Reworking a "vintage" design can be tricky....

This applies to knitting perfectly!  It all comes down to the getting GAUGE!

Without exact have NO CHANCE in adapting a design from one yarn to another.  

First - Can I get gauge with the Fine Art Aran Yarn?

The original Zen was knit with Rowan Handknit DK Cotton - and I want to substitute Aran?  Hmmmm....let's see....

Gauge called for is 20 sts and 28 rows to 10 cm!

Recommended Gauge for Fine Art Aran is 19 sts and 25 rows to 10 cm!  (Because of my experience knitting my Fine Art Aran Swatch cowls, I knew that on 4.5 mm needles I was getting the recommended gauge for this yarn.  But, my "swatch cowl" was nice and drapey....I wanted to make this sweater at a firmer gauge so that it would hold it's shape!

So for my "Zen" swatch, I went down to a 4 mm needle and got 20 sts and 26 rows to 10 cm!

This was as close as I could get - I loved the fabric this created....and I didn't want it to be any firmer...

OK, so my final gauge in Fine Art Aran was 20 sts and 26 rows to 10 cm
Gauge was critical...
Pieces had to fit together....

Because of the difference in row gauge....I knew that every two inches in the original instructions, I had to eliminate a row.

Make sure you get enough yarn!

Rowan Handknit DK Cotton yardage - 85 metres per 50 grams
The pattern called for 19 balls - that's 1615 meters of yarn!

Rowan Fine Art Aran is put up in 100g skeins of 170 meters!

PERFECT!  So, I technically needed 9.5 skeins of Rowan Fine Art Aran, so 10 skeins it is!

Down to the knitty gritty!

Here is a very simplified schematic for Zen....
The body is knit in 6 pieces...two for the back, and two each for the fronts.
The top body pieces are knit from the armhole across.....
Stitches were picked up from the "bottom" edge (as worn - the side edge as knit)
and 3 needle bound off with the live stitches on the lower body sections!

Reading the pattern, instructions were given by rows, so it was easy adjust.  This may sound complicated....but it is actually easy to do....draw out a schematic...mark it up with the number of rows to knit each piece....and just eliminate one row in every 10 (5 cms).

Things went well....
see how the lower body is knit bottom up, 
while the top body pieces are knit from armhole across?
The pieces are joined by picking up stitches on that "bottom" edge
of the top piece....and 3 needle binding off with the live stitches of
the bottom piece.

The body was completed and I knit the sleeves during the olympics!
The sleeves were "sewn" in by 3-needle bind off.....
which is a bit of a nightmare getting all of your needles organized at first!

but eventually things start to look more sane!
Remember - in this case I wanted to "seam" to match the body seam...
to show on the right side of the sweater!
That's why you see the two wrong sides together!

So, it's Done, Finished, Washed and Lightly blocked

....and ready for the big reveal.....

Getting the Hubby to model took a bit of convincing....he didn't want to "pose"....but we came up with a solution.

Daisy wants to know...
if you missed the first Zen post!

The first Zen post....

"Great Designs Stand the Test of Time"

'til next time,

Happy Knitting!

#RowanYarns #KnitRowan #Knitting


  1. Oh, I think I'm going to love this! I imagine your husband will love it too!

  2. What a shame your husband wouldn't do any modelling. Daisy is a good substitute. Sarah x

    1. Hi Sarah! For a while I lost the option to "reply" to my reply is case you didn't notice :) Of course, you will have seen hubby posing now......:)

  3. Sarah, I didn't say he wouldn't model...laughing....he just didn't want to stand there and be told how to "pose" we took photos in his hobby room, where he is comfortable...the lighting wasn't the best, but I worked with it.....and he loves the sweater!

  4. Love these posts on the knitty-gritty of re-design. Great work!

    1. Thanks Dayana - It was worth the fiddling around with gauge!


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