A Simpler Sweater

When I finished knitting Franziska I knew that my next knitting project had to be something much simpler and quicker. I had patterns and I had yarn in hand, but new things caught my eye

The pattern:

kazahana_medium

Kazahana by Eri

I liked the mix of simplicity with enough to hold the attention; and I liked that it was a yoked sweater. That was something I had never knitted before.

I particularly liked one knitter’s version, knitted in a yarn that she praised highly and the like of which I had never used before.

The yarn:

10_1_32

Garnstudio DROPS Air

‘Drops Air Mix is an exciting “blown yarn” made of soft baby alpaca and warm merino wool. The structure of Air Mix is unique because the fibers are blown through a tube with air. This technique makes clothes made from Air Drops particularly light and airy.’

I was curious, the price was very reasonable, and so I placed an order with the ever reliable Wool Warehouse.

The yarn that arrived looked lovely and I was very pleased with the colour I chose. Fog (#10) is a lovely mix of blue and grey.

I started to knit. The pattern was simply but clearly written, and the few modifications I made were to suit me and the kind of sweater I wanted.

  • I added an extra repeat of the pattern to the yoke.
  • I changed the body from straight to A-line by adding four sets of increases.
  • I changed the hem to moss stich because I wanted a simple, narrow band. The pattern that the designer chose was lovely but it needed several pattern repeats to be effective and that made it too wide and too much of a focus for me
  • I added decreases to the sleeves so that they would taper. I liked the wide sleeves so I didn’t decrease too much, but I wanted a little shaping and the pattern had none.

The yarn was lovely to work with, though it wasn’t easy to undo, and the stitches weren’t easy to read. That was fine for this pattern but I wouldn’t want to knit anything too complex with it.

The yoke stitch pattern

It wasn’t too long until I had a finished sweater. It was warm and light, and quite different from anything else I had made.

There was just one problem.

The neckline was wide, and I liked that but it was a little bit too wide and it slipped off my shoulders. I don’t think its the fault of the design; I think that it was the combination of my narrow shoulders and my yarn choice.

I knew that there was a way of fixing that but I hadn’t ever tried it. I found a tutorial, I looked at it carefully, and then I added slip crochet just below the edge to limit the stretching of the neck band. It wasn’t easy, because the yarn is fuzzy and the pattern there had increases and decreases, but it is as even as I could make it – and it works!

It’s not an ideal solution but it works and it had taught me something. Next time I knit a wide neckline from the top down I’ll think more carefully about how it will sit and whether it will stretch and plan accordingly.

The Finished Object

I’m happy that I found a way to make a sweater that I might wear once in a while into a sweater I could wear whenever it was right for the weather.

Next up: I join the masses who have knit Carbeth!

5 thoughts on “A Simpler Sweater

  1. Wow that is absolutely gorgeous. One of my favourite things about knitting is how beauty can often be achieved through simplicity, with minimal patterning to showcase fabulous yarn. I am quite a fan of the Drops range. I have a bundle of Drops Puna (100% alpaca) in my stash just waiting for a marvellous pattern to come along – Kazahana may just be it! 🙂 Meanwhile, have fun with Carbeth. I’m not the right shape for a cropped sweater but it has been fun watching everyone else craft their own versions – I look forward to seeing yours. 🙂

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  2. I have to agree with you – I want my knitting to be interesting but the end product has to be wearable and not a look-at-me sweater. Drops yarn is new to me but I’d happily use it again, though it may not be that soon as I have far too much yarn in the house already. I am lengthening Carbeth because I can’t get away with wearing anything cropped, and so I am knitting to the same length as another sweater with a similar shape that I love.

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  3. I adore reading your craft-y posts as much as your other kind of posts, even though I have almost no real understanding-from-experience about them. I have to say my jaw dropped in awe at the recounting of adapting patterns. I had ONE short time, many years ago, of knitting, as I wanted to make something for my mother, as I knew it would be seen for what it was – a Labour of love. It was almost passable and very simple. And she DID love it.

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