I belong to a couple of spinning clubs and before a larger option was available, 4 ounces was all you'd get of any fiber. Sometimes I have been shopping at a fair and 4 ounces of a handpainted top was all that was available but I had to have it anyway.
So here I am sitting with 4 ounces of yarn spun up in all these random single colorways. I wanted a sweater and not a bunch of little projects. I thought, I'm a color person, I can put this all together and it will be fabulous. I was so pleased with the sweater that I had to make another in handpainted yarn and I still plan to make another in solid commercial yarn.
It's easy enough for a relative beginner to do but the color shifts are enough to keep a veteran knitter occupied. Should you not want to do the color shifts, this sweater is just a nice simple basic top down that will work well for that.
XS [S, M, L, 1X, 2X, 3X] shown in size S with 1 inch of negative ease for the handspun short-sleeved sweater above, and Size M with 2 inches of positive ease for the handpainted long-sleeved sweater below
MATERIALS Fiber: [C1] Southern Cross Fibre [Corriedale; combed top] color: Geothermal
[C2] Spunky Eclectic [Corriedale; combed top] color: Midnight Run
[C3] 1 ply each of Spunky Eclectic [Shetland; combed top] color: Selfish and Enchanted Knoll [Mystery fiber; batts]
[C4] Southern Cross Fibre [Cheviot; combed top] color: Horizons
Short sleeve version: 4[4, 4, 4, 6, 6, 6] ounces in each color
Long sleeve version: 4[4, 4, 6, 6, 8, 8] ounces in each color
per inch: 12-14
Drafting method Short draw
used: Short sleeve version: 650[720, 800, 920, 1040, 1160, 1280] yards
Long sleeve version: 890[960, 1020, 1100, 1300, 1580, 1700] yards
Spinning Tool: Schacht Matchless; hi speed whorl 15:1 [double drive for singles and Scotch tension to ply] Niddy
Noddy: Fricke skein winder Lazy Kate: Schacht Matchless Kate
Yarns C1, C2 and C4 were spun by Amy King.
Yarn C3 was spun by Josette McWilliams.
Commercial Yarn Alternative
[C1] Spunky Eclectic Super DK [Superwash Merino; 275 yds/251 m per 100g skein] color: Mahogany
[C2] Spunky Eclectic Super DK [Superwash Merino; 275 yds/251 m per 100g skein] color: Beans
[C3] Spunky Eclectic Super DK [Superwash Merino; 275 yds/251 m per 100g skein] color: Flowering Weeds
[C4] Spunky Eclectic Super DK [Superwash Merino; 275 yds/251 m per 100g skein] color: Flannel
[EC] (edging contrast) Knitpicks Wool of the Andes [100% Peruvian Highland Wool; 110 yds/100 m per 50g ball] color: black
Both versions: 1[1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 2] skeins of each color
Recommended needle size [always use a needle size that
gives you the gauge listed below --
every knitter's gauge is unique]
1 set US#4/3.5mm double-point needles or 1 32-inch or longer US#4/3.5mm circular needle if working magic loop method
1 set US #5/3.75 mm double-point needles or 1 32-inch or longer US #5/3.75mm circular needle if working magic loop method
1 set US#4/3.5mm straight needles (optional if you work circulars flat)
1 set US #5/3.75 mm straight needles (optional if you work circulars flat)
4 stitch markers
smooth waste yarn for holding sts
separating zipper or Jul snap [shown in picture at top] or shawl pin for closure
18 sts/24 rows = 4" in stockinette stitch
PATTERN NOTES [Knitty's list of standard abbreviations and techniques can be found here.]
The handspun sweater shown at the top was knit without body shaping because it has negative ease and I planned to only use a clasp at the chest. The handpainted sweater at right uses the body shaping as described.
Please see the article for the color before choosing your yarn if you're unsure of the colors and you're working the color shifts.
Fit: If you're choosing to make the sweater with one button to be used up at the chest, I recommend it have just a little negative ease. It makes the sweater fit a little better. If you are making the sweater to button all the way down, it will look better with neutral or a little bit of ease. The measurements are there for you to decide how you prefer your sweater to fit.
Color shifting pattern
(all measurements are taken at the front opening):
Work for 4[4, 4.25, 4.25, 4.5, 4.75, 4.75] inches in C1 (start measuring after the first 6 rolled rows).
*Using C2, work 1 row.
Using C1, work 4 rows.
Using C2, work 2 rows.
Using C1, work 3 rows.
Using C2, work 3 rows.
Using C1, work 2 rows.
Using C2, work 4 rows.
Using C1, work 1 row, break C1.
Using C2, work for 3.75[4, 4.25, 4.5, 4.75, 5, 5.25] inches.*
Repeat from * to * once, replacing C1 with C2 and C2 with C3.
Repeat from * to * one more time, replacing C1 with C3 and C2 with C4.
Note: The last color pattern repeat does not include the measurement for the garter band. If you're not using a contrast color here, you will keep that in C4.
If you want a longer sweater, there are 3 options. Option 1: Increase the solid sections in C1 and C4. It will not look lopsided or off if you increase to say 4.5 or 5 inches of all that one color in those sections.
Option 2: Evenly increase the solid knit section where you're not working a color shift, by adding in extra rows. Make sure to add the same number of rows to each section. If you add 2 rows to each of the 4 sections, you're adding in a little over an inch overall.
Option 3: If you want to really elongate the sweater, work the rows as described and add in a 5th color and an extra repeat of the color shifting pattern, changing C1 for C4 and C2 for C5. If your row gauge is on target, it will add 7-8.5 inches.
Using C1 or EC and smaller needles CO 63[79,101, 127, 133, 133, 139] sts.
Rows 1-6: Starting with an RS row, work back and forth in st st for 6 rows even to create the rolled hem. If you used an EC break yarn and change to C1, otherwise continue with C1.
Change to larger needles.
Begin color shifting pattern: Row 7 [RS]: K 12[14, 17, 20, 22, 23, 25] sts, PM, work 8[11, 17, 23, 23, 20, 20] sts, PM, work 23[29, 33, 41, 43, 47, 49] sts, PM, work 8[11, 17, 23, 23, 20, 20] sts, PM, work 12[14, 17, 20, 22, 23, 25] sts to end.
Row 8 [WS]: P all sts, slipping markers as necessary.
Row 9 [RS]: *K to 2 sts before the first marker, kfb, k1, SM, k1, kfb; rep from * 3 times, k to end of row. 71[87, 109, 135, 141, 141, 147] sts. 8 sts increased.
You should have 34[38, 43, 47, 52, 56, 61] sts each for right and left fronts, 52[59, 69, 77, 83, 86, 92] sts each for right and left sleeves, and 67[77, 85, 95, 103, 113, 121] sts for back.
Divide body and sleeves: Note: twisting the 2 stitches under the arm helps eliminate the gap often caused here.
Next row [RS]: *K to one st before first marker, slip st to right hand needle without working; remove marker, slip sleeve sts to a separate circular or spare yarn to hold them for working later, remove next marker; return slipped st back to left hand needle; k the second st, PM, k first st (this is the twisted st and the marker is if you want to shape the body); rep from * one more time; k to end of row.
Make a note of which row you have reached in the color shift pattern so that you are able to resume on the correct row when you begin working the sleeves.
With the sleeves now on holders, continue to work in st st in the color shift pattern as described.
If working sweater with negative ease: work even in st st until all color shift pattern repeats have been worked and front measures 22[23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28] inches from cast-on edge. Switch to smaller needle. If you're using a EC switch to that now otherwise continue with C4. Work 1 inch in garter st. BO all sts very loosely
If working sweater with neutral or positive ease: work waist shaping as follows:
Work 1.5[2, 2, 2.5, 3, 3, 3.5] inches even in st st ending on a WS row before beg decreased for waist. Row 1 [RS]: *K to 3 sts before first side marker, skp, k1, SM, k1, k2tog; rep from * once more; k to end of row. 131[149, 167, 185, 203, 221, 239] sts. 4 sts decreased. Row 2 [WS]: P all sts. Row 3 [RS]: K all sts. Row 4 [WS]: P all sts. Row 5 [RS]: Rep Row 1. 127[145, 163, 181, 199, 217, 235] sts. 4 sts decreased.
Rep Rows 2-5 once more. 123[141, 159, 177, 195, 213, 231] sts. 4 sts decreased.
Work 2[2, 2.5, 2.5, 3, 3, 3.5] inches even in st st ending on a WS row.
Next row [RS]: *K to 1 st before first marker, M1, k1, SM, k1, M1; rep from * once more; k to end of the row. 127[145, 163, 181, 199, 217, 235] sts. 4 sts increased.
Work 5 rows even in st st.
Next row [RS]: *K to 1 st before first marker, M1, k1, SM, k1, M1; rep from * once more; k to end of the row. 131[149, 167, 185, 203, 221, 239] sts. 4 sts increased.
Rep last 6 rows one more time. 135[153, 171, 189, 207, 225, 243] sts. 4 sts increased.
Work even in st st until all color shift pattern repeats have been worked and front measures 22[23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28] inches from cast-on edge.
Switch to smaller needle.
If you're using EC, switch to that now, otherwise continue with C4. Work 1 inch in garter st. BO all sts very loosely
Sleeves (work 2 the same)
Using the color you were using at the point you divided for body and sleeves, pick up all the stitches. 52[59, 69, 77, 83, 86, 92] sts.
Work 8 rounds even.
BO all sts very loosely.
Longer sleeves: Note: If working in the color shift as described with the correct gauge, your sleeves will be just shy of where they should be for long sleeves. For three-quarter length sleeves, make the color shifts as described. For long sleeves, add 0.25 inches to the solid sections of C3 and C4. If you have added in a 5th color to the body to make that longer, I recommend that you still only do the sleeves with the 4 colors.
Using the color you were using at the point you divided for body and sleeves, pick up all the stitches, PM at the underarm before joining into the round. 52[59, 69, 77, 83, 86, 92] sts.
Rnds 1 & 2: K all sts.
Rnd 3 (Decrease rnd): K1, k2tog, work to 3 sts before marker, skp, k1. 50[57, 67, 75, 81, 84, 90] sts. 2 sts decreased.
Work Decrease rnd every 8[6, 5, 5, 4, 4, 4] rounds 11[15, 19, 21, 23, 24, 26] times.
Work even until sleeve measures 16.5[17, 17.5, 17.5, 17.5, 17.5, 17.5, 18] inches.
Switch to smaller needle. If you're using EC, switch to that now.
Work 1 inch in garter st. BO all sts very loosely.
You will have a lot of ends to weave in if you don't weave as you go. Not all are easy to weave as you go but I was able to take care of about 80% of my ends as I knit. I also usually leave my ends long and trim after blocking so there are no pesky pop throughs. So, weave in any ends that you have. Shore up the underarms if you need to.
Attached I-cord front-facing (work 2):
Using C4 or EC and larger DPNs or circular needle, pick up st at front bottom right edge of sweater, CO 4 sts using cable cast on. K 3, k2tog (knitting last st on left hand needle together with the st you picked up from the sweater to attach it). Continue in this manner up the edge of the sweater until you reach the first row of the rolled neck (you don't want to flatten that out). BO sts.
Rep for other side of sweater, beginning by picking up the 6th st from top of front top left edge of sweater.
Note: I like to add in an extra row in the I-cord every 10 rows or so to make sure it's not too tight. This is because I tend to knit my I-cord a little tight to make it roll nicer, so my row gauge on the I-cord is slightly different than the sweater. If your row gauge is the same and it looks good, then just knit one row of I-cord for each row of the sweater.
Weave in those last ends and block to size.
The handspun sweater is closed with a shawl pin or a Jul snap. The long-sleeved fully closed sweater uses a zipper for the final closure.