Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Koto, Sort Of

This is the 12th sweater I almost finished in 2019. It was inspired by Olga Buraya´s popular pattern Koto for Wool People. I don't have the actual pattern, lately I rarely follow knitting instructions, rather I find it much more interesting to use basic recipes and my own imagination and math skills to try to recreate a pattern, which has inspired me.

Pattern: Personal pattern, inspired by Koto 
Yarn: Cashwool 18 Zegna Baruffa, 100% merino, 1500 m / 100 g, 100 g, yellow overdyed grey green
Harmony 95067 Lana Gatto, 100% merino, 1500 m / 100 g, 153 g, blue overdyed into forest green and swamp green, Total: 226 g in three threads
Needle: 3.5 mm (hems), 4 mm (body)
Time to knit: two weeks

I came upon Koto on Pinterest and was immediately grabbed by its original geometric construction. I was looking for inspiration for  my three color merino mixture and though I read the author's recommendations for using sturdy yarn, which can hold texture and structure, I went ahead and cast on the low "belt" of the pattern. Luckily, when I knitted the belt I put it on before I proceeded  with the cherry of the pattern - the short rows part, only to finally understand why my super soft merino was indeed not suitable for this pattern - the belt curled and flopped very unflatteringly.

However, I was already hooked on the visuals of Koto, so I unravelled the belt and began thinking how to make something similar to Koto with my light and soft yarn. I did not want a ribbed hem, as it was not consistent with the texture of Koto, I needed a heavy double knit hem and I wanted the hem to be split at the sides. And then it came to me - I did know how to knit it exactly the way I envisaged it - it was practically a very large sock toe, without the increases and with the purl cast on row on the outside. And this is exactly how I made the hems - with Judy's magic cast on and knitting in the round :)

I love two features of Koto, which I might incorporate in my other future sweaters - the shoulders and the double neckpiece. To make the latter lay around my neck instead of standing up, as in the pattern, I changed needle sizes from 3.5 mm to 3 mm to 2.5 mm and I finally cast off with 2.25 mm.

The shoulders are formed by increasing stitches every 4th row, then the slant is enhanced by short rows and they are finally connected with 3-needle bind off on the right side.

The sleeves are knitted by picking up stitches from the front and the back and are knitted from the underarm to the hand by gradually decreasing the stitches every 10th row. The cuff is double knit.

Although my super soft yarn prevented me from getting the true Koto look, it makes this sweater simply divine to wear. I'm always amazed how gentle and pleasant extra-fine merino can feel to the skin!

1 comment:

  1. What a great finish. You are an amazing, productive knitter.