How to Knit a Bed Jacket

Written by leslie r. thompson
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Bed jackets were originally designed for those recuperating from illness or invalids who could not leave their beds. They were designed to cover the upper torso, based on the assumption that bed coverings took care of the rest. Over the last century, bed jackets have evolved. Today, nearly any pattern for a shrug or bolero works just as well. This pattern will make a medium bolero.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 8 balls of bulky yarn
  • Size 11 knitting needles
  • Stitch holder
  • Tapestry needle

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    Right and Left Front

  1. 1

    Cast on nine stitches. Knit two rows in stockinet stitch.

  2. 2

    Knit the first stitch of row three and increase the next stitch by knitting into the front loop and then the back loop of the same stitch. Knit the rest of the row.

  3. 3

    Purl the next row until the last two stitches. Purl into the front and back of the first stitch to increase. Purl the last stitch.

  4. 4

    Knit the next two rows in stockinet stitch.

  5. 5

    Repeat steps 2 and 3, six more times on every third row. Knit until your work measures 6 inches in length. Finish with a right side row.

  6. 6

    Bind off three stitches at the beginning of the next row to shape the armhole and decrease by knitting two stitches together at the beginning of every other row, twice.

  7. 7

    Knit in stockinet until the work measures 9 inches in length. Bind off six stitches, knit the rest of the row and knit one more row across. Bind off all stitches.

  8. 8

    Repeat steps 1 to 7, but reverse the stitching to make the left front piece.

    The Back

  1. 1

    Cast on 55 stitches and work in garter stitch for a length of one inch.

  2. 2

    Knit in stockinet stitch for 5 inches, ending with a wrong side row.

  3. 3

    Bind off three stitches at the front of the next two rows. Knit two stitches together to decrease at both ends of every other row. Repeat decrease step two more times.

  4. 4

    Knit in stockinet for 9 inches more.

  5. 5

    Bind off six stitches at the beginning of every row, four times. Bind off remaining stitches.


  1. 1

    Cast on 32 stitches and knit in stockinet for 1 inch.

  2. 2

    Increase by knitting into the front and back of the first and last stitch of every six rows, twice. Knit in stockinet for 7 inches.

  3. 3

    Bind off three stitches at the beginning of each row for the next two rows.

  4. 4

    Knit two stitches together at both ends of every other row twice, then every fourth row, six times. Bind off all live stitches

    Sew Together

  1. 1

    Sew right sleeve to right front and back pieces along the shoulder. Seam right sleeve.

  2. 2

    Sew left sleeve to left front and back pieces, along the shoulder. Seam left sleeve.

  3. 3

    Seam back piece to right front beneath right sleeve. Repeat with left side and left sleeve. Weave in ends.

Tips and warnings

  • You can embellish the edges and neckline of the bed jacket with novelty yarns or lace edging. Make sure the yarn you use for the bed jacket is soft.

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