Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Icelandic Yoke Pullover

Icelandic Yoke Sweater 008-3

Pattern: Inspired by the Icelandic Yoke Sweater from The Opinionated Knitter by Elizabeth Zimmermann

Yarn: Morehouse Merino 3-Strand

Needles: US 7 24" Addi Turbos

Recipient: Lorin

Notes: My niece is a character. More than two years ago, when I was visiting my mom and my sister still lived in the area, I was working on some knitting and she asked whether I would let her try a couple of stitches. After a bit of talking through, she picked it up and completed about five stitches. I then resumed knitting and she resumed watching cartoons. A couple of months ago we were talking on the phone, and somehow knitting comes up. "I can knit," she claimed. "You can? How did you learn?" I asked. "Auntie Jessica, YOU taught me. Don't you REMEMBER??" During that same conversation, she asked me for a sweater for her seventh birthday (if she's such the expert knitter, I joke, she could knit her own sweater. "Don't be SILLY, Auntie Jessica."). I am left with no instructions other than her measurements and that her favorite color is purple.

And here it is. I went through three different yarn purchases trying to find just the right purple, at just the right gauge for this sweater. Since it's a kid sweater, Knitpicks was my first choice. But Wool of the Andes was too thin and the purple shade of Sierra was hardly purple, or if it is, it is an Elderly Purple. Enter Morehouse Merino. The colors are simply unbeatable - a similar range to Lamb's Pride, but much, much less scratchy. Not exactly affordable, but hey, the kid will wear the sweater a while, and it's her birthday present.

And lo and behold, despite being made from across the nation, it fits! The sweater was finished enough when I visited last week to try it on:

lorin's sweater 1 lorin's sweater 2

You can tell it's unfinished because you can see Ms. Busy Hands playing with the yarn ends in the first photo. The sweater grew a bit on blocking, but it will definitely still fit. Added room in a kids sweater just means one more season of wear, anyway.

About design. The Icelandic Yoke Pullover, #14 from The Opinionated Knitter by Elizabeth Zimmermann was the starting point. This was the easiest sweater I've ever made. Totally in the round, no shaping (what kid really needs shaping?), with a relatively simple stranded yoke to keep things interesting:

Icelandic Yoke Sweater 006-1

The yoke is a modification of elements from the EZ original and some from my own imagination - extremely, extremely simple. This will tell you exactly how simple: the first (bottom) motif I'd charted out beforehand (as you saw in a previous post), but the others I literally made up as I went along. This is not organized knitting, Dear Readers. This is not fastidious, detail oriented, brilliantly structured and planned colorwork. This is Stranded Knitting for the Lazy Person.

Lorin's sweater yoke

I've never done colorwork with a single-ply yarn before - it's not quite as neat and orderly as the Dale-alikes I've used in the past, but I enjoy the rustic look it produces.

So, there it is. Happy Belated Birthday, Ms. Lorin! One sweater coming your way very, very soon.

[x-posted at Fig and Plum]


  • congratulations on a super sweater: excellent fit, really great color choice. And she is happy!

    By Blogger Me, at 7:38 AM  

  • Super job! And the purple is wonderful! She looks super happy with it!

    By Anonymous Lori, at 9:55 AM  

  • OH LOVE IT! its gorgeous and very inspiring!

    By Blogger sogalitno, at 10:21 AM  

  • Just gorgeous. That violet is just the right touch.

    By Blogger Judy, at 10:39 AM  

  • Hooray! It came out beautifully! And the recipient looks well pleased, as she should. I wore a sweater my aunt made me when I was Lorin's age until the sleeves were all Herman Munster and the hem didn't come to my navel anymore. It was a sad day when I had to accept that I'd outgrown it, and I'm sure Lorin will feel the same way about her Icelandickish Yoke.

    By Blogger Sarah / Blue Garter, at 10:45 PM  

  • Love the Sweater!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:13 AM  

  • That is so nice - and supercute for your supercute niece! Lucky girl!

    By Anonymous tiennie, at 12:34 AM  

  • thanks, all! i'm shipping it off to her this weekend; i hope she likes it!

    By Blogger Jessica / Fig & Plum, at 6:47 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger KnuttyKnitter, at 12:22 PM  

  • Um, absolutely fabulous! I LOVE love love the color choices and your fair isle is wonderful! I'm inspired....

    By Blogger KnuttyKnitter, at 12:24 PM  

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