SEPTEMBER SWEATER BY PETITE KNIT

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This sweater is probably the one that really got me out of my knitting block. I stumbled upon it months ago on Instagram, and had it sitting on my Ravelry to-knit list for ages but, like most things, it took me a while to actually bite the bullet and cast it on. I think it’s something about my desire for simple living and my minimal tendencies that mean I need to really want something before I go ahead and get it. It’s a pattern that I can see reflected throughout my life, but I think that’s a blog post for another day!

It was the neckline shaping that first caught my eye about this pattern. I’d never knit brioche before, and I was inspired by the beauty of those moving lines, but I also loved the relaxed fit and the gorgeous texture. It’s definitely got the vibe of a wardrobe staple, and that’s what I look for in my clothes.

I did make a couple of adjustments to get the sweater just how I wanted it. I subbed the three strands of brushed lace and silk mohair called for in the pattern for an aran / worsted weight yarn with the idea to create a denser, more structured knit. I also picked up a few extra stitches for the sleeves and worked one additional set of decreases before the cuffs for a looser, longer fit.

Casting the sweater on, I was a little concerned about how complicated it would be to knit brioche, but I was able to pick it up pretty easily. Petite Knit has a large selection of tutorials videos that helped me visualise the techniques, but they’re not narrated in English so I did take to YouTube to find other tutorials when I needed a little more guidance. The pattern calls for you to work brioche both back and forth in rows, and in the round, and I found that this was a really great way to understand the construction of the stitch, which helped me when I had to rectify a couple of dropped stitches along the way.

It does feel like the jumper knits quite quickly in aran yarn, but I think the nature of brioche just means that things grow more slowly than maybe you would want them to, so I did need to commit quite a lot of knitting time to get it done. I’m really pleased with the spongy texture created by my yarn choice – Paintbox Yarns Simply Aran* in black. It’s got great stitch definition, so I think the brioche looks really neat, and it’s exactly the look I was hoping for.

I knit the size S, following the instructions as in the pattern apart from picking up extra stitches for the sleeves, and repeating the decrease sequence a sixth time. I’m really pleased with the fit. If I pull the hem of the sweater down, it loses some shaping and doesn’t hit in the most flattering place, but I prefer to tuck the waistband up to create a slightly billowing silhouette, and sometimes opt for a french tuck, too. The pattern says to expect the brioche knit to stretch width-wise with use and washing, so I expect over time the fit will become a bit looser. In which case, I’m glad I went for size S because I think a M may have ended up too big for the look I was going for.

I’m really pleased with how this sweater turned out. It’s very comfortable, and it fits perfectly with my wardrobe. The knit is so cosy and warm, and while we might not have the weather for it now that spring has come, I know it’ll be in heavy rotation in the autumn and winter months.

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