The Freyja Sweater: A Fit for All Women



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?

Freyja Sweater by Courtney Kelley, Interweave Knits Fall 2009


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:

MC: amethyst

CC1: grey pearlLisa's Freyja in AmethystSeamless Yoke Colorwork in the Freyja Sweater

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,


Other Things You May Like to Check Out:


Fitting & Measuring

About LisaShroyer

Lisa Shroyer is Content Strategist for the Knitting group at F+W. She is the former editor of knitscene and Interweave Knits magazines.

14 thoughts on “The Freyja Sweater: A Fit for All Women

  1. I wonder about the wide neckline on this. Not to get too personal, Lisa, but with larger size ‘girls’, what about good support without going for a strapless [yikes!] bra? Glad to see no bra straps in the photo, but wonder if this would be better with narrower neck?

  2. You know, KimG, I hadn’t thought about bra straps showing! I did not have this problem with my sweater, but for the 2 or 3 largest sizes it might be an issue, as the neck circumference gets closer to 30″. I think the best way to determine the likelihood of straps showing for your size is to take a fabric tape measure, pinch it into a loop the circumference of the neck circ listed on the schematic for your size, and put this over your head, stretched mostly horizontally. Play with it this way, seeing how much shoulder, how much strap, shows through the opening as you move it around. If you don’t like what you see, consider working solid MC longer after the colorwork is finished, OR working more solid MC before starting the colorwork, lower on the yoke. Without mapping this out, I don’t know how this will work or look, but it’s a place to start.

  3. Thank you. It’s nice to see this sweater on a regularly sized woman rather than a size 0. I still BEG Interweave to use some real plus-size models. Check out Jillian Moreno’s Curvy Knits and see her models. Why can’t Interweave do the same at least once in a while????

  4. This is the sweater I was looking for – I just didn’t know it! The A-line for the body is SO RARE in sweaters, and I have wondered why is hasn’t been offered as “basic adjustments” for them. Usually I try to find top down patterns for this reason alone!
    Gorgeous color options, and so nice to have a Bohus type colorwork going. Thanks.

  5. What about for those of us who with the opposite issues? Wide shoulders, large bust, but almost no hips to speak of . Would you suggest a smaller size, using short rows for the bust? How much can I decrease down after the bust without the lines being totally ruined?

  6. Wow– you’ve convinced me that this is worth making — I’m a larger size. Maybe they should ask you to model in the magazine, Lisa! You’re a lovely gal!!