Palindrome Derivative Hug

You could fold a Palindrome in half and it would look the same at both ends. Redder, deified, radar and ha – retrosorter.

An advanced beginner’s pattern (at Artemis we call them Chocolate Puddings). Deliciously relaxing to take along to your knitting-group with just enough new techniques to keep your eager learning hormone happy.

You will need:
One long 5mm circular needle or two shorter ones, or dpns if you like them better.
One 4mm circular needle or ditto
Approx 400 yards (or approx 4 skeins) of DK knitting yarn.
A few yards of contrast texture (or colour) yarn for the corrugated ribbing – about 1/4 ball will do.
About a yard of really contrasty smooth yarn for the provisional cast-on.
A cable needle or some clue how to do without one.
One stitch marker – a small curtain ring or hair band will do.

There is absolutely no sewing with this pattern!

The Construction
A flat panel half the width of your shoulders at the back, and a tube. Two of them.

Each piece is joined together either by grafting kitchener-style or with a three-needle bindoff. If you don’t know how to do either of those, now’s the time to learn. The 3 needle bindoff is a very useful technique that you will find yourself always using to join shoulders, for example. Kitchener is really great for sideways hats.

C2B = pick up two stitches with a cable needle and hold to the back of your work. Knit two, and then knit the stitches from the cable needle.

There are lots of tutorials out there for knitting cables without a cable needle. Your mileage may vary depending on how you hold your knitting, but I prefer to use a cable needle or a spare bamboo DPN. Much less chance of dropping stitches that way, which all saves time in the end.

The Instructions

Cast on 52 stitches using 5mm needles in your very contrasty smooth yarn. Use something like cotton and the same weight as your main yarn. This is your provisional cast-on. It will be unpicked later. Then join in your main yarn, and set up the cables like this:

Row 1:
P1, K1, [P4, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1], repeat to last 5 stitches, P4, K1

Row 2:
P1, [C2B, P1, K1, P1, K1, P1], repeat to last 6 sts, C2B, P1, K1

Row 3: same as Row 1

Row 4:
P1, [K4, P1, K1, P1, K1, P1], to last 6 stitches, K4, P1, K1

Repeat Rows 3 and 4 for about 4-6 rows, depending on how tight you like the cables, and then repeat Row 2. I like tight rope cables so this 4 row repeat suits me, but if you like a more relaxed feel, your pattern repeat could go as much as 10 rows.

Continue knitting in pattern. Do two sets of increases by Kfb on each side of a row approx two inches before half the measurement across your back between the armpits. You can measure this by taking your favourite close-fitting sweater and measuring it across the back. Or you can ask your best friend to measure you. Make sure you get a hug on the way.

My back measures 20″ between the armpits, so at 9″ along, I increased at both sides by Kfb in the first and last stitches. If your back is wider or narrower, adjust accordingly. Basically what you’re doing is adding a bit more ease by increasing the piece at the point where it’s going to go over your shoulder. Do this twice at 1″ intervals. There will now be 56 stitches on your needles.

If you have a prop forward’s shoulder size, you might want more stitches here. If you’re a waif, you might want fewer. Try it on and do more increases if you need them. You will be joining to work your sleeve in the round, so however many stitches you end up with at this point will be what will wrap around your upper arm.

When your flat section is long enough, and you have the right number of increases, join and work in the round using the magic loop method on one circular or a pair of circular needles, whichever method you prefer. If you prefer DPNs, use them. Mark the start of your round with one of those sitich markers that fits around the needle and is slipped from round to round.

Continue working in pattern, but remember that as you are now working in the round, you won’t have any WS rows. Make approx two decreases down the length of the arm, finishing the cable pattern section when you think it’s long enough, trying on all the time.

The first decrease can be made at approx at 2″ below elbow and the second at bracelet length = 52 sts.

Continue straight, without decreasing stitches any further, until the wrist area. Change to 4mm needles, join your contrast yarn and work 4cms of corrugated rib, using your second yarn as the purls. Cast off using the standard knit two, pass the first over the second method, castring off purlwise on the purl stitches.

I think this might go without saying but..

Make Two.


Carefully extract your provisional cast-on and put the straight edges of your Palindrome onto two needles or onto either end of your 5mm circ. Join the two halves together using your favourite method. Here are some very handy links, but there are others out there:

Kitchener Grafting
Three Needle Bindoff

I am a huge fan of the three needle bindoff. It adds strength and structure to a garment, and is very useful here. But if you haven’t tried Kitchener on sock toes or a hood, give it a go.

The Finish!.

Pick-up-and-knit the edge according to the most amazingly brilliant Knitty method, and at the same time, cast off purlwise. That will give you a nice rolled edge and tighten the whole frame up a wee bit. Don’t cast off too tightly. If you think there’s any danger of that, go up a needle size. In general it’s a good thing to cast off using a bigger needle, but in this case, we do need the negative ease.

Does that all make sense? It’s a recipe – make it your own! You can replace the cables with any kind you like, one wide complex Celtic knot, or a combination of different little ones. As long as you try on as you go, you can’t go wrong.

Sizing up? Cast on more stitches in multiples of whatever you need to make your cable pattern. In this case it’s fours.

As always, please let us know how you go!

This pattern is free for you to use on this website and you can print a single copy for your own personal use. If you would like to make a donation to support the website and our costs, the suggested donation for this pattern is £2.50.


Thank you!


5 thoughts on “Palindrome Derivative Hug

  1. Hello the gauge is 18 sts per 4 inches but DO make a swatch and measure your wrist before starting to make sure you get the right width. Adjust by going up or down a needle size.

    Size of the pattern? You can fit exactly to the length of your own arms as you go. For width, work out your own gauge and go from there.

    This is a one-size pattern that you custom fit to your own measurements.

    Hope that’s helpful. Enjoy!

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