Because doing things the easy way is not for me

I borrowed an inspiring book from the library, Vintage Knits by Sarah Dallas. Some of the items aren’t my style, but others are truly noteworthy (not that I don’t have enough noteworthy projects and noteworthy yarn already). As an added bonus, a lot of the things which caught my attention are knit from fingering and sportweight yarn. Nothing is more exciting than tiny yarn and tiny needles!

I was immediately drawn to this:


What’s the appeal? The neckline! And the beads, just a little bit. I’ve never been too much into beads for myself. Then Diana from the Harvard group asked, why? and I had no good answer! Maybe it’s bead time…

To be perfectly honest, I would be happy beyond belief just to knit this sweater exactly as the pattern is written. It so happens that the “large” size (36″ bust) would be perfect for me, and I already have a fingering weight (28 sts/4 inches) yarn in mind, and no, it’s not Louet Gems Pearl :).

Buuuuut, I don’t do things the easy way :). I always have a hard time rationalizing knit sweaters with short sleeves (or sleeveless, or tanks). In what weather do you wear such a thing? If it’s cold, I want long sleeves, and if it’s warm, I want to be as close to naked as the police will allow ๐Ÿ™‚ (I don’t tolerate heat well). Then I thought, if I were to give that sweater long sleeves, I wouldn’t want the beads anywhere lower than my elbows. First, it may be too much bead. Second, I’m afraid of catching them on stuff and yanking at the yarn. After all, when I wear a sweater, I don’t sit on my couch like a doll, all prim and proper. In fact, I wouldn’t want beads on my belly either, because I always catch my sweaters there, too.

So I started doodling. And here’s what I came up with:

My blue notebook is under the lower left corner.

I am calling it the Fibonacci sweater, since the spacing of the beads follows the Fibonacci numbers. I’ve given the sweater 3/4 length sleeves, started the beading at bicep level (that number of rows corresponds to right below the boobs on the body), and altered the number of rows in the pattern repeat to squeeze enough beaded rows for interest.

What do you think? Is this good-looking? Or should I just stick with the original cap-sleeved one?


27 thoughts on “Because doing things the easy way is not for me

  1. LouVFS

    I really like the original but I see your point about the beads on the belly not being practical. I love your sketch. I think 3/4 sleeves are the best. I have a couple of commercially made sweaters with 3/4 sleeves that I wear in all but the hottest weather. Your drawing is impressive. I wish I could draw!

  2. June

    That Diana – she’s a smart one! Listen to everything she says. ๐Ÿ™‚ And you sketch so nicely! I think your modded sweater looks great – go for it.

  3. KarenK

    Yours is better looking. Much better looking. Congratulations on taking control of your knitting!

  4. kris

    i actually got the yarn to make that project without the beads, because i, too, am not a bead person. then i thought it’s going to be well boring just as a plain top. so i love your idea! the sketch looks beautiful. i hope you will take good notes as you knit so that others (say, me) can copy your genius ๐Ÿ˜‰

    i see you’re a linguist – me too!

  5. Tara

    Now wouldn’t EZ be proud! I like yours much better, even though the “original” is cute. And I have an answer to where you can wear knitted short-sleeved sweaters — MY OFFICE! It’s a meat locker in here (in more ways than one). I never thought I’d knit a shrug but am considering it now b/c I’m not going to sit through 8 hours in a sleeveless dress. BRRRR!

    So…… what yarn are ya gonna use????

  6. Ann

    Hi – I think that the 3/4 sleeves with fibonacci beading is a lovely idea. that way you can preserve the neckline that you like, but with sleeves that will keep you covered.

    charming blog you’ve got here, btw. cheers!

  7. Judy

    I love your re-invention of the sweater! And as another hot-weather-hater, I so agree with you about there being no climate to wear a short sleeved sweater.

    So what yarn ARE you using?


  8. Diana

    So true about a cap-sleeved sweater not really being wearable! Cute cute sweater.

    I wonder about the fibonacci beading.. what if the beading framed the neckline per the pattern for a little bit, then just stopped?

  9. Elizabeth

    Looks great! And knitting to the pattern always bugs me a bit — so much time, and somewhere someone else is wearing the exact same thing. Can’t wait to see the finished sweater!

  10. Diana

    Love, love, love your alterations to the pattern. Beading rules! Glad you made your way to the dark side ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Carolyn

    Love it! I am always hot…and 3/4 sleeves I wear year round. I have never beaded, but would love to try it. I really like your version…cap sleeves don’t work on my arms…and would be interested in your version of the pattern! I must go check my library for that pattern…gorgeous!

  12. Colleen

    That is your doodle!? Are you sure that you’re not a fashion designer on the side?

    I like your version much better than the original. The beaded stripes and 3/4ths sleeves are much classier than short sleeves and beads everywhere.

  13. Martha Spizziri

    P.S. Does the version of the book you have have all the charts coded? Because I read on Amazon that in the first printing they left the symbols off some or all of the charts so that they’re useless!

    I’ve been tempted to get that book in the past, though.

  14. Martha Spizziri

    They’re both gorgeous, but I think you should make the one you designed. I think it’s even nicer looking, as everyone else here did. And I am also very impressed by your sketching and design abilities. (Not to mention jealous!)

    I agree about the short-sleeved knits being impractical. *Maybe* a light cotton knit would be okay in short sleeves, but I’m not convinced.

  15. Stephanie

    Hi there. I’ve finally made it over to your blog and it’s great. I like your version better, but I’m a big sleeve person and 3/4 length are the best. Your version is something that I would actually wear. I can’t wait to see the progress.

  16. Mary Tess

    I agree with you about knitted short sleeved sweaters, although what I really find incomprehensible are knitted sleeveless turtleneck sweaters. I also like it that you lengthened the sleeves, applied some number theory to the beads, but kept that gorgeous neckline. That is a sweater I would consider knitting and wearing (the two rarely coincide). You draw well, too.

  17. Tipper

    I looooove your design. You could do so many things with that, too, dressing it up or down or making it neutral (like the original). It’d work as a yoked sweater, too.

    You should try to submit THAT one to Knitty. Hell, it’d be good for Interweave Knits!

  18. LouVFS

    I read Diane’s comment about having the beads frame the neckline. I really like that idea and it would accentuate the neckline which is the feature you said like so much on this sweater.

  19. Janine

    Oh, I like the Fibonacci beading very very much. I think your design frames the neckline beautifully, actually leading the eye there.

    And cap sleeves? They date even faster than one’s arms get too wrinkly to wear them!

  20. Andrea

    Your sketch is fantastic. Given what I know from reading this blog about your preferred amount of ease, however, I think starting the Fibonacci beading below the bust might result in some distortion of the lower beaded lines. If you’re maintaining the original amount of ease, then that won’t be a problem. I’m a big fan of the 3/4-length sleeves. Keep us posted!

  21. christine

    Hi! I was just posting on subway knitter and peeked at your blog! I have that book, and I LOVE THAT sweater too! I think your sketch is a GREAT interpretation/spin on it! I can’t wait to see the finished project!

  22. Laura Neal

    You go girl! Next thing I will see a book of knitting designs out there with your name on them! ๐Ÿ™‚ I like your sweater, the pink one you have been working on and grumping about. It turned out quite well.


  23. Josie

    hi im a 12 yr old knitter from ohio and i love ur sketch!!!!!itz sooooo much cuter than the original…..i wish i could make that!!!!!itz so pretty!love it love josie

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