This week I’m sharing my experience knitting the lovely Jay Sweater by Rachel Brockman using Universal Yarn Deluxe DK. Follow along as I show you a few of the alterations I made to suit my preferences. I’m also using the ever so smooth
LANTERN MOON Knitting Needles by KNITTER’S PRIDE.
I’m using the color Lime Tree for the body and the color Ice Rustic for the stranded colorwork. The gray pops on the green and looks so delicate, like silver filigree. I also plan to include a simple stranded pattern before the cuffs and bottom hem for added interest.
I use wooden needles almost exclusively in my knitting and working with the LANTERN MOON Destiny Ebony knitting needles is an absolute pleasure. They’re not only visually beautiful, but they also have an amazing slick coating that helps my stitches fly off my needles. The cord swivels nicely and the join between the cord and needle is very smooth.
There are three needle sizes suggested in the pattern. I swatched it using the 4.5mm needles first. After blocking, it measured 21 stitches and 28 rows in 4”, a little larger than the 23 stitches and 30 rows suggested in the pattern.
I made a second swatch including a little colorwork, using a 4mm needle. When comparing the two swatches, I decided to knit with the larger needle. Deluxe DK is very firm and ‘bouncy’ and would be excellent for cables, so I liked the 4.5mm swatch better. It had a little more softness and drape and will help keep the stranded knitting pattern relaxed.
If you know you are a tight knitter, I suggest going up half a needle size while knitting the stranded pattern. Though stranded knitting is a little fiddley, make a swatch including the colorwork.
With a stranded swatch, you only knit, since purling could change your tension. You carry the yarn in a loop at the back, just sliding the knitting from one side to the other. I only carried the green or main color and cut the gray. This made it a little easier for me to manage. You could always carry both colors across the back or cut both yarns, whatever you find easier for you.
Keep in mind that stranded knitting is a skill and takes practice. Developing the habit of pulling your yarn flat on the right needle as you go, not letting it bunch up, will help with the overall tension of the pattern.
I will use 3.75mm needles for neckband and cuffs.
As for choosing a size…. I usually fit a 42” bust and I like an ease of at least 2” to 3”. Since my gauge works out to 2 stitches less in every 4”, that adds up to approximately an extra 20 stitches in a 41” circumference. Doing the math, 20 stitches equal about 4” so my sweater will end up at around 45” using the larger needle.
Join me in my next post when I cast on the neck ribbing using LANTERN MOON Destiny Ebony knitting needles and Universal Yarn Deluxe DK! Before starting my stranded knitting, I’ll also add some German short rows that are not included in the original pattern. These short rows will build up the back neckline of the sweater, allowing it to hang nicely and give a better fit.
This is part 1 of 5 in this series
Go to part 2: Cast on, stranded knitting, and German short rows | knitting the Jay Sweater