So earlier this year, like many of us, I was inspired and motivated to find Jane Ellison's Queensland Collection Book 9. Since I had always either made my own pattern or converted a pattern, I thought I'd try my hand at knitting a sweater following a pattern AND using the yarn the pattern called for. Carey caught my eye and despite it being a pieced sweater, I figured that the sewing of the pieces would be a nice break from the knitting once it was done. I was wrong. Not that the sewing in itself would have been that difficult, but if you look at the detail pic at the bottom, you can see that the sweater is actually knit using two colors of yarn (a gray and a blue).


Attaching the sleeves to the body was a nightmare. Once I forced myself to get those done, I put it aside, didn't knit anything and I think I just played my Xbox for a couple of weeks in my spare time.

Realizing that being put off by a little sewing was silly, I picked up the sweater again to join the side seams from waist to underarm and continue down to the wrist all in one continuous seam. After completing almost half of the side seam, I realized that I was off in the matching of colored rows. So, I ripped it out and started over. Several times. By the time I finished the one side and arm seam I was so sick of this sweater, I put it down for a couple of months. In the meantime, my Xbox got more use and I unlocked all kinds of achievements in various games, but the knitting vibe was eventually calling me back.

Rather than sew up the remaining seam, I searched my stash for some yarn, pulled out Knitting in the Old Way and desperate to knit something in the round, made my own design and pattern for a traditional fisherman's sweater (pics and details of that to follow in another post) with seamless saddle shoulders. By the time I got stumped on the saddle shoulders of that one, I came back to Carey and sewed up the remaining seam.

While I was knitting the pattern, I liked it. I didn't really change too much except I made the sleeve more tapered than it called for. Once I got it blocked, I realized the sleeve cap was too small. It made me wonder if the model from the book has toothpicks for arms. I'm not that big in the upper arm, but it was just sized very strangely. Even after re-blocking the upper arms, the sizing is still off. You can see a bulge in the upper arm on the left side of the pic above to see what I mean. It's on both sides, but only showed up on the left side of the pic.

The other unexpected feature was that the sweater stretched quite a bit from side to side once it was washed and ready to block. I didn't do anything unusual when washing it and removing the excess water.

One thing I really liked in the design of the sweater can be seen in the detail pic below.


Rather than decrease at the edge of the neck line, she called for the decreases to be done 4 stitches before the edge. I liked this technique and have filed it away for future sweaters.

I like the other sweaters in this book, but as others have mentioned in recent posts, I will convert any pattern to a seamless sweater and I will also double check her measurements against records of sweaters I have in my notebook.


albert's picture

Adventures in knitting! Sure there's pain, and even discouragement- but when we come back to it we realize we have gained experience and wisdom. As EZ would say "Knit on"!

Kerry's picture

Your cardigan looks great, you've done a great job. I really like the detail of the neck line cast off. I assume the two yarns were held together, what were they?

mrossnyc's picture

Thanks! The yarn is Queensland Collection Merino Spray. The colors in the body and sleeves are #12 (Black) and #9 (Blue). Since the colors alternated every 2 rows, I was able to carry the unused yarn up the piece. The decreases were done 4 stitches from the neck line edge, and the remaining stitches were knit regularly so the neck line edge matched the body edge. That did make it easier to pick up the stitches for the edging.

ronhuber's picture

The sweater looks quite nice. I hope it fits and you get to use it. I loved the book as well but I think many of us were looking at what was under the sweaters and didn't pay enough attention to the sweaters.

mrossnyc's picture

Thanks, the models were definitely a selling point.

purlyman's picture

The sweater looks great - I feel I'm in a very similar situation - I'm the biggest fan of knitting in the round and avoiding sewing and seams. But I keep thinking - I need to do it - I need to knit pieces that get sewn together or sleeves that get added on or...

The sweater is fantastic and I love the close up of the neck. Congrats on a job well done!!


mrossnyc's picture

Thanks, I felt the same way starting this sweater that I needed to 'prove' something to myself. The biggest thing I learned is that there is nothing wrong with sticking to seamless sweaters. Knitting flat and sewing pieces isn't for me. I'll post another sweater later today that had my first steeks and now I'm hooked. My next cardigan will be steeked.

Kenny's picture

Nice job. You look so handsome in it!

PaulJMC's picture

Looks great ! despite the struggles (or maybe becuase of them) you did a great job.

I also like how the two yarns work together and the decreases on the neck line.

In cielo non c'e vino...beviamolo sulla terra!

New York Built's picture

What a great job, Michael! I made so many modifications to Harrison from Ellison's book back in May, I cannot even remember making any changes to the armhole depth, but I made a lot of changes to the shoulders that may have helped. But then, if I hadn't learned to think through these issues and change things and challenge the instructions, that sweater might still be in a an unfinished state. I like the detail of the decreases, I'm doing the same thing on a sweater now at the perfect point to start.

I was oblivious to the color subtlety...what a combo! I love it!


"Think...then write...then rewrite...THEN publish."
- Mark's bathroom mirror sticky note to himself.

Every person I encounter teaches me more about myself. Without whom not.

mrossnyc's picture

Thanks Mark, I remember your Harrison sweater and it looked great. If I had deltoids the size of yours, this sweater would fit fine. I thought it would work fine though. The pattern measurements checked out against other sweaters of mine and I had the gauge correct, but something happened. One other thing is that with the knitting becoming wider than expected, the shoulders may have actually widened as well, putting the sleeve cap further out from the top of my arm. Hadn't thought about that as a possibility.

Glad I could help with a project you are working on, you helped me out with casting off on a sweater I just finished the other day. I'll be posting that one later.

QueerJoe's picture

Delightful design, and it's so nice when a sweater made from a pattern comes out just like the design. I have to agree with Kenny...I think you modeling the sweater is as good an incentive as the original.

mrossnyc's picture

You are too kind. Have you had your coffee yet?

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

Nice sweater, despite the tricky parts. You look very handsome in it. I try to avoid sewing seams of any sort so would work out knitting it in the round. Haven't made many sweaters - Yes, it's true - but may start now that I'm working on one. [I guess I'm a late-bloomer.] -- Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.