Sunday, September 13, 2009

Another Obsession

So I'm window shopping online yesterday at all my favourite clothing retailers,, seeing if there's any great sales that I simply can't live without, when all of a sudden I see this sweater and my breath catches.

"Oh my god it's beautiful," was my first thought, followed quickly by, "Oh my god, it's $50!!" So I set to work examining it a little more carefully for construction details. (Click HERE to see it big so you can follow along and help me out, pretty please! hehehe)

Alrighty. I'm seeing a top down sweater here, with the yoke done in a simple 2x2 ribbing, followed by a couple of rows of garder stitch, then stockinette all the way to the bottom (with some shaping), then an inch or so of ribbing on the bottom. The arms just look like they were unfinished stockinette stitch and they rolled a bit, which is totally cool.

This is what I don't know how to do: I have no clue how to figure out what weight of yarn this is, what size of needle to use, and how to knit a sweater from the top down on a circular like I think this was done. I have no idea how to do that neck shaping, or how to introduce the sleeves, or what shape the sleeves take when they're 3/4 like these. What is the content of the yarn? I'm guessing a wool blend... but how to pick the right one?

Or do you guys think I'm totally wrong and it's knit from the bottom up in the round to get the neck shaping? Maybe it's one of those kinda of designs where the sleeves are made kind of like wedges at the top and the seam goes diagonal from the armpit to the neckline. Huh. I have no idea now...

I think after I knit a swatch I think I could figure out the math to make it fit. Any ideas where I start? Should I look for free pattern on ravelry that would kind of fit this shape?

Man, that's a gorgeous sweater.


What do you guys think about this sweater? Apart from the neckline (which I LOVE in the original) I think this pattern could give me a great start:

The yarn in this one looks... stiffer... doesn't it? But with a little alteration to the sleeve length, the neck, and the design of the yoke, I think it could work. Or, I'm totally wrong. lol


  1. I LOOOVE that first sweater! Of course, I don't know how to answer any of your knitting questions, lol, but you should totally figure out how to make it! I don't like the sleeves on the second one...

  2. OH I totally agree! I think that the sleeves would definitely change, and then I would just make the top like the original sweater. The second one was just to help me figure out how things would go together. :)

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  4. (updated)
    Ok, here's what my not-so-professional opinion is:
    First, the website says it's a cotton/angora blend, which means the angora gives it that pretty pretty drape and sheen but the cotton would stiffen it up a bit and make it cooler. Your problem will be finding a cotton/angora yarn at all, and if/when you do, it will be very expensive. A cotton/alpaca or a cotton/merino would give fairly similar results and probably be easier to find.
    The gauge looks to me like it is fingering weight or light fingering. I'm leaning more towards light fingering in order to get that really amazing drape, which means you'll be doing miles of stockinette and you might want to invest in a knitting machine for that kind of time, haha.
    You could achieve this look through top down or bottom up or pieces sewn together, and though I think this particular sweater is sewn together, you could achieve the same look top-down with raglan-shaped sleeves. This method will be the best way, in my opinion, to do this sweater. Figure out how many to cast on with your gauge to make it the size you want, then do a 2x2 rib around and place markers at each of the 4 points of the raglan increase. Every other row, increase one stitch 2 stitches before and 2 stitches after each marker to create the raglan increased look (4 total increases every other round).
    Then, when you have it as far down as you want (if it's made top-down in the round, you can try it on as you go), do a reverse stockinette (all purls) for about 5-6 rows I'd say. You'll probably need to continue to do raglan increases at this point in stockinette, but when it's as big as you want it to be, put the smaller amount of stitches between the markers (the sleeve stitches on either side) each on a holder and join the body in the round and begin doing tons of stockinette. When you join in the round, you probably will want to cast on about 10 sts or so on either side to make it fit nicer.
    Then after you've done tons of stockinette and made it as long as you want, go back to 2x2 rib for a bit and then cast off. You might also want to do a little bit of waist shaping in the middle (I can't tell if this pic has it or not) to make it more flattering, at which point you'll want to very slowly decrease along the sides (Where the side seams would be if it weren't in the round so you'll have that nice clean stockinette front) soon after the bust, then increase very slowly again after you get past the smallest part of your waist.
    Put the sleeve stitches back on the needle, cast on some stitches in the armpit (since these are fairly voluminous sleeves, you may want to cast on a bit more, like 15-20, but it'll be trial and error), and knit straight (the sleeves seem straight, not increased or decreased, to me), and I agree that the bottom is rolled, so you'll want to knit about an extra 1.5-2 inches and either let it roll or help it out a little and tack it down. In fact, it looks like that may be what happened here to make it stay rolled like that. It could just be seamed to the outside instead of the inside.
    When you're done, sew up the underarm seams and weave in all the ends and block. This formula should work well since you can try it on over and over as you go to make sure you achieve a perfect fit with the smallest amount of annoyance and frogging.
    Also, a very important point is that this fabric will be very drapey and want to pull out of shape, so in order to make the neck stay rigid and shaped here, it appears that there is a single row of tight single crochet all the way around the neck to make it keep its shape, and I recommend that you do the same.
    Hope that was helpful and not too confusing!

  5. OH my gosh Abby, you are AWESOME!! I can't wait to try this out!! :D

    (HUGE hugs!!)

  6. you know, i'm going to have to say this is a bottom-up sweater, based on the break in the ribbing right where the sleeves are attached in the yoke. it appears to be a raglan to me and if you look really closely at it you can see the seams for the sleeves. Also, instead of garter stitch after the ribbing i think it's Reverse Stockinette, the ridges just don't look pronounced enough to be garter stitch and if you look at the close-up of the yoke you can see how seamlessly the p2 sections of the rib face into the border below them. other than that i agree with pretty much everything she said about weight/guage fibre content etc...
    also i think you were right on about the sleeves being unfinished stockinette that's allowed to roll up a bit.
    good luck trying to decode this lovely sweater :)
    you might just find yourself venturing into designing if you do, that's how i got started ^-^

  7. You're very welcome. And you can delete the first comment. After I hit post I realized I made some mistakes and fixed them. Thanks!