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I've wanted to make this sweater for years.

I like the way this design allows everything to be seen -- except the fun parts. Fluffy bits to cover my fluffy bits, don't-cha-know.

This pattern is both easy to knit and slightly tricky. Since it's made to fit you, you'll have to work out some of the numbers yourself. So, for example, the width of the stripe of fluff will depend on how much you want to cover up. I chose 6", so that's what I've included as a base number.

photos: Song Palmese [thanks to Article Pract for the mannequin!]


Chest: 36[38, 40, 42, 44, 46, 48, 50] inches
Length: To fit



[MC] K1 C2 Douceur et Soie [70% baby mohair, 30% silk; 225yds/202.5m per 25g skein];
color #8549 Deep Garnet; 1[1, 2, 2, 2, 2, 3, 3] skeins
[CC] Muench Yarns Esprit [100% Nylon; 88yds/79.2m per 50g skein];
color #24 Dark Red; 1[1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 2] skeins

1 set US #13/9mm straight needles
24 inch (60cm) US #13/9mm circular needle
3 yds sheer ribbon in complimentary color
tapestry needle
2 stitch holders
126[134, 140, 148, 154, 162, 168, 176] 4mm beads

flat-backed beads (cabochons)
fabric glue



2.5 sts/3.5 rows = 4" in stockinette stitch using MC


Measure yourself:
Before you begin knitting, measure how wide you'll want to make the stripe. Stand in front of a mirror. Holding the top of the measuring tape at the highest point you'll want covered, drape the tape down over the fullness of your bust. Then, drop your hand down the tape to the lowest point you want covered. This is the total width of the stripe of Esprit. Before you put away the tape, see how far down from the stripe you want to have the bottom of the sweater. Mine hits me just at the top of my hip, but you might want it longer or shorter. Note both the measurement from top of stripe to the bottom of the stripe and the measurement from the top of the stripe to the bottom of the sweater. Subtract the stripe width from the total and you have how many inches you should knit before you start the stripe. You'll also need to measure the total length from your underarm to the bottom of the sweater, over the fullest part of your bust. This tells you how many inches you need to knit above the stripe. In my case, that measurement was 1.5 inches.

Beads & stringing techniques:
I used czech firepolished crystals. Go to your local bead store with the yarn you'll be using; it's easier to match bead color to yarn than the reverse.

Casting on is done with the beads in the cast-on stitches, and requires concentration. After that, the sweater is fairly easy to knit. Most beads of the size called for in this pattern come pre-strung on plain cotton thread. You will need to string the beads onto the yarn before you cast on. The easiest way is to use the cotton thread the beads are on as a bridge to the Douceur et Soie.

Carefully untie the knot in the cotton thread.
Tie an overhand knot in the cotton thread and before you tighten it, stick several inches of the MC yarn through it.
Tighten up the overhand knot. You should have the cotton thread knotted around the yarn.
Now carefully draw a bead down toward the knot. You will be able to pull the bead over the knot and down onto the yarn. This will feel precarious at first, but will get easier (and less nervewracking!) with practice. After a few beads are strung onto the yarn, you should be able to draw groups of beads over the knot at a time. I usually bring beads over in groups of 5; it's easier for me to keep count that way.

If your beads don't come pre-strung, there's a way to do this same thing with a sewing needle and thread. Cut several feet of sewing thread. Tie a knot in one end, knotting it around the yarn as given for pre-strung bead thread above. Then, thread the other end of the thread through the needle and scoop up beads onto it and over the knot onto the yarn. Continue as above with pulling the beads over the knot and onto the yarn.

Beaded Loop Cast On
Make a slip knot 6 inches from the end of the yarn. Then slide a few of the beads down near the needle. Leave a few inches between the beads and the needle. Using that few inches, slide one bead down to the needle, then twist the yarn once (making a loop) and put that loop on the needle. Slide another bead down to the needle and make another loop. Continue this way until you have cast on the correct number of stitches. Make sure there is a bead between every cast on stitch. You will need to be careful when you knit this first row, but after this it's all easy.

I know this sounds scary, but it's really easy -- and quick. And, this is the hardest part of the whole sweater, so once you're done with this, the rest is easy as pie.


String 90[96, 100, 106, 110, 116, 120, 126] beads onto MC.
CO 90[96, 100, 106, 110, 116, 120, 126] sts using a loop cast on and catching one bead in each CO loop.

K1 row.
Join and work in st st until piece measures at least 6 inches from beg or to your chosen length.
Change to CC and work in st st for 5 inches or to your chosen length.
Change to MC and work in st st for 1.5 inches or to your chosen length.
Break yarn, leaving a 6 inch tail. Leave sts on needle.

Sleeves (make 2)
String 18[19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25] beads onto MC.
CO 18[19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25] sts using a loop cast on and catching one bead in each CO loop.
Working back and forth in st st, inc one st at each edge every 4th row to 36[38, 40, 42, 44, 46, 48, 50] sts.

Work even in st st until piece measures 14[14, 15, 15, 16, 17, 17, 18] inches from beg.
Place all sts on a holder.

With MC, k across 45[48, 50, 53, 58, 60, 63] sts from body. *Leaving first 4 sts of one sleeve on holder, k to last 4 sleeve sts. Place rem 4 sleeve sts on holder. Place next 8 sts from body on a holder* and k 45[48, 50, 53, 58, 60, 63] sts from body.
Rep from * to *. (130[ 141, 148, 159, 158 169, 176, 187] sts)

Join and work in st st, in the round for 2 inches.
Next rnd (dec rnd): *K1, k2tog rep from * to end. (86[93, 98, 105, 104, 111, 116, 123] sts)
Work even in st st for 2 inches.
Rep dec rnd. (57[61, 64, 69, 69, 74, 77, 81] sts)
Work even in st st for 0.5 inches.
Break yarn, leaving a 6 inch tail. Leave sts on needle.


Thread 3 yards of ribbon onto tapestry needle. Carefully draw ribbon through all sts on needle, leaving equal lengths at beg and end. Cut ribbon ends to desired length.
Seam sleeves.
Use Kitchener St or 3 needle BO to close armholes.

Optional: use fabric glue to fasten cabochons to ends of ribbon. If not using cabochons, tie an overhand knot at each end of ribbon.



Song Palmese lives in Oakland, where she does daily battle with her two creative cats, very bouncy daughter, crotchety husband and bossy guinea pig.

She has started up a design business and is planning on making 2004 a big year for SongBirdGifts.