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The Freyja Sweater: A Custom Knit

Oct 14, 2009

A Note From Kathleen: A few weeks ago, Knitscene editor and Interweave Knits Senior Editor Lisa Shroyer blogged about upsizing the Freyja pullover from the fall issue of Knits. Her post has so much great information that I wanted to put it out to the masses. So, Masses, here's Lisa with some tips on upsizing this lovely Bohus pullover. Enjoy!


Freyja Checks In

For the Fall issue of Interweave Knits, Courtney Kelley designed the Freyja Sweater, a feminine, contemporary take on the traditional Bohus pullover.

In the gallery of the Freyja Sweater, both Gallery Girls wear this sweater well, and as you'll see, it also looks great in larger sizes on larger women. The overall look is understated—knitterly, elegant, casual. This is one of those designs that many women can wear, regardless of size or shape.

At first glance, the Freyja Sweater has some points against it for the Rubenesque woman—it's a seamless yoke, which often creates a lot of visual roundness and crowds the throat with a high crew neckline. And the Freyja has a graphically patterned yoke, which usually draws the eye to the widest part of the upper body—the circumference around the upper arms, upper back, and bust. Patterned yokes often cut right across the bust, which is not attractive on large-busted women.

But Courtney made some excellent tweaks to the traditional here. Her Freyja yoke is not a true seamless; the shaping begins with raglan decreases—not unheard of in the Bohus tradition by any means, but that's a different discussion!

There is a diagonal line of decreases between the sleeves and body at four points. This continues, in just main-color stockinette, for a few inches before the colorwork begins. Raglan shaping creates a more tailored line than seamless yoke shaping, which decreases concentrically around the upper body. The raglan "seams" create definition at each side of the bust, which makes for a flattering fit.

The other decision Courtney made was to begin the colorwork well above the bust line. The patterning here is more neckline decoration than yoke decoration. The pattern draws the eye up, and by not falling over the bust or upper arm, does not highlight those round spots for us. Once the colorwork begins, the shaping occurs in pattern, concentrically like a seamless yoke. The neckline is low and wide, which allows some skin to show along the collarbone.

A Star Sweater Is Born

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I made this pullover in my own size, 44" bust. With a plain lower body, it's easy to customize the shaping in this design. I created a long A-line silhouette, since the typical hourglass waist is not flattering on my pear shape. I cast on for the size 46" and then decreased gradually down to the numbers for the 44" at the bust, and the yoke and sleeves follow the directions for the 44". I chose my own colors in the lustrous Road to China Light from The Fibre Company:

MC: amethyst
CC1: grey pearl
CC2: autumn jasper
CC3: citrine
CC4: malachite

With ten sizes in this pattern, the Freyja Sweater can work for you, too.

Let's knit for us,



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sandybeth wrote
on Oct 16, 2009 4:37 AM

I love this new version of the Freyja sweater!  I was intending to make the original model, but now that I have seen this one, I very much prefer it for the obvious reasons stated.  I usually knit a pattern for a finished measurement 36" bust, but can see the benefits of this new look and it looks so much more feminine.  Is it possible, please, to obtain the actual changes to the pattern, as I am not confident enough to try them on my own, from the descriptions in the newsletter?

on Oct 15, 2009 9:37 AM

Hi Barbara,

The sweater pattern is in the fall 2009 issue of Interweave Knits.

Happy upcoming 80th!


on Oct 14, 2009 4:11 PM

the sweater is a very nice pattern, however, I have checked all the sites and cannot see directions for the pattern or where to purchase it.  Would you be so kind as to email me and let me know where I can purchase the pattern?  I would like to make it for me as a gift to my 80th. birthday.  I do so much for everyone else, I thought I would like to do this for me.  Thank you

Respectfully' Barbara.

sierra6266 wrote
on Oct 14, 2009 4:00 PM

This sweater is beautiful! Thanks for showing a different version of it on a larger model, I love it.

on Oct 14, 2009 1:13 PM

Hi Barbara. The directions are in the Fall issue of Interweave Knits, you'll just substitute the colors you want for the colors in the pattern.


on Oct 14, 2009 12:41 PM

How do I get the directions for the Freyja Sweater in Amethyst?  Thank you;  Barbara Williamson.