Leif’s Twisted Tree Pullover

Published on Sunday August 26th, 2007



New version with corrections added 28 January 2010

Leif’s sweater is ready to meet the public at last! This is a raglan pullover I designed for my good friend Abbie, who has an adorable nephew called Leif to knit for. Since Leif has a fine old Viking name, I wanted to add an element to his sweater that would remind me of Norse mythology. This ancient illustration of Yggdrasil, the World Tree, put me in mind of the Twisted Tree stitch in the first Barbara Walker treasury, which opens its branches to the sky in the same manner. I threw in some panels of reverse stockinet to set off the twisted trees, sketched in rolled cuffs, hem, and neckband for an unfussy look, and the design was born. My test sample, which you see my cousin Asa modeling above, showed the need for much fuller sleeves and a slightly looser neck, which I have now written into the pattern. Asa is a well-grown three years and eight months old and is wearing the 2/3 size, so it’s also snugger on him than intended. Leif’s Twisted Tree Pullover is sized for kids aged 1-7, and can be knit with almost any DK-weight yarn. If you want to make one for a bigger kiddo, use worsted-weight yarn and larger needles and follow the directions for the largest size. Click the link below the picture to download the free PDF. If you find errors, I want to know about them right away. Leave a note in the comments here so others will know about the problem, and I’ll make corrections as quickly as I can.

Here’s Leif modeling his eponymous sweater just the way it ought to be worn – askew from playing in the snow! Thanks to Abbie for the photographs and the knitting of this one. (And if you’d like to eat this darling boy right up, you’ll have to get in line. But there are more pictures of the irresistible laddie in his Twisted Tree sweater on Abbie’s blog – go look!)



25 Comments to “Leif’s Twisted Tree Pullover”

  1. Marnie Comment Says:

    that is beautiful! thanks for making it available!

  2. Andrea (knitting mum) Comment Says:

    Very cute – great work. 🙂

  3. Melissa Comment Says:

    Thanks so much for making this available — I love it!

  4. Kim Comment Says:

    The sweater is beautiful and the child looks like and angel.

  5. L. Comment Says:

    Lovely looking sweater, lovely looking kid!

  6. rachel Comment Says:

    Beautiful sweater, thank you for making the pattern available!

  7. pen & purl Comment Says:

    Congratulations! Very cute sweater.

  8. minnie Comment Says:

    honey, where’s the link? i can’t find it, and i want to chum this!

  9. jillian Comment Says:

    Thank you for publishing this great pattern!

  10. Ronni Comment Says:

    That’s a great kid sweater. Actually, it would be a pretty cool grownup sweater too. Thanks very much for making it available. I’m always on the hunt for cool patterns for kids, so I’m very grateful to you for sharing.

  11. Knitting Friends - Today’s Top Blog Posts on Knitting - Powered by SocialRank Pingback Says:

    […] Leif’s Twisted Tree Pullover […]

  12. Nicola Comment Says:

    I LOVE this pattern and am going to make it for my 5-year old Emeka. Thanks very much for sharing.

  13. Cheryl Comment Says:

    I absolutely LOVE this pattern! It’s so beautiful and I have two boys who will look fantastic in it. I am a newish knitter and have only completed one full set of the TT panel and I’m not quite sure I’m doing it right. I think it’s sorta looking right but I’m a bit confused on the RC and LCs. I am literally taking the two stitches, slipping them straight over to the right needle, then taking the stitch on the right and slipping it over the left stitch, putting them back on the left needle, then ktbl the first one and p the next. Is that right?

  14. balzac Comment Says:

    Omigod! What a beautiful sweater! And, yes, that’s a very cute little boy. Thank you for the pattern!

  15. waisman Comment Says:

    This is so unique and intriguing to me, I love it! I’d love to make one for my son with a worsted weight yarn. What do you think- bad idea? Or can I just knit the smaller size with a bigger gauge? hmmm….

  16. Betty Williams Comment Says:

    The sweater is beautiful, but I can’t find the link to take advantage of having the pattern. Help?

  17. stash, knit, repeat » Encore FO Pingback Says:

    […] Twisted Tree Pullover (rav […]

  18. sandy Comment Says:

    I LOVE this sweater. I’m working on it for my little boy. His favorite color is brown & it’s looking great! For row 2, one direction says k121- but I think it means 21. I’ve only got 6 rounds done so far but I think it’s going to be beautiful. Thanks for such a great pattern!!

  19. Lee Comment Says:

    Cute design.

  20. The essential knitted sweater for big little ones | Momfluential Media Pingback Says:

    […] Twisted Tree Pullover by Sarah Pope is a free pattern knit in DK / 8 ply. It is a a raglan pullover with rolled cuffs, hem, and neckband for an unfussy look. Sarah is also the genius behind the Lovisa Armwarmers. […]

  21. Archaeology cat Comment Says:

    I just started this for my son. 🙂 Looks great.

  22. A lesson in gauge (or a sweater to grow into) | Making, Baking and Raking Pingback Says:

    […] Possum Merino 8 ply) into a very warm and cosy toddler-sized  jumper. I used Sarah Pope’s Twisted Tree Pullover pattern and this is how it turned […]

  23. Barbara Comment Says:

    Love the pattern. I have been given some chunky wool and my tension with this is exactly double yours so I’m hoping it will come out right for a man’s sweater.
    Just one query – what does pm stand for? I am in the UK and have not come across this abbreviation before.

  24. Mary Anne Comment Says:


    Love this sweater, and would like to give it a try. After reading directions, I am not sure what ktlb stands for knit…? It’s probably obvious to most, but I’ve never encountered this before.
    Please explain.


  25. Sarah Comment Says:

    Hi Mary Anne,

    I think you’ve found a typo: ktlb should be ktbl — knit through the back loop.

    Thanks for the sharp eyes!