There was a night a couple of weeks ago where I was frantically looking for something to knit. My plum Anna Vest was blocking; I’d left my marlisle hat at work; I no longer have the thumb instructions memorized for the Log Cabin Mitts, and picking up my unfinished pair wasn’t going to take up that unexpected chunk of knitting time anyway. And so on. I could have cast on a sweater, but it would have been both underconsidered (I can’t make up my mind) and wool (since that’s what I have in my stash in sweater quantities), and I obviously didn’t want to do that. So I pulled up New Favorites and scrolled through looking for something I’d been wanting for a decent amount of time and that I also had yarn for in stash, and I landed on Grete, the crazy dickey I can’t get out of my head. PERFECT. Then I remembered it’s written for bulky yarn, which I don’t have meaningful amounts of in stash. ARGH. And then it slowly dawned on me: the exquisite single-batch, toffee-hued, Oregon-raised bulky I’ve been dying to knit with. I only had one skein on my shelf at home, but I had plenty in the webshop and had set aside a pile for myself at the studio. (Hilariously, I had made this connection last spring when the pattern published but had forgotten it in the meantime.) So I cast on.
The only thing I didn’t like about knitting this was how quickly it was over. I have friends who say the thought of coffee gets them out of bed in the morning. I had one morning where I woke up thinking “the sooner I get up and get through my workday and my workout, the sooner I can knit those cables.” Although, I did extend it by making some changes and revisions and re-knits along the way.
When I first blogged about this pattern, I mentioned that I wanted the neck to be snugger, and we talked about various other mods in the comments, including putting a back on it, which I did. But I was surprised to discover when I started knitting that the neck ribbing folds down over cables, as opposed to ribbing folding onto itself, and I couldn’t imagine wearing that, so I ripped it back. In total, here are the changes I made:
– Cast on 8 sts fewer (on US8 needle) for snugger neck
– Ribbed for 8″ (instead of 10″ of half ribbing/half cables)
– Worked an increase round at the end of my ribbing to get to the original stitch count
– Instead of binding off for the back neck, put those sts on waste yarn
– Worked the front panel exactly as written, on US10 needle for main fabric
– Returned the back sts to needles and worked a back just like the front, but only two repeats of the chart
– (I’m wishing I had added another repeat or two on the front so it hits me more like the one on the model, but that’s ok — I never did check my gauge so don’t know how it compares!)
In the interim, I tried two other ideas for the back (involving stockinette and short-rows and altered stitch counts to adjust for the gauge …), thinking it might not lie flat or sit right if I didn’t account for neck shaping somehow. But that was time wasted, because this totally worked. The back flap gives it a little visual ballast, plus I couldn’t stand the thought of cold air on the strip of skin between a shirt collar and the bottom of the dickey. And while I thought it was just a visual thing, it does actually help it stay seated better as well.
I also couldn’t be happier with my yarn choice for this, the OUR Yarn, and love it most because it’s a way I can feel like I’m wearing a luscious wool turtleneck sweater in a climate that doesn’t really allow for that. And did I mention it looks amazing with my matching Log Cabin Mitts?
So I’m eager to knit another one — wider somehow to account for my broadness, and with another variation for the back — and am thinking it should be black. I’m just debating between this same yarn for that (a deep, rich black which would be gorgeous) and trying it in the intended yarn, Luft, which is a wool-cotton blend and lighter, more heathery black.
Pattern: Grete by Woolfolk Yarn, with mods listed above
Yarn: OUR Yarn from Fringe Supply Co. in toffee (8.8oz, 2.25 skeins with my mods)
Pictured with: Fringe Field Bag in waxed camo
PREVIOUSLY in Finished Objects: Plum Anna Vest (pattern now available)
Simply stunning, Karen! What a beautiful piece! I appreciate your sharing your mods!
Those are beautiful cables.
I’m mostly a sweater knitter, but every once in awhile I like a fast knit. I call them my ” instant gratification projects”. Love this one!
Love it! Such a great accessory and functional – I can always use the extra warmth this time of year.
Wow, it’s like a vertical scarf!
Ok. That’s it. I’m making some version of this. I don’t like to zip up my coats but my front and neck get cold. Yes, I have scarves, a cowl or two, but this would be perfect for cold, windy walks. Like today! (Hmmm… how fast can I knit this…?)
It’s a quickie!
Ordered my OUR yarn to 100% copy this!!
Sashay Chante! This is totally catwalk-worthy. Love it to bits!
I knit these — but not as long in the front– for my stepsister who has a dairy farm. She can’t wear a scarf b/c they get caught in machinery. The fiber just has to be superwash b/c they get filthy.
Oh my gosh, it’s so chic, and just perfect on you! (I think the length is right on the mark.) I run hot/cold on repeat all day, so I’d be taking this off/on, and making my curly hair into a huge, frizzy poodle-do, otherwise I’d TOTALLY knit one, too! I’ll just live vicariously through you instead.
It’s funny how different it is popping this off and on over your head versus dragging an entire sweater each direction. It’s almost non-existent.
I love this and I am totally with you about not liking a draught around the back of my neck.
Is gorgeous—looks great on you too! Almost have me convinced to try it in a bulky black I have in my stash.
That’s a stunning dickey, absolutely perfect for layering when temperatures are constantly changing and you never know when it’s going to be balmy or freezing. I have a dickey but in a much smaller scale, and it is so great in winter. I’m wondering though if the cables in the back would not make this just a tad too bulky under a coat. Let us know once you’ve taken it for a ride.
I have! It’s really not very bulky, and no different than having a sweater on, but without sleeves to shove into sleeves.
I need something like this to wear under a hoodie that in the colder weather I wear under a large denim lined Dickie Jacket.
I stopped wearing turtlenecks when I moved to the desert, and stopped wearing pullovers when I started experiencing…*sigh*…Personal Summers.
Can this piece be knit in DK or Fingeringweight…and without the cableing in the back?
I like your terminology there.
I just made up the back, and you could make up whatever you like for yours, but keep in mind that cables knit up at a much snugger gauge than stockinette, so if you were omitting the cables, you’d need to adjust for the difference in gauge/width. To knit it at a different gauge entirely would, like anything, just require you to do the math!
lol – “frantically looking for something to knit”
Don’t act like you don’t know what that’s like! ;)
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