As the end of the year approaches, the exorbitant amount of stash begins to weigh more heavily on my conscience. Having excavated a half-knitted baby Bog Jacket (abandoned due to lack of yarn) I decided to frog it entirely and, casting about for a suitable pattern, alighted on the Flax pullover by Tin Can Knits.
This sweater is straightforward to knit, and I recommend it without reservation to anyone who wants a simple sweater. It’s part of Tin Can Knits’ Simple Knits collection, whose purpose is “teach you all you need to know to make modern seamless knits for the whole family.”
The first thing that struck me about this pattern was its formatting. Rather than text stretching across a whole page, it is instead divided into 2 columns. This choice allows for quick scanning of the text. Within the text itself, each section of the sweater (i.e. yoke, body, sleeves) is delineated with a different, bolded font; and within those sections, bolded text highlights indicate special instructions for setup rounds and decrease/increase rounds. These visual cues make it easy to find one’s place in the pattern.
Sizes, measurements and yardage are laid out in a table. As is likely self-evident, a table is much easier to read than long strings of numbers.
On the first page, there is a sketch of the sweater with each part (sleeve, yoke depth, bust, etc) clearly labeled. In addition to affording an overview of the sweater’s shape, it also provides definitions for the terms used within the pattern. Thus, when the pattern refers to “yoke depth” or “sleeve length” there is no doubt about how to measure it or which part of the sweater it is: just consult the schematic.
The next page contains more detailed sketches showing the construction of the sweater, including the division of the sleeves and body. There is no wasted space and no wasted words.
As for the finished sweater itself, I find the garter stitch panel on the sleeves to be surprisingly effective as a design element. The garment definitely benefits from blocking to open the garter stitch up and bring its row gauge into line with the stockinette. A final random observation: despite the broke-da-eye kind of colour and the workhorse yarn (100% worsted-spun wool; on sale for about $0.75 per ball a few years ago), Tott actually looked elegant in the yellow version and I can thus well imagine the realms of awesomeness into which a hand-dyed luxury yarn would catapult this pattern.
Aaaaaaaand I’ll sign off today with William Blake’s Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed With the Sun.