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“Half Sweater” Shawl

Marion6422 | Posted in Knitting and Crochet on

A friend of mine has been asking if I would knit her a half-sweater, something that seems to be indigenous to FL and consists of just the back of the body and sleeves of a sweater.  I couldn’t find instructions anywhere so I came up with something on my own.  I have mentioned this concept to rjf and she was LOLROF over what was probably somebody’s serendipitous disaster. Here’s a photo of the one I did.  Has anybody ever seen instructions for one? — Marion


  1. punky | | #1

    Hello Marion13,

    I crocheted something like that once; but the item was called a "shrug." It had the back and sleeves and hangs from the shoulders. I seem to remember a long-ago Threads Mag. that had a Quick to Make column on how to sew shrugs, too. Your half sweater is very pretty. I also think the photos turned out great, too!

    Tracy (aka Punky)

  2. Jean | | #2

    Now aren't you the clever one!! Just what you need when the draft is blowing down your neck.

  3. FitnessNut | | #3

    Its very pretty, but the whole idea has me LOL too! ;-)

  4. cjc15 | | #4

    Hi, I just love your shrug, the colors are great and the pictures are wonderful. Thanks alot. Jody

  5. rjf | | #5

    Haven't been here in a long time but I guess I chose the right time to visit.  The half sweater is great and I'm going to take a print-out to knitting group (they're doing afghan squares...argh) but I have a couple of questions:  Do you find #15 needles hard to handle?  And what does "LOLROF" mean?  I feel so ignorant.  I've been doing reversible fuzzy scarves lately and will post a picture when Jim-Bob downloads it.  rjf

    1. Marion6422 | | #6

      LOLROF means laughing out loud rolling on the floor. At first I found the large needles hard to work with but after a while, I got used to them. I really want to see the pics of your reversible fuzzy scarves.  Now that's something I find hard to work with -- the yarn with really long fuzzy pieces hanging off. I knit some scarves with that type yarn a couple of years ago and found I had to keep counting stitches almost every row to make sure I wasn't adding or dropping some. Not that it would have made that much difference, the way the scarves curved into a boa shape. -- Marion

      1. Elisabeth | | #7

        Your half sweater is beautiful! Wasn't this a fashion fad maybe 8-10 years ago? I seem to remember seeing them in the magazines and in stores and they were for tying around the waist or over the shoulders as in your picture.

        1. Marion6422 | | #8

          The only time and place I have seen them was in Naples, FL last year in a boutique and a friend living there saw one this year worn by someone who makes them to order. The friend was the one I knitted this one for. I wish I had noticed how the ones I saw were constructed but didn't pay any attention to them then. Do you remember if they used to be called "half sweater?" The only thing I can find on the net with that name are very short regular sweaters.

          Many thanks to all for the compliments.

          1. Elisabeth | | #9

            I don't remember any name given to them. They were mostly made out of the fine cotton knit that RTW cardigans usually are and the pictures had girls wearing one or more tied on. None were even close to as pretty or interesting as yours. I remember looking at them with my daughter. If I think of it next time I talk to her I will ask her if she knows the name and when they were a fad.

      2. rjf | | #10

        Hi Marion,  I took the download of directions fror the !/2 sweater (typo in there but it seems appropriate) to the knitting group yesterday and it got a round of applause.  In fact, they confiscated it to copy so I'll download another.  And I think I'll go to Walmart and get some of that yarn.  Better check on size 15 needles before I go though.  I must have some soewhere.      rjf

        1. Jean | | #11

          You have directions? Did I miss something? I just see the gorgeous pictures.

          1. Marion6422 | | #12

            I'd be glad to share the directions I have if anyone wants to e-mail me directly.

          2. User avater
            ehBeth | | #13

            I bought several half-sweaters last year, trying to remember the name of the store. The ones I bought had dangly beading along the back edge - very smart for sort of casual theatre-going, or dressy boating. Got them in Ohio from some sort of westerny type shop. They made great gifts - everyone is mad for them. Keep necks warm, look nice, aren't too bulky.

          3. Marion6422 | | #15

            What a great idea about the beading!  Do you remember if the dimensions of the ones you bought were about the same as the one I did?  Maybe if beading is added, the back should be shorter.  Also, I wonder if the sleeves would be better shorter. -- Marion

          4. User avater
            ehBeth | | #16

            The back square is about 15 x 15 " (2.5 dollar bills)
            The sleeves are just about 18" (slightly over 3 dollar bills) long, and about 4" wide
            The beading in the back is just under 2" long. I bought fabric remnants to make some for myself this summer. Knitting one is a great idea that I wouldn't have thought of.

          5. Marion6422 | | #19

            Well, isn't that funny. I wouldn't have thought of making one out of fabric, but it makes a lot of sense and would be very versatile.  I'll have to try a fabric one.

          6. User avater
            ehBeth | | #20

            The ones I picked up were made in a really fine quality, slightly slinky, jersey knit (do people still call it jersey knit?). The local one is a gorgeous shade of tangerine with amber/gold/tawny and tiny cork beading. Looks amazing when my friend wears it with black - with gold and amber accessories AND totally funky over her animal print sweater. She's one sexy gramma in animal print with that beaded, slinky half sweater. <huge grin>

          7. Jean | | #17

            Beth, can you post a picture, please?

          8. User avater
            ehBeth | | #18

            I'll ask the local friend I gave one to, to bring it along tomorrow. I can try to get a pic of it then. She will wonder what I'm up to. Again.

          9. User avater
            ehBeth | | #23

            Didn't get the pic. My friend's email was done so I couldn't get through to her at the office. Will try to get a pic of one of them though and post.

          10. User avater
            ehBeth | | #31

            Finally have the sweater/shawl and the camera in the same city. Now to get the camera and the model in the same room. I haven't forgotten about this!

          11. Jean | | #32

            LOL.  Good for you, Beth.  I had. I'll look forward to seeing your photos. J.

          12. User avater
            ehBeth | | #33

            Here are some pix of the half sweater shawl - from J. Marco - in slinky jersey knit with cork and glass beaded fringe.Thanks to my lovely model, Carmela.The things we do at work on the Friday afternoon before a long weekend (we were already supposed to be gone).

          13. Jean | | #34

            Thanks Beth.  That is really cool, er, warm. I like the beaded edge. It looks easy enough to copy, given the right fabric.

            Thanks for posting the pictures.

          14. User avater
            ehBeth | | #35

            I think it's got literally endless possibilities - knit - crochet - drapey woven fabric - varieties of trim - weight of fabric/material.I was thinking it could be a nice way to show off a small piece of vintage fabric.I've seen a few of these around over the years - what I particularly liked was the sleeviness of the sleeve - that it looks like a sleeve (and you can tuck your hands in if you're in a cold building).<I'm still clicking on the site each day>

          15. Jean | | #36

            Good ideas all, and Bless you for clicking.

          16. Jean | | #14

            Thanks. Email on the way.

          17. cjc15 | | #21

            Hi, I would dearly love to have the directions, how do I get them?

          18. Marion6422 | | #22

            Send me an e-mail (click on my name at the top of this message to do so) and I'll send you one back with the attachment with directions. -- Marion

          19. Stalindsay | | #24

            I would love to have the half shawl directions is you would like to share.Thanks,Nancy [email protected]

          20. Marion6422 | | #25

            Glad to.  Am sending them by e-mail. -- Marion

          21. Josefly | | #26

            Would you send me the directions also? [email protected]

          22. Marion6422 | | #27

            Yes, glad to.  Am sending them by e-mail. -- Marion

          23. miblueowl | | #37

            Half sweater shawl

            I know this is from a 6 year old message, but does anyone have this pattern?

          24. KharminJ | | #38

            Hi, Blue Owl!

            Are you looking to knit, crochet, or sew it?

            My daughter knitted me one, about when this thread started (lol), but she's had it back (in Florida!) to add to and reblock for almost as long. We were just talking about it yesterday, as a matter of fact! So: I should have it back to attempt photos in the next couple of weeks - I'll be out of town when she ships it, unfortunately...

            I think she used a commercial pattern, rather than improvising, and it was called a shrug, as I recall.

            ~ Kharmin

  6. cjc15 | | #28

    Dear Marion13,  Thank you for the easy to follow instructions for the half sweater.  I have started my second one.  It is a joy to knit,  so easy and is so goodlooking when finished.  I have been thinking of using a different yarn.  On the DIYnet show, Knitty Gritty, they were talking about how to combine yarns and know what needle size to use.  They said to go to the lable and see what size needle in mm would be used for each yarn, add the two together and then use the US size closest to that.  A size 17 US would be 13mm, so round off to 12mm.  Have you ever tried to combine yarns for this sweater?  It is an intriguing idea.  Jody

    1. Marion6422 | | #29

      Jody, I haven't tried combining yarns for this but that sounds like a wonderful idea. I will have to mention that the directions I give produces a lacy, stretchy garment and not one that the experts would recommend, I think. I like it stretchy like this so it can be pulled down over your upper arms or bunched up over the shoulders and patted into place. The yarn I used is a bulky type yarn and I used #17 needles (12.5 mm by my chart).  On the package label for that yarn, they recommend using #10 needles (5.75 mm) and that would produce the usual firm, not so stretchy piece I would think.

      So my guess is that if you were to combine yarns and still want the same size and stretch in the garment, while using the same directions, you would combine yarns that would add up 5.75 mm or a #10 needle, but use a #17 needle instead. What do you think?

      Do we have any experts out there who can advise us on this?

      1. cjc15 | | #30

        I think you have the right idea.  I am going to try to combine  two on the next one I knit.  Everyone loves them.  They are lacy and light.  Maybe I will keep that one for myself.  I have enthusiastic daughters!  Thanks again.  Jody

  7. Deb1947 | | #39

    Instructions for 1/2 sweater

    I learned about this project yesterday when a friend purchased a 'half sweater' at a craft fair.  I am on my way to a knitting/crochet group this afternoon.  I plan to share the idea.  I would love the instructions.  Please email to [email protected]  It would be so appreciated.  Thanks

  8. Deb1947 | | #40

    Instructions for 1/2 sweater

    I learned about this project yesterday when a friend purchased a 'half sweater' at a craft fair.  I am on my way to a knitting/crochet group this afternoon.  I plan to share the idea.  I would love the instructions.  Please email to [email protected]  It would be so appreciated.  Thanks

  9. HelgaPataki | | #41

    is this a shrug?

    the description of back only with sleeves comes in a lot of styles, the smallest and simplist is a longish rectangle and you sew in enough to create sleeves and leave the center so that it would become back, well I think you know that, but is that what you mean?  there are logs of easy patterns available, ok, i hope I'm helpful but I just forgot my point. 

  10. DianeLois | | #42

    Half sweater shawl pattern

    May I have the directions for this Half sweater shawl. This would protect my back shoulders when sitting in the office when the heat is out.

    Thank you in advance

    Diane Lois

  11. Zartist2 | | #43

    do you have directions to the Half Sweater? I would be interested in them.

    Thank you,


    1. Zartist2 | | #44

      half sweater

      Please send directions to [email protected]

      Thank you,


  12. coolmint | | #45

    it's very pretty.

  13. WooDee33 | | #46

    that looks nice

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