Finished Object: Ballad Pullover

I’ve finished a sweater, and I don’t want to take it off!

This is the Ballad Pullover (that’s a Ravelry link) by Sari Nordlund, the bulky cousin to her very popular Poet Sweater (as is that). I was smitten with this sweater from the first moment I saw it as a WIP on the designer’s Instagram feed. I love the look of a chunky lace motif, and, as luck would have it, I already had a sweater quantity of the De Rerum Natura Cyrano used in the pattern sample (even down to the same color) in my stash. Sometimes being a yarn hoarder really pays off!

The knitting of this was satisfyingly quick because: bulky yarn! The lace pattern, while not memorizable (for me at least) was fun to work. The lace body flew off the needles. The sleeves, knit in plain stockinette, were excellent Zoom knitting … I didn’t even have to anchor at sleeve island!

The yarn itself was really pleasant to handle. I was prepared to be pleased: I’ve knit with Ulysse (sport weight) and Gilliatt (worsted) from De Rerum Natura and love them both. Cyrano has the same light heathered base, giving the colors some wonderful complexity. Its strands are plump and have lots of energy — the yarn feels a bit bouncier than its lighter weight siblings. The resulting fabric is warm while not feeling too heavy — I love a woollen spun yarn!

And I have to say I am absolutely in love with the finished result! This pullover has the comforting coziness of a sweatshirt but feels, of course, a bit more special. I love the very gentle light pink with its gray undertones … I’ve not got anything this color in my wardrobe, but it works really well with the things I reach for the most!

Full details and modifications

So as I mentioned, this is the Ballad Pullover by Sari Nordlund, knit in De Rerum Natura Cyrano in the Quartz colorway. I knit the Size 2. I mostly knit the pattern as written, with the exception of swapping the called for 1×1 rib for 2×2 rib on the sleeves and collar. When I came to the bottom of the body, the 2×2 rib was not aligning nicely at all with the lace pattern, so there’s 3×2 rib along the bottom hem. Perhaps I should have just stuck with the 1×1 rib, but I’m never happy with how mine looks (despite trying some fixes for tidier 1×1 rib). I also, unusually, added a bit of extra length to the body. If I’d worked to the pattern measurements, it would have come out fairly cropped, which I didn’t want for this jumper. Despite adding length, I used far less yarn than the pattern called for for my size. My FO clocks in at 480 grams, just under five balls of yarn, leaving me with a ball untouched (and, if I’d followed the pattern’s yarn suggestions, I’d actually have two balls left). Your mileage of course, may vary, but if you’re thinking of knitting this, you might also get away with using a bit less yarn than the pattern suggests.

A lovely pattern and a finished object I love — no surprise that I’ve got plans to cast on for another one of Sari Nordlund’s patterns directly. I’ve already got a ball of yarn wound for Helmi (Ravelry link) which I’m hoping will be the perfect sweater to go with my finished Persephone Pants! This project has also reminded me that I’d really like to knit Donna Smith’s Peerie Leaves Jumper from the Shetland Wool Week Annual. It’s another lace body with stockinette sleeves pullover, but in DK weight, so it’d be nice for spring and autumn!

And that, my friends, is just about all I have to say about my first sweater cast off of 2021! But, inspired by the current sea shanty craze (is it still current? I’m not on TikTok so learn about these things through watching the morning news … perhaps a sign it’s already over?), I’ve written a short ballad for my Ballad Jumper. And if you fancy reading more about sea shanties (including some chat about why the folklore songs and knitting are both enjoying some newfound popularity), you can check out this short article (probably another sign that the craze is coming to an end — academics are writing about it!). I’ll leave you with this bit of silliness, and hope that, wherever you are, you’re doing well!

The Ballad of the Ballad Jumper

There was once a sweater fair
By Sari Nordlund, a designer of knitwear
I thought it was something I’d like to wear
So I set my needles knitting

I had the yarn in my capacious stash
And the chunky stitches worked up fast
So before all that much time had past
I had finished the knitting

I blocked it and then put it on
I loved it and wore it all week long
And now I know it couldn’t be wrong
To find another Sari sweater to be knitting!

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