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The Easel Sweater—Aha!


Wild Yarns was waiting in my pile of mail when we returned from Easter at the cottage, and it confirmed what I suspected after reading last week’s Letter. The photos and description of Easel had pricked my memory, causing me to recall Kay’s encounter with the woman wearing the exciting Sweater of Different Sleeves. That long-ago post intrigued me so much that I favorited several sweaters on Ravelry that would have been a good background for a similar color-on-sleeves scheme . . . but they are still only favorited.

Now Wild Yarns has arrived, I’ve read the Easel description, I’ve congratulated myself for identifying its inspiration, and I can’t wait to cast on. Charred Coal, I think . . . .


Yes! Sometimes an idea marinates for a long time—so glad you recognized this sweater idea.

I am going to have a hard time picking which color to make. Each of Jill Draper’s colorways looks good to me. Even BROWN, good lord, I never pick brown . . .


Me too! I adored the conversation about the sweater and saved the photo of it in an inspiration file…
And I’m in the Charred Coal camp too. I’ve seen it in real life and it is beyond beautiful.


I’m stuck on the fence. Love the pattern. But for my main color I’m in love with Moonless’ main color but I’d rather have the accent from Dark Roast. I must be supposed to knit on one of my many-many W-I-P’s. Have fun Easel knitters. I think I’m going to do the Colorwash scarf though. I got a couple of different great hand-dyed fingering weight yarns at a recent Market Day now I just have to choose which set to use and wind it.


When I saw this, I immediately went “ooohhhh”, but it looks like the sleeves are knit flat and sewn in? I’ll look at the schematic when it comes, but I’m not sure I want to knit in pieces. I can totally see this top-down with contiguous sleeves. I might try the conversion. Inspiration for sure.


I think that would be an excellent modification for this sweater. (It is knit in 4 pieces and sewn)


I never ever pick brown either, but I was drawn to this one right away. Maybe this time…


The Charred Coal die has been cast, but it was a hard decision. I love the Moonless main color, but it’s nearly exactly the same as my Perfect Sweater. And I too never choose brown for anything brown, but this brown, ooh.

I’m thinking about putting a bit of body shaping into Easel to draw the waist in slightly, and I might make the body in the round up to the armholes. I’d then make the sleeves in the round and set them in. On the other hand, what’s a bit of sewing up? Hmmm. Will ponder.


Hey knitters - Knitting Goddess Elizabeth Zimmermann has already figured out how to knit a sweater with set in sleeves in the round but please don’t ask me where to find her instructions. I was thinking about where I read that while I was trying to sleep last night and didn’t come up with an answer yet.

ETA: Found it - those instructions are in her book Knitting Workshop (available from Schoolhouse Press or check your local library-if they don’t have it they may be able to borrow it from another library on your behalf).


You may be amazed at how addictive brown can be. I swear, it’s soothing and beautiful alone, but adding it makes Just About Every Color Better. I did not know this until I dyed several shades of brown using Black Walnut hulls, and sort of fell in love with the Browns.


This Jill Draper Dark Roast really is spectacular. I may be #TeamBrown after all.


If you do add shaping I’d love to know how you figure out the specifics. This is going to be my first pullover in decades…


Another possible place might be Barbara Walker’s Knitting from the Top. Although my livpbrary system doesn’t have either source. Oh! But I bet the interwebs does. There may even be a pattern in knit that way?


There are several methods for knitting sleeves in the round! I think Elizabeth Zimmermann’s involve steeking.


For waist shaping and me having a smaller bust than hip circumference, I do about 5 or 6 decreases an inch apart, knit straight for 1 to 2 inches and then do 2 or 3 increases 2 inches apart. I measure the distance from the hem to under the arms and use my row gauge or try the sweater on to figure where to start the shaping.

I place markers a third of the way in from the sides for the back shaping and a fourth of the way in for the front. I use 2 knit stitches between the left and right leaning stitches on either side of the markers. So I knit to 3 stitches before the marker, SSK by slipping the first st knit-wise and slip second st purl-wise, insert left needle in front and knit both slip stitches through the back loops. Knit 1 stitch, slide marker, knit 1; then knit 2 together for right leaning decrease. I use M1R , K1, am, K1, and M1L for the increases.

I am A-line/pear shaped so I do more decreases than increases. If you have a larger bust you might do more increases just on the front. I carry most my weight in the front so on a cardigan I’m making this month, I knitted the front straight and only did the shaping in the back. When I knitted the Hadley sweater in the knit-a-long here, I did the shaping in the front and back but only on the outside of the markers so I was decreasing half the number of stitches.


No steeking on a Pullover which is what Easel is. It’s a standard EZ EPS
(Body to the underarms, Sleeves to the underarms, Unite). It becomes a
set-in sleeve style sweater when you start the decreases after you join the
sleeves to the body. Sleeve stitches absorb the body stitches until the
front and back are the width of the wearer’s shoulders then I think it
turns around and the body stitches absorb the sleeve stitches. Meg & Cully
at Schoolhouse Press would be better to seek more specific info from.


You’re right! I meant set in sleeves, not in the round. I was thinking of the kangaroo pouch sweater.


Ann. With payday coming up fast, I need to know–is Dark Roast a kind of cool-toned brown, or more of a warm brown? Because I’m mightily tempted to step outside my shades-of-gray box on this one. Also I love dark roast coffee with a passion, so the even the name is speaking to me. But. I don’t look so good in warm, goldy colors. What do you think?


Thank you very much!!


I just received my yarn for the Easel sweater and I uncharistically chose Dark Roast. It is much darker and cooler in tone than the photo. It really is about the color of dark roast coffee, with about the same variability in color. I chose is because I liked the sleeve yarn the best, but I also love the Dark Roast now that I have seen it. No regrets.