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Andes Sweater

I bought, on sale, eight 250 gram hanks of Cascadeís Ecological Wool: Four natural cream, and four in four other colors. The first thing I made from this yarn was Altiplano, a sleeveless, U-necked vest with a big handwarmer pocket.

The second was this roomy pullover sweater, with hems instead of ribbing, and a comfortable easy-on, easy-off Newmarket collar. It has no pockets, and the pattern stops short of the division for the armholes and neck, so even though more knitting is involved, it is easier to accomplish than Altiplano. It would be easy to make slit pockets just below the second repeat of the motif. This is also a fine sweater to knit in a single color or a tweed, or using a main color with a contrast color for hem, collar, and cuffs, if you want to make it once before making it with the motifs.

Sizing Information:
Womenís medium, menís small (approximately 42Ē around, as knit)
Womenís large, menís medium (approximately 45Ē around, as knit)
Menís large (approximately 48 inches around, as knit)

The Materials you'll need for this Knitting Project:

  • In Ecological Wool, it is knit on #9 circular needles for the body and double-points for the arms, with the turned-under hems knit on needles two or three sizes smaller.
  • Gauge is 3 3/4 stitches per inch, or 15 per 4 inches/10 cm, usually on #9 needles, or #8s. You will need long circular needles for the body, and double points or smaller circulars for the arms.
  • You will also need markers, a crochet hook for picking up dropped stitches, and a yarn needle, plus stitch holders or spare lengths of yarn.
  • The inspiration behind this sweater pattern

    The Andes, like the Rockies and the Sierra, are High Country--are cold at night even after a hot summer day, short of growing season, subject to violent changes of weather, dangerous if you don't know what you're doing up there and keep your wits about you. Wool is the fabric of choice in high places (the local Search and Rescue people tell anyone who can listen that cotton kills). The Andean nations have been, from before the Conquest, wool country, with its llamas and alpacas, its vicunas and guanacos. The Spanish imposed sheep, of course; at the time of the Conquest, Spain monopolized the trade in merino wool, and imposed a death penalty on anyone who exported breeding merinos.

    So that yarn inspired all of these patterns, and will inspire more. I've done a series of color-change patterns adapted from the Kuba cloth of Congo.

    For further exploration of the Andean motifs, please see our Cuzco Bags and our Altiplano Vest.