Bluebird Sweater

Bluebird Sweater is a top-down, girl’s pullover sweater with an A-line and split collar detail. The bee stitch collar creates a wide, stretchy neckline. Bluebird was inspired by the oversized sweaters worn by stylish mid-century girls, especially when paired with narrow, cropped pants and ballet flats. This sweater can easily be modified with three-quarter sleeves or to dress length.

Skill Level: Easy 

Size: 2 (4, 6/8, 10/12)

Finished chest measurement 24 (27½, 30, 33)”

3” positive ease

Shown in size 2

Gauge: 12 sts and 20 rows = 4” [10 cm] in St st using US size 10½ needles, after blocking



Bulky Weight Yarn Fibra Natura Inca (100% Superwash Wool; 106 yards [97meters]/100 grams): 43013 Aqua, 3 (4, 6, 8) balls

Needles: US size 11 (8.0 mm): circular; US size 10½ (6.5 mm): circular and DPNs

Notions: Markers; stitch holders or scrap yarn; tapestry needle

Special Abbreviations

CO       cast on
Dec      decrease
Inc       increase
K          knit
K1b      knit one stitch below
K2tog   knit two stitches together
Kfb       knit front and back of same stitch
Ktbl      knit through the back loop
L          left
M1L     make one left leaning stitch
M1R    make one right leaning stitch
P          purl
P2tog   purl two stitches together
Pm       place marker
Pw       purl wise
R         right
RS       right side
Rep     repeat
Rnd(s) round(s)
Sl         slip
Sm       slip marker
Ssk      slip, slip, knit slipped stitches together through the back loop
St         stitch
WS      wrong side
Wyif     with yarn in front

Special Stitches

Bee Stitch (worked flat)
Row 1 (WS): Knit.
Row 2 (RS): *K1, k1b; rep from * to end.
Row 3: Knit.
Row 4: K2, *k1b, k1; rep from * to last 2 sts, k2.

Rep Rows 1-4 for pattern.

Bee Stitch (worked in the round)

Rnd 1: Purl.
Rnd 2: *K1, k1b; rep from * around.
Rnd 3: Purl
Rnd 4: K2, *k1b, k1; rep from * around.

Rep Rnds 1-4 for pattern.

Pattern Notes

When working the collar, with yarn in front (wyif), slip the first stitch purlwise and knit the last stitch through the back loop (ktbl).  This will create a neat edge.

The collar is worked flat to its specified length, then the ends are overlapped to create the split collar. The sweater body begins with the wrong side (WS) of the collar facing so it can be folded down with the right side (RS) of the collar visible when completed.



With larger needles and using a long tail cast on, CO 44 (46, 50, 52) sts.

Begin Bee Stitch pattern worked flat (see Special Stitches).

Work in pattern until collar meas 3½ (3½, 4, 4)” from CO edge.

Begin Body

With smaller needles and beg with WS facing, join by overlapping the first 6 sts over the last 6 sts. Treat these pairs as 1 st by knitting the front and back stitches together. Place a stitch marker after completing these 6 overlapped sts to indicate beg of rnd.

K6 (6, 8, 8) for Left Sleeve, pm, k12 (14, 14, 14) for Back, pm, k6 (6, 8, 8) for Right Sleeve, pm, k14 (14, 14, 16) for Front – 38 (40, 44, 46) sts.

Next Rnd (Inc): *Kfb, k to 1 st before next marker, kfb, sm; rep from * around – 8 st inc’d; 46 (48, 52, 54) sts.

Next Rnd: Knit.

Rep last 2 rnds until there are 40 (46, 50, 56) sts at Back, 34 (38, 44, 50) sts at each Sleeve, and 42 (46, 50, 56) sts at Front.

Divide for Body and Sleeves

Place 34 (38, 44, 50) sts for Left Sleeve on holder or scrap yarn, CO 1 st, pm to indicate beg of rnd, CO 1 st, join, knit across Back sts to next marker, place 34 (38, 44, 50) sts for Right Sleeve on holder or scrap yarn, CO 1 st, pm, CO 1 st, join, work across front sts – 86 (96, 108, 116) sts.


Knit 7 rnds.

Next Rnd (Inc): K1, m1L, k to 1 st before marker, m1R, k1, sm, k1, m1L, k to 1 st before end of rnd, m1R, k1 – 4 sts inc’d; 90 (100, 112, 120) sts.

Size 2 only

Knit 11 rnds.

Next Rnd: Rep Inc Rnd – 94 sts.

Size 4 only

Knit 16 rnds.

Next Rnd: Rep Inc Rnd – 104 sts.

Size 6/8 only

Knit 11 rnds.

Next Rnd: Rep Inc Rnd – 116 sts.

Knit 11 rnds.

Next Rnd: Rep Inc Rnd – 120 sts.

Size 10/12 only

Knit 11 rnds.

Next Rnd: Rep Inc Rnd – 124 sts.

Rep last 12 rnds twice more – 132 sts.

All Sizes

Work even in pattern until Body meas 7 (8, 10, 12)” from underarm or desired length.


With larger needles, begin Bee Stitch (worked in the rnd).

Continue until Hem meas approximately 2” (2 Bee Stitch repeats), a total of 9 (10, 12, 14)” from underarm.


BO in purl stitch as follows: *P1, place it back onto left needle and p2tog with the next st; rep from * until all sts have been bound off.

Note: Use larger needles for the bind-off if tension is a concern.


Move 34 (38, 44, 50) Sleeve sts to DPNs, pick up 2 sts from underarm, placing a marker between them – 36 (40, 46, 52) sts.

Knit 1 rnd.

Next Rnd (Dec): K1, k2tog, k to 3 sts before marker, ssk, k1 – 2 sts dec’d.

Knit 4 rnds.

Next Rnd: Rep Dec Rnd.

Rep last 5 rnds until 22 (24, 26, 28) sts rem or until desired length.

Begin Bee Stitch (worked in the round).

Work until Cuff meas 1½”.

BO as for Hem.


Weave in ends and block measurements according to yarn label instructions.yarn ball

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  • Knitting E.

    Looking at the bluebird sweater pattern by Lori Kaakr it shows tension being 12 sts 20 rows on larger needles which are only used when using bee pattern. What is tension on the body of sweater using smaller needles.

    • Nicola P.

      Hello! I’ve reached out to the designer for advice and she or I will reply as soon as possible. Thanks! – Nicola, Editor


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