Nadine by This.Bird.Knits

I’m glad I know a little about fitting clothes onto my body. One of the things I know is that a basic yoke sweater where the front and back necklines are even will not work for me. What happens is that the back of the sweater pulls down, dragging the front neckline upwards, making the sweater feel like it’s choking me. We’ve all experienced this. Susanna has a great blog post about improving circular yokes. Basically, the idea is that by the time you are ready to separate the arms and body, the yoke should be balanced on your body. The front and back of the sweater should be on the same level.

Sipila Sweater

For my version of the Sipila sweater, I was able to sneak in German short rows after the colorwork design before the yoke was separated for the body and arms. I loved knitting that sweater because I could fine-tune the fit as I was knitting it. The Nadie sweater has colorwork past the yoke so adding it right before the arm/body split won’t work.

Raising the back neckline

The first time I started the Nadie sweater, I tried to add all the extra length at the very beginning before any of the colorwork started. The pattern already includes a neckline shaping section that does add about ½” worth of lift to the back neckline. However, I need 2½” of difference for the sweater to sit well on my shoulders. Adding 2½” was too much. The result was more like a hump and didn’t lift the neckline. This could partially be due to my inexperience as a knitter, so I tried another method.

The second time I started the sweater, I improved the neckline ribbing and decided I would add my German short rows between the colorwork sections of the sweater. I realize that adding more space between the colorwork with the German short rows isn’t as visually appealing, but sometimes you have to pick function over fashion. Uneven stripes go along with the jogging of rows since center back was the beginning of the round.

You get a much better perspective from the side. The back design is often too high on my sweater compared to the front until my bustline when the yoke is separated. I was able to adjust the pattern, so I eventually got the front and back balanced. From my bustline down, the sweater pattern is balanced, and therefore, the neckline doesn’t shift. This is why I want to try a West Knit pattern soon. They look like they’d fit!

In this post, I describe my alternative cast on method as well as the German short row additions.

Project Info

PatternNadine by This.Bird.Knits
Made forNaomi
Size5
NeedleUS 5 (3.75mm) and US 8 (5.00mm)
Gauge22 sts / 23 rows = 4 in
in Stockinette Stitch after blocking, using larger needles
YarnHedgehog Fibres Merino DK
How much?Yarn A, 4 skeins (460 grams), 872 yards
Yarn B, 1.65 skeins (190 grams), 360 yards
ColorwayYarn A, Plump
Yarn B, Poppy

Abbreviations

  • BOR = beginning of round
  • RS = right side facing
  • WS = wrong side facing
  • K = knit
  • P = purl
  • INC = increase
  • DEC = decrease
  • MC = main color
  • CC = contrast color
  • SM = slip marker
  • ST (STS) = stitch (stitches)
  • DS = double stitch (German short rows)
  • K2TOG = knit two together
  • M1L = make one left
  • M1LP = make one left purl
  • SL1 WFIB = slip one with yarn in back
  • SL1 WYIF = slip one with yarn in front

Neck

Purple text is where I deviated from the original pattern.

  • With US 5 needles, cast on 55 STS.
  • Setup Row (WS): with MC, P to end of row.
  • Row 1 (RS): [K1, M1LP] to last ST, K1 (54 INC).

You should have 109 STS on your needles.

  • Row 2 (WS): [SL1 WYIF, K1] to last ST, SL1 WYIF.
  • Row 3 (RS): [K1, SL1 WYIF] to last ST, place marker on your needle, then slip the final stitch to the right needle. Join to work in the round. Slip the final stitch on right needle to the left needle and K2TOG (1 DEC).

You should have 108 STS on your needles.

  • Round 4: You will being this round having already worked the first ST. [P1, SL1 WYIB] to last ST, P1.
  • Round 5: [K1, SL1 WYIF] to end of RND.
  • Round 6: [K1, P1] to end of RND.

Repeat round 6, ten more times. Remove waste yarn.

Setup

Switch to larger needles, US 8.

  • Knit 1 round
  • K2, [K2, M1L] to last 2 stitches, K2.

You should have 160 STS on your needles.

  • Knit 1 round

Part 1 Shaping

Back Neck Shaping

  • Short row 1 (RS): Knit 55 STS, turn.
  • Short row 2 (WS): DS, purl to BOR, SM, purl 55, turn.
  • Short row 3 (RS): DS, knit to BOR, SM, knit to 10 stitches before DS, turn.
  • Short row 4 (WS): DS, purl to BOR, SM, purl to 10 stitches before DS, turn.
  • Resolution round (RS): DS, knit to BOR, knit one round, resolving DS as you come to them, knitting the double stitch together.
  • Knit 1 round.

Chart

Join yarn B and work rounds 1-6 of Chart.

Part 2 Shaping

German Short Rows

  • Short row 1 (RS): Knit 66 STS, turn.
  • Short row 2 (WS): DS, purl to BOR, SM, purl 66, turn.
  • Short row 3 (RS): DS, knit to BOR, SM, knit to 12 stitches before DS, turn.
  • Short row 4 (WS): DS, purl to BOR, SM, purl to 12 stitches before DS, turn.
  • Resolution round (RS): DS, knit to BOR, knit one round, resolving DS as you come to them, knitting the double stitch together.

Chart Continued

Work rounds 8-19 of Chart.

Part 3 Shaping

German Short Rows

  • Short row 1 (RS): Knit 77 STS, turn.
  • Short row 2 (WS): DS, purl to BOR, SM, purl 77, turn.
  • Short row 3 (RS): DS, knit to BOR, SM, knit to 14 stitches before DS, turn.
  • Short row 4 (WS): DS, purl to BOR, SM, purl to 14 stitches before DS, turn.
  • Resolution round (RS): DS, knit to BOR, knit one round, resolving DS as you come to them, knitting the double stitch together.

Chart Continued

Work rounds 21-35 of Chart.

Part 4 Shaping

German Short Rows

  • Short row 1 (RS): Knit 88 STS, turn.
  • Short row 2 (WS): DS, purl to BOR, SM, purl 88, turn.
  • Short row 3 (RS): DS, knit to BOR, SM, knit to 16 stitches before DS, turn.
  • Short row 4 (WS): DS, purl to BOR, SM, purl to 16 stitches before DS, turn.
  • Resolution round (RS): DS, knit to BOR, knit one round, resolving DS as you come to them, knitting the double stitch together.

You should have 272 STS on your needles.

With Yarn A, work Increase Round for your size:

  • Size 5: K1, [K15, M1L] to last stitch, K1.

You should have 290 STS on your needles.

Return to Original Pattern

Work rounds 1-17 of Chart again.

You should have 348 STS on your needles.


In retrospect, I could have spread out the German short rows between rounds 4 – 7, but I wasn’t sure if I would need to add a fifth section of German short rows or not. It turned out the way it did, and I’m OK with it.

Conclusions

I love the colorwork pattern on this sweater. It was super easy to knit, and the sweater went fast. I don’t love how long the yoke is, but if I split the sleeve and body any sooner, I would end up with a tighter-fitting sweater, and ew!

I’m not even going to talk about how BADLY the pink yarn bled when I hand-washed my sweater. I’m still bitter about that but understood that was a possibility. Dark magenta is bound to give issues.

Thank you for visiting this post and reading about my adventures!

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