Sporto by Nikol Lohr


December 2011
Worsted (9 wpi) ?
15 stitches and 22 rows = 4 inches
US 8 - 5.0 mm
US 6 - 4.0 mm
820 - 1400 yards (750 - 1280 m)
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This pattern is available for free.

Sometimes when I buy or make fiber, I know exactly what it will become, and spin the yarn accordingly. Other times, I just let the fiber spin itself. For those occasions, it’s great to have some all-purpose recipes you can fall back on. This seamless hoodie is just such a recipe. I’ve included a traditional pattern, written for a specific weight (worsted) and with specific sizes, but I’ve also included the general recipe, so you can knit it a little more freely, to the fit and length that suit your yarn or mood. Make it longer or shorter, with different edges, with or without the pocket. Once you get a feel for the basic pattern, you’ll see it really it works at any gauge and fit you like, and guidelines are given at the end for adapting to different weights.

Like all top-down raglans, the charm of this is that you can try it on as you go. Sporto starts with the hood. From there, you pick up sts and work down to your pits with raglan increases, then work the torso and the sleeves and finally, the kangaroo pocket. And since the sleeves and pocket come at the end, if you run out of yarn, you can simply shorten the sleeves or skip the pocket and be no worse off for your effort.

Sporto is a basic, any-size, unisex pattern that lends itself to personalization with shaping, edging or stitchwork. The fit as written is like a t-shirt--relaxed but not too baggy. If you prefer more of a roomy sweatshirt fit, hop up a size or two, keeping in mind that you might follow the length guidelines for your usual size.

I’ve given yardage for a light to medium worsted yarn. The bright green sample is one ply of a brightly-dyed hand-dyed Art Club combed top plyed with a solid heather combed top (Art Club Succulent); the continuous solid ply softens the color shifts and unifies the whole. The murky green sample was a two-ply spun randomly from a Decadent Fibers Jelly Roll batt. I spun it without direction, then plied it to itself. Afterwards, I eyeballed the colors to re-order the skeins so I believe they proceed as they were plied.

How much fiber you need will depend on how you spin, but on average, you’ll need a pound and a quarter spun as worsted for up to a medium, then an extra quarter to half a pound from each size up from there. If you’re spinning bulkier, you’ll need more fiber for the same size.