I’m going to turn this sweater into a zip-up cardi. I will work it in the round then steek it down the middle. I will make it shorter than the pattern to accommodate a short torso.
A - 86 Beige (main colour)
A (alt) - 0051 White - to be used as flashes of colour in the colourwork.
B - 9964 Yellow
C - 9972 Ecru
FMI: Work size XL due to tight knitting tension? Hem ribbing= 5.5mmN. Body= 6.5mmN. Sleeve= 7mmN. Yoke might need to be knitted loosely on 6.5, or go up to 7mm due to tight tension when doing colourwork.
10th Feb 2017: Quit stalling and get on wivvit!!
Ok, having studied the pattern extensively, swatched and re-swatched test pieces, I have come to the conclusion that this sweater is not going to work for me. It is a man’s sweater and for some reason the hem circumference is unbelievably narrow, I wonder if it would even fit my husband!
I don’t trust the pattern’s tension either. My gauge is way off! This means that I would not only have to go up 2 needle sizes, but I’d have to follow size XL to make sense of the numbers.
I’m not comfortable with following the pattern as it is, but I do like the design, therefore I’m going to reverse-engineer it by working it from the top down. I will modify it by making it into a zip-up cardi. By doing it this way, the Icelandic yoke design will change somewhat.
Gah! I’ll just make it up as I go along!
February 20, 2017: I’m on the right track - yay!
Well, who’d have thought that reversing an Icelandic yoke chart would be so easy? I measured my neck circumference and added about 2” of ease. This gave me approx 65 sts. A great deal of jiggery-pokery was required to make sure the repeat patterns started and ended at the right place - not only remembering that I’ve allowed an extra 5 sts in the centre front as my steeking strip.
Where the pattern shows decreases, I replaced them with increases using KFB. I am using 4 colours and not 3, so the colour order and placement is heavily modified. By getting the difficult part of the construction nailed down first, it means that the rest will be so much easier.
Somehow, by doing it this way, it all made sense. I can’t see why more Icelandic sweaters are not made this way.
March 1, 2017: Looking OK so far, but…
…my tension has gone into ‘ultra-murderous’ mode! The plain stockinette body is looking a little bit small. This is fine if I want it to be more fitted at the waist, but I’ve got no ‘waist’ to speak of, so accentuating a flat panel is not going to work for me! Maybe I can expand this when I come to block it. If not, then I’ll have to cut out the stockinette portion and re-knit it, then graft the bottom bit to the colourwork section.
(sigh!) Yes, I do like to make my life difficult!
March 5, 2017: Gulp!
There’s a reason why many people don’t bother knitting ‘on the hoof’ like this, because it can be a minefield of errors and pitfalls! In this case my extremely tight tension had lost me about 1.25 inches in the body circumference. In addition to that, I was a little too generous with the sleeve allowance, which may be the main reason why the body circ is tighter than expected.
I am an inventor, if nothing else, so I’m aiming to find a solution… and this is it: Thankfully the sleeve allowance is not a major problem, so I will simply do a few rapid decreases to get around that. To make up for the loss in body circ, I’ve PUK for the front band and made them a bit longer than I had planned to. The zip will be attached to that, so I will have made up for the lost circ at the front of the body.
I think we’re onto a winner!
March 8, 2017: The home straight
My sleeves (at upper arm) were going to be larger than expected so I ripped back and tackled this by doing a few rapid decreases and used 6.5mm needles instead of 7mm as planned. This seemed to work out well. My arms are so long, it takes me about the same time to knit a whole sweater as it does to knit one sleeve! For the lower sleeve, I mirrored the same zigzag design.
Blocking: After weaving in all the ends, I put it in a lukewarm bath to soak. I added a bit of woolwash and hair conditioner, a protein-rich type that should only be used for treatments and should only be used sparingly…. I may have poured in a little too much because the fibres are blooming all over the place! Got to admit though, the fabric is REALLY SOFT now! I left it to dry directly on the dress form so that if it does shrink, it won’t get any smaller.
March 13, 2017: Let’s cut that sh!t up!!
Cutting the steek wasn’t as scary as it seemed. I didn’t need to reinforce the steek first either, because the yarn bloomed like a crazy thing, there’s no chance in the world of any of those stitches coming loose! After steeking I hand sewed the flaps to the inside using a tapestry needle and the main colour yarn. The zip was hand sewn to the ribbing - a slow process, but much better and neater than machine-stitching it in place.
I love it! It fits my frame surprisingly well. I suspect that having dried it on the dressform helped to create the perfect fit. I even expected the yarn to itch me madly, but it doesn’t irritate me at all. The fabric is warm and firm… perhaps a bit too fluffy, but I’m sure that it will calm down once I’ve worn it a few times.