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the circumference sweater

One more cosy sweater to finish up 2021’s patterns! It’s been a weird year that has felt both long and short at the same time, but a(nother) year where I have been very grateful for knitting. Ending with a comforting and colourful sweater seems appropriate. 🙂

Scroll down for details and to purchase the Circumference Sweater knitting pattern.

I created the Axis yarn and palette with both structured sweaters and colourwork in mind, so a colourwork yoke sweater was high on my to-knit list this winter. Boy did I dither over which colours to use and what colourwork pattern to create though… working with 4 colours was far from my usual comfort zone, and every colourwork pattern I charted felt too traditional or too fussy. In the end I decided not to bother with anything fancy and use the most simple colourwork pattern known to man – alternating blocks. Creative genius I am! The overall result feels minimal and fresh though (rather than boring… I’d like to think) and I’ve worn my Circumference sweater lots already.

The Circumference Sweater isn’t actually the first yoke jumper I’ve designed – my very first self-drafted pattern was a striped yoke 13 (!!) years ago. In the meantime I kind of went off them for reasons explained in my recent podcast below – many circular yokes just seemed a funny shape and not the kind of fit I was happy with. Yokes and I are friends again now though and I forsee many more for 2022. At present I have a single colour sweater on the needles with a textured yoke, again in my own yarn Lily Kate Makes AXIS worsted – it does the job perfectly if I do say so myself!

test knitter roundup

I always love to see the way test knitters put their own spin on a pattern, but it’s even more fun to see when there are multiple colours involved! This pattern is a good one for playing around with stash yarns and unlikely combinations and I LOVE the palettes my testers came up with. Thank you to all my wonderful testers for your help and input with this pattern!


YARN (Main colour / MC): Lily Kate Makes Axis Worsted (90% merino, 10% suri alpaca, 100m per 50g skein), 8 (9; 9; 10; 11) [12; 13; 14; 14] skeins.

Alternatively, you will need 780 (836; 896; 942; 1057) [1120; 1216; 1342; 1391]m / 851 (911; 976; 1027; 1152) [1221; 1326; 1463; 1517] yards of worsted weight yarn.

Contrast colours: approx. 16 (21; 26; 27; 30) [31; 39; 43; 44] m / 18 (23; 28; 30; 33) [34; 42; 46; 48] yards of 3 different shades of worsted weight yarn. Sample shown in Axis worsted in the following shades:

CC1: Love Number (pink)
CC2: Aurora (blue)
CC3: Helio (yellow)

GAUGE: 19 sts and 25 rows to 4” / 10cm in stocking stitch, blocked. Suggested needle size 5mm.

4.5mm 16” / 40cm circular needle for neckband
5mm circular needles of varying lengths for yoke & body
4.5mm & 5mm needle(s) of your preferred method for working small circumferences in the round (eg. DPNs / long circular needle) for sleeves
You will also need 3 stitch markers and a tapestry needle.

To fit bust: 28-30 (32-34; 36-38; 40-42; 44-46) (48-50; 52-54; 56-58; 60-62) inches / 71-76 (81-86; 91-97; 102-107; 112-117) (122-127; 132-137; 142-147; 152-157) cm.

Finished bust: 36.5 (41; 45; 48.5; 52.5) [56; 60; 64.5; 68.5] inches / 93 (104; 114; 123; 133) [142; 152; 164; 174] cm.

The Circumference Sweater is designed to be worn with between 7 – 9 inches / 18 – 23 cm positive ease. Sample shown is a size 2 worn on a 34” bust with around 7 inches / 18 cm positive ease. This is a #SizeInclusive pattern.

CONSTRUCTION the Circumference sweater is worked seamlessly from the top down. Stitches are cast on at the neck and a folded collar is worked in twisted rib. Increases are worked throughout the yoke between rounds of simple colourwork; the rate of increase changes part way through the yoke in order to fit neatly around the shoulders. After dividing the body and sleeves, short rows are worked to dip the front neck. The body is cropped and boxy but short rows are used again to dip the back hem. Sleeves are worked in the round with decreases towards the cuff, before a neat round of piping is created and the sleeve is finished with twisted rib.

Pattern support: for pattern support queries please EMAIL lilykate@jolihouse.com rather than sending an Instagram DM.

I LOVE seeing people knit my patterns and make them their own – if you could tag @lilykatemakes and #CircumferenceSweater on Instagram that would be great!

The Circumference Sweater pattern is also available via Ravelry and Etsy.

Lily Kate x

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