Plum Rondo a la Turk

As seen in Knitty

Dave Brubeck wrote Blue Rondo a la Turk inspired by rhythms used by Turkish street musicians. As a composer, he married two traditions (American jazz, Turkish poly rhythms) with his own melody. In the many recordings of this most familiar of Brubeck’s compositions, his fellow musicians improvise further, and have made this song a source of constant creative discovery.

Last spring, Beth Casey of Lorna’s Laces and I agreed that their new yarn, Haymarket — a 100% Blue-Faced Leicester wool — would make a fine version of the classic Icelandic Lopapeysa. I love those kinds of sweaters, and I was excited to see what effect Lorna’s Laces jewel toned palette could have on the form: this was my gig!

The yoke pattern is a riff on a German embroidery motif, but elongated and colored in a way that begins to feel a bit Turkish to me.

A Turkish/German/Lopapeysa? Why not? At the time, I had suggested to a friend that she would enjoy The Mummies of Urumchi, a book by Elizabeth Wayland Barber that reminds us that all our various textile traditions come from shared mothers. All it takes is a little jazz to help us marry the common threads throughout.

Rondo is knit seamlessly from the bottom up. Sleeves and body are knit separately and joined to finish as one piece. Underarm holes are closed using Kitchener stitch. Yoke chart is graded according to size. Download only the size required.

Yarn weight: Worsted / 10 ply (9 wpi)
Gauge: 20 stitches and 26 rows = 4 inches in stockinette stitch
Needle size: US 6 – 4.0 mm, US 7 – 4.5 mm
Yardage: 1000-2000 yards (914 – 1829 m)
Sizes available: 33.5 [36.5, 39.25, 42, 44.75, 47.75, 50.5, 53.25, 58.75, 61.5] at bust
Yoke Depth: 7.75 8, 8.5, 8.5, 8.75, 9, 10, 10.5, 11, 11.25 inches

Photos copyright  Michael Franzese