Kristen TenDyke is a prolific knitwear designer, best known for her creative ways of making seamless sweater knitting patterns—she’s written two books on the subject and released many beautiful garment patterns that require very little finishing. Her latest pattern release is the Homa Sweater, for which she used Berroco Remix® in the cheery Buttercup color. In addition to keeping the sewing to a minimum, Kristen aims to design with yarns that are eco-friendly, and the 100% recycled fibers used in Remix fit the bill perfectly. I asked Kristen to talk a bit about the ingenious construction of Homa—read on for more about the sweater as well as a chance to win your own PDF of the pattern!
One of the things I really love about knitting is the experience of watching a piece come together out of nothing. Starting with a simple cast-on somewhere in the sweater, then seeing it grow and form into something I can wear is fascinating to me. However, at some point, I got bored with knitting sweaters using the same-old types of construction—back, front, sleeves, sew-them-up… or even seamless yokes and raglans, bottom-up or top-down. So, in comes Homa—knit using Berroco’s Remix yarn. It’s a top-down pullover, but the construction is entirely unique, which I think makes it a whole lot of fun to knit.
Here is how it’s made:
The upper body begins with a regular cast-on at the center of the left front. The left front neck is increased, then the left front stitches are placed onto a stitch holder. The left back begins with a provisional cast-on. A few rows are worked even, then the back neck is increased.
There are some stitches cast on for the top of the shoulder. The back and front stitches are joined and worked together, back and forth in rows with some decreases to shape the top of the shoulder.
When the shoulder shaping is completed, the upper body measures half of your body’s measurement across your shoulders, from the cast-on stitches to the needle. Now things get a little more interesting.
At this point, your body starts to curve over your shoulder and at your underarm. For a comfortable and flattering fit, Homa has shaping for your underarm and shoulder, to match the shape of your body.
The armhole shaping is worked next, to lengthen the selvedge edges, so the measurement around your bust will fit without adding any more length at the top of your shoulder. To do this, a few simple short-rows are worked at the front selvedge edge, and then at the back selvedge edge.
Then the sleeve cap is knit to lengthen the center of the shoulder without adding length to the selvedge edges. This is done with some more short-rows.
Once the cap shaping is completed, a few stitches are cast on for the underarm, and the sleeve is slipped onto double-pointed needles and worked in the round to the cuff.
The right back stitches are picked up from the provisional cast-on on the left back, some neck increases are worked and the stitches are held while the right front is knit. Then the shoulder armhole, cap and sleeve are all worked in the same manner as for the left side of the upper body.
At this point it’s fun to try on your sweater, and see how the shoulders fit before continuing with the lower body.
The lower body stitches are picked up evenly around the lower edge of the upper body, and knit in the lace pattern from the top-down, making it easy to adjust the length of the body to match your body.
There are some neckband stitches that are picked up and bound off, then that’s it! Your sweater is done! If you have some yarn left over—like I did—knit up a matching beret, using the Rasa pattern.
Both the Homa and Rasa patterns include written and charted lace pattern instructions. Homa has thorough, in-depth instructions for all steps, including the short-rows, and a detailed schematic.
I suggest using Berroco’s Remix yarn for these projects for so many reasons: It’s super soft to knit with, comfy-cozy to wear, and it’s easy on your wallet! Plus it’s made from recycled materials! Read more about Remix in the review I wrote.
What do you think? Are you ready to tackle seamless knitting with a great-looking sweater such as Homa? Kristen graciously offered one copy of the pattern for a giveaway here on the blog—all you have to do is leave a comment below letting me know which color of Berroco Remix you’d use to knit this pattern! There’s twenty colors to choose from in this subtly tweedy yarn. I’ll draw a winner on Friday, May 6, so leave your comment before 12:01 am EST!