Little did I know that pattern knitting could be so satisfying. I’ve always focussed simply on learning knitting techniques, hoping that would help me design my own patterns. Now there’s nothing wrong with learning new techniques, but learning how to use them is a whole different story. I found myself utterly overwhelmed by all the possibilities. So I searched for a knitting pattern that would give me my groove back and stumbled upon the Long Island Sweater by Drops. Today I’m showing you how it turned out. <3
Postponing sweater designing for a little while
As you may know by now, designing, making and selling oversized and cozy sweaters is my forever goal for Chain Twenty. I’ve tried to come up with sweater patterns before, which went quite well, but now I feel like it’s just too much to ask from a beginner designer like me. Sweaters take up a lot of time to test knit, especially if one wants to provide instructions for different sizes. Besides, many things can go wrong during the process. Reminding myself of the amount of San Agústin facecloths I knit up before settling on the final pattern and I can say with confidence that designing a sweater will take me a bazillion years. So why not gain a little more experience by knitting aaall the sweater patterns?
Chosing Drops’ Long Island sweater pattern
I haven’t been on Ravelry for that long, but it has quickly become my to-go-to website for inspiration and patterns. Since there was this pile of Drops Big Merino skeins in my stash (that I had purchased for god-knows-what-kind-of-project), I looked for patterns that would work with that kind of yarn. I ended up, coincidentally, with a pattern by Drops itself, which is actually written for their Drops Paris cotton yarn. It checked all the boxes style-wise: simple, oversized and drapey, just how I like it. Oh and bonus, the pattern is free!
Knitting and adjusting
Both Paris and Big Merino are aran weight yarns, so my gauge turned out to be exactly what the pattern called for. To be honest, it isn’t very clearly written. It took me a while to figure it out what it actually said, but what it actually said was pretty simple! As long as you get the texture, increases and decreases right, it’s not at all difficult! New for me was the shaping with the inset sleeves. Hitherto, my sweaters consisted of square front and back panels, but here, the panels decrease all the way up to the neckline. That has given me tons of inspiration for future garments! I followed the pattern religiously, but changed one thing: I sewed it together with the wrong sides facing outwards. Paris is a 100% cotton yarn which gives a much more defined texture than the slightly fuzzier Big Merino does. With Big Merino, the patterning on the right side didn’t show as much as it is supposed to and I actually liked the bobbly wrong side better! Sewing was a hella lot of work though, much more than I expected.
What I’d change next time
You guessed it, I would rewrite this pattern to be knit in the round. Sewing is just not my thing! I also hate all the ends it leaves me to weave in. The lesser ends, the better, in my opinion. I’d also go for one or two sizes up for extreme oversized-ness (love that). And last but not least, I’d like to see this in Paris cotton after all. Maybe then I will like the actual right side better haha! Besides, Paris is a much cheaper yarn, which would make this a much cheaper sweater. I didn’t keep count of skeins out at the time yet (too bad), but there are at least 15 balls in this sweater. In Big Merino, that costs about €50, in Paris €20. Quite a difference!
Hope you guys like this little project review. In the meantime, I’m trying to keep up with my stash and project pages on Ravelry as regularly as I can, so please add me as a friend if you’re interested. I’d love to see your projects too!