Pattern: Practical Procrastination Pullover

Dear inhabitants of the internet, I give you: the Practical Procrastination Pullover.

The alliteration is a little painful, I know, but I just couldn’t resist. Besides, it’s quite true actually. I designed and knit this in a fit of exam period procrastination (well, not quite procrastination – I actually did the majority of the knitting while listening to endless recordings of Restitutions Law lectures, so technically it’s multi-tasking!).

But despite these mildly deplorable origins, it’s actually a very practical thing to knit. It’s good to throw on over a tank top for a little bit of extra warmth when it’s not quite warm enough to go without – I’ve been wearing it quite a lot like this in the current autumn weather, throwing a scarf into the mix on colder mornings. Come winter, I imagine it’ll be great for layering. And if one wants to extend the ‘practical’ theme to finding a use for some of those past impulsive yarn purchases, this pattern lends itself very well. It uses about 420 yards of DK weight yarn, so if you’ve got anything squirrelled away in an amount that isn’t quite enough for a full size pullover, this hits the spot quite nicely. Or if you’re feeling all frugal and virtuous, you can do what I did for the purple version – using only one 200g ball of yarn, it cost me a whole $11 to make!

It’s a pretty easy knit as well – you need to be able to knit in the round, work basic increases and decreases, be comfortable putting stitches on and off of waste yarn, and be able to work a provisional cast on (personally, I am very keen on this method).

At the moment, alas, it is still only available in the one size – I do, however, have plans to eventually write up instructions for other sizes. In the mean time, it probably wouldn’t take much by way of mathematical exertion to modify it to fit a different size – it’s just a basic bottom up raglan with an unusually low front. If you go this route, I can’t recommend enough that you try the piece on as you go, and make adjustments as you work – I know that this was what I constantly did while I made it! I’m definitely happy to answer any questions people might have about the process. Also, if anyone wants to be contacted when I finally get around to writing a version with more sizes, drop me a line on Ravelry and I’ll add you to the list.

Also, a brief disclaimer: I’m not a professional pattern writer, and even though I am yet to find any, there may very well be mistakes lurking in the depths of this pattern. If you find any, please do let me know!

Practical Procrastination Pullover:

This is a raglan-style short sleeved pullover, constructed from the bottom hem upwards. Stitches are cast on for the body and worked in the round until they are divided for the neckline opening. Sleeves are created by provisionally casting on stitches, which are picked up and worked from the armpit down once the body knitting has been completed.

Size: Fits a 36 inch bust with a small amount of ease.

Yarn: Variegated version: Sanguine Gryphon Free Range in ‘Green Junglefowl’ (2 skeins). I worked from both skeins at once, switching every two rows to avoid pooling, but you don’t need to do that if you’re not as neurotic as I am!

Purple version used Bendigo Woollen Mills Rustic 8ply in ‘Midnight Tweed’ (1 ball). This is equivalent to approximately 420 yards of DK knit weight yarn.

Needles: 5.5mm circular needle for body, and 5.5mm double pointed needles as well if you’re not keen on using the magic loop technique for the sleeves. Optional: 7mm needles for sleeves if working the flared sleeve variation seen in the variegated version.

Gauge: 15 sts / 24 rows = 4 inches on 5.5mm needles. Note: using this size needle with a DK weight yarn creates quite a light fabric, so upsize the yarn if you want something more substantial.


K: knit

P: purl

PM: place stitch marker

SM: slip stitch marker

K2tog: Knit next two stitches together (1 stitch decreased – right slanting decrease)

SSK: Slip next two stitches, one at a time, then knit together through the front (1 stitch decreased – left slanting decrease)

RS: right side

WS: wrong side

M1: Increase one stitch

Cast on 132 stitches. PM to mark beginning and join to begin working in the round.

Work next 6 rows in garter stitch in the round (i.e. alternating knit and purl rounds).

Change to stockinette stitch (knit all rounds), and work 3 more rounds. Next round: knit 66, PM, knit to end (this marker, and the beginning marker, will be used for waist shaping).

Waist Decreases:
K1, ssk, knit to 3 stitches before side marker, k2tog, K1, SM, K1, ssk, knit to 3 stitches before end of round, k2tog, K1. (total of 4 stitches decreased)

Work 5 rows even.

Repeat last 6 rows 3 more times (a total of 4 decrease rows have now been worked, total of 16 stitches decreased, 116 stitches remaining).

Work even in stockinette until piece measures 8 inches from cast on edge, or length desired before neck opening.

Neckline set-up:

K 25, PM, P 8, PM, knit to end of round. You have just places the neckline markers (make them a different colour to the side markers if it helps!). The 8 purled stitches will form the garter stitch border for the neckline. After the neckline is split, the border will be be 4 stitches wide on each side.  If you desire a wider/narrower border, alter your garter stitch count accordingly here. The important thing to remember is that these stitches have to be centred on the front half of the pullover.

Knit 1 round.

Knit to first neckline marker, SM, P 8, SM, knit to end of round.

Knit to first neckline marker, K 4. Do not finish the round: turn the work and (now knitting on the WS, working flat) knit all the way around to the end (the point where you turned the work), maintaining garter borders (i.e. knitting purl stitches and purling knit stitches). The neck opening has been created; from this point the pullover is worked flat, and this spot is now where you will begin and end rows.

Note: while working the rest of the body, make sure to maintain the garter stitch border at the neckline.

Begin neckline decreases:

RS: Starting at right side of neckline (where you should be after completing the above directions), knit garter stitch border to neckline marker, SM, ssk, knit around to 2 stitches before the other neckline marker, k2tog, SM, knit garter stitch to end (2 stitches decreased).
WS: Maintaining garter stitch borders, work even.

Repeat last 2 rows until 23 stitches remain on each front side (i.e. in between the neckline and the side marker, including the garter stitch border).

Waist Increases:

Continue working neckline decreases as described above, and at the same time:

RS: Work to 1 stitch before side marker, M1, K1, SM, K1, M1, work to 1 stitch before next marker, M1, K1, SM, K1, M1, then work to end, maintaining neck decreases and garter borders (4 stitches increased).
Work 5 rows even.

Repeat last 6 rows 1 more time (total of 8 stitches increased).

Stitch total should now be as follows: 4 stitches (neckline), 15 stitches (front), 62 stitches (back), 15 stitches (front), 4 stitches (neckline). 100 stitches total.

Knit to 3 stitches before side marker. Slip next 3 stitches onto a piece of waste yarn, removing first side marker, slip next 3 stitches onto a different piece of waste yarn (total of six stitches now held), PM, provisionally cast on 42 stitches for the first sleeve, PM, work to 3 stitches before second side marker, slip next 6 stitches onto two pieces of waste yarn as previously described, PM, provisionally cast on 42 stitches for second sleeve, PM, work to end.

Note: neckline decreases cease from this point onwards.

Purl next round.

Raglan decreases:
Row 1 (RS): Knit to first sleeve marker, SM, k2tog, work to 2 stitches before next marker, ssk, SM, k2tog, work to 2 stitches before next marker, ssk, SM, k2tog, work to 2 stitches before last sleeve marker, ssk, SM, work to end. (6 stitches decreased)
Row 2 (WS): Purl
Row 3: Work as for Row 1
Row 4: Purl
Row 5: Knit to 2 stitches before first sleeve marker, ssk, SM, k2tog, work to 2 stitches before next marker, ssk, SM, k2tog, work to 2 stitches before next marker, ssk, SM, k2tog, work to 2 stitches before last sleeve marker, ssk, SM, k2tog, work to end. (8 stitches decreased).
Row 6: Purl.

Repeat the last 6 rows 2 more times.

Continue working raglan decreases, but work as for Row 5 on all RS rows, purling WS rows, for 18 rows more. Stop decreasing when 48 stitches remain (you should have 5 stitches remaining on each front – including garter border, 8 stitches on each sleeve, and 22 stitches on the back).
Work 4 rows garter stitch.

Bind off all stitches

(Optional: On the purple version, I decreased 1 stitch on each neckline edge in the last 2 rows before the bind-off, just to make the corners a little less pointy).

Starting at the middle of armpit, knit 3 held stitches onto needle (circular or dpn, depending on how you like to work in the round). Pick up 1 stitch between these stitches and the sleeve stitches, then carefully undo the provisional cast on and knit the held stitches onto your needle. Pick up 1 stitch in gap between sleeve and the second batch of held stitches. Knit remaining 3 held stitches.

Place marker to mark beginning, then work in the round for 3 rounds.

Work 4 rows garter stitch in the round (optional: if you want a slightly flared sleeve, switch to 7mm needles at this point).

Loosely bind off all stitches.

Weave in ends, block, and you’re done!

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to drop me a line, here or on Ravelry. Happy knitting!

Pattern and photos © 2010. Permission is given for personal use only. Please don’t copy this pattern or sell items made from it without talking to me about it first.

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7 Responses to Pattern: Practical Procrastination Pullover

  1. Debra Graham says:

    Very cute pattern. I can’t wait to make one for my granddaughter.

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  4. Meadow says:

    Just finished up! This was a great, quick pattern – thank you so much for posting! Using Knit Picks Comfy Sport Pima Cotton/Acrylic, I added length at the waist and sleeves. It has great drape and feel. This will be such a versatile pullover. Thanks!

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  6. elliottism says:

    help! it s a super sweet pattern, and i m enjoying the knit, but ive got two questions – maybe you can help?

    at the moment i am decreasing the neckline – at the moment about 20 stitches left on each side between side marker and neckline marker ( waist increases already done because of my shape 🙂 )
    first qustion ist – when i m down to 15 stitches on each side, the piece will by far not be long enough to reach my shoulders or even the collarbone area – what am i to do to make it longer before the sleeves?

    and, second question, why are there so many sleeve sections? are they alternatives??
    maybe i should mention i m not a native speaker, so it s quite some workto read it anyway 😀

    thank you so much for your help!

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