Adventures in Sweater Construction
I love my modified Stopover sweater ... and I loved knitting it so much that I promptly bought several sweater quantities of lopi yarn. Naturally, life intervened and more lopi sweaters weren't knit, until now.
Not content with most of the other options out there, I decided to go wild. This sweater is knit from the top-down, with a v-neck instead of the traditional round neck of a lopi sweater (and most other yoked sweaters, for that matter).
The inspiration came from Ragga Eiríksdóttir's Craftsy class, Top-Down Icelandic Sweaters. The punchline is really just that you start at the top of the sweater instead of the bottom, which gives you more flexibility (I think) on things like body and sleeve length. It's a great class, because Ragga is wonderful, and it's always interesting to see how other knitters work out design problems.
But if there's one thing I hate about cardigans, it's cardigans with straight fronts instead of v-necks. The corners always flop against my neck and make me nuts. My last attempt at fudging a v-neck with the Stopover didn't go quite as planned, so I knew this one had to be a real v-neck. I used my gauge on the Stopover as a starting point, and a mashup of Ann Budd's Handy Book of Top-Down Sweaters and things I remember from Elizabeth Zimmerman to do the shaping.
For the v-neck, I basically increased on both edges on every other row. Next time I'd do it once every three rows instead, but what I ended up with works perfectly well.
The sweater is steeked, which seems to be my M.O. these days because, less purling! Then I picked up stitches and made a pretty standard button/neck band. I like having odd numbers of buttons generally, and eagle eyes will notice seven buttons in the pictures above. But that top button just seemed too high up, so I snipped it off after the photos were taken. That means there's an extra buttonhole without a button, but that's a minor detail I can happily live with, especially since the yarn is so hairy it's hard to see the buttonholes!
I improvised the colorwork pattern, which is really a starting point for what I had in mind. Next time!
I did end up having to add length to the sleeves because when I tried the sweater on for sleeve length, I forgot to bend my elbow (like you do when looking at a watch). I found myself tugging at the sleeves, meaning they were too short. Luckily, with the top-down construction, adding length was super simple - just undo the cast-off, knit some more, and it's done!
All in all, this was a fun - and quick! - project. When you usually work on size 4 needles or smaller, size 9 makes for a speedy knit!
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