Swatching my next winter pullover

It comes that time again when a knitter must swatch for the next project! I need a new sweater to start when we go to my mom and step-dad’s for Christmas.

I haven’t actually finished my current project. You saw a glimpse of it in this post. It’s a long-bodied shaped pullover with a small, allover stranded pattern. I’m knitting that one in DK weight Rauma Strikkegarn yarn. Which I have fallen head over heels with, by the way. Great amount of grip, wooly but not scratchy, big palette of colors (in fact I was going to use it for my Fayne beret pattern but the gauge and pattern didn’t work out the way I wanted). I got really far knitting it this fall but then was distracted by Fayne, so I’m only just now working on the second sleeve. Here’s a look when I was much less further along this fall. I really like the look of the side shaping!


Since I have only about half a sleeve left (and some finishing work, including knitting a red belt to match), I’m not taking that on a trip! So, that will have to wait until we’re back.


And that means, I need a new project. I wanted to do a black and white pullover but the yarn I had in mind didn’t have enough in stock in black and I waited way, way too long to make a decision, and I was cutting it close on getting the yarn in time for our trip as it is. I changed up plans and decided to knit this vintage pullover instead.

Knitwear Classics by Evelyn BellamySource: pattern available on Etsy here

The pattern is adorable, isn’t it? Of course, me being me, I’m changing it up somewhat. The pattern is actually written for my gauge (5 stitches per inch), but I want a bit more of a relaxed fit in the body and sleeves, and don’t want puffed sleeve caps. I’ve discovered that I rarely want to wear really fitted pullovers in winter, because of layering. It just makes me insane, feeling stuffed in like a sausage! So after a few winters of observing my dead of winter dressing habits, I came to the conclusion awhile back that relaxed or oversized pullovers work best for me. Kind of vintage après–ski, if you will! It won’t be as large as my Innsbruck ski pullover (which I’m wearing right now, ha ha!), but hopefully more relaxed than the original pattern.

I’ll knit it with more room in the torso and sleeves and up through the chest, possibly doing kind of a drop sleeve look which I quite like for comfy winterwear. I also plan to knit the sleeve cuffs in red instead of white, because white sleeve cuffs will get instantly grungy! And I want them to fold back, like the turtleneck. You can purchase the pattern from Bex’s Etsy shop, but word of warning the colorwork isn’t charted (some vintage patterns do, some don’t). In the end I charted the Scottie dog but it was a little less dog-like than I anticipated, so I tweaked it a bit. I may take one stitch or so out of the tail but I’m otherwise pleased as punch!

swatch for Totem sweater

How cute is it that the pattern calls for tying an actual ribbon around the Scotties’ necks?! I may not go with green as it makes it feel more Christmas-y, we’ll see. But I think it’s a great little touch!

I can’t wait to get knitting on this later in the week. What’s on your needles for yourself lately? Any fun upcoming projects to keep you warm?

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Golly, 9 Comments!

  • Cute Scotties! I’m finishing up knitting a red, cabled hat in some gorgeous Malabrigo yarn and debating casting on a sweater or some thick socks…


  • Oh, I think you should convert those tiny triangles to tiny hearts, with two single red stitches in the row above, one over each end of the three red that form the top of the triangle. Please, please!


  • What an adorable pattern! And those little Scotties, I love them. I’m still knitting away on my first cardigan, it’s a sort of pick up and put down for months kind of project.


  • Dear Tasha,
    I’d like to thank you so much for a year’s worth of pleasure and instruction, reading your wonderful blog. May you and yours have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. You in many ways carry on in the spirit of Tasha Tudor! Thank you so much for your blog.
    Best Wishes,


  • What cute little doggies!


  • Darling sweater, especially with the Scotties. I can imagine those pups wearing a wee beret, as you wear yours!


  • That is darling! I can’t wait to see it completed.

    I think I finally caught the knitting bug. 🙂 Your knitting has always inspired me so I hope one day to say that I have completed one of your patterns. That’ll be a ways from now though. I’m working on my second piece (I put a picture of my first one up on Instagram). It’s slow going but I’m proud of myself for keeping at it even when I have to take a row or two out.

    Thanks for being an inspiration!


  • Both sweaters look gorgeous! I’ve just bought myself some scarlet and off white to knit a Debbie Bliss fair isle jumper in one of her magazines.
    Please do share which pattern you are using for the check jumper as it looks very nice.
    Thank you for all your inspiration this year. Merry Christmas and I look forward to your future posts x


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