Treccione Pullover

The pattern for the Treccione Pullover is now available on Ravelry! I worked with the Dream in Color yarn company to design this pullover; they kindly allowed me to pick any of their yarns and the colorway, and provided yarn and photography (1st and 5th photos courtesy Dream in Color yarns). I decided to use the worsted weight Classy with Cashmere, and it wasn't easy to pick a colorway among so many gorgeous options, but in the end I chose Magic Orchid, a rich blend of plums and burgundies; the color is most accurate in the photos taken outdoors.

I actually came up with the idea of using short rows to shape a sideways-knitted cabled yoke at least two years ago, did a swatch using the bulky cable I ended up using for Treccione, and submitted the design proposal for publication at least once (and maybe twice). I thought it was a cool idea, and so it was one of those times when I was a lttle surprised that it wasn't accepted (there are times when I'm not sure it's exactly what the publication is looking for). But you never know whether a design proposal will be accepted or not, and one of the nice things about self-publishing patterns is that I know I can always publish one of my designs myself! 

Of course, with a sideways-knitted yoke, the sweater must either be a cardigan, or the ends of the yoke have to be joined somehow. Having never had great success with Kitchener stitch (the ends of the graft in particular always looked funky) and not liking the idea of a visible seam, I was delighted to come across a post by Techknitter on grafting using the duplicate stitch or contrast color method. For me this worked perfectly, even across the knit-purl transitions between the cables, and even on both ends of the grafted seam! (The safety pin in the above photo marks the grafted row; for more on the duplicate stitch grafting method, see this post.) 

The next challenge in writing the pattern was figuring out how to write the instructions for the short rows, and how many short rows to insert to make sure that the top and bottom of the yoke were the right size. I was able to insert the short row instructions into the instructions for the cable repeat, and by working with the desired finished measurements for the neck opening and the bottom of the yoke, I was able to figure out how many short rows were needed per cable repeat. (Not that there was only one answer to the the question of how many short rows; by inserting more short rows, I would have ended up with a more flared yoke, which could have been pulled down farther over the shoulders.)

The rest of the pullover was straightforward; I wanted to keep it simple to focus attention on the yoke. So there is some waist shaping, and rolled hems, and that's about it! There were only two issues that came up: First, I realized I was going to run out of yarn if I did full-length sleeves. Totally my fault-- I told Dream in Color how much yarn I thought I would need, and I didn't realize that the cabled yoke would gobble up so much yarn. So I went with 3/4- length sleeves. (If you want to do full length sleeves, buy a skein or two extra, then figure out how long you want the sleeves and how many more stitches you need to decrease to end up with your desired cuff circumference. You may have to recalculate the decrease frequency, OR you may even be able to keep the sleeve decreases at the same frequency. Then just keep going until sleeves are the desired length.)

Second, I realized when I was almost done with the yoke that there was noticeable variation in color between skeins (see photo of back of sweater, which shows a darker patch in the center of the yoke). So for the rest of the pullover, I divided the skeins into two groups, with the skeins within each group similar to each other, and used one skein from each group at all times, alternating between skeins every few rounds. For the sleeves I divided two skeins into two balls each, and used one ball from each skein for each sleeve. Since there were no seams in which to hide the transitions between skeins, I switched yarns in the underarm area (sleeves ) or the side (body), and by twisting the yarns once around each other every time I switched, and making sure the yarn carried over several rounds was the correct tension, I found that the switches were virtually invisible. And yes, working from two skeins was a nuisance, but for me it was worth it, to avoid having slight color variations between skeins show up as thick stripes on the finished pullover. The top photo at left shows the side with the yarn switches, the next shows the side without switches, and the last shows the wrong side with switches.

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