Trumpet Sweater

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A pullover with an exaggerated cowl neck shaped by short rows. One size only, finished chest measurement 34″ (86 cm).

I knitted a lot of this sweater while watching Star Trek: Voyager. In particular, the cowl neck was designed during a rerun of the fifth-season episode “Bride of Chaotica”, which featured costumes in the spirit of 1930s science fiction, including a futuristic Elizabethan-style ruff.

Accordingly, I short-rowed the collar across the back to make a somewhat extreme shape. When folded down, the collar looks pretty normal. But when fully extended, the cowl dips down in front, rises to cradle the lower part of the head in back, and provides a warm, wooly frame for your face. Make it in a colour that matches your eyes!

The sleeves extend below the wrist and flare out over the hand. The body is slim-fitting and flares gently at the hem. Both body and sleeve hems are double layers, worked by picking up from the cast-on edge and working in the round for six rows before stitching the hem to the inside. The cowl neck is also a double layer, worked by picking up stitches from the neck, knitting a lot, then folding the cowl to the inside and stitching to the neckline. If you don’t want such an extreme cowl, you can omit the entire short-row section for a moderate collar.

This sweater was designed to fit a 32″ bust measurement with a couple inches of ease, although it will probably be just fine with zero ease. Finished dimensions are: chest 34″, hem 39″, underarm sleeve length 19″ (remember, the sleeves are designed to be long), length 22″.

Yarn: About 825 meters (990 yards) of chunky weight yarn. I used 15 balls of Ad Hoc Rustico, a two-ply thick-and-thin wool blend in olive green. If your yarn is unsuitable for seaming the sweater, then you’ll also need a smooth yarn in a matching colour. The varying thickness of the yarn added textural interest, but any yarn that meets the gauge that you’d enjoy wearing will suit.

Gauge: 3.5 stitches and 4 rows to 1″ (2.5 cm).

Needles: 6.0 mm, or whatever you need to get gauge. The body and sleeves are knit flat, but the cuffs and collar are knit in the round; you’ll need your preferred needles for knitting both smaller diameters (the cuffs) and larger diameters (the hem and cowl) in the round. I used two 5.5 mm circulars for the cuffs (and one of the circulars for the hem), and a 6.0 mm circular needle for the cowl.

Back
Note: use your preferred manner of increasing and decreasing in the instructions below.

Cast on 67 sts. Work in st st beginning with a purl row, decreasing 4 sts every 12 rows 4 times as follows:
First decrease row (row 12): K13, dec 1 with a left-leaning slant, k1, dec 1 with a right-leaning slant, work to last 18 sts, dec 1 with a left-leaning slant, k1, dec 1 with a right-leaning slant, k13.
Second, third and fourth decrease rows (rows 24, 36, 48): Work in a similar manner, aligning the decrease-k1-decrease above the last; for example, on row 24 begin with k12 instead of k13. There are now 51 sts.

Continue in st st, increasing 4 sts every 6 rows 3 times in a similar manner to the decreases, with an increase-k1-increase aligned above the decrease-k1-decrease pattern. There are now 63 sts.

Work 6 rows even.

Shape armholes: Continuing in st st, bind off 3 sts at beg next 2 rows. Dec 1 st ea side for next 2 rows. Dec 1 st ea side next alt row. There are now 51 sts. *****

Work even for another 28 rows. Bind off 7 sts at beg next row (first shoulder). Work until 33 sts remain on left needle, join 2nd ball of yarn. Bind off center 15 sts, work to end (with new ball of yarn).

Now finish the shoulder either in split bind-off rows, or using short rows:
Using split bind-off rows: Bind off 7 sts at beg next row (second shoulder). Work to neck edge, turn and bind off 4 sts at beg next row (you are still on the second shoulder) and work to end. Bind off rem 7 sts. Returning to the first shoulder, beginning the next row at the neck edge, bind off 4 sts, work to end. Bind off rem 7 sts.
Using short rows: Work across all 14 sts of the second shoulder to the neck edge. Next row, work 7 sts, wrap and turn and work back to the neck edge.  Bind off across all 14 sts, hiding the wrap. Returning to the first shoulder, beginning the next row at the neck edge, work 7 sts, wrap and turn and work back to the neck edge. Work across all 14 sts, hiding the wrap. Bind off.

Front
Work as for Back to *****.

Work even for a further 18 rows.

Begin neck shaping: Work 22 sts (first shoulder), join 2nd ball of yarn, bind off center 7 sts, work 22 sts to end with new ball of yarn (second shoulder). Still on the second shoulder, work the side edge even through the following instructions (each line is a row):

Starting at side, work to neck edge.
Starting at neck edge, bind off 3 sts; work to end.
Starting at side, work to neck edge.
Starting at neck edge, bind off 2 sts; work to end.
Starting at side, work to neck edge.
Starting at neck edge, dec 1 st; work to end.
Starting at side, work to neck edge.
Starting at neck edge, dec 1 st; work to end.
Starting at side, work to neck edge.
Starting at neck edge, dec 1 st; work to end.

Now finish the shoulders with either a split bind-off or short rows as follows:
Using the split bind-off: Starting at the side edge, bind off 7 sts and work to neck; turn and work one row even (across rem 7 sts); bind off rem 7 sts.
Using short rows: Starting at side, knit to neck edge. Starting at neck edge, work 7 sts, wrap and turn and work back to neck. Bind off across all 14 sts, hiding the wrap.

Returning to the first shoulder, start at the neck edge and work the side edge even through the following instructions:

Starting at neck edge, bind off 3 sts and work to end.
Starting at side, work to neck edge.
Starting at neck edge, bind off 2 sts; work to end.
Starting at side, work to neck edge.
Starting at neck edge, dec 1 st; work to end.
Starting at side, work to neck edge.
Starting at neck edge, dec 1 st; work to end.
Starting at side, work to neck edge.
Starting at neck edge, dec 1 st; work to end.

Now finish the shoulders with either the split bind-off or the short rows:
Using the split bind-off: Starting at the side edge, bind off 7 sts and work to neck; turn and work one row even (across rem 7 sts); bind off rem 7 sts.
Using short rows: Starting at side, knit to neck edge. Starting at neck edge, work 7 sts, wrap and turn and work back to neck. Bind off across all 14 sts, hiding the wrap.

Sleeves (make 2)
Cast on 42 sts. Work in st st, decreasing 4 sts every 3 rows 4 times in a similar manner to Back, but this time center the decrease (the decrease-k1-decrease) around the 14th st in from each side. There are now 26 sts.

Continue in st st, increasing 1 st ea side every 4th row 6 times, then every 6th row 8 times.

Work another 8 rows even.

Shape sleeve cap: Continuing in st st, bind off 3 sts at beg next 2 rows. Decrease 1 st ea side every other row 7 times. Decrease 1 st ea side every row 6 times. Bind off 3 sts at beg next 2 rows. Bind off rem sts.

Collar
Block the pieces, then join front and back at shoulders using your preferred method. Pick up and knit cowl neck, with or without short-row section as follows:

Pick up sts around neckline as follows on right side, beginning at left shoulder: 15 along left front, 7 along center front, 15 along right front, 8 along right back, 15 along center back, 8 along left back. Mark the left and right shoulder locations, as well as the center front and back. This will help later when the cowl neck is folded over and stitched down.
Working in st st in the round, knit 16 rows even so that the knit side of the st st faces out.
Next row, inc 1 st every 8th st (k8, inc 1)–the neckline is not a correct multiple to fit this pattern, but one st more or less will not make a difference, so if the last set of sts is only a k5 or an inc is missing, it is of no consequence. Work 3 rows even.
Next row, inc 1 st every 6 sts (again, an approximation and do not worry if the pattern does not fit the number of sts). Work 3 rows even. Next row, inc 1 st every 4 sts (another approximation). Work another 3 rows even. There are now 28 rows.

Now you have a choice of knitting the short row section to shape the back, or avoiding altogether. If you choose to skip it, then ignore the following section and continue with the instructions beginning with “Continuation“.

Short row section
Starting at left shoulder, work 8 sts in the same direction as before (as though beginning another round). Wrap and turn, and work in the opposite direction across the back neck to 8 sts past the right shoulder.
Wrap and turn, and work towards left shoulder until 2 sts past the left shoulder.
Wrap and turn, and work back towards right shoulder until 2 sts past the right shoulder.
Wrap and turn, and work towards left shoulder until 4 sts before the left shoulder.
Wrap and turn, and work back towards right shoulder until 4 sts before the right shoulder.
Wrap and turn, and work towards left shoulder until 8 sts before the left shoulder.
Wrap and turn, and work back towards right shoulder until 8 sts before the right shoulder.
Wrap and turn, and work towards left shoulder until 12 sts before the left shoulder.
Wrap and turn, and work back towards right shoulder until 12 sts before the right shoulder.
Wrap and turn, and work towards left shoulder until 16 sts before the left shoulder.
Wrap and turn, and work back towards right shoulder until 16 sts before the right shoulder.
Wrap and turn, and work towards left shoulder until 20 sts before the left shoulder.
Wrap and turn, and work back towards right shoulder until 20 sts before the right shoulder.
Wrap and turn, and work towards left shoulder until 24 sts before the left shoulder.
Wrap and turn, and work back towards right shoulder until 24 sts before the right shoulder.
The next st is now somewhere around the center back neck. Work one complete row in the round from this point, hiding the wraps all around.

Now work the short rows in reverse and be sure to hide the wraps as you encounter them: starting at center back neck, work towards left shoulder until 24 sts before the left shoulder. Wrap and turn, and work back towards right shoulder until 24 sts before the right shoulder.
Wrap and turn, and work towards left shoulder until 20 sts before the left shoulder.
Wrap and turn, and work back towards right shoulder until 20 sts before the right shoulder.
Wrap and turn, and work towards left shoulder until 16 sts before the left shoulder.
Wrap and turn, and work back towards right shoulder until 16 sts before the right shoulder.
Wrap and turn, and work towards left shoulder until 12 sts before the left shoulder.
Wrap and turn, and work back towards right shoulder until 12 sts before the right shoulder.
Wrap and turn, and work towards left shoulder until 8 sts before the left shoulder.
Wrap and turn, and work back towards right shoulder until 8 sts before the right shoulder.
Wrap and turn, and work towards left shoulder until 4 sts before the left shoulder.
Wrap and turn, and work back towards right shoulder until 4 sts before the right shoulder.
Wrap and turn, and work towards left shoulder until 2 sts past the left shoulder.
Wrap and turn, and work back towards right shoulder until 2 sts past the right shoulder.
Wrap and turn, and work towards left shoulder until 8 sts past the left shoulder.
Wrap and turn, and work back towards right shoulder until 8 sts past the right shoulder.
Finally, work one round, hiding the last pair of wraps. End at the left shoulder.
End of short row section

Continuation: Finish knitting the round. Work 2 more rows even.
Continuing in st st, on next row decrease one st every 4 sts (work 3, dec 1).
Work 3 rows even.
Next row, decrease one st every 6 sts (work 5, dec 1).
Work 3 rows even.
Next row, decrease one st every 8 sts (work 7, dec 1).

Transfer cowl sts to waste yarn. Using scrap yarn or other markers, mark the center front and center back of the neckline (where the sts were originally picked up). Fold the cowl neck inwards, matching the center front and back markers, and the shoulder markers on the cowl to the point where the shoulder seams meet the neckline. Sew the cowl sts to the neckline and remove all waste yarn and markers.

Finishing
Sew sleeves to armhole, then sew side and sleeve seams. Work hem on body and sleeves as follows:
On cuff and hem edges, from right side pick up one st for every cast on st. Using 5.5 mm needles, work 6 rows even in st st so that the knit side is exposed when the hem is folded inside. Break yarn, leaving tail for fastening off. Transfer sts to waste yarn; fold hem to inside and sew in place along pick-up row. The edge of the cuffs and hem will be rounded due to the bulk of the yarn.

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