Tacky Christmas Sweater

I actually took exception to the ‘ugly’ in the Ugly Sweater Contest. The point of an ugly sweater contest is not to have a sweater that is ugly, but one that is so unrestrainedly, over-the-top crazy Christmas fantastic that it defies logic or rational explanation.

At least, that was my take on it.

See? You can't call a sweater this jolly ugly.

To make your own tacky Christmas sweater, you will need:

  • Worsted Weight Yarn – a lot of it. I used the better part of 3 skeins of Red Heart Super Saver (the 7oz skeins)
  • Fun Fur (optional)
  • K/10.5 (6.5mm) hook
  • Glue gun and plenty of hot glue
  • Pompoms
  • Felt
  • Cotton balls or batting
  • Silver cord or similar

Obviously, once you have the basic sweater you can decorate with whatever you have on hand, but this is what I used.

Size: Men’s Large

Finished Measurements: Chest: 38″ circumference, Length: 25″

My gauge was 9 sts/ 6 rows = 4″ in dc.

Body
Rnd 1: Ch 60, join to form loop. Ch 2, dc in each ch around. (60 dc) Join.
Rnd 2: Ch 2. Dc in each dc around. (60 dc) Join.
Rnd 3: Ch 2. *Dc in each of the next 2 dc, ch 1. Repeat from * around. (90 sts) Join.
Rnd 4: Ch 2. Dc in each dc and ch-sp around. (90 dc) Join.
Rnd 5: Ch 2. *Dc in each of the next 3 dc, ch 1. Repeat from * around. (120 sts) Join.
Rnd 6: Ch 2. Dc in each dc and ch-sp around. (120 dc) Join.
Rnds 7-12: Ch 2. Dc in each dc around. (120 dc) Join.
Rnd 13: Ch 2. *Dc in each of the next 3 dc, dc inc in next st. Repeat from * around. (150 dc) Join.
Rnds 14-18: Ch 2. Dc in each dc around. (150 dc) Join.
Rnd 19: Time to make the armholes! Ch 2. Dc in each of the next 42 dc. Skip 33 dc, dc in each of the next 42 dc. Skip 33 dc, join rnd with first dc made. (84 dc)
Rnds 20-36 or desired length: Ch 2, dc in each dc around. Join.
Finish off.

Sleeves
Rnd 1: Join at underarm, ch 2. Dc in each st around, placing extra stitches as needed where sleeve meets body. (I added four.) Join rnd. (37 dc)
Rnd 2: Ch 2. (Dc dec), dc around until 6 sts reamin. (Dc dec), dc 4. Join. (35 dc)
Rnd 3: Ch 2. (Dc dec), dc around until 6 sts remain. (Dc dec), dc 4. Join. (33 dc)
Rnd 4-18: Ch 2. Dc in each dc around. (33 dc) Join. (I changed color for round 6.)
Rnd 19: Ch 2. Dc around, evenly spacing 4 decreases. (29 dc) Join.
Rnd 20: Ch 2. Dc around, evenly spacing 4 decreases. (25 dc) Join.
Rnd 21: Ch 2. Dc around, evenly spacing 4 decreases. (21 dc) Join.
Rnd 22: Ch 1. Sc in each st around. (21 sc) Join, finish off.

Repeat for second sleeve.

Weave in all ends.

To tack-ify your sweater, use your imagination! My boys and I wound silver cord all the way around the yoke and cut multi-colored lights out of felt. We used the glue gun to attach them and hold the cord in place. Then we glued on felt snowflakes and our felt gingerbread man, with pompoms for ‘ornaments’ and smaller snowflakes as well as the features on the gingerbread man. We glued on cotton balls for the snow, but I think some quilt batting would have held up better. For the ‘garland’ on the sleeves I held three strands of yarn (including some green Fun Fur) together and made a chain with my biggest hook. Then, a little hot glue had it stuck on in no time.

See? Nothing to it!

11 comments

  1. Diana says:

    Hi i am from Ireland. Just wondering if i could use double knit wool for this sweater. I am so confused over the name worsted weight i don’t understand worsted weight. Thank You.

    • Melissa says:

      Hi, Diana! Double knit is slightly lighter than worsted weight. Since the pattern is adjustable, you should be able to make it work. Just be aware that if you follow the directions as written yours will probably come out smaller than mine did.

      • Diana says:

        Grand thank you. I came across Aran type that might be similar to worsted weight. Hoping to start on it soon, am making it for a nephew of mine. Will show you a picture when i have it done and let you know how i get on. Thank you ever so much for getting back. :)

        • Andrea says:

          I’m sure you’ve made this sweater already, but I wanted to jump in and let you know that Aran is basically worsted. I personally find Aran to be a thicker worsted, but I’d still classify it as the same :)

  2. Doreen says:

    I would like to attempt to make this sweater but I’m an extra large woman and I think the sizing might be a little small for me. How do I determine the number of stitches for my beginning chain if I want like a man’s XL or a woman’s 2XL. Plus I like my sweaters a little big (I don’t want it to be too tight). Thank you, Doreen.

    • Melissa says:

      Hi, Doreen! The good news is that this is a top-down sweater, so it’s try-on-as-you-go. The beginning chain is the neck, so try it out! It might be the right size for you. To increase the chest circumference, try it on at about rnd 14 and see how much more room you need. Measure how many stitches you need to add that much more fabric, then add those increases in the next row. You can either space them evenly (for bigger all around) or space them evenly across one half of the round (for just bigger in the front). Then you’re going to have to try it on as you determine how many stitches to reserve for armholes, how many to leave as body, etc. My advice is that if you’re adding bust shaping, be sure to mark which side of the sweater it is!

      Good luck!

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