First KAL of 2014 – It’s a sweater!
After 2013 was filled with many types of KAL projects, there has been something missing. Many of you have commented on this missing project. It is a sweater.
Well, sweaters are the ultimate knitterly project for sure. But honestly, choosing a sweater that suits everyone’s taste is nearly impossible. But then a Knit ‘n Needle staff member, Jennifer (twincomet on Ravelry) made a sweater for an in store sample. It has been very well received by customers. So we decided that it would be a great canditate for a sweater KAL. So that is how our choice for our first KAL of 2014 came to fruition.
The sweater is Cassis by Thea Coleman aka Baby Cocktails. Here is Jennifer’s sweater knit in The Fibre Company’s Acadia. Beautiful!
The Cassis is knit from the top down starting with the wide collar. The pattern has several ways to customize this sweater for yourself. There are two length options, hip (Jennifer’s) and long thigh length. As it is knit from the top, you can stop anywhere within the two to fit your preference. You can also make it with short or long sleeves. There are no closures and the front drapes in a very contemporary way. The sizing is such that the back should fall straight down with a little bit of ease but the fronts are sized generously to ripple slightly.
- 5 stitches & 7 rows per 1″ or 20 stitches & 28 rows over 4″ / 10cm – heavy DK & worsted yarn (called Basic Worsted in pattern)
- 4 stitches & 6 rows per 1″ or 16 stitches & 24 rows over 4″ / 10cm – heavy worsted or aran (called Basic Aran in pattern)
Note: The pattern actually has three sets of numbers, but the second set of numbers is for a specific yarn and the gauge for this yarn is the 5 stitches & 7 rows/1″ gauge. Unless you are using that yarn, you can just disregard those numbers as they are actually the same as the Basic Worsted numbers.
With the options of different body and sleeve lengths, determining needed yardage may seem a bit daunting. My suggestion to think about what type of sweater that you will actually wear or would like to have in your wardrobe. Perhaps you would like a sweater to wear over long sleeved tees and is casual, then short sleeves and a longer length would be nice. The hip length with long sleeves would be the most professional for those who need office ready garments. If you want to wrap yourself in a cozy sweater, I think the long length, long sleeves in the Basic Aran/4 stitches/1″ gauge would be perfect.
At the gauge of 5 st/in or 4 st/in, the number of yarn choices are numerous to say the least. So I am going to give you my recommendations along with a few comments on each. The most important thing to do once you have your yarn is to swatch the yarn. Some of these yarn could work at either gauge and you will need to chose which fabric you like best.
Recommended yarns available from Polka Dot Sheep for Cassis Sweater KAL
- PDS Worsted – Our Exclusive Hand Dyed Yarn, limited availability. If you see a color you like in a sweater amount, you might want to buy it because it may disappear until more is finished. This yarn could knit up to either gauge depending upon the knitter and desired fabric.
- Malabrigo Rios – I would say this is a Basic Worsted. If you knit on the lose side, it might knit at the Basic Aran gauge for you.
- Berroco Vintage – Great all around yarn, worsted, many colors available
- Berroco Ultra Alpaca – With the alpaca, this yarn would drape beautifully in the fronts. It is a light worsted so you might need to make several swatches to determine your needed needle size.
- Berroco Abode – Worsted, Lovely watercolor effect when knit up but with jewel colors.
- Berroco Remix – This yarn is a intriguing blend of 100% recycled yarn. There is no wool so if you want a sweater that is more suitable for spring or fall, this is perfect yarn. Remix also has a wonderful tweed look.
- The Fibre Company Acadia – Jennifer’s Cassis is knit in this yarn. Acadia is also a blended yarn with slubs (or little nubs) of silk throughout. If you chose this yarn, swatch very carefully especially paying attention to your row gauge. You can make adjustments to compensate for a different row gauge more easily with a top down raglan sweater.
Needles – The gauges given for this sweater fall into the range of US 6-8 (4-5 mm) for most knitters. However, I strongly suggest that you swatch to determine the necessary needle size for your yarn and knitting. The body of the sweater is knit flat using a long circular (24″ or larger / 60 cm or larger) needle or straights. The sleeves are knit in the round with double pointed needles (or with your preferred small circumference knitting method).
Pattern – Cassis by Thea Coleman available on Ravelry or in the Knit ‘n Needle Yarn Shoppe
Start Date: February 1, 2014
End Date: March 15, 2014
There will be a support thread, PDS KAL: Cassis Sweater , in our Polka Dot Sheep Ravelry Group and blog posts here. Please join us there. The Ravelry group is the best place for ongoing support, but you can also use the comments of the blog and of course if you are local the Knit ‘n Needle Yarn Shoppe is there for you too.
For local customers, I strongly encourage you to go into the shoppe and check out the Cassis sweater in person. You can purchase the pattern as well as your yarn (of course) there.
After you purchase the pattern
- Read it carefully including all notes.
- Determine the body and sleeve length you want.
- When purchasing yarn, be sure to sufficient amounts to do a nice big swatch (usually one more skein than needed for project).
- Swatch BIG in stockinette stitch (at least 5 x 5 square), measure gauge, then wash, dry lightly blocked per pattern instructions and measure gauge again (this is the one that needs to match the pattern).
My personal observations ~
- After knitting, washing, and drying your swatch, hang it from your hand at an diagonal and make sure you like how the fabric drapes. This is especially true for yarns that can be knit to either 5 st/in or 4 st/in. You might find you like the fabric at the 4 st/in gauge for the front of the sweater.
- If you think you would know what yarn you would like to use and you have a ball in your stash, swatch it up before you buy your yarn.
- If you are thinking, Angela sure is preaching the gospel of swatching here a lot, yes, yes I am. Swatching is your very good friend when making garments that fit. In fact, look for an upcoming post talking about swatching.
Thanks for reading this rather wordy introductory post. We hope you are excited to join us for this KAL as we are about hosting it. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to ask in the comments section of the blog or over in the Ravelry thread.
Happy Knitting! Looking forward to knitting and crocheting with you all this year!