The Not-So-Straightforward Basic Purple Sweater

purple sweater-front

purple sweater - back

I have a new sweater! Just in time for more snow.

This should have been the most straight forward of knits, but it wasn’t – at all.

It started as a straight forward enough knit, a top down raglan pullover with long sleeves – just keep knitting, just keep knitting.

But then I decided I didn’t like the neckline, so I cut the whole yoke off.

Which led to a whole slew of complications, out of order knitting, and ends to weave in. (More about that here.)

And on top of that, I spent the whole process wondering if I was going to run out of yarn. It was close, but between the two yarns, I had 7 grams leftover.

purple sweater-neckline


The yarn is two skeins of Madeline Tosh Lace held together (which they’ve discontinued! That makes me a super sad panda.) The colors are “flashdance” and “magenta,” which when held together make an amazing marled purple color that sends my camera into fits of confusion.
I used a needle size 9 (5.5mm) because I wanted thin fabric, so that the sweater could work as a layer under other pieces, or on it’s own, but I wanted to hold the yarn double to make the knitting go faster (because lace weight sweaters take forever, as confirmed by the Boring Black Sweater) so large needles were a must.


I didn’t use a pattern, since it’s just a straight forward top down raglan (or at least that’s what it was when I started), and it’s all stockinette, with decreasing for the waist, increasing for the hips, and decreases for the sleeves. I really let the yarn do the work to make the final sweater interesting.

The body & sleeve hems are just bound off using a regular bind off and a relaxing cup of tea. At the neckline I worked an i-cord bind off, which is quickly becoming my favorite finishing for sweater necklines. It’s fast, painless, and looks good – I’m sold.

purple sweater - sleeves

What Worked Well

Sleeves!!! My sleeves are well and truly long enough! They come down to my knuckles and I love them! Most of the other sweaters I’ve knit have had no sleeves, short sleeves, magically shrinking sleeves, or sleeves that were not quite as long as I’d like them to be but would do.

My unconventional knitting order worked out, and you can’t tell from the final garment. I guess provisional cast ons and knitting from live stitches are techniques that really are seamless.

What I’d Do Differently

The stitches along the raglan shoulder shaping got kind of wonky & wide, probably due to a combination of the loose gauge & the direction I leaned my decreases, don’t love that, but can live with it.

There’s some funky bunching at the underarm, I think caused when I was reknitting the yoke, but hadn’t reworked the math. Don’t love this either, but can live with it too.

I’m really glad to know that the knitting out of order sweaters works in real life and in my brain. However it did lead to a lot of stops and starts, while I waited for enough time/brain power to start a new sweater piece, work out some math, chop the yoke off, etc.

Next time I’d rather go with my gut from the beginning and have a smoother knitting process. Because the funny thing is, that this is the sweater I wanted from the beginning. But I second guessed myself and cast on a different neck, which I then didn’t like, which led to me cutting it off, which led to knitting the sweater in a wonky order, and you know the rest of that story.

I guess there’s something to be learned there.

Aside! How in the world do I only have 5 long sleeve sweaters?!?! No wonder I’m cold & want more. (Sweater 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 is this one.)

purple sweater-front

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