Dip Dye Sweater – FREE Easy Women’s Pullover Sweater Knitting Pattern by Yay For Yarn

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The Dip Dye pullover sweater stripes two colors together for a unique ombre effect.  This easy free knitting pattern & video tutorial will teach you how to knit a sweater, even if you’re a beginner.

Sweaters can be tons of fun to knit, but they are often intimidating for beginners.  Although there are lots of knitted sweaters out there with complex shaping and intricate stitch patterns, not all sweater patterns have to be complicated.  You can knit your very own sweater, even if you’re a beginner!  All you need are the basic knitting skills.

The Dip Dye Sweater is a pullover style, with a drop shoulder sleeve.  (In other words, there isn’t any complex shaping for the sleeves and armholes.)  I’ve also eliminated the need for neck shaping by adding an easy, straight neck ribbing instead of a v-neck or round-neck.

By using two colors with a simple sequence of stripes, we get a unique, dip-dye effect that looks like the two colors fade into each other.  So cool!


girl outdoors wearing beige / terracotta dip dye sweater at golden hour

 

How to Choose the Best Yarn for a Women’s Pullover Sweater

This easy women’s sweater pattern calls for #5 Bulky Weight yarn.  I prefer to use a washable yarn for most garments, so I chose to use Lion Brand Hue & Me.  It’s a blend of 80% Acrylic and 20% Wool, which gives the soft acrylic yarn a luxury feel.  Hue & Me comes in many stylish colors, and any of them can be mixed and matched in a project.  You can choose any two colors of Hue & Me for your Dip Dye sweater, and they will always coordinate nicely.

You can substitute a different brand or line of yarn if you like.  When selecting the yarn you want to use for this pattern, make sure the yarn label says it is #5 Bulky Weight.  Then, purchase enough skeins of the yarn you want to use so that you have at least the total number of yards required in the pattern in each color for the size you are making.

flat lay of dip dye sweater in progress on white marble with metal scissors

 

How do I Choose a Size?

The Dip Dye Sweater knitting pattern includes instructions for 9 sizes, from a women’s size X-Small to 5X. To decide which size you want to make, you’ll need to measure around the fullest part of the bust.  Then, follow the instructions in the “Sizing” section of the pattern to select the size according to the wearer’s bust measurement.

Please note that the sweater length will fall differently on individuals of different heights.  To see how long the sweater hem will fall, measure the back length measurement against the wearer.

 

Check out more size-inclusive women’s sweater patterns!

1. Dotty Pullover / 2. Simple Slouchy Sweater / 3. Coral Cardigan

 

Can I knit this if I am a beginner?

The project level for this knitted sweater pattern is labeled “Basic”.  To make this project, you’ll need to know how to work the basic knitting stitches, cast on, bind off, and work back and forth in rows.  You will also need to know how to count your stitches and count your rows in garter stitch (knit every row).  Any additional techniques used are detailed in the video tutorial, and are approachable for beginners.

You will also need to be comfortable reading a simple written pattern.  (See this article by the Craft Yarn Council to learn more about how to read a knitting pattern.)  If you are familiar with those techniques, you can make this sweater.

 

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Ready to get started?  Let’s knit the Dip Dye Sweater!

 

Dip Dye Sweater

Knitting Pattern by Yay For Yarn

Click Here to grab the Large-Print, Ad-Free, Printable PDF Version of this pattern in my shop.

 

 

Project Level: Basic

 

Sizing:

  • – Sizing follows the Craft Yarn Council’s standards for Women’s sizes.
  • – This sweater has a classic fit, with 4-6” (10.2-15.2 cm) of positive ease. If you are between sizes, size up if you want a looser-fit sweater, or size down if you want a more fitted sweater.
  • – Measure the bust of the wearer, and choose the size that is closest to the wearer’s bust measurement, under the title, “To Fit Bust”.
  • – Instructions and yarn requirements for size X-Small are given outside the parentheses, with Small, Medium, Large, X-Large, 2X, 3X, 4X, and 5X given inside the parentheses, like this:

X-Small (Small, Medium, Large, X-Large, 2X, 3X, 4X, 5X).

  • – When only one number is given, it applies to all sizes.

 

To Fit Bust:

30 (34, 38, 42, 46, 50, 54, 58, 62)” / 76 (86.5, 96.5, 106.5, 117, 127, 137, 147.5, 157.5) cm

 

Finished Bust:

34 (39, 42, 47, 51, 56, 61, 64, 68)” / 86.5 (99, 106.5, 119.5, 129.5, 142, 155, 162.5, 173) cm

 

Back Length from Shoulder to Hem:

20.5 (21.5, 21.5, 22, 22, 22, 22, 22.5, 22.5)” / 52 (54.5, 54.5, 56, 56, 56, 56, 57, 57) cm

 

Please Note: Pullover length will fall differently on individuals of different heights.  To see how long the sweater will fall, measure the back length measurement against the wearer.

 

 

You Will Need:

  • – 497 (573, 612, 671, 712, 773, 818, 873, 928) yards of #5 Bulky Weight Yarn in Main Color (I used Lion Brand Hue & Me in Desert, 80% Acrylic, 20% Wool, 4.4oz / 125g or 137 yds / 125m per skein, 4 (5, 5, 5, 6, 6, 6, 7, 7) skeins)
  • – 172 (194, 211, 233, 258, 280, 304, 319, 341) yards of #5 Bulky Weight Yarn in Contrast Color (I used Lion Brand Hue & Me in Bellini, 80% Acrylic, 20% Wool, 4.4oz / 125g or 137 yds / 125m per skein, 2 (2, 2, 2, 2, 3, 3, 3, 3) skeins)
  • – US Size 13 / 9.0mm Knitting Needles (or size needed to obtain gauge, I recommend circular needles, especially for the larger sizes, so all of the stitches will have room to comfortably sit on the length of the needles)
  • – Scissors
  • – Measuring Tape
  • – Yarn Needle or Blunt Tapestry Needle
  • – Locking or Split Ring Stitch Marker (a safety pin will also work)

 

Gauge:

18 sts = 7” / 17.8cm and 30 rows = 6” / 15.2cm in garter stitch (knit every row)

Note: Gauge should be measured after blocking your swatch.

 

Abbreviations:

K: knit

P: purl

st(s): stitch(es)

MC: main color yarn

CC: contrast color yarn

*Kf&b: knit front and back

*This is a special stitch.  See instructions below to learn how to work this stitch.

 

Kf&b: Insert right needle tip into the next st on the left needle.  Knit that st, but don’t let the old stitch slip off the left needle yet.  Bring the right needle behind the left needle, and insert the right needle into back of the same st, and knit through it again.  Now let the old stitch slip off the left needle.  The Kf&b increases one stitch by working into a stitch twice, once in the front and once in the back.

 

I chose to use the Knitted Cast On, but you can use a different cast on technique if you prefer, as long as you still have a long enough yarn tail for seaming left after you cast on.

How to work the Knitted Cast On

Make a Slip Knot and place it on the left needle. Insert the right needle into that slip knot as if to knit. Knit through the slip knot as normal, but do not lift the slip knot off of the left needle. Stretch the loop that is on the right needle, lift it up, and slide it down onto the left needle so the right needle appears to be inserted into the loop as if to knit.

For all following stitches:

Step 1: The right needle is already inserted into the first loop on the left needle as if to knit. Knit through the stitch as normal, but do not lift the old stitch off of the left needle.

Step 2: Stretch the loop that is on the right needle, lift it up, and slide it down onto the left needle so the right needle appears to be inserted into the loop as if to knit.

Repeat steps 1 and 2 until you have cast on the correct number of stitches.

closeup view of garter stitch dip dye sweater in beige with golden sunshine

 

 

Dip Dye Sweater

Front / Back Panel (make 2)

Leave a tail at least 1 yard long before beginning.  We will use this tail for seaming later.

With CC yarn, cast on 44 (50, 54, 60, 66, 72, 78, 82, 88) sts.

Rows 1-8: *K1, P1* across.

 

For the following rows, knit each stitch across, changing colors when instructed to do so.  We will always be changing colors at the same edge of the piece, so do not cut the yarn after each stripe.  Instead, we will carry the unused color up the side edge of our piece.  To do this, on any stripe with more than 2 rows, twist the working yarn together with the unused yarn at the end of every other row.  This will “tack” the unused yarn to the edge of the fabric so there is not a long length of yarn hanging from the edge.

Continuing with CC, knit 12 rows.

Change to MC and knit 2 rows.

Change to CC and knit 2 rows.

Change to MC and knit 2 rows.

Change to CC and knit 6 rows.

Change to MC and knit 4 rows.

Change to CC and knit 4 rows.

Change to MC and knit 4 rows.

Change to CC and knit 2 rows.

Change to MC and knit 6 rows.

Change to CC and knit 2 rows.  Cut CC yarn, leaving a tail.

Change to MC and knit 42 (46, 46, 48, 50, 50, 50, 52, 52) rows.  (Note: if you want to add length to the sweater, you can do so by knitting extra rows here.  Just make sure you add the same number of rows to both the front piece and back piece.)

 

Rows 9-10: Loosely bind off 8 (11, 13, 16, 19, 22, 25, 27, 30) sts, K across remaining sts of row.

After working Rows 9-10, you should have 28 sts.

 

We have bound off the sts for the shoulders, and will now continue knitting the neck ribbing.

Rows 11-18: *K1, P1* across.

Loosely bind off all remaining sts and tie off, leaving a tail long enough to reach from the tie-off point to about 12” past the edge of the shoulder.

 

Sleeve (make 2)

Leave a tail at least 1 yard long before beginning.  We will use this tail for seaming later.

With MC yarn, cast on 20 (20, 22, 22, 24, 24, 26, 26, 28) sts.

Rows 1-8: *K1, P1* across.

We will now begin gradually adding sts to the width of the sleeve.  When pattern says to “Knit x number of rows”, you will knit each st across ea row for that many rows.  Using a row counter or tally marks can help you keep track of how many rows you have worked each time you repeat the instructions as directed below.

Increase Row: Kf&b, K across to last st, Kf&b.  <2 sts increased.>

*K 14 (9, 9, 8, 7, 6, 4, 3, 3) rows, work 1 Increase Row.*  Repeat this series of rows from *to* 3 (5, 5, 6, 6, 8, 9, 11, 12) more times.  <You should now have 30 (34, 36, 38, 40, 44, 48, 52, 56) sts, and you should have a total of 69 (69, 69, 72, 65, 72, 59, 57, 61) rows, including the 8 rows of ribbing at the beginning.>

K 15 (15, 15, 10, 13, 6, 13, 15, 11) more rows.  <You should now have a total of 84 (84, 84, 82, 78, 78, 72, 72, 72) rows, including the 8 rows of ribbing at the beginning.>

Bind off loosely, leaving a tail at least 1 yard long.

 

work in progress - seaming shoulders of beige and terracotta dip dye knitted pullover sweater on white marble with metal scissors

Assembly

Block all pieces with the blocking method of your choice before seaming.

 

To Block: (video tutorial here)

For natural fibers, pin project out on foam blocking mats. Spray with water until fully saturated, allow to dry.

OR

For acrylic fibers, pin project out on an ironing board or several layers of towels. Hold a steaming iron 2-3” over the surface of the fabric, making sure all of the fabric is penetrated by the steam. Allow to cool / dry.

 

Shoulder Seams

Lay front and back pieces out with right sides facing up so the bind-off edges and neck ribbing are together.  Thread one of the yarn tails from the neck ribbing through your yarn needle, and stitch the side edge of the neck ribbing on the front piece to the side edge of the ribbing on the back piece, stopping when you reach the corner where the neck ribbing meets the shoulder edge.

The first part of the shoulder seam joins the neck ribbing.  I recommend joining the ribbing with mattress stitch.  To do this, you’ll insert the needle under the horizontal “ladder” strands of yarn in between the edge stitch column and the stitch column next to it.  Pick up a “ladder” strand from one side, then from the other, alternating from one side to the other.  When you reach the corner, take a stitch across at the corner to close the gap.

The remaining part of the shoulder seam joins the bind-off edges at the shoulders.  Lift up the edge of the bind-off, and insert the needle under the horizontal “ladder” strands of yarn in between the bind off edge and the last garter stitch ridge.  Pick up a “ladder” strand from one side, then from the other, alternating from one side to the other.  When you reach the end of the seam, take one more stitch through the corner of both pieces, wrap the seaming yarn around the needle, and pull the needle through to make a knot.

Weave in your yarn tail, and repeat instructions for shoulder seam on other side of front and back pieces.

 

Attaching the Sleeves

Open up the front and back panels that have now been sewn together so that the entire piece is laid out flat, with the neck opening in the middle.

Fold the bind-off edge of the sleeve in half to find the center point of the top edge of the sleeve.  Mark this point with a stitch marker.  Lay sleeve out flat so it is perpendicular to the sweater body, and line up the stitch marker with the shoulder seam on one side of the body of the sweater.  (You can use the stitch marker to “pin” the sleeve to the body here if you like.)

Thread the long yarn tail from the bind-off edge of the sleeve through your yarn needle.  Starting at the top corner of the sleeve that the seaming yarn is coming from, stitch the bind-off edge of the sleeve to the body of the sweater.

On the sleeve, lift up the edge of the bind-off, and insert the needle under the horizontal “ladder” strands of yarn in between the bind off edge and the last garter stitch ridge. On the body, pick up the ends of the garter stitch ridges. (You don’t necessarily have to pick up one garter ridge per stitch on the sleeve, the goal is just to keep the seam smooth and flat.)

When you reach the other top corner of the sleeve, take one more stitch in the same spot, wrap the seaming yarn around the needle, and pull the needle through to make a knot.

Weave in your yarn tail, and repeat instructions for sleeve seam to attach the other sleeve to the other side of the front and back pieces.

back view of striped dip dye sweater

 

Side Seams

Fold the entire piece in half so that the cast on edge of the front is aligned with the cast on edge of the back.  Thread one of the long yarn tails from the cast on edge of the front or back panel through your yarn needle.

For the following seams, I recommend using mattress stitch to join the ribbing, and the invisible garter stitch seaming technique when joining garter stitch edges.

 

Invisible Garter Stitch Seams

Garter stitch fabric is made of “smile” and “frown” shaped strands of yarn. When you stitch into the edge of the piece on the left, insert your needle under the “smile” strand closest to the edge of the fabric. When you stitch into the edge of the piece on the right, insert your needle under the “frown” strand closest to the edge of the fabric.

Alternate your stitches back and forth across the seam, making sure your garter stitch ridges are lined up. (This will help make sure the stripes are lined up and blend together.)

When you are stitching into the ends of ridges that are not the same color as your seaming yarn, you can add an extra step to the invisible garter stitch seam to help the contrasting seaming yarn blend in better. When you stitch into the edge of the piece on the left, insert your needle under a horizontal strand of yarn near the edge, and then under the “smile” strand closest to the edge of the fabric. When you stitch into the edge of the piece on the right, insert your needle under the “frown” strand closest to the edge of the fabric as usual.

Beginning at the ribbing around the bottom edge of the sweater, stitch the side edge of the front to the side edge of the back, stopping when you reach the underarm where the sleeve meets the body panel.  Take one more stitch in the same spot, wrap the seaming yarn around the needle, and pull the needle through to make a knot.

Now, take the long yarn tail from the cast on edge of the sleeve, and thread it into your yarn needle.  Beginning at the sleeve cuff, stitch the two long edges of the sleeve panel together until you reach the underarm.  There should not be a gap between the end of the side seam and the end of this seam.  Take one more stitch in the same spot, wrap the seaming yarn around the needle, and pull the needle through to make a knot.

Weave in your yarn tail, and repeat instructions for side seams on other side of sweater.

 

Enjoy your finished Dip Dye Sweater!

girl standing outdoors wearing beige and terracotta dip dye striped garter stitch pullover sweater with blue jeans

 

This pattern is intended for your personal use only. You may not share it, copy it, sell it, give it away, or mass-produce the finished product. However, you may sell the finished items on a small scale, as long as you convey in your item description that you used a Yay For Yarn pattern.

Yay For Yarn Copyright© 2021 – Current. All patterns and photos are owned by Yay For Yarn.
 


 


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One Comment

  • Emily Grinfeld

    I like your sweater because it’s so cozy and warm, and I also like the yarn that you used for the sweater and this yarn makes me really warm for chilly days and this yarn is great for winter.

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