Everything about this sweater makes me so happy. This sweater was my first attempt at stranded knitting and I’m still shocked at how easily I was able to pick up the technique. In the end, I held one yarn in my left hand and knitted continental style and I held the second yarn in my right hand and knitted English-style. Pretty amazing!
I started this sweater at the beginning of August 2019. I couldn’t ever get the right gauge with my swatches, so I chose a size that I thought would be alright. My stitch gauge was 26 sts and 32 rows on a size US 6 (4 mm) needle. The pattern states that my stitch gauge should be 22 sts and 30 rows on a size US 4 (3.5 mm) needle.
How to choose the right size? My bust is 38″ and the pattern is written for 12-15″ of positive ease. Therefore, I needed to select a size with a finished bust measurement of at least 50-53″. I could have knitted a size 3 (S) but decided that I wanted to make sure the sweater would fit around my broad shoulders so I went up a size (4 / M). I can calculate the changed bust size by solving for x:
My finished sweater should and does in fact have a ~59 inch bust. The fit works out great for me and I’m very happy with the sizing.
I only had to go up one needle size on my stranded work, US 7 (4.5 mm). I’m still debating if it would have been better to go up two sizes to US 8 (5.0 mm) needle? I could have done a better job at the beginning of the yoke, but I’m so pleased with the rest of the yoke.
I have a shorter front torso compared to my back torso. Therefore the yoke is unbalanced. The front yoke is about 1 – 1.5 inches lower than the back yoke. If I were to separate the armholes, the sweater would be pulled backward and the neckline would ride up. I added length to the back rows with some german short rows. First I completed the step ‘With C1, k 8 rounds.’ Then before separating the body and sleeves, I completed these short rows. If assuming that the BOR marker is in the center of the back yoke, here’s the pattern I used.
- Short row 1 (RS): K131 turn; (WS) DS, purl to BOR m, sl m, p131, turn.
- Short row 2 (RS): DS, knit to BOR m, sl m, knit to DS, kDS, k4 turn; (WS) DS, purl to BOR m, sl m, purl to DS, pDS, p4, turn.
- Short row 3 (RS): DS, knit to BOR m, sl m, knit to DS, kDS, k4 turn; (WS) DS, purl to BOR m, sl m, purl to DS, pDS, p4, turn.
- Short row 4 (RS): DS, knit to BOR m, sl m, knit to DS, kDS, k4 turn; (WS) DS, purl to BOR m, sl m, purl to DS, pDS, p4, turn.
- Short row 5 (RS): DS, knit to BOR m, sl m, knit to DS, kDS, k4 turn; (WS) DS, purl to BOR m, sl m, purl to DS, pDS, p4, turn.
- Next row: DS, knit to BOR m.
- Knit 1 round (kDS when you reach them).
- Round 1: I followed the instructions for picking up the stitches for both long and short sleeves (71 sts)
- Round 2: K2TOG at BOR (70 sts)
- Rounds 3-9: K
- Next round (decrease round, 10th round): K1, SSK, work in pattern to 3 STS from end; K2TOG, K1.
- I repeated a decrease round every 10 rounds 9 more times until there were 50 sts left.
- I knitted 40 more rounds without any decreases then followed the short-sleeve pattern and cuff instructions.
The only thing I really messed up knitting was the short rows before the yoke. The instructions in the pattern were very unclear and after doing the short rows to extend the yoke, which I stole from another pattern, I see how I should have done the first set of short rows to raise up the collar.
I’m happy to have this project done and the sweater looking so nice. Since tackling harder knitting projects, my biggest fear is the waste of time and money on something that is unwearable. I’ve been very fortunate that so far everything has turned out perfectly.