Knitwear Design

European Shoulder

  • April 12, 2022
A European Shoulder style sweater has shoulder seam shifted towards the back, so the seam is not at the top of the shoulder.

Special consideration needs to be made when knitting the front and back of this sweater

Compare a traditional shoulder and a European shoulder

Traditionally, both shoulders have the same number of stitches. To create a shaped shoulder many knitters will use short row shaping, scrap off each shoulder, then pulling stitch-through-stitch, join the shoulders on the machine.

In shifting the shoulder shaping to the back garment piece, an angle is formed AND the back shoulder has more stitches than the front.

Going back to your 5th grade geometry class, the YELLOW line is longer than the GREEN line. (no it's not an optical illusion)

Do not use short row shaping for the back shoulders in this pattern.

Look closely at the front knitting instructions of Knit it Now European Shoulder patterns and you are instructed to add some "wings" (yellow) to accommodate this difference in length. That means the front shoulder will have a different number of STITCHES than the back shoulder ... but the dimensions will match.

Do not use short row shaping for the back shoulders in this pattern.
These added "wings" will make for a smooth shape for the armhole and a beautiful seam for the sleeve cap.


Consider highlighting the angle in the back with Full Fashioned Decreases

When it's time to join the front shoulder to that angled back shoulder, the shoulders will match (although the stitch counts won't be the same)

Use a Knit it Now Perfect Fit pattern to knit your own European Shoulder Sweater.
  • ANY yarn
  • ANY machine
  • ANY Stitch Pattern
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    • Sue J
    • May 1, 2022

    Yes this could be used for other style of armholes. We currently don't have Dynamic Patterns for all styles, just the most common, set in sleeve style. Use one of our Magic Formula tools to chart. Just be sure to add the little "wings" so the shoulder seams match.

    • Micki L
    • May 1, 2022

    Intriguing and very attractive. Would this work with drop shoulder sweaters or modified dropped shoulders?

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