Project of the Month: Sailing Sweater
Our July project of the month is the Sailing Sweater designed by Canadian designer Beckie Paul, whom some might recognize as the dyer for Shirley Brian Yarns! Gabby, our community coordinator, knit this rust coloured summer version in local indie favorite Vegan Yarn’s Pakucho worsted cotton. It’s a perfect summer evening sweater and we’re predicting it will fit right in with all our fall and winter knits too.
The Sailing Sweater is knit in two identical horizontal pieces, from cuff to cuff, that are blocked and then seamed together. Once the seaming is done you pick up and knit the cuffs (no sleeve island!) and you’re all done. The Sailing Sweater uses a beautiful lace motif throughout that’s easy to follow with both written and charted instructions. Knitters that are new to lace can easily pick up the lace pattern; it is a great sweater to learn on as after a few repeats it gets easier to memorize and anticipate what comes next.
The Sailing Sweater is knit in two identical pieces that make for lots of drape and positive ease.
The Sailing Sweater has lots of positive ease built in to it and offers two different options for sizing. A regular and tall size are outlined in the pattern and because the sweater is knit horizontally, it is incredibly easy to customize to your body. The tall size adds an additional pattern repeat or two in length to make the final sweater longer in the body and you can also knit additional repeats as you go across the body sections to increase the overall width of the sweater to get desired size and ease.
In order to make this a summer-weight shell instead of a fall weather sweater, Gabby did some yarn substitution magic! She used a 3.75mm/US 5 needle with thirteen 50g balls of the Vegan Yarn Pakucho cotton (~1300 yds) for this sweater. She sized down from the recommended needle size in the pattern to get the gauge and we recommend doing a gauge swatch (and washing it to see how the material acts once relaxed after a washing) before you start your project to make sure the final size is one that you are happy with.
The Pakucho cotton is a special yarn from local New Westminster, BC, yarn company Vegan Yarn. Pakucho is made from an ancient heritage variety of South American cotton and purchasing this yarn directly supports biodiversity and the amazing heritage of colourgrown cottons. The Pakucho yarn is EKO Certified Organic by USDA, adheres to the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), SKAL & Certified Fair Trade by Control Union Fair Choice, and it has been made for Vegan Yarn by Peru Naturtex. Check out our full post on Vegan Yarn’s Pakucho cotton from a few months ago to learn more about it.
The seven natural colours of Vegan Yarn Pakucho worsted cotton that we carry.
Here’s what you need to know about each ball of Pakucho yarn:
Fibres: 100% Certified Organic Cotton
Gauge: 20 stitches = 4 inches (10 cm)
Needles: 4.5 – 5.5 mm (US 7 – 9)
Weight: Worsted (4)
Length: 50 g / 88 yards (80 m)
You can also machine wash and dry it. Yup, you read that right. As long as you account for 10-15% shrinkage in length as you would with other cotton fabrics you can throw it right in the dryer after washing it (in cold water preferably). The colour will also intensify with washing rather than dulling.
While we knit ours out of Vegan Yarn’s Pakucho, there are other wonderful worsted weight yarns in the shop that would be great for this sweater, like Malabrigo Rios, Cascade 220, Briggs & Little Regal, Sugar Bush Bold, or Chester Knits. Depending on the drape, texture and colour that you want to achieve there are many ways to customize this staple sweater!