What George Knits - Active Duty Sweater by Maxim Cyr
A while back Maxim Cyr posted a call for test knitters on his instagram (@maxtheknitter) for the most amazing looking colour work jumper. Camouflage colourwork! That test knit was for the Active Duty Sweater and today it gets released. So with this post I shall take a look at the pattern and maybe inspire you to knit one yourself.
As soon as I saw this jumper I knew I wanted to knit it and was super excited to be picked to test it. I had in my mind the perfect yarn and one I have been itching to use for quite some time. I picked Hillesvåg Tinde in Olivengrønn 2118 and Oker 2108.
I knew Hillesvåg Tinde would be the perfect yarn for this jumper. This toothy Norwegian yarn has a great grip, making it ideal for colourwork. It blooms slightly on blocking which knits everything together and creates a very even finished fabric. I really enjoyed working with this yarn, it has a satisfying woolly feel and I know its going to be warm. It also comes in a range of earthy mottled colours owing to the grey fleece of the sheep. It was a tough decision especially because there were so many nice greens. I was very tempted to go for a pink version though, but stuck to a more traditional pairing in the end.
The patten itself is clear and easy to follow and well written for a number of sizes. By its nature the colourwork is a bit of a challenge. Charts are worked out by size and are quite large. I printed them out in the end and used a pen to keep track. I made some mistakes when counting on some parts, but in a pattern so busy you don't notice so I left them in. It is unique to me after all.
The jumper is worked top down from the neckline. The ribbing is picked up later. You work in the round increasing for the raglan until you divide for the sleeves. I really like the raglan 'seam' created by working a stitch in the same colour at that point. Another feature I really liked is the tubular bind-off which is a technique I haven't tried before and looks super smart. Handy youtube links are included in the pattern for special stitches.
The colour work is ambitious but it was a great project for really perfecting my tension. There are some fairly long floats and I became quite good at catching them as I went. All be it a little randomly. I tried not to have floats longer than 5 stitches and kept my tension not too tight. I knit by throwing or english knitting and hold the colours both in my right hand. I know there are all sorts of things about colour dominance that I should be paying attention to but was less worried in this project as the pattern is more of an overall design rather than repeating shapes. My main concern was not getting tangled up when it came to stranding a colour at the top or bottom.
The collar is worked after the body is finished and is given shaping by short rows. I found that it was riding a little too high on me, so I changed to a simple collar that was equal all round and blocked it so the front sat a little lower. That is the only change I made. I may steak the neckline to have the collar sit a bit lower but I haven't quite decided yet. I also went down to 3.75mm needles to get closer to gauge. It was coming out slightly bigger than the gauge recommended but gave me a nice amount of ease on the size I was working.
Overall I would highly recommend this pattern. A bit of experience in colourwork would be great, but try a couple of generous swatches to get in the rhythm of it. It is a little tricky but nothing a bit of concentration can overcome. The pattern is forgiving enough to hide any mistakes. It would also look great in Vivacious DK, The Fibre Co Lore or Devonia DK.
For more project details check out my Ravelry pattern page.