top of page

Free Pattern: Polo-neck Pullover

My original Squirrel knitting pattern came with a turtle-neck sweater, which was very simple - back and front knit the same, then sleeves picked up and knit straight. Boxy and plain, a bit awkward to sew together, and ill-fitting for the shape of the toy. But the Squirrel was one of my first patterns, and I had to start somewhere! When I updated the pattern for my Festive Knits collection, I included overalls instead of the sweater, because I thought they looked much cuter, and they fit a lot better.

Instead of publishing that original sweater as a free pattern, I decided to design something with a similar look but much better fit, changing the original boxy style to a round yoke. The pullover is knit in the round from the top down, and is completely seamless. The only sewing you need to do is weaving in ends, and closing some small holes under the arms. It knits up in under 2 hours, so you can make one in an evening, while enjoying a movie or audiobook! The length of the body and arms is easy to adjust, so you can make it fit any of my various small toys. The estimate of 25 g of yarn is generous, so it's a good way to use up some left-over yarn.

I hope you enjoy this pattern, and maybe knit a little squirrel or chipmunk to go with it!

Polo-Neck Pullover


25 g of worsted weight yarn, set of four 4.5 mm (US size 7) double pointed needles (dpns), scrap yarn, tapestry needle


4.5 sts and 6 rows per 2.5 cm (1”) in stockinette


22 cm (8½“) around at hem, approx. 9 cm (3½”) long

Neck and Yoke

CO 24 sts. Distribute sts evenly on 3 of your dpns.

Rnd 1: Join in the round, [k1, p1] to end.

Rnds 2-8: [k1, p1] to end.

Rnds 9-10: Knit.

Rnd 11: [m1, k2] x 12. (36 sts)

Rnds 12-13: Knit.

Rnd 14: [m1, k2] x 18. (54 sts)

Rnds 15-16: Knit.

Rnd 17: [m1, k3] x 18. (72 sts)

Rnd 18: Place 16 sts on scrap yarn for Left Sleeve, k22 sts for Front, place next 16 sts on scrap yarn for Right Sleeve, k18 sts for Back. Continue below for Body of Pullover.


Redistribute sts on dpns if necessary.

Rnds 20-21: Knit.

Rnd 22: m1, k22, m1, k18. (42 sts)

Rnds 23-30(32): Knit 8(10) rnds. (adjust the length of the body to fit your toy)

Next 2 rnds: [k1, p1] to end.

Bind off loosely in ribbing pattern.

Sleeves (same for both sides)

Place sts for one sleeve on 3 of your dpns, distributing the sts as evenly as possible.

Begin at underarm.

Rnds 1-6(8): Knit 6(8) rnds. (adjust the length of the sleeves to fit your toy)

Next 2 rnds: [k1, p1] to end.

Bind off loosely in ribbing pattern. Repeat for second sleeve.


Weave in all yarn ends, making sure to close holes at the underarm. Block finished pullover.


[ ] x N = repeat sequence in brackets N times ("to end" means to repeat until the end of the row)

CO = cast on

K = knit

m1 = increase 1 by picking up loop between stitch just worked and next stitch, and knit into the back of this loop

P = purl

Rnd(s) = Round(s), or 1 row worked in the round

st or sts = stitch or stitches

st st = stockinette stitch

bottom of page