Hello lovelies, how are you going? I’m writing from Italy and to be honest, the first week here has been totally madness. We’ve been very busy knocking down walls and tiles and everything else in our new house and only now I finally had the time to write a new post. I’m still waiting for my knitting and sewing supplies to arrive from Australia, they should be here any time now, and I’m literally itching to make something and can’t wait to get creating again.
During my last few weeks in Australia, I finished this knitting project. It will be winter soon here, temperatures will drop and hopefully we’ll get meters and meters of snow, so it’s the perfect time to get ready for the colder weather. I’m a big fan of Brooklyn Tweed patterns and every season I await impatiently for their collection to be released. I love BT modern aesthetic and I find their patterns perfect for creating bold and striking statement knitwear. Their designs look simple, but they always feature clever construction and interesting techniques. The knitting is never boring and you can be certain to learn a thing or two along the way as well.
The Koto Pullover, designed by Olga Buraya-Kefelian for the collection Wool People Vol.9 , which I just finished, is a good example for what I’m trying to say: it features an easy stitch pattern, but there are plenty of details to keep you going. Koto involves provisional cast on and joinery bind off, as well as a curved hem shaped with short rows and finished with a neat facing. Cuffs and collar have facings too.
The body of the pullover is knit in the round, from the bottom up, to the underarms. Front and back are divided and worked separately, again using short rows to shape simultaneously shoulders and neckline. Then shoulders are joined together and the ring collar is knit in the round from a mix of picked up and held stitches.
The sleeves are supposed to be knitted from the bottom up and then sewn to the body, but because I wasn’t sure if I had enough yarn to complete them, I’ve instead picked up the right number of stitches along the armholes and knitted them top down. In the end, the amount of yarn was just right and I was able to knit full length sleeves as per pattern.
The only main changs was to knit the cuff facings the same way as for the collar and hand sew them down, instead of provisionally cast on the stitches to create welts as instructed for the hem. It wasn’t hard to figured it out and the result is pretty much the same, maybe I just lost a tiny bit of stability around the edging, but I don’t think it will dramatically affects the cuffs anyway.
The short rows technique used in Koto is the shadow wrap method, which features invisible increases worked at the turn points and subsequently knit or purl together with the stitches out of which they were worked. I really like this method for knitting short rows as it creates a very neat fabric and it’s probably one of the least ‘intrusive’ way of shaping through short rows.
Size wise, I’ve followed the instructions for the 46 1/4″ because my gauge was a bit off. When I knit pullovers using Cephalopod Yarns Traveller and 3.5mm needles, I usually need around 200 stitches for the body, so keeping that in mind, I chose the size. I’m often guilty of no swatching, but as I’m basically always knitting with the same sort of yarn, I feel like I don’t really need to check the gauge, unless a very special stitch or technique are used. So far, so good, but probably one day a disaster will happen, who knows! Koto corrugated textured fabric is very elastic and surely knit and block a swatch would incredibly help to check tension and finished measurements, so if you’re not sure about how the yarn you’re using will perform, I’d recommend doing a gauge test.
I love Koto’s silhouette: from the scooped hem to the ring collar, everything is perfect and harmonious. The lines of the pullover itself are echoed in the purl rows of the pattern motif and the little welts at the hem and cuffs accentuate the overall shape even further. The garment is assembled together beautifully and all the components are joined smoothly and fluidly, creating a very pleasing piece.
Brooklyn Tweed instructions are always very detailed and I’m sure you could follow this pattern even if you are not an experienced knitter. All the methods and techniques are well explained and even the blocking is described step by step. Wet-blocking is my favorite method and basically the only one I use to block hand made knitwear. The BT way is exactly how I do it and I find it’s the best way to achieve a uniform fabric, where all the stitches look the same, well defined, and everything gets in the right place. Also, wet-blocking helps immensely to achieve the instructed garment dimensions and once the knitting has been wet-blocked chances to deform the garment any further are very low. Basically wet-blocking allows the knitting to gain and maintain its final shape. Also, I find wet-blocked yarn has a better “memory” than a steamed-blocked one, and you are not going to run into disappointments when you wash your garment again. That’s why I love this method so much.
As I said, the yarn I used for this Koto is yet again CY Traveller. The color is custom made and you can read all about it in this post. I thought the beautiful variegation of this yarn would highlight the ridges of the stitch pattern and that’s why I’ve chosen it. I’m not a yellow lover, but there are always exceptions, right? All the colors here are warm and gradually transition from one another without creating too sharp contrasts. Obviously, the pink bits are my favorite sections, but I really like the orange and yellow ones too. To avoid pooling, I’ve alternated two different balls of yarn wherever possible and the final effect is a beautiful mesmerizing vertigo of oranges and yellows. Also, thinking that I’m the only one in this planet owing this yarn in this particular color, makes everything way more special. No one else has a Koto like this and that’s probably one of the maim reasons I maniacally knit all the time. Creating unique and one of a kind garments is surely what appeal to me the most.
Here you can see the details of my Koto, on Ravelry. Have an awesome week everyone, I’m off to plan our kitchen!