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the Love Number sweater

Introducing the Love Number sweater, one of my favourite designs to date! I’m the indecisive type who finds it impossible to choose favourites, but if absolutely pushed to, I’d say this one is up there. We all know I’m a big sleeve fanatic, I LOVE a high neck, and yokes are my (current) favourite thing to knit. Winning all round with this one!

Scroll down for details and to purchase the Love Number Sweater knitting pattern.

the yarn

There is an extra layer of satisfaction that comes with wearing a sweater of my own design, in my own yarn, in my colour, with my name on the label! The Love Number sweater uses Lily Kate Makes AXIS, my worsted weight yarn collaboration with Fyberspates. AXIS is now stocked in several stores around the UK, Europe, US, and Australia; it makes me very happy to see those skeins going places! It’s a worsted weight blend of 90% non-superwash merino and 10% undyed suri alpaca. Not to toot my own horn or anything, but it really is very nice to knit with and wear. Naturally, I’ve used it rather a lot already, and I can honestly say that I don’t think I’ll be fed up with it any time soon! All the shades are named after astronomical / mathematical terminology, and this particular pink is named Love Number – the susceptibility of a planetary body to deformation by tidal forces. The colour is matched to my favourite lipstick (MAC Creme in Your Coffee, I’m often asked!) which I thought was a good starting point when developing the colour palette. The logic was that if a colour works well on different skin tones as a lipstick, then it probably will as a sweater, too.

the design process

It’s a good job I’m happy with the final product because boy was the process a challenge! Sometimes problems arise halfway through a design, but on this occasion step 1 proved the most difficult. Stitch patterns weren’t working, the fabric kept biasing, the neck was too small, then too big, then too long… after about 5 attempts I finally made it beyond the first section and into smooth sailing through the yoke.

Round yoke sweaters

Now that I’ve figured out a way to give round yokes the swooping shape that I like whilst creating a comfortable fit, I’m all systems go on the yoke front! Circular yokes make ideal first sweater projects, since there’s no seaming, complicated shaping, or changes of direction to contend with. You simply cast on at the neck and work your way down, working in rounds all the way. For any new knitters reading who may think a textured yoke sweater is beyond them – I can assure you this textured stitch pattern is WAY simpler than you’d think, and the whole pattern is perfectly doable for a confident beginner.

Details included in this knitting pattern

— Garter ridge edgings and borders (with a slight tweak to a regular cast on for extra neatness)

2 different types of increases so not to disrupt the textured pattern

Short rows hidden at the bust to lower the front neck without disrupting the necklace-like line of the yoke

— Subtle decreases before the ribbing for a gently gathered look into the waistband

— Shaped and non-shaped versions for different bust to waist ratios

I thought March may be less than ideal timing for a high neck, long sleeved sweater, but here in the UK we’re very much still in sweater weather season. I’m SO ready for Spring days, but at least nice knitwear is one perk. Oh and warmer weather folks – keep your eyes peeled for a Love Number Light coming (hopefully) in the next few months!

test knitter roundup

Absolutely LOVING all these Love Numbers! My test knitters once again proving to be the best testers ever. Thanks guys!

Love Number sweater knitting pattern info

YARN: Lily Kate Makes Axis Worsted (90% merino, 10% suri alpaca, 100m per 50g skein), Sample shown in shade Love Number.

Straight version: 967 (1032; 1104; 1163; 1250) (1319; 1433; 1533; 1608) metres / 1054 (1125; 1203; 1267; 1363) (1438; 1562; 1671; 1752) yards of worsted weight yarn. If using sample yarn, you will need 10 (11; 12; 12; 13) (14; 15; 16; 17) skeins.

Waist shaping version: 947 (1006; 1078; 1137; 1224) (1292; 1406; 1506; 1581) metres / 1032 (1097; 1175; 1239; 1335) (1409; 1533; 1642; 1723) yards. If using sample yarn, you will need 10 (11; 11; 12; 13) (13; 15; 16; 16) skeins.

GAUGE: 20 sts and 26 rows to 4 inches / 10 cm in stocking stitch, blocked. Suggested needle size 4.5 5mm (see Notes on needle size)

NEEDLES & NOTIONS: 5mm circular needles of varying lengths for yoke & body
4.5mm and 5mm needle(s) of your preferred length for working small circumferences in the round (ie. DPNs, short circulars, magic loop) for neck and sleeves
4.5mm circular, recommended length 24” / 60cm for hem
You will also need a tapestry needle, stitch markers, and scrap yarn.

Construction: the Love Number sweater is worked seamlessly from the top down with a circular yoke construction. Stitches are cast on at the neck and a collar is worked in twisted rib with garter stitch edgings. Increases are worked throughout the yoke between rounds of a simple textured stitch; the rate of increase changes part way through the yoke in order to fit neatly around the shoulders. After dividing the body and sleeves, short rows are worked to dip the front neck.

There are two options for the body: a straight version with gently gathered hem (shown in sample), and a version with waist shaping in addition to the gathered hem. The waist shaping is not designed to make this a fitted sweater, but rather to give a better fit for those with a greater difference between bust and waist. Both versions are finished with twisted rib with garter edgings.

Sleeves are worked in the round with a balloon shape. Some sizes work increases through the sleeve and other sizes work decreases. This is due to the varying wrist to upper arm ratios throughout the size range.

Yarn choices & needle size: this sweater is knitted to a fairly dense gauge for worsted weight yarn, which helps the yoke hold its shape. You may need to go down a needle size from your regular worsted weight needle choice. If the fabric is too loose / drapey, the yoke textured pattern is likely to grow considerably in length making the body and sleeves overly long.

Pattern support: for pattern support queries please EMAIL lilykate@jolihouse.com rather than sending an Instagram DM.

I LOVE seeing people knit my patterns and make them their own – if you could tag @lilykatemakes and #LoveNumberSweater on Instagram that would be great!

The Love Number Sweater knitting pattern is also available viaΒ RavelryΒ andΒ Etsy.

Lily Kate x

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