Knitting sideways

Has anyone got any tips on converting a basic cardigan pattern to knit it sideways?

I want the self striping wool to go the other way (vertical stripes).
I can do the basic sizing & guage conversion (I think), but presumably row guage is a bit more critical?

And do sideways sweaters stretch weirdly?

Any help gratefully received :grphug:

I believe this is often referred to as knitting “off the axis.” I think if you search this term you may find some information.

Lots of shrugs are made this way.

I think stitch gauge is still the more important factor since it will account for width of sleeve (as usual) and also length of the sweater. Row gauge will be important for width of the fronts and back and placement of neck shaping, but you can measure this in inches so it’s not critical. Take a look at some patterns that are knit sideways to see how they’re constructed (especially how they increase from the sleeve to the body and then decrease from body to sleeve). I’ve never had trouble with stretching, at least that I’ve noticed but that may depend on tightness of st gauge.

Thanks salmonmac. I’ve had a look around for patterns, but cant find one I like. Have you got any suggestions for a good basic cant-go-wrong sideways cardigan?

Look for plain stockinette patterns that are knit side to side, or may be called cuff to cuff. The stitch gauge will affect the length, the row gauge the width.

Here are some links to sideways patterns. I haven’t done any of these but they may be what you want or they may give you an idea of the construction so that you can modify one of them.


According to Maggie Righetti in [I]Sweater Design in Plain English,[/I] stockinette stitch will stretch lengthwise and become narrower widthwise (when knit regular top to bottom).

Of course, all sides of stockinette stitch needs to be anchored (with ribbing usually), but I would recommend doing some tests on a gauge swatch, which would include washing it, drying it (if the yarn can be dried), and stretching it this way and that to make sure it will behave as you want it to!