The season of favorites continues.

I’m freakin’ squealing with joy, my friends, this top is a Winner!

Pattern: Swirled Pentagon Pullover from Norah Gaughan’s Knitting Nature.

Yarn: Gedifra Korfu, 50% cotton, 50% polyacryl. Color #2022 ripe tomato, 11 skeins. I loved working with this yarn – beautiful stitches, easy on the hands, flies on the needles, blocks like a champ, and doesn’t have a schizophrenic personality when it comes to maintaining gauge. I’m stalking elann in case they get more.

Needles and gauge: Blunti Stumpos (because I’m clearly a glutton for punishment), US 6, for everything except the ribbing, which was worked on a US 5. Stockinette gauge for this project (after blocking and ironing): 19 sts and 26 rows per 4″ square.

Finished dimensions: bust 36″, waist 31.5″, length to shoulder 22.75″, armhole depth 7.5″, sleeve length to sweater body 19″ (for reference, my bust is 39″).

Modifications: compared to other projects, I hardly changed anything! I basically knit the smallest size, and adjusted for my different gauge along the way.

  • Little changes: used 2×2 ribbing, lengthened the body by 1.5″, and lengthened the sleeves by 1″.
  • Medium changes: added some waist shaping, but because this is a more sporty, straight sweater, the hips and waist do not differ significantly. I also omitted the turtleneck collar, and even the originally-planned simple crewneck collar: because of the way the pentagons are cast on, the collar had a very nice finished edge without any tinkering.
  • Big changes: knit the pentagons in stockinette so that the yoke came out the right size (reasoning and results detailed here and here).

Thoughts: I’ve been telling you all along – I love the clever construction of this sweater. The way the pentagons come together to form the yoke – genius! The way the back is raised with another half of a pentagon – genius!


I feel compelled to reiterate that the finished dimensions in the pattern are, for once, correct (at least for my body). Batwings? Not a chance! Shoulder seams which land at mid-bicep? Sleeve caps which make absolutely no geometric sense and require nothing short of a miracle to actually fit into the armhole? A neckline that leaves little to the imagination? Not here! I didn’t have to use graph paper, and for that, Norah, I want to give you a big smooch! Yay for writing a well-fitting sweater pattern!

Will there be more Knitting Nature projects for me in the future? Uhm… a firm “yes” ;).


155 thoughts on “Pentagonilicious

  1. Bottom

    Oops! I called you an octagon earlier, but you’re a proper pentagon! The sweater is well worth many leaps and jumps. And fancy dances. You look fantastic, Kathy!

  2. Greeley

    I love your photos of this project. Looks great. Did anyone show at True Grounds last Sunday? I stayed until about 5pm then went on my merry.

  3. jess

    it looks great! I love that it has little details (like the construction) that make it so interesting (to look at and to knit), yet the top isn’t this overly complicated looking thing (I have issues with wearing too complicated-looking sweaters, but I LOVE to knit them because they’re interesting — this is perfect in both aspects).

  4. Trish

    I would freakin’ squeal with joy too, if I had that sweater on my body. It is just awesome. You did a beautiful job knitting it. I’m sure you’ll get a ton of compliments on it! I can’t stop looking at the pictures…it is SO cool!

  5. Kimberly

    The sweater looks (and by your sounds of joy!) great. And big kudos for being able to photograph yourself in motion. The photo shows your happiness to a TEE. Looking forward to seeing the Tilli Tomas (maybe call it a Tomasina Twist?) in progress.


  6. Agnes

    Though I know you’ve been a professional dancer, this is the first time I saw you literally jump in the air! What flexibility! The best I can do is half an inch from the floor! πŸ˜€

    The sweater is fabulous and the ripe tomato colour is delicious … my book is in the mail to my home … can’t wait for it to arrive.

  7. Stephanie

    Gorgeous. I love everything about this sweater. It fits marvelously and the color and pattern are just perfect. A definite winner here.

  8. caitlin


    I am going out and getting that book and knitting that sweater. Thanks for being the guinea pig! πŸ™‚

    It looks amazing on you! The color is absolutely perfect, and so is the fit. Well done!

    Holy crap, it seems like you just started knitting that sweater. When exactly did you cast on? I swear it was two weeks ago-tops. You’re fast.

  9. Christy

    The look and fit are perfect. Did the pattern call for that much negative ease? I’d never believe that the finished measurement is 3 inches smaller than your actual bust size looking at those pics.

  10. Heather

    Wow – besides the fact that you are speedy gonzalez of the knitting world..that looks absolutely stunning. You really did a fantastic job!

  11. Iris

    I love the sweater, and I’m pleased for you that the pattern didn’t cause the angst of so many others. The neckline shape worked out beautifully too.

    But I’m really confused. With a 39″ bust and a finished measurement of 36″, I’d expect it to look painted on, and it doesn’t. And since it’s not as loose-fitting as the picture in the book, what does that say about the sizing as originally designed? I’m assuming if you’d made it the size they intended for your size, you’d be swimming in it.

  12. Charity

    Oh my goodness! I had NO idea that this sweater would turn out so beautifully! I’m still a fairly new knitter, and hadn’t imagined all the changes to the pattern that would make this so incredibly yours. Well done, you!

  13. mary

    That sweater is rockin’! I didn’t like the original picture with the turtleneck. Nora Gaughan needs to reissue the book with pictures of your sweater instead. What a marvelous job.

  14. Catherine

    Wow!! That is so amazing! The picture in the book was sort of “eh…” but it looks fabulous on you! And you were so quick!! Great job!

  15. pixie

    wonderful!! Nice flat tummy too πŸ™‚ hehe! You look so pretty in those photos as you are glowing with happyness!! Congrats!

  16. betty

    it’s fabulous, incredible, awesome, amazing… i run out of adjectives.

    so you did it again. you MADE ME buy another book! πŸ˜‰

  17. Melissa

    Wow! Grumperina, you are my idol. Beautiful job on the sweater. And I love your blog and the detail you go into on your projects. Thanks for sharing your insight.

  18. knitnana

    You look MAHVELUS! That’s one fantabulous sweater and, as usual, I’m just simply awed by your ability!


    Wear it in good health!

  19. Wanda

    Gorgeous sweater and I love how it turned out. Especially as I like many projects from the book, but I’m not interested in the turtlenecks for me.

  20. Barb outside Boston

    Whack Grumperina dancing shots!

    You really did NOTHING for the neck edge? No crochet or anything?

    It fits you PERFECTLY!

  21. Nell

    So lovely, I just knew that sweater would be so much better without the turtleneck– thanks for all the tips along the way.

    Your haircut is pretty swell, too.

  22. Laura

    Beautiful! I like your neckline much better than the original turtleneck–it’s a big improvement. The fit is wonderful. Thanks for giving your dimensions for reference. I think it will help others understand that you don’t have to make knitwear with too much ease.

  23. hellahelen

    Fantastic! I feel in love with Knitting Nature when I stumbled across it at Powell’s in Portland a while back. Everything is so cleverly constructed, so intriguing. Congrats on a beautiful sweater!

  24. Beatriz

    I’ve admired your seemingly infinite knitting knowledge, lightspeed knitting, blogging, and photos for a while. So who cleverly took your jumping pic?! This is a great photo that clearly conveys your happiness with Pentagon sweater. Congrats!

  25. Carmen

    My book has just arrived…and your sweater is “miles” better than the original pattern. Bravo!!!! I’ll be knitting this one, following your notes closely.

  26. Annie

    It is stunning, as always, and I’d like to add that you have the perfect hair for this sweater! It’s short and doesn’t block the view of the clever construction of pentagons, yet long enough to almost frame it. It’s perfect for you and on you!

  27. Julie

    Oh, more jumping pictures are definitely in order. Definitely beats skipping, hopping, and pogo-ing. However, cavorting and galavanting in new knits are encouraged.

  28. Karma

    Fabulous. Not only did your modifications work well but the whole package is a perfect fit. Pentagonia looks amazing on you! I’m really impressed with the design and the way the pieces work together… I might not have given this design a second look without your recommendation.

  29. Mary K. in Rockport

    Fits just right, neckline intriguing, done so fast. But now I’M grumpy because you failed to succomb to my opinion that the pentagons would look better in rib than in stockinette. So there.

  30. yahaira

    gorgeous! simply gorgeous!! It’s so perfect Im so excited for this book to finally get here!

    watch it now…with all that jumping and excitement we may not be calling you grumperina anymore ; )

  31. rene

    Wow, that looks great! Beautiful fit. Thanks for taking all those great shots of the neckling- they make it easy to appreciate all that cleverness. πŸ˜‰

  32. Kirsten

    That sweater looks great on you! I definately like your crew neck better than the neckline in the book. I’ve got that book and have been drooling over many of the sweaters in it.

    I have some green Korfu from elann. I’m planning on making your Picovoli with it.

  33. Bertha

    Wow! I have to confess, I wasn’t a huge fan of this when I saw the picture from the book. But your version looks INCREDIBLE! It looks so awesome on you! I love the jumping picture!

  34. Sarah

    Glorious! After more than 120 comments there’s not much new to say, but I do love the way your sweater turned out. Clever Norah, clever Grumperina – a match made in heaven.

  35. Singular Stitches

    Beautiful! Your finished knits always fit you so well. What awesome knitting skills you have. Thanks for the picture! (and not draping it over some expensive item you own…)

  36. kim

    How in the heck do you knit so DANG FAST?????!!!!!! This sweater is absolutely 100% gorgeous. By the way, I am starting my first jaywalkers, and I LOVE that pattern!!! Muchas Gracias, my friend!

  37. wpggal

    This is my second post to tell you how much I love your sweater. I just had an idea for your next one…black…black with beads knitted in. Very chic, very Grumperina!

  38. sunflowerfairy

    Gorgeous sweater! I got this book for Mother’s Day. I can’t wait to start a project or two from it.

    I’m so glad to hear that the pattern was well written!

    Good job!

  39. Barb

    May I be the 129th commenter to say, that is one great looking sweater and the wearer looks great in it!

  40. judas

    I will say what all the others are thinking – the sweater looks just OK. Not fabulous, but OK.

    You really need to wear makeup – your skin tone looks really bad and red is not a great color for you.

    have a grumpy day!

  41. margene

    The sweater looked great in the book but, I didn’t care for the t-neck. Now I know I can make it with your changes and have a sweater I’d like. Thank you for documenting what you do as you do it!!

  42. Norah

    Awesome sweater and fit. It looks great on you. I can’t believe you finished it so quickly, even with the modifications and ripping. Great job!!!

  43. Sara

    Love that! Leaving off the turtle neck really calls attention to the interesting pattern, plus it produces a more wearable sweater. It looks terrific on you.

  44. beth

    Awesome! I am very impressed at the way your sweater turned out. I’m going to have to go out and get this book; I love the pentagons at yoke, very clever.

  45. Wendy

    Looks wonderful and what else is there to say? Another one to add to my ‘to do’ list.

  46. Laura Neal

    Very nice. The color is fabulous. I love how well it works out also. I am still staying away from sweaters for now. You can knit all the ones you want for me…okay? πŸ™‚ It is quite beautiful!

  47. Jo

    Gorgeous! I would be jumping for joy too, well if I were physically capable of jumping, which I am not… enjoy every minute of wearing it!

  48. Olga

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