Updated: Nov 22, 2021
Customize, Size, Colors, & Casting On!
Hello Knitters! Welcome to the Winter Roses KAL, a fun opportunity to make a comfy, customizable colorwork sweater perfect for the upcoming cold weather & holiday season! I have always loved knitting colorwork, and have been dreaming of a quick-to-knit colorwork sweater for a few winters now. Each chart is only a repeat of 4 or 6 stitches, making this a fun and easygoing project for new and seasoned knitters, alike. Plus, working with Aran-weight HiKoo® Simplinatural makes this sweater fly off your needles—I have a feeling many of you will cast off well before the month is over!
Psst... scroll to the bottom of the page for the pattern pdfs!
How is it customizable?
This pattern features two neck options (cowl/crew), and two length options (full/crop) for the ultimate customizable sweater project. You could make 4 completely different versions from this one pattern, all in separate colorways! However you want to cast on this project, the pattern includes complete yardage information for all 4 potential combinations.
Pick Size & Fit
Available in 5 sizes and designed to fit a range from a 32”- 60” [81-152cm] bust with approx. 1” [2.5cm] of positive ease. Depending on your desired fit, you may size up or down. If you’re in-between sizes, I’d recommend sizing up for a fit closer to the Cowlneck/Full-Length sample pictured (cool colors). If you like the feel of a close-fitting sweater (which is honestly an easy choice to make with this yarn) you can generally safely size down, to achieve a similar fit to the Crewneck/Cropped-Length sample pictured (warm colors).
Do you want a cozy Cowl-Neck sweater? Or perhaps a classic Crewneck fit? Once you know how you want to start, you’ll want to pick a length option as well; would you like a Full-Length sweater to comfortably throw on over anything, or a Cropped-Length for more layering options? You’ll want to decide which of these customization options you’d like before picking your yarn because it will affect yardage requirements.
How to Pick Colors
There are 3 distinct colors in this design; the Main Color, Contrasting Color 1, and Contrasting Color 2. The MC will be the background color and works well when in high contrast with CC1. Contrasting Color 2 will be the color of the flowers, but don’t let that limit your palette! It’s easiest to pick a contrasting MC and CC1—the challenge can be to find the perfect CC2 to compliment the other two.
See below for some color combinations I’ve selected in HiKoo® Simplinatural to inspire you, with the color order as “CC1, CC2, MC” for each combination.
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Often overlooked, the concept of Color Dominance is an element of stranded colorwork that affects how your Right Side will appear depending on how the colors are carried on the Wrong Side. One color (the Dominant Color) will appear more bold and prominent, while the second color (the Background Color) will fade into the background.
The mechanics of Color Dominance have to do with which strand is above the other, and since there are so many different knitting styles, there's no single way to hold either color that will work for everyone. That said, the "general rule" is that the left hand = dominant yarn.
To find out which hand you'll want to hold the dominant color in, I would recommend swatching, and switching which colors are in which hand for each piece, or different ends of the same piece. Keep note of how you were holding the yarns, and perhaps even write it down somewhere so you never forget. Or post your swatch on social media with your notes, that way it's always readily available!
For this swatch, I cast on 40 stitches to a set of skacel by addi® FlexiFlips (my favorite way to swatch in the round) and worked stitch patterns from Chart 5 of the Winter Roses pattern two times. For the bottom section, I held the MC (background color) in my left hand (dominant). For the top section, I held the MC (background color) in my right hand (non-dominant). The difference between these two methods isn't as visible with my knitting as it can be for others, but I do see that the MC stitches seem slightly smaller in the top section, and the CC stitches appear to be longer, making them slightly more prominent.
Identifying which of your hands holds the dominant color will come in handy for all future colorwork! You can decide when to bring one color to the foreground over another. Just be sure to stick to the same color-to-hand combination throughout an entire project!
How to Skip the Jog
What is the jog? It’s the easily distinguishable line at the beginning of your round, where the stitches just don't seem to line up (see right). This is because when knitting in the round, each consecutive round has to climb up on top of the last. When knitting stripes, avoiding the jog can be as simple as slipping the first stitch of each round. But when working stranded colorwork, your first stitch may be a new color every round, so the slipping technique will distort the image you’re working to create.
To maintain the colorwork image, and create a “jogless” jog, you'll want to pull up the first stitch of the previous round and knit it together with the current round.
Keep reading for a detailed description. If you're a visual learner like me and would prefer a demonstration, check out my video on this method.
Step 1: At the beginning of the round, pick up the stitch below the first stitch and put it on the left-hand needle in the same orientation as the first stitch, so the right leg of the stitch is toward you.
Step 2: Knit both stitches together. Make sure you’re putting this stitch to the right of the first stitch of the round, so when you knit them together, this picked-up stitch sits behind the first. Do this at the beginning of every round (with the exception of the first round after a purl stitch).
Step 3: On every sequential round, repeat the same process, but now you’ll need to identify which stitch is from the previous round, and which stitch is from two rounds down. Because the previously picked up stitch is now elongated, it will appear more prominent than the other—the stitch you’ll want to find moving forward is now the inner-most stitch.
You're ready to cast on!
Be sure to read through the pattern thoroughly before beginning, so you're sure to be following the correct instructions for your fit and size.
I’d love to see your color choices and WIPs in the Ravelry thread! Please feel free to cheer each other on and hit that heart button for your fellow knitters.
As always, please feel free to reach out to me anytime, and Happy Knitting!
Don't forget the pattern!
You can either download it directly from my shop, or on Ravelry.
Plus! There is also a companion hat pattern to help you use up any remaining partial balls!
Sizes range from Baby to Adult Large, and the pattern includes detailed yarn information you can cast on with confidence.