The Vikings are Come…to the Antipodes

October 8, 2014

Our Dear Boy had grown out of all his woollies.  It was time to make something bigger.

We talked together about the elements it must include like a hood and a zip. We talked about the elements it might include like particular colours and patterns.  Armed with this knowledge, I cast the bones, made the offerings and made the woolly spell of wearing…

And now Our Dear Boy has this…

IMG_4084I sketched the idea, worked out measurements and stitch counts to a standard DK gauge. It is bottom-up, raglan, hooded cardigan worked seamlesslessly in the round with  a steeked front opening. All the patterning takes place in the top ten centimetres of body and neck prior to uniting body and sleeves.

IMG_3964The front is steeked to the neck. I used a crochet steek for this one and knitted an I-cord finish. Then stitched the zip in after blocking.

IMG_4110I am rather proud of the hood. After the short row shaping for the back neck, I cast off to give a stable structure to the base of the hood.  After picking up those neck stitches, I knitted back and forth for an inch then increased every other row at the back raglan markers for about an inch, then every 4th row. Once the necessary depth was reached I knit without shaping for a couple of inches then decreased every other row for an inch at the same markers to shape the curve of the crown.

Then, and this is the bit I am really pleased with, I knitted back and forth between the centre markers, knitting two together into the sides like a knitted-on border. This created a top to the hood that was shaped along the sides rather than along the back centre. Ah, the things that work themselves out as you fall asleep!

IMG_4111Motifs are from Mary Jane Mucklestone’s book 150 Scandanavian Knitting Designs (2013), specifically #38 and #55. I also used the longship motif #38 but altered the spacer motif to a bigger, more ornate shield. I altered stitch counts to centre the design along the front opening.

IMG_4106Our Dear Boy wears it…voluntarily. He even enjoyed the photoshoot.

Ravelry notes here.


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  1. Beautiful detailing, especially the hood. I love his colour choices, too.

    That Scandinavian motif book is great isn’t it? I’ve got her fair isle one, and have had my eyes on the other one for a while!

  2. I can well believe Dear Boy will wear this cardy with pride! I love that you consult him in the planning stages. Such a beautiful yarn with those flecks of colour speckled throughout. Is steeking where you cut the opening with scissors? To a non-knitter it seems quite magical that you can do that without the whole thing unravelling.

  3. I always feel so cheered and, well, improved when I read your gentle, elegant writing and see your work. Now this is knitting! The hood is brilliant! I also especially love the long ship motif. Thank you for the inspiration to do more creative things with my own knitting.

  4. Just lovely! The Viking motif really makes the sweater stand out. I recently finished a hooded pullover for my grandson but in a marled grey/white. Your boy’s color is much nicer, I think!

  5. Wow wow and wow. This is so very beautiful and clever.
    You are an inspiration Rebecca. Truly. This makes me want to workshop clothing plans with my kids and sew up a storm…thanks for sharing, as ever 🙂

  6. This is indeed a wonderful piece of knitting and planning! I do so hate to reinvent the wheel (or the cardy as the case may be) and am totally impressed when I see what can/has been done. Great job. Did someone mention Beowulf? hahaha I do love Seamus Heaney’s translation but methinks the dear Boy would have to be a bit older for that one!!
    Of course the best part is he likes it.

  7. Absolutely gorgeous…you astound me!! So clever and funky. Your Dear Boy is rocking it out.
    I meant to pop in here the other day to say I am so happy chickens have returned to the household. Druscilla is my favourite of course….that just has R & T all over it and brought back some marvellows Buffy memories xx

  8. I just got that very book to make our 8- year-old a yoked pullover with dogs on it. 🙂 Very inspiring project, and your steek is beautiful– the only one I’ve ever done is holding well but is not pretty.

  9. AMAZING! What a lovely, lovely, sweater and gift to be treasured long after it has been outgrown. It’s so neat to see all the projects that are conning to life because of Mary Jane Mucklestone’s books. Wishing you a lovely day 🙂

  10. Gorgeous jumper! And the hood is a marvel – sorry to say I can’t for the life of me follow what you did to get that marvellous construction but I sure am impressed. Looks like the cleckheaton silk wool? Those flecks and colours look just like those in my stripey cardigan I knitted this year. I’ll have to pop over to Ravelry and take a look. And your Viking pattern is beautiful. You are such a lovely knitter.

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