Monday, September 8, 2014

My comeback sweater

You guys, I had totally given up on sweater knitting. Sure, it's a lot of work, but that wasn't the main reason. I never wore them. They always ended up too big around the shoulders, too hot or too clumsy. This summer I realized that I always went for the wrong patterns - overly complicated textures or one-of-a-kind designs that, let's face it, are one-of-a-kind for a reason: nobody wants to wear them.

Earlier this summer I stumbled upon some great sweater knitting inspiration: Andrea's Robin Sweater and Tacia's Snowy Owl Sweater and I had an a-ha moment! It makes much more sense to spend HOURS on something that you feel comfortable wearing every day and not feel like you stick out for the wrong reasons. Everybody surprised now? I know I am!

So I went on a hunt for a blank canvas pattern and landed on a top-down raglan sleeve sweater from Vogue Knitting Spring Summer 2014. I used the pattern as reference on how to construct the top-down raglan thingy and then went my own way. I wanted it to fit snugly on top and loosely around my torso.

For the first time ever I took the time to do the math involved in achieving a perfect (read satisfactory) fit. My notes are in Swedish/Finnish/English and make no sense whatsoever, but somehow I managed to squeeze out a sweater from the gibberish. Success!

Since I knit this in the summer I used a cotton yarn, Kotiväki Huvila by the Finnish company Novita (fun fact: during the recent downswing in the economy Novita was one of the most successful Finnish companies, yay knitters!) I love this yarn. I didn't want the sweater to get too heavy or dense, so I used larger needles than recommended.

The knitting was a breeze. The only thing I would change construction wise is that the yoke is worked back and forth and then seamed together at one of the raglan seams. Next time I'll work the yoke in the round.

The cotton sadly causes some problems though. The neck line stretched out like crazy when wearing, which I learned is because cotton isn't an elastic fibre, so it doesn't recover. I googled for some ways to fix this, and apparently the lack of seaming in the yoke makes the stretching worse, so I added a crocheted chain to the neck line and raglan seams and hope it solves the problem. If not, I'll try adding a band as facing on the wrong side of the neck line. Anybody ever done that?


  1. Hi Nilla … I love the simple line of this sweater...simple lines are indeed much more easy to wear. To avoid the loss of stretch in parts like necklines, cuffs, hems I usually either make them double using a smaller needle on the inside part (where the style permits) or weave in from the wrong side some rows of elastic thread. BTW the colour is beautiful!

  2. Thank you! Elastic was my first thought, but I couldn't find any right when I wanted it. Good to know that double necklines help with the stretching, and it's such a neat look too. Thanks for the tips!

  3. Gorgeous color and looks great on you! I soooo envy that you knitted this yourself - you're inspiring me to start working on my knitting again!!! Best. Comeback. EVER! :)

    1. Thank you! I hope you begin to enjoy knitting again :)