This was my last knit of 2021 and I managed to get it done just in time for the Christmas period!
I had been moving towards lighter knits after enjoying a year or two of super bulky projects. My recent Wool and the Gang New Rules sweater introduced me to the loveliness that is blown yarn which, for me at least, bridges that gap between chunky and fine yarns.
I found the Aosta sweater pattern by The Knit Purl Girl via @hive_knits on Instagram as she made a version with a striking neon yellow contrast rib and I fell in love with the simple pattern. It’s a top down knit with a folded neckband and raglan sleeves using an Andalusian stitch on 7mm needles. It really shouldn’t have made the impact it did on me but I kept going back to it!
The pattern was designed to be made up with the Petite Wool by We Are Knitters but the alternative of Drops Air yarn was used by some of the testers and came recommended so that’s what I went for! Drops Air is a blown yarn which I got in Wheat from Wool Warehouse. It’s a polyamide, wool and alpaca mix and is beautifully soft. I accidentally got a colour that’s very similar to the Wool and the Gang Feeling Good Yarn I used in my New Rules sweater. As a comparison between the two, the Drops Air yarn is much lighter than Feeling Good though on paper they are extremely similar.
I took this opportunity to learn to knit in the continental style holding the yarn in my left hand! I’ve been an English style knitter my whole life but was recently alerted to the fact that doing it continental would be much faster. I figured with a simple pattern like this where it’s a majority of knit stitches, it would be be perfect time to learn.
It took a fair while to get the hang of it. It took me to at least half the increase stitches of the yoke before I felt I had any sort of technique and tension! Perhaps I should’ve spent more time practising/ swatching before starting a project but I knew I’d learn faster just going into a big project. I 100% believe this technique has made my knitting faster and I’m so glad I pushed myself to learn it!
I made a size M and found it true to size. My gauge was a little off at the beginning but it kind of worked itself out!
I don’t know if the neck is meant to stand up or lie flat. I’ve seen it worn both ways! I think I prefer it standing up personally and I think in future I’d size down my needles on the ribbing to help bring that in and help it stand a little more.
It really feels like light as air and I’m glad I made the yarn choice I did as I think it makes it far more wearable. I’ve noticed I wear my lightweight knits far more than my chunky ones!
I’ve made a second Aosta sweater – this time using the updated pattern! The latest update has a larger size range and more shaping options. It uses German short rows at the front for a curved neckline though this is optional. It also provides an option to reduce the bulky balloon sleeves if you didn’t like that style and wanted a more slender fit. I opted to use the short rows but kept the balloon sleeve! The extra pattern details and variations for each size mean the pattern itself feels like a book and there seemed an endless amount of scrolling for what should be a straightforward knit – something to take into consideration especially for beginners who might find it a bit daunting to get through.
That being said I do like the extra shaping and I think it’s worth doing!
I used the West Yorkshire Spinner Retreat yarn in Serene. It was not quite as soft as I’d hoped but that’s what you get from buying online and with a budget! It did soften up with blocking and feels lovely to wear now though!