Knitting Projects

The Mode at Rowan Silver Sweater in brushed fleece – a knitting pattern review…

I picked up this Mode at Rowan Brushed Fleece knitting pattern book from John Lewis in the sale for around £2 and it sat in my file of knitting patterns for a while before I decided to actually knit anything from it. I loved the look of the Silver sweater because the cable pattern looked so good but I put off trying it for a little while for fear of it being too difficult. One day, I decided to give the pattern a go and since I knew the brushed fleece is so soft I decided to go all out and use the correct yarn for the pattern. I used the shade Crag which is the same as the pattern image. This knitting pattern book is available to buy here and I’ve linked the yarn here if you’d like to look for yourself.

I’ve learned from experience to always knit up a tension swatch before starting a garment, I did have some tension problems with this pattern and I still cannot quite work out why. I knitted up my tension square on the suggested 7mm needles and when finished my square came up a full inch larger than it should have so I tried again sizing down to a 6mm needle and the square still came out too large. I decided that I couldn’t size down needles again since the yarn would just be too thick so I decided to go with it and if my sweater turned out a little larger than intended it shouldn’t matter too much since it has an over sized look anyway. I was crossing my fingers all the way that this was going to work!!

The pattern does say that the cable pattern should be knitted on the back of the garment as well as the front but to make my life a little easier and, because I actually prefer that look, I decided to just knit the back in stocking stitch. I use the KnitPro KP47404 Zing set of interchangeable knitting needles, I absolutely love this set, it comes with three differently sized wires and the pins range from a 3.5mm to an 8mm. It’s come in so handy for all of my knitting projects and I’ve linked it here incase you’d like any more information for yourself.

Since there wasn’t any very difficult shaping in the back, it’s essentially just a rectangle, it knit up very quickly and was such a lovely cosy project to work on during the chilly evenings after Christmas which was when I started.

So onto the front and the cable pattern. This cable pattern, as it turns out, is far more easy to knit than it looks. It works on a six row repeat for the side cables and a ten row repeat for the middle. I always make a little note in my pattern book which row I’m supposed to be knitting when and always make a note of where I finish too so that I know where to start next time I pick up.

So, despite this cable pattern being relatively easy to follow I still managed to have my troubles with it. I knitted right up to the neck shaping and had to rip back because I somehow had managed to mess up the amount of stitches I had on my needle when working out my size casting on. That meant that when I came to shape the neck I didn’t have enough stitches to make the correct decreases etc. I could probably have stuck it out and worked out how to fix it but I decided I wanted to rip back and restart. After all this project had cost me a lot in both time and money so far, I didn’t want to end up with a less than perfect garment at the end and give myself an excuse not to wear it. So I dutifully started over and again, about 10 cm in had to rip back, this time because I had knitted the cable pattern wrongly near to the start and hadn’t noticed.

So, third time lucky, I restarted, put my concentrating head on (tried not to get too distracted by the tv while knitting) and this time managed to finish the front with no errors! If it hadn’t worked this time I may just have thrown the whole thing out of the window 😉

After a few weeks of procrastinating after finishing the front, I got on with the sleeves which were super speedy to knit. Since the sweater is a drop shoulder style the sleeves are actually quite short and I knit them up over around three evenings – the beauty of knitting with chunky yarn!

Once the sleeves are done, the pattern calls for you to block all of the pattern parts by steaming or using your preferred method. I covered my pieces with a clean tea towel and gave them a good steam over with the iron being careful not to apply too much pressure. I’m always nervous of the blocking part but it really does set your stitches and give the whole thing a more polished look.

The cowl/polo neck is knit by joining one shoulder seam, picking up stitches and then knitting a section which is then turned over and stitched down to form a super cosy high neck. This part was very quick too.

So even though this project was a little bit of a labour of love I absolutely love it now it’s finished. Although it was a pain, I’m so glad I did rip back and restart my front, believe me I did consider botching it and carrying on but I know that I wouldn’t have been happy with the end result if I’d have done that and I know I wouldn’t have wanted to wear it even if I might have been the only one to know those mistakes were there.

I highly recommend this pattern. Without my restarting it would have been a really quick (and easy) knit. The cable pattern is a great one to try if you’re feeling confident enough to try something new and if you’re a seasoned knitter you’ll knock this up in no time.

Now that this one is done I’m excited to start something a bit more seasonally appropriate for spring and summer. I’m not sure which I prefer knitting, chunky or double knit. How about you?

Thanks so much for reading! I hope you like my jumper as much as I do!

Sally xxx

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