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Knitting the Jay Sweater in Merino Mist for a perfect fit

by Cindy O'Malley

This week, I’m knitting with Rozetti Yarns Merino Mist, which sports a shimmer that’s sure to brighten up a dreary winter’s day. It was important to knit up 3 swatches yesterday using US 5 [3.75mm], US 7 [4.5mm], and US 6 [4.0mm] to determine the best knit fabric for today’s sweater.

 

Rozetti Yarns Merino Mist, which sports a shimmer that’s sure to brighten up a dreary winter’s day

 

I’m knitting a top down yoke sweater using Merino Mist, Rain Cloud and Night colorway. The pattern I chose is the Jay Sweater which is a free downloadable pattern. This lovely sweater was originally designed for Fibra Natura Kingston Tweed, which is gauged at 21 sts over 4” using a US 6 [4.0mm] needle. You’re likely thinking, like I did initially, that’s great, I can use Merino Mist on my US 6 [4.0mm] needle! However, the devil is in the details.

 

Jay Sweater is a free pattern, click on the photo or link above to download.

 

This pattern is written for a gauge of:

23 sts x 30 rnds = 4” in St st using US 7 [4.5mm] needle, and

23 sts x 27 rnds = 4” in Yoke pattern using US 6 [4.0mm] needle.

That means the stitch count for this pattern is based on 23 sts over 4” as opposed to the yarn rating of 21 sts. If you forge ahead without taking this into consideration, you could end up with a sweater much larger than expected. Another consideration is the amount of ease. That’s the difference between your actual bust size and the finished garment bust size. This pattern is written for 3½” of positive ease, meaning if you measure 34” in the bust, you would be looking to make the Small as it has a finished bust size of 37½”. Ease gives us some leeway in our finished measurements.

Since I prefer the fabric created using a US 6 [4.0mm] needle, I’ll do some calculations to see what adjustments I need to make to the pattern. I want to end up with a finished measurement around 41”, i.e., Medium. The calculation is 4” gauge (21) divided by 4, times the finished size — (21 / 4 * 41 = 215.25). Now compare this number to the total body stitches. The Small calls for 216 stitches, while the Medium calls for 236 stitches. If I had forged ahead in making the Medium, I would have ended up with a sweater that was 44″ – 45” around – way too big. So size Small it is, however, I still need to check the yoke pattern details to ensure that I don’t end up with armholes that are too short for me. Fortunately, this pattern instructs you to work even in stocking stitch after the yoke pattern and increases are complete until the desired measurement for the armholes. No adjustments needed on my part, but I’ll use the measurement for the Medium, not the Small.

I’m ready to proceed with Rain Cloud (silver) as the neckband and pattern, with Night (black) as the main color. One other important note when knitting with black yarn; make sure you have really good lighting. We all love black, but it can be a real challenge to see.

 

The stitch definition on the yoke made it very easy to spot any errors so I could correct them easily without ripping out my work.

 

I really enjoyed knitting this yoke pattern. I had to keep stopping to admire my work as I went along. As self serving as that may sound, it’s actually a really good practice. I was able to catch the odd error right away, which meant I could fix it easily without ripping out my work. Rain Cloud has great stitch definition against Night which made it easy to spot any errors, and looks fabulous.

I love making top down sweaters because you can try them on as you go to ensure fit. I definitely tried it on once the sleeves were separated from the body because I wanted to make sure the armholes were in the right place for me … and they were. Once separated, it’s into the boring (I mean great TV watching) knitting. Round and round you go until reaching your desired length (by trying it on of course). I didn’t want it cropped, so I made it longer.

Now it’s time to pick up the stitches for the sleeves, and here’s where I deviated from the pattern. The pattern is designed for ¾ length sleeves, and I wanted full length sleeves. Also, I’m using the stitch count from the Small, so the pattern decreases are based on that size, which may not work for the Medium length. So I did a little trial and error on the first sleeve and tried it on as I went. I finally settled on the following:

  • Started decreasing at 2¼” from picked-up edge (pattern calls for 1¼”)
  • Repeated decreases every 8th round 4 more times
  • Then every 6th round 6 times (48 stitches remaining as opposed to 56)
  • Worked even in St st until 2” before desired length (tried it on).

 

Stitch markers to mark each decrease makes it easier to identify row counts when working with black yarn.

 

I did something when knitting the sleeves that I don’t normally do – I inserted a stitch marker on every decrease. Remember, it’s black yarn and counting black rows is difficult. I left the markers in the first sleeve so I’d know what to do for the second sleeve. I’m not good at writing it down as I go, so leaving the stitch markers in until I completed the second sleeve was a godsend.

Then I decided I wanted to tie in the yoke pattern, so I did the following:

  • Work yoke pattern into sleeve as follows (B=Black, S=Silver):
    • B S S S
    • S S B S S B
    • B S S
    • B B S B B S (x 2)
    • B S S S B B
    • S S B S S B
    • B S S S B B
    • B B S B B S (x 2)
    • S
    • Work K1, P1 rib (in Silver) until desired length (tried it on again), cast off.

And now for the finished product  . . .

 

The completed Jay Sweater made with Rozetti Yarns Merino Mist in Night with Rain Cloud used on the yoke pattern and bottom of the sleeves.

 

I really enjoyed making this sweater and expect to get a lot of wear out of it. One little snag with black yarn – it’s a dust and hair magnet. Fortunately, I have a lint remover for that unsightly lint. Now I’m looking forward to making some accessories. Join me tomorrow as I make a cowl with Rozetti Yarns Merino Mist using the same color combination, but with a completely different technique. Join me!

 

This is part 3 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 2: 3 swatches determine the best knit fabric

Go to part 4: Making a simple cowl glamorous using Merino Mist yarn

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