Techniques used

  • Cast on stitches
  • Cast off stitches
  • Picking up stitches
  • Knit flat and in the round
  • Purl flat and in the round
  • Stitch increases
  • Stitch decreases
  • Intarsia
  • German short rows
  • Mattress stitch

Christmas Sweater 2023


Christmas Sweater 2023 is knit from the top and down in one piece. The piece is first worked in the round while the neckline is shaped with short rows. Then, the piece is worked back and forth with an opening at the front left raglan border. Intarsia is used to knit a reindeer motif into the front of the sweater by working back and forth, and the piece is completed with a ribbed edge. Mattress stitch is used to discretely seam the opening and if done carefully, the seaming will be close to invisible leaving you with an excellent finish. The sleeves are worked in the round using magic loop or double-pointed needles with a ribbed edge. Once you’re finished knitting, you can use your imagination to decorate your very own red-nosed reindeer!

Note that the pattern contains two charts: one for the reindeer outline as shown in the prototype, and an alternative chart for a complete reindeer head (excluding antlers) including eyes, ears, and nose. This alternative chart is included for those of you who do not wish to add 3D embellishments to the sweater. This may be a good option when knitting for babies or very young children.


3-6 (6-9) 9-12 months (1-2) 3-4 (5-6) 7-8 years

Finished measurements

Chest circumference: approx. 49.5 (54) 58.5 (63) 68.5 (72) 77 cm [19.5 (21.25) 23 (24.75) 27 (28.5) 30.25 inches]

Length from mid-front to waist edge: approx. 27 (29) 31 (33) 38 (41) 43 cm [10.75 (11.5) 12.25 (13) 15 (16.25) 17 inches]
Inside sleeve length: approx. 15 (17) 19 (20) 24 (30) 33 cm [6 (6.75) 7.5 (7.75) 9.5 (11.75) 13 inches]

Knitting gauge

22 stitches x 30 rows = 10 x 10 cm [4 x 4 inches] (stocking stitch on a 4.00 mm [US6] needle).

Suggested needle size

4.00 mm [US6] circular needle for body, 4.00 mm [US6] circular needle or double-pointed needles for sleeves (if not using magic loop), 3.50 mm [US4] circular needle and/or double-pointed needles for ribbed edges.


Main colour: 150 (150) 150-200 (200) 250 (250) 300 g Drops Lima (DK, 50 g = 100 m [109 yds]) or Mayflower Easy Care Classic (DK, 50 g = 106 m [115 yds]).
Reindeer face (dark): all sizes – less than 50 g
Reindeer face (light): all sizes – less than 50 g

Optional: white and black yarn of same type as above for eyes, red yarn of same type as above for nose, or buttons (for eyes) and other embellishments, e.g., antlers, bells, nose.

Additional: locking stitch markers (i.e. stitch markers that can be opened and closed), tapestry needle.

Note about yarn choice and gauge: You may use any yarn that gives the right gauge. Note that if you do not meet both stitch and row gauge, your finished sweater won’t be the intended size and the shape of your motif may be distorted.