Happy nearly fall! I am really excited to kick off fall knitting season with the pattern version of our beloved ready to wear sweater. This sweater, and the vest version that is already in the shop, has been working its way around my mind since a million years ago when I first found Britt Marie Christoffersson's book Pop Knitting. This was the first knitting book that really resonated with me and maybe even sparked my interest in getting out of fashion and into hand knitting. Her version of holes is shown on the cover. The biggest difference between my take and her's is the garter ground and backing fabric and ever since I saw it I could not kick the urge to do a version myself.
This sweater is knit in the round, unlike the vest version which is knit flat. I found an elegant way to write the pattern.
So often there are ways that I would want to construct something but writing an elegant and concise pattern gets in the way. A lot of consolidating of info can happen when I try to do something that maybe doesn't work across sizing or requires a little bit of intuition beyond reading the pattern. I had to fight the urge to write an instruction that included something like "Place hole" to cut out pages of instructions. I really want my patterns to be accessible to many levels of knitters though so instead all of the instructions are detailed out, line by line.
The Hole Sweater is knit from the bottom up beginning with a tubular cast on and trimmed with a 1x1 rib. Holes are placed in a brick / offset pattern. Emotionally, this pattern is cool to knit because it is very centering. There are the challenging hole sections which become intuitive after a few rows of them, and then there are stockinette border rows that are mindless and act as a little breather. I love to be challenged by my knitting but I also love to feel that relaxing knitting, knitting, knitting feeling. Having both keeps you present and also makes you feel the progress happening.
After the front / back body are complete, you seam the shoulders and pick up and knit the sleeves. Finally the neck trim is added. There are two neck trims detailed in the pattern- crew and mock.
The yarn I used for the sample is Bare Naked Wool's Kent DK in color Beach Pebble which is a beautiful non-superwash merino / romney blend. I bought the yarn at NY Sheep and Wool last year (2022) and held onto it for this project. It is truly beautiful. Despite that, I am also offering my own yarn collaboration yarn for a discount bundled with the pattern. You can buy just 1 skein for the hole trim for the discount or buy the full sweater quantity with the discount. This yarn is really special to me because it is upcycled superwash merino. This means that the yarn was left over from a different ready to wear brand's production run and would have been sent to landfill if it were not otherwise used. I love the idea that this perfectly beautiful yarn could get a second life with the Hole Sweater.
The fit of this sweater is classic DEGEN- a little oversized, boxy. It is modeled after my favorite vintage Champion Sweatshirt and makes for a genderfree and easy to wear fit. Check out the specs in the pattern for more information on sizing. My recommendation on how to pick a size is always to check out a similar style of sweater or sweatshirt that you already have in your wardrobe and you love the fit. Again, its important that its a similar, relaxed // boxy fit. Measure that garment's width at the underarm and then pick the size most similar to that measurement by looking at the spec page. It is always easier to add length than it is to adjust width once you are knitting.
To add length to the garment, I would recommend figuring out how much length you are hoping to add and add bonus stockinette rows in between the holes groupings. OR You can really increase the length by adding additional holes rows. I love patterns to be as customize-able as possible so I hope that you feel empowered to make the sweater you are hoping for instead of feeling stuck to exactly what the pattern says.
Here is a link to my little try on video and thoughts comparing the RTW version with the hand knit pattern version.
Heres a bonus fit pic of me trying it on the second I finished it!
This pattern goes live 8/25 at 2pm ET. Happy Knitting