Knit the Look: Amazing chalk-stripe pullover

Knit your own chalk stripe sweater

I love love love the chalk-stripe sweater seen here on this unidentified girl (and also on Camille Charriere). Jared Flood’s Breton pattern is an excellent blank slate of a sweater, and a good starting point for recreating this one. The entry-level approach would be to knit it in Brooklyn Tweed Loft in Cast Iron, solid. Then go back in with a strand of Fossil or Snowbound and create the stripes with duplicate stitch. The fancier approach would be stranded knitting. You could still use the Breton pattern, divide your body stitches into equal sections and knit every Nth stitch in the white. The trick is, even if you were to knit the body and sleeves in the round, which you could easily do, the sleeve caps and upper front and back would still have to be knitted flat. Which means you’re doing your colorwork from both the right and wrong sides of the work — no big deal for lots of people. Or you could start with any basic-shaped fair isle sweater with steeks for the neck and arm openings (so the whole thing is knitted in the round and then cut open), use that for your template, and knit the stripes instead of whatever colorwork chart the pattern includes. [UPDATE: And the comments are full of lots of other great alternatives!] So many options! But this one would look chic forever.

See Vanessa’s posts here and here for more views of the sweater and outfits.


Street style photo © Vanessa Jackman; used with permission

20 thoughts on “Knit the Look: Amazing chalk-stripe pullover

    • I don’t think the one these two are wearing is the Stella McCartney, is it? This one doesn’t seem to have the slashed hem, and the stripes are bolder. I don’t know whose it is …

  1. I immediately thought of knitting a simple black cotton pullover (maybe with Rowan denim) and using a bleach pen to draw the stripes, a la Mason Dixon Kay. Avoiding the whole vertical stripe fiasco, but still getting the look. :-)

  2. Love this sweater, since I am vertically challenged this would help add height to me….but here is yet another way you could knit it in charcoal in the round and then drop every 9th stitch and ladder down and then with a crochet hook, ladder back up using the snowbound…I hope I said that right so you could understand it.

    • Ha! Beware bleach on black cotton. Black dye is not just black, but is made up of lots of colours, and sometimes your bleached stripes will come out orange. It should be fine if you have black denim, but test a swatch before knitting the sweater.

  3. Mmmm, I like those vertical stripes….very “menswear”, and as you said, will always be chic.

    Jorjan’s solution is a good one. Another version of that would be to slip stitch crochet the same row right on top of the knit row. This would give the stripe a slightly raised look. It also gives a little structure and thus works nicely for faux side seams. I don’t know how to post a photo here or I’d show an example….

  4. Or instead of dropping a ladder, you can purl 1 to create a recessed line, and then crochet the line up with the contrast yarn, the stitches will be snuggly nested 😊.

    • That is clever, Cecilia. That way you have the lines placed before doing the slip stitching.

      As for the slip stitching without planning, this would be a fun thing to do to a sweater already in the closet….hmmm….doing inventory in my mind….;-)

      P.S. the Pinterest link that Julie posted is to a Purl Soho blanket and is the same method I suggested. I knew I had seen it used there but couldn’t nail it down to the project. Their instructions probably include a good tutorial.

    • This is a really good example of the crochet alternative to duplicate stitch, mentioned by Clare above. (Except they’re doing it between two stitches instead of right on top of one.)

      But interestingly, the side seam method they’re using — laddering down one whole column of stitches and then crocheting back up that ladder — is (I think) what Jorjan is suggesting above. Only instead of doing it in the same color, as they’re doing for the side seam, you’d do it in the contrasting color.

      I’d love to hear from Whit why she settled on the two different techniques for that project, rather than using the ladder method for the vertical stripes. Seems like the between-the-rows crochet stripes wind up looking narrower, being squeezed in there, which might have been the reasoning.


      • The blanket is framed, so I don’t think the ladder (for the stripes) would have worked. Interestingly the photos make it look like she is duplicate stitching the horizontal, but I believe on second read, it looks like she is knitting in the horizontal and slip stitching the vertical (right on top of the stockinette). Again, the frame of the blanket, with hems (and laddering?) for the turned edges, makes it kind of complicated to see. At least to me. ;-)

  5. Instead of straight stranded you could do it in a slip stitch- strand the black and white one row, then slip the white the second row-so when you get to the neckline split you would strand on the right side and slip the white stitches on the wrong side.

  6. I love this post and the comments. Knitting problem-solving and work-arounds are two of my favorite things. I also love vertical stripes, but not stranded knitting, so this is just good through and through! Thank you.

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