Knitwear Designer//Pattern Drafter//Author//Teacher

Dorchester Pullover

Interweave Knits SPRING 2016 issue.  This pullover was such a departure from my usual design style/aesthetic, but I loved the process and the end product.  I'm not really one for knitting modular-style garments; it makes me think of the 90's vests worked up in variegated yarns and pieced together mitered squares... you know what I'm talking about.  However, we modern knitters have been knitting modular garments and accessories that are far from those "classics"!  I started with nailing down a shape to focus on as my small modular piece that would be my building block.  I wasn't too keen on the idea of a simple scallop, so I just threw in some simple stockinette triangles.  Bam. A new layer of texture and dimension was born.

The real departure for me though was the construction.  This pullover is actually SEAMED.  I know, shocking. The front panel of modular scallops is worked in once piece, then the body is worked flat in once piece from the bottom up, and the sleeves are worked in the round from the cuff up before continuing flat for the raglan shaping.  I wrote the pattern with a slipped stitch selvedge on the body and raglan sections and had initially included seaming instructions for the crochet join.  Somehow these instructions didn't make the final cut in editing.  Sigh.

So, why the crochet join?  It's fast.  It's sturdy.  It allows stretch and flexibility.  If you've never worked up a crochet join or if the word "crochet" makes your knitterly bones shudder, here is a link to a great tutorial.  The instructions for the crochet join are the very last post in the article, so scroll on down.  

Now, the sweater sample for the magazine is obviously worked in a single color - however, the way the piece is constructed leaves a lot of room for color creativity.  The first and easiest way to add a pop of color is to knit the modular pieces in one color and the remaining pieces in another.  What about using an ombre yarn for the modular pieces?  I doodled a little Dorchester Pullover and considered a 3 color version.  If you were so inclined to knit this sweater, and to use this 3 color concept, this is how it would be done:

First, use color A (in the sketch I used a gold color) for the modular pieces.  Then, use color B (peachy color) to cast on and knit the bottom hem of the sweater, and the cuffs of the sleeves.  Change to color C (poppy color) to knit the body and raglan sections of sweater and the sleeves.  Finally, after seaming, pick up and knit the neckline using color B (peachy color).

I look forward to seeing all of the Dorchesters that have yet to be imagined!


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