Based on a True Sweater

Apr. 24, 2008

Colour-Block Sweater

Believe it or not, I've got knitting to blog about. Quite a lot of it, actually; this is just the first sweater. I'll be blogging other finished projects in the next few days.

Colour-Block Sweater

I actually finished this sweater last fall, and have worn the hell out of it (I'm sure you can see pilling in the photos). I'm not sure why it took me so long to photograph it. It's knit from Jo Sharp Classic DK Wool, one of my very favourite yarns; this is the third sweater I've knit from it so far.

Colour-Block Sweater

I could not have made this sweater with a straight face; it was a stash-busting project, something to knit for fun and wear around the house. It languished for a long time, at one point I put it aside with only one sleeve to go. I wasn’t sure if I would ever finish it. I thought it was laughably (if pleasingly) ugly.

Colour-Block Sweater

Then I showed it to my friend Tara, who looked at it with a straight face and thought it was gorgeous. After getting her fresh perspective on it I picked it up again and finished it, and now I love it and wear it frequently.

Colour-Block Sweater

I planned the shape of the sweater, but made up the colour pattern as I went along. The finishing was incredibly intense. After a false start or two, I came up with a labour-intensive seaming technique to give me the coloured seams I wanted. I tried several different collar solutions before deciding on the I-Cord-trimmed version I used. For weaving in ends, I split each strand into two plies and wove them in in separate directions using a sharp needle. There’s one point in the sweater where I had tried knitting the ends in as I went, but it wasn’t a very satisfactory result; it seems I’ve become very uptight about finishing details!

Colour-Block Sweater

Considering that I usually knit sweaters in the round using one colour of yarn, this was quite a departure. It was a lot of fun though, and I want to do it again. I'm thinking of writing a pattern to sell that's made in a similar way: worked in pieces with an intarsia pattern and coloured seams. It won't be random blocks like this because holy crap, what a nightmare that would be to chart and size. I'm still rolling ideas for it around in my head.


At 7:45 a.m., Blogger Gina said...


At 10:06 a.m., Blogger Teresa said...

I love colorwork and I love this sweater!! If you write up a pattern I'll snap it up in moments flat!

Very. Cute.

At 1:38 p.m., Blogger Deb said...

I Love it too! It's wonderful! Do tell the secret of the coloured seams-

At 5:26 a.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

that sweater is so pretty. normally i'd be put off by something like this, but it looks gorgeous.

At 3:09 p.m., Anonymous Ande said...

Love it! I especially like how the orange gets to bring it all together! You do such lovely work!

At 9:54 a.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love it!!

i want a sweater like that


At 12:57 p.m., Anonymous Laura said...

It's absolutely stunning!

At 6:01 p.m., Blogger knitty_kat said...

beauty is IN the detail! I would absolutely buy a pattern of this magnitude (and I don't buy often). I'm glad you finally got around to sharing this one!

At 12:55 a.m., Blogger Tora said...

This is gorgeous!!!

At 8:35 a.m., Blogger Judy B said...

Gorgeous sweater. It looks like a vintage 1930's design.

At 4:05 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is more of a question than a comment.
I am knitting themagic halter top on the More Big Girl Knits book. I have come tothe upper body decreases and the math does not add up.
From the total stitch count at row 2 to the amount of stitches after 20 rows of decreases at each end (rows 3 & 4), it comes to 36 stitches not 18. This mistake throws everything after that totally off.
Could you please recompute and email me the corrections, at least for the 3X size.
My email addy is purpleiris@elkif.com
Thanking you in advance for your help,

At 1:40 p.m., Blogger Jas said...

Hey Mandy, this sweater is awesome, and so are you! Your forthcoming book too! Woot!

At 8:30 a.m., Blogger Esther said...

Hi Mandy - hope you are well. I'm finishing a sweater in one colourway, 3 weights of yarn, and want to do a contrast stitch colour to seam. Are you open to sharing your technique? I love the way this sweater looks that you've designed.

Hope to hear from you soon, one way or the other.


Post a Comment

<< Home