Hello hello! Is this thing on? I’ve finished something, and I love it so much that I’ve come to tell you about it! Here’s my not-quite-but-nearly fresh off the needles Unite Sweater, a textured, cabled dream of a happy yellow sweater!
When I first started Knitting, Seriously, it was when indie knitting patterns were really taking off, knitting blogs were everywhere and seamless sweaters seemed to be on everybody’s lips. And I embraced seamless knitting with gusto! It made lots of sense to me, especially since I was (and to an extent still am) a rather reluctant finisher of projects. Why add in another finishing step when finishing the knitting was already difficult?
Which is all to say I’ve been knitting, with varying degrees of intensity, the better part of fifteen years (how can that be true?) without ever sewing up a sweater. And you know what, that’s been absolutely fine. Occasionally, I’ve converted a flat pattern to knit it in the round. Or sometimes I’ve looked at something, and decided to give it a miss because it was seamed. There’s a big wide world of knitting patterns, and without really much effort at all, I have managed to never knit a sweater in pieces and then have to assemble it later.
When I saw the first photos from Arnall-Culliford Knitwear’s (where I’m lucky enough to work!) Something To Knit Together Winter Edition though, I really, really loved Natalie Warner‘s pullover pattern, the Unite Sweater. It had also come to my attention, despite my deep love of mustard and the numerous sweater quantities of Mustard yarn in my stash, that there was a giant, mustard-hued hole in my sweater collection. And the yarn that the pattern was designed for, Something To Knit With Aran, happens to come in the happiest mustard shade. And, in my work at ACK, I spend most of my time writing about the joys of just trying something new in your knitting. I’m sure you can see where this is all leading!
And let me tell you, I’m so glad I took the plunge. Because I am In Love with this finished sweater. I love the color. I love the texture. I love the fit. I love the fabric. Did I mention I love the color? I’m in love enough to dance around in too warm weather in it, in love enough that a little part of me is wishing away summer so I have a chance to wear it.
The knitting of it was really pleasurable, despite the fact that I had to take a pretty big break in the midst of working on it due to some issues with RSI that were not helped by cables and bigger needles. For a fabric that’s so fabulously textured, there’s actually lots of rest rows that are just plain knitting, and I found that, once I got the pattern established, I didn’t need to refer to the chart. The fabulous basketweave is great for keeping track of where you are, besides being a really nice measure of your progress. And I also really enjoyed having discrete sweater pieces to cast on and complete!
Once the pieces were all knit I did, of course, have to face the seaming. After finishing the pieces and blocking, it took me a week or two to find a chunk of time to begin, using the seaming videos Jen put together to guide me. And of course, after working myself up and worrying that I’d ruin the beautiful pieces in the sewing, I found the seaming was fine! After I got past backstitching the shoulders, I found I really actually enjoyed the mattress stitch … especially the satisfying zipping up every few inches!
So I’ve got to say, I’m a convert to seaming! I mean, I’m not going to knit nothing but seamed jumpers from here on out or anything, but I certainly wouldn’t let the fact that a pattern is seamed discourage me from knitting it! And I will say, I think this pattern was particularly good for a beginner seamer … the clever stitch pattern gives you plenty of chances to see if you’re lining things up properly. And of course, having video tutorials to go along with the pattern is a huge help! I wouldn’t have even thought to pin the pieces in place … that’s how much I didn’t know about seaming!
And, if my gushing thus far hasn’t made it totally clear, I’m absolutely thrilled with this finished object. The length of the sleeves and the body (which I made some slight mods to, details below) came out just as I hoped. The sleeves are the perfect length for keeping warm, but not being in the way! I love the warmth and drape of this fabric, and the brilliant stitch definition it’s got in this cable + texture stitch. And I can’t really put into words how happy the yellow makes me (although I can give you some idea by telling you I’ve just painted a wall in my living room basically this color).
- Pattern: Unite Sweater by Natalie Warner, available as part of the Something To Knit Together, Winter Edition eBook
- Size: 2
- Yarn: Something To Knit With Aran in Mustard (which I got through work, lucky me!). My sweater weighs in at just over 550 grams, so I used 11 skeins, plus a bit more. This yarn is at the end of its run (sniff) but the upside is you can scoop up Mustard or two lovely shades of green at a steep discount!
- Modificaitons: I knit this almost exactly as written, except for making it a bit shorter than the pattern suggested. Initially, I planned to make a super cropped version. But then I heard Natalie talking about the pattern, and the gentle a-line shaping she’d put in and how lovely and cozy it was to wear, and I decided that I wanted a warm lower torso! For the body, I worked 3 full chart repeats + 4 more rows, then started the armhole shaping, working extra decreases right before I did to keep everything working out.
Thanks, as always, for stopping by sporadic crafting journal! I hope wherever you are, you are well and have some good knitting or sewing to be getting on with! And if you’d care to share, I’d love to hear your thoughts on seaming knits in the comments!