Posted on January 5, 2014 at 3:36 am

The new issue of Knitscene is up on the Interweave website, for Spring 2014 (can you believe it? Snow and ice be damned, crocuses and cotton yarn WILL return, dammit).


Inside, there are a bunch of very breezy fun springy things to knit, once your heart is in it, but for the meantime, there’s also this sweater, which is PERFECT for the knitter who can’t quite wrap her head around the possibility that spring will ever arrive:vanD

Long sleeves, happy little bit of colorwork? Great January knitting, neh? Okay, yeah, I’m a little goofy about this one because it’s my first Knitscene sweater, and there it is, in black and white (and red all over pants, nyuck nyuck).

It’s called the VanDoesburg Pullover, and it’s knit out of my favorite Quince & Co yarn, Chickadee. I dreamed it up on response to the section of the Submission Call that asked for Black and White designs. It was the part of the call I immediately drawn to, but in a not quite sure what I was going to do kind of way. I didn’t have anything in my sketch book that fit into the idea, I just knew it was where I was going to try and get my foot in the door.

Then one day I was listening to Terry Gross interview poet Marie Howe on the radio (I was transfixed because I sort of knew Marie Howe from when I was in grad school. Marie Howe was in the department, and whenever she passed down the hall, we would all go quiet in awe. That, and because she always had the best hair).

It was a moment when Marie Howe said she liked the graphic nature of words on the page, that she just like how poems looked on paper. I knew that I had my sweater inspiration. I mean, what is more black and white than the printed word?

Based on the purely graphic quality of the way poems are staggered lines of print on the page, this sweater is based on the outline made by Shakespeare’s Sonnet 60, “Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore”.

I translated the pattern into a fair isle chart with a fourteen stitch repeat


So it all comes out looking like this:


No one need be intimidated by Shakespeare in this case, we’re just looking at a pretty pattern. I threw in a few surprises in the ribbed bits:


Some people think it looks like a polygraph, or dripping paint, or a skyline. But it’s really just lines of poetry on a page, which is how Amy Palmer, editor of Knitscene, saw it, and fit the sweater into her high contrast editorial.


Whatever you see, it’s a fun twist on stranded work, and while it’s a black and white (or dove grey, really) sweater, you can always switch it up by substituting color. And there’s an article in the Spring Knitscene that will tell you more about that.

Coming up, a tutorial on set-in sleeves I shot while working on this project, so stay tuned!