For the Fall issue of Interweave Knits, Courtney Kelley designed the Freyja Sweater, a feminine, contemporary take on the traditional Bohus pullover. Yesterday, Kathleen posted a gallery of the original Freyja. The sweater looks great on both Gallery Girls, 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. Why?
The Freyja Sweater, at first glance, 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. 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. The 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 bustline. 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.
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", 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 The Fibre Company:
CC1: grey pearl
CC2: autumn jasper
With ten sizes in this pattern, the Freyja Sweater can work for you, too.
Let's knit for us,