All of my thoughts and knitting process notes for this fantastic pullover (my last finish of 2016) are covered in my Q&A post about it, but for those of you who want all of the stitch counts and other nitty-gritty details, those are below. And in addition to “modeled” shots for FOs this year, I’m making an effort to do outfit ideas for them too — so here’s the first round of that (below)! For these photos, though, I opted to throw it on with my oldest and dearest.
The only thing not noted previously, I think, is that my starting point was that I wanted the neck and cuffs and hopefully the waist band to be black. Ideally, the underarms would also have been black, but there was no way for that to work without some less acceptable compromise on another factor, so I just kept the armholes deep enough that the fabric is not up against my underarms at all. Also, technically, I should have been switching to an ivory stripe at the point where the cuffs happen, but decided to just extend them in the black, and I love the way that worked out. I wish I had gone a tiny bit longer on the final waist/hem stripe to lend a little more visual weight there, but it’s all good!
I want to say thank-you one more time to Shibui for giving me this yarn for the Top-Down Knitalong (plus one of the WIP of the Week prizes). This fabric is just incredible — light and thin and soft and warm all at the same time — and I am thrilled to have this sweater in my closet.
You can scroll through all of my posts on this sweater here, Instagram posts here, and fave it on Ravelry if you’re so inclined. Again, process notes are here, and stitch counts and other blow-by-blow details are below.
Pattern: Improv (top-down tutorial)
Yarn: Pebble from Shibui, held double; approx 6 skeins Ivory and 6 skeins Abyss
Cost: free pattern + complimentary yarn = $0
(yarn would have been $228 had I paid for it; the most expensive sweater in my closet, and I would consider it money very well spent)
5.75 sts and 8.5 rows = 1 inch (measured over 4″ = 23/34) knitted on US6/4mm
42″ chest = 242 sts
13″ upper arm circumference = 74 sts
9″ yoke/armhole depth (76 rows)
13.5″ body length (includes 2″ hem ribbing)
22.5″ total length
16.5″ sleeve length from underarm (includes 2″ cuff ribbing)
8″ cuff circumference
— Co 68 sts divided thusly: 1 | 14 | 38 | 14 | 1
— On row 1, increased one stitch at each raglan marker for a basting stitch
— Increased (kfb) at front neck and in pairs at each raglan on every other row
— Worked neck shaping until 2″ of depth, cast on to bridge the gap and join, then worked a few more rounds so first stripe was 2.5″ at the back (and neckband would be fully enclosed in a black stripe)
— Continued increasing sleeve and body sections to 12 sts short of target counts, worked even to intended yoke depth, then cast on the 12 sts at each underarm
— Each yoke/body stripe (in the round) is 21 rows; but sleeve stripes are 22 rows each — to add some length and because sleeves were knitted flat
— Increased a few times along the side seams for A-line shape (and included basting stitch at each side seam)
— Decreased sleeves gradually from 74 to 68 sts, then on final row before starting the cuff ribbing decreased to 50 sts
— Picked up 88 sts for neckband (approx 3 out of 4) on US5/3.75mm, worked to double length for foldover band; to ensure no tightness due to fairly small neck hole, worked final two rib rounds on US9/5.5mm then did sewn BO, before loosely whipstitching to the cast-on edge on the inside
PREVIOUSLY in FOs: My sewing year in review
this sweater is so amazing, it’s a black and white striped sweater but somehow you made it so fresh and I’m sure it feels like a dream. you look like the kind of lady I would want to talk to after our art class!
I love this!! I have yet to do an adult sweater. This may be my first try! Thanks for al the detailed notes.
Read through the tutorial and see if it all makes sense to you — if you’ve knitted baby sweaters, it probably will. And there’s also Pullovers for First-timers to look at: https://fringeassociation.com/2013/11/21/pullovers-for-first-timers-or-an-introduction-to-sweater-construction/
It’s looked great in the all photos so far, but it 100% looks its best when you’re wearing it. Love the modeled shots (gorgeous, truly!) and finding myself so stoked for you that you have this sweater in your closet!
I was thinking of you the whole time I was weaving in the ends. There were so many I just left it lying on my worktable and I weave in a few each morning — and actually one sleeve is still not done! And mine was NOTHING compared to yours!
The ends on mine were a project all on their own!! I’m working on some striped socks for C at the moment with sock yarn leftovers, changing colors every 8 rounds… and even they feel like work when it comes to the ends. I love my KAL sweater though. It was worth it!
Oh my god I LOVE THIS. It’s so simple and so good and I think the placement of the black bands is just perfect.
It’s all about the math!!!
Great job, I bet this one lives with you for years, it’s really a solid staple!
Fabulous – it looks really great on you! Perfect modern casual, but I can imagine it even more elegantly styled (with some black culotte or similar). Seems as it was worth changing your plans. Well done!
This turned out absolutely beautifully! It’s so classic and I love the size of the stripes! Wonderful!! :)
Wow Karen, looks great on you! Would be fun to knit another in a more subtle stripe combo like ivory/light gray or ivory/camel!
If I had the patience to knit at this gauge again anytime soon, there’d already be another one on my needles! I would love to have it in multiples.
Well done, you!
This sweater is perfect for you and you look so happy wearing it. Bravo!
Looks impossibly good on you Karen – you nailed it!
I really love this and you’re making me reconsider fingering weight but using larger needles. This is absolutely lovely and such a great staple for your wardrobe.
It’s held double, remember. I have seen this yarn knitted single on 6s, but my sweater is doubled.
Yes, which is another reason to make me consider trying it. I absolutely love how the finished product looks.
Lurvly x 1,000! This makes my day, the whole thing. If you find it missing, you’ll know where to look.
At least I won’t have to go far.
Placing the black at cuffs and hem is so smart! ( hate it when they show dinge) The neckline is my favorite…it almost reads like a shallow yoke, and frames your smiling face beautifully!
First of all YOU are gorgeous! That sweater is pretty amazing too! XOXO
Love LOVE the sweater and the styling. Speaking of styling – can you share details on those fabulous shoes?
They’re from Everlane. I love them.
Oh, my goodness, this sweater is amazing! Such thoughtful design decisions. You look so great in it, too! Both you AND the sweater are gorgeous. WELL DONE!
Perfect in every way! And I really love the A-line, slouchy styling. Thanks so much for sharing the details.
Beautiful, simply beautiful. It really is a classic; can be dressed up or down. It looks great on you and works so well with your other favorites. Great job!
Fabulous sweater and photos! Brava!!
Beautiful sweater, so versatile and easy to wear:) It would be a basic in my own closet! I really like the detail of the larger black stripe on the cuffs, such a small thing but it makes this sweater even better!
It’s stellar, and you are a great model!
Brilliant, classic sweater! Thank you for being such an inspiration for us all. I have a question: you seem to be an advocate of holding fiber double, even triple. Can you explain why/when you favor this choice, please? I see that Pebble is fingerling and suspect that the fabric would have been too light for the vision of the sweater you had, but I want to be sure. Does holding the fiber double maintain the drape of a lighter weight, while adding more substance to the finish? Thanks again for raising the bar.
There are a lot of fingering-weight yarns I want to knit with, but I don’t have the attention span to knit a sweater at fingering gauge. But generally speaking, holding yarns together vastly expands your options of what you can knit with and what you can achieve — from marls and fades to fiber blends not found in a single yarn, etc. Shibui is actually built around the idea of holding yarns together — they design their yarns to be mixed and matched for different weights and fabrics.
Wow, what a superb FO to round up the year!
Can I ask, did you use a jogless stripe technique for this? I’m starting to hatch a plan for a red/white/dark green striped Christmas sweater for next year, so any suggestions would be gratefully received.
I did all of the color changes at the basting stitch, so the jog disappears into the seam.
Aha, cunning, thank-you.
You look so beautiful and happy in it! =)
Clearly you and stripes were meant to be! We should all be careful here – don’t want you to get that sweater stuck on a new head size. Happy New Year.
Ha! Especially since I already cut it pretty close with the size of the neckhole. ;)
Wow, you have a beautiful smile! The sweater is fabulous, but that smile steals the show…
it looks great! and look at all those outfit possibilities!
Looks terrific on you, Karen! Such an inspiration. Love the lipstick…and the big smile too!
Beautiful! (and I also echo the compliments to the model–lovely! and *great* lipstick shade!)
Such a dream of a sweater! I enjoyed seeing your process and look forward to the day that I have the brain space to tackle something like this too.
This is the perfect sweater! I really wish I could knit more than circles and rectangles!
You can! Take a look at the Beginning to Knit page for lots of advice and pattern recs for growing your skills — https://yarnoverdotme.wordpress.com/beginning-to-knit/
This sweater is absolutely awesome! Classic and Modern all at the same time. Love it on you! You look great!
Truly well done. And you look GREAT! Bravo!
It’s a great sweater. Just one question on the measurement. You are saying 42″ target measurement for the chest. Can I assume that this include ease and if so how much ease is included ?
42″ is the actual size of the finished sweater. The actual size of my bust is about 34.5″ — so that’s 7.5″ of positive ease.
It looks like a luxurious J.Crew staple, a classic that will always be on trend. Hope you don’t mind me comparing it to a retail item – I feel super happy when people look at one of my knits and ask where I bought it. Love the ivory and black, it suits you and it goes with everything.
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Incredible. Very well done Karen!
What a totally lovely sweater!
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I love this sweater so much I’m totally copying it. The yarn is amazing. Where did you start the first round of the white stripe ? As to not get a jogged stripe in the center of the front? Thanks!
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Love this sweater and plan to copy it! Do I see it correctly that you made „k2p2“ ribbing? Was this also the case with the neckband?
Yep! And there’s some deeper detail on what I did with the raglans here: https://fringeassociation.com/2016/12/20/top-down-knitalong-fo-no-3-karen-templer/
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