Finished: The chenille sweater

The chenille sweater! Finished!


A lot of constraints guided the design and construction of this sweater, which is for my acupuncturist. She has trouble with most protein fibers (wool, alpaca, and so on); she’s either allergic to them or more sensitive than most people to the prickle-factor, even (as it turned out after many swatches) on the finer varieties of the more luxury fibers. Yet because of her preference for natural materials, I didn’t want to head for the synthetics.

We finally decided on this old-gold color of Crystal Palace Cotton Chenille—not a color I would ever knit for myself (except as an accent ), and therefore a new experience for me.

She knew she wanted a cardigan; she’s quite small and has trouble finding sweaters that fit. She doesn’t like ribbing, especially at the waist. She wanted a V neckline.

She wanted quite a simple shape, so I started with a modified drop-shoulder (there are some stitches bound off at the underarm, so the top of the sleeve is closer to the actual shoulder . . . it doesn’t "drop" as far onto the upper arm area, which was my decision because she is small and might have looked "swamped" in a regular drop-shoulder design). She also thought stockinette was dandy, so I needed to think of other ways to make this an interesting project for me to work up.

Playing with Korsnas sweater construction gave me an idea for finishing the edges without ribbing. I worked the lower edge of the body (A) back-and-forth in single crochet (Korsnas sweaters are worked in the round; the effect is slightly different) and then picked up loops along the top edge (B) and knitted up from there (C).


(These drawings are in no way to scale or proportionally correct. They’re just sketches.)

When the body was complete, I worked the front bands in single crochet, putting in four buttonholes on one band; there would be five buttons, but the fifth would go close to the neck. I normally would have worked the edging all the way around the front opening and the neckline, but I wanted to take the finishing process in stages because I was making it up as I went along and there’d be less ripping if I did it incrementally. I actually ended up doing no ripping at all on the finishing, probably because I did it in stages!


Then I sewed the shoulders together and worked single crochet around the neckline, with decreases at points 1, 2, 3, and 4, and the fifth buttonhole at the top of the appropriate band. The sweater is shown as if it were worked in pieces, in order to show the whole neckline, but there weren’t side seams.  The body was worked all-in-one, as it’s shown in the first sketch.


Here’s a drawing that shows the sequence of the bands (unshaded in this version) and the way I set the sleeves into the armholes. Each sleeve also started with a lower band worked in single crochet, with loops picked up for knitting. I worked the sleeves flat (and both at once). There’s an underarm seam on each sleeve, but not on the body.


I hope she likes it!

P.S. She loves it. It looks both a bit elegant and quite a lot comfortable, and it’s cozy. Not wool-cozy, but still. . . .


2 thoughts on “Finished: The chenille sweater”

  1. Oh the sweater is just wonderful! I appreciate that you put sketches about your method of knitting it and putting it together.
    Its looks great!

  2. You are a true friend. I am pretty sure I could not enjoy knitting a cotton of that color well enough to complete a sweater in it. I’ve found if I don’t love a yarn, the project languishes.

    I’m happy for you and the recipient. Bravo.


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