

Row 39: Slip 1, k1, p2, k2, p2, *k1, k2tog, repeat from * to last eight stitches, [p2, k2] two times. (42 stitches)

Row 40: Slip 1, p1, k2, p2, k3, *yo, slip 1, k1, repeat from * to last nine stitches, k1, [k2, p2] two times. (54 stitches)

Row 41: Slip 1, k1, [p2, k2] two times, *k2tog, k1 repeat from * to last eight stitches, [p2, k2] two times. (42 stitches)

Repeat Rows 38-41 until piece measures 37 1/2 inches from cast on edge.

Row 42 (wrong side): Slip 1, p1, *k2, p2, repeat from * to end.

Row 43: Slip 1, k1, *p2, k2, repeat from * to end.

Repeat Rows 42 and 43 until you have 2 1/2 inches of ribbing.

Bind off in pattern.

Pick Up for Collar

With the right side facing, start at the Front Right Neck shaping and evenly pick up 32 stitches to the stitches on hold. Slip the 18 on-hold stitches onto the other end of the needle and knit them. Then evenly pick up 32 stitches to Front Left Neck shaping, as shown above.

Rib Collar

Row 44 (wrong side): Slip 1, p1, *k2, p2, repeat from * to end.

Row 45: Slip 1, k1, *p2, k2, repeat from * to end.

Repeat Rows 42 and 43 until you have 4 inches of ribbing.

Bind off in pattern.

Weave in your ends and you are finished! Yay!