Sailor's Valentine by Kathleen Dames

Sailor's Valentine

March 2013
Aran (8 wpi) ?
16 stitches and 20 rows = 4 inches
in Stockinette Stitch
US 6 - 4.0 mm
1050 - 1890 yards (960 - 1728 m)
30 {34, 38, 42, 46, 50, 54} inch chest
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This pattern is available for $8.00 USD
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Originally Sailor’s Valentines were shell-encrusted boxes brought back from Barbados for sailors’ sweethearts. Today, keep the love alive with a romantic collection of cables to make a seafaring sweater of love, perfect for any Valentine.

This Sailor’s Valentine is worked flat from the bottom up in one piece to the underarms. Sleeves are also worked flat (to maintain a consistent gauge) from the cuff up, then all three pieces are joined to work a seamless hybrid-style yoke. But the fun doesn’t stop there! This sweater is topped off with a turned-heel hood (worked the same way you would to create a short-row heel on a sock), which keeps the Heart Strings cable going all the way from the hem to the top of the hood.

Ribbing at the sides of the sweater gives a closer fit without working waist shaping. For a unisex sweater, simply substitute Seed Stitch for the 2x2 rib.

What you’ll love about knitting Sailor’s Valentine:

  • Variety of beautiful cable patterns that are not only fun to work but have special meaning
  • Once you’ve mastered the cables, it is so much fun to bring them all together in the hybrid yoke, which cleverly shapes the body and sleeves up and over your shoulders
  • If the yoke wasn’t fun enough, the hood will blow you away by bringing the Heart Strings all the way to the top.

What you’ll love about wearing Sailor’s Valentine:

  • Who doesn’t love a great hoodie?
  • Ribbing along the sides makes for a figure-flattering shape (substitute Seed Stitch if you’re looking for a unisex fit)
  • Hybrid yoke creates a great fit in the shoulders

Size/Finished Measurements
Chest: 30 {34, 38, 42, 46, 50, 54} inches
Shown in 38-inch with 0-inch ease


  • Bartlettyarns Fisherman 2-ply {100% Wool 210 yards/192 meters per 113 gram/4 oz. skein}; color: Cranberry No. 378; 5 {5, 6, 7, 8, 8, 9}
  • One US6/4.0mm 29-inch circular needle (ndl)
  • Set of four (or five) US6/4.0mm double-pointed needles (dpns)
  • Cable needle (cn)
  • Stitch markers
  • Coil-less safety pins or other removable stitch markers
  • Waste yarn or stitch holders
  • Tapestry needle
  • 23-inch (or desired length) zipper in color to match yarn
  • Knit-picker tool, or desired tool(s) for zipper installation (visit Techknitter’s zipper installation post for more information about the knit-picker - I found mine at Joann’s in the sewing tools section)

16 sts x 20 rows = 4 inches in Stockinette Stitch

Skills Needed
casting on
binding off
working stitches out of order (cabling)
reading charts
short-row shaping

Technical Editing: Karen Clark
Test Knitting: barleystonks, justmama, lexisknits, and puce59
Photography: Nicholas Dames

Everything you need to create your own beautiful Sailor’s Valentine is provided in the professionally designed (by me!) pattern. Charts for all the cable patterns are included.