Thursday, July 5, 2012

Sweaters you can knit for Ravel*!#$%

Ravel*!#$%, or whatever it is now called (something having to do with calisthenics?) begins July 27. If you haven't heard about this utterly ridiculous controversy, see this Business Week article to learn more. This cartoon tells it all, too.

Team Knitting at Large is furiously making preparations for the games. As I understand it, our team is having two events:

  • WIP - complete a plus-size sweater that is already in progress. You must not have knitted on this project in the past 30 or 60 days or something? (I hate random rules - jmho)
  • New - knit or crochet a plus-size sweater from scratch
Projects for Ravel*!#$% must be completed before the Closing Event on August 12. That gives you 16 days to finish your WIP or new sweater.

God knows I have at least a dozen half-baked sweaters in my yarn shower. Of course I don't want to work on any of them, right? Instead, I've been collecting sweater patterns that a dedicated ample knitter could complete in a couple of weeks. This is no easy task; plus-size sweaters take inevitably take forever to make, but here are a few exceptions to the rule.

Cecily Glowik Macdonald majored in Cute Little Cardi Design in college. I love her work. She has several sweaters that could be completed in a couple of weeks, including: 

The Leaflet, a top-down, one-piece raglan with short sleeves in Aran-weight yarn, is a free Knitty pattern that comes in sizes up to 50 inches. It's worn open in the front so some larger figures might be able to wear this as is, but it would be easy to upsize, too. I'd have to lengthen the sleeves, but that's an easy fix.

The Streamsideanother top-down raglan worked in one piece, uses a simple rib pattern to form waist shaping. This cardi uses an Aran weight yarn and comes in sizes up to 57.25 inches. I'd need longer sleeves on this one, too.

Adorned with an easy-to-knit floral motif, the Tall Flower Cardi is knitted with either two strands of worsted held together or a bulky yarn (check your gauge!). This design sports set-in sleeves and sizes up to 53 inches.

But Cecily isn't the only game in town. I've been considering knitting Lisa Shroyer's Audubon Shrug from Knitting Plus.  This highly shapped little jacket moves right along since you only knit the back and sleeves. Lisa made hers in DK weight yarn but I've seen others make it in worsted.

But I think I have my winner. Yesterday, I stumbled onto a round-yoke lace pullover made in bulky yarn. The Leaf Top, a free pattern from Bernat, offers a nice shape and fit, but I don't like the lumpy bamboo yarn. Instead, I'm going to use Berroco Vintage Chunky in Breezeway. I am confident I can knock this out in a couple of weeks and have it look cute, too. I'm going to lengthen the sleeves to at least the elbows and add waist shaping - you know, standard fare for me. I'm also going to add some short rows on the back neck for a better fit. Hopefully this will be cute and look nice on me, too.

Last but not least, you might consider my new Carnation vest. Deb Gemmel pushed me to finish the pattern before Ravel*!#$% because she's confident knitters can finish the piece in two weeks. I am, too. Designed for bulky weight yarn, the Carnation comes in sizes up to 64 inches. 

Do you have any quick-to-knit sweater suggestions? If you're competing in this event, which design are you going to make? I'd love to hear; leave a comment here.

If you haven't joined a Ravel*!#$% team, please join ours: Team Knitting at Large - we'd love to have you!


  1. I have my WIP on the list, but if I were going for the Big Kahuna as I like to call the NEW category, I'd add Eadon to my list, pretty straight forward ribbing with a few classy cables framing the front and sleeves... but have committed already to the most mentally challenging project i have which is actually very easy but very tiny needles ... I would however recommend the Carnation as it really did work up quick and is a fave of mine


  2. Leaf Top is lovely, and now in my library! I probably have something in stash that will work for this. Going to pass on the Rav competition, though -- I'm a very slow knitter, watch very little TV (no cable), and don't much care for sports. So the idea of sitting for 16 days watching people sweat and trying to grind out a sweater ... just not my thang. :-) Good luck to all participants, though!
    -Lynda in Oregon

  3. I have a Carnation to finish. It will be perfect to work on. I also don't have cable so no TV for me but I will be watching some of the games on my computer.