November 12, 2021 in Brown Sheep

10 Tops to Cast on for Fall + Winter

Sweater season has finally arrived! Time to bring knit woolens out of storage and refresh them for a new season (we wrote some tips on how to do that here). However, it wouldn’t truly be sweater season if we didn’t also start queuing up new knits to cast on now. One can never have too many sweaters, after all!

This part might be the most fun. Scrolling through places like Ravelry, looking for the sweater or cardigan that feels just right, browsing your favorite yarn companies for the perfect yarn (if you’ve already found your dream sweater pattern, we have a handy guide for subbing a Brown Sheep yarn!).

Well, we did a little searching of our own, looking back at past favorites and discovering new sweaters and cardigans published this year. We thought we’d share our top 10 choices to help inspire you to cast on a new top for fall and winter!

1. Lady Catkin Pullover

Cropped sweater with abbreviated sleeves and a lace yoke

Knit with Prairie Spun DK, the Lady Catkin Pullover is an easy sweater design with sweet, feminine details. Abbreviated sleeves, a light, lace yoke and a slightly cropped fit feel both modern and classic. And, there are three different options for modifying the style–you can increase or shorten the overall length, and change the sleeves.

2. The Secret Garden Cardigan

Collage of a hand knit cardigan with a fair isle colorwork yoke

New this season, the Secret Garden Cardigan in Lamb’s Pride Superwash Sport (discontinued now, but you can substitute Nature Spun, Lanaloft, Lanaloft Hand Painted, or Top of the Lamb) is a classic cardigan with a stranded fair isle yoke design. Worked top down in the round, the finished piece is steeked to create the cardigan plackets.

3. Poncho with a Fluke Pattern

While not technically a sweater or a cardigan, the shape of the Poncho with a Fluke Pattern is deceptively reminiscent of a pullover. When worn with the fluke patterning to the sides, the poncho falls like a dolman sweater. Worked in Serendipity Tweed (or Cotton Fleece), this poncho is a great layering piece for fall and winter.

4. Acreage Pullover

Woman wearing a hand knit all-over lace pullover

A slightly oversized fit, drop shoulders, and allover lace pattern lend the Acreage Pullover an easy style that’s perfect for layering. Worked in Prairie Spun DK, Acreage is knit seamlessly from the top down in the round.

5. Migration Cardigan

Triptych of a colorwork cardigan

Hailing from a collection of knits inspired by Iowa and Nebraska (hooray for Nebraska!), the Migration Cardigan demands attention. It might be one of our favorite cardigan designs of recent years. Knit with an all-time favorite, Lamb’s Pride Worsted, Migration features beautiful striping and a lovely stranded color work design that visually cinches the waist. Also, it has pockets! Need we say more?

6. Nelson Pullover

Triptych of a hand knit pullover with cabling down sleeves

We absolutely adore the understated elegance of the Nelson Pullover. It has a whiff of athleisure to it, but the gorgeous cables traveling from the cowl neck down through the sleeves elevate the silhouette. We also love that this is a unisex look! Nature Spun Worsted lends a crisp finish to the stitchwork for a really divine finish.

7. Block Party Cardi

Published earlier this year, we couldn’t help but fall in love with the vibrant Block Party Cardi. The color-blocked motif, classic silhouette and unusual argyles feel like a modern throwback. You could, of course, choose a more understated palette of Nature Spun Worsted, but why would you?

8. Oakmoss Pullover

Prairie Spun DK is given center stage in the Oakmoss Pullover, and it doesn’t disappoint. A center panel composed of two cable designs create a slimming effect in this fitted silhouette. It’s a quintessential cold weather pullover—lightly detailed, with a flattering fit and a classic motif that will never go out of style.

9. Appledore Pullover

Gather your Prairie Spun DK scraps, or any Brown Sheep DK weight scraps you have—you’ll need them for the Appledore Pullover. Designed to be worn with positive ease and a deep yoke, Appledore gathers all your scraps into a series of Grecian mosaic motifs worked from the yoke down. Appledore seems designed for lovers of color—all of them!—but, we think you could achieve an equally lovely look with 2 or 3 colors alone.

10. Jillian Aran Pullover 

Free to download from our Ravelry store, the Jillian Aran Pullover is awash in fun cables. You’ll need great stitch definition for this pullover, which is why we chose Lanaloft Worsted. The Jillian Aran Pullover repeats the cable patterning on the back and in the sleeves, creating a really warm, lush sweater perfect for winter.


So, which of these tops have inspired you to cast on a new sweater? Let us know what you’re working on this season in our Fall + Winter Crafts group on Spinning Yarns!


Like this post? Pin it!