I chose to knit the VENLIG sweater pattern mainly so I could use Woolfolk’s Flette bulky yarn. This yarn looked (and is) so soft that I jumped in and bought the pricy pattern. Ten dollars for a sweater pattern is a lot. This page contains my review of an unnecessarily confusing pattern for a simple raglan pullover.
I have a link to the pattern buying page at the end of this post.
Making This Pattern Easier to Follow
Problems with the pattern.
First, pattern printouts should have readable type. My eyes are not good, but this pattern has the tiniest print possible! The teeny tiny print was very difficult to read. Come on designers – make your patterns readable on paper! It may seem old school to print out a pattern, but that is what I do. (Without internet and power, a paper pattern is necessary. I just came through a hurricane (Ian) and had no electricity for four days. Knitting was my sanity.)
I should have added it to Knit Companion on my iPad so I could read it without using a magnifying glass. But a bigger problem was the difficult to follow pattern. The way the designer separated the raglan sections and added increases, along with short rows – done as “wrap and turns” – was confusing.
Tip: Use a place marker on either side of the “knit one”. That is where the increases are made – before the first marker and after the next. It’s quite simple, but the instructions are hard to follow as you knit along and try to read the tiny print at the same time. Use the markers to guide you. Anyone who has knit raglan style sweaters will get this.
I chose not to do the “wrap and turn” and did German Short row shaping instead. I couldn’t’ even understand her wrap and turn directions.
I also made all my increases on the Right Side row and did away with the “make one purl increase”. I used the Backward Loop as my increase and not the M1L and M1R. This was my personal preference. This yarn does not show stitches well, so I figured I’d make the increases as simple as possible.
Reviews of this pattern on Ravelry were unhelpful. Surely I am not the only knitter who had issues?
Once I had the VENLIG pattern, I waited and hoped for a Flette sale. (Be aware there is also a lighter weight Flette yarn, but you need “bulky” for this pattern.)
One day, there in my inbox, was a notice of a sale from Eat.Sleep.Knit with some yarn listed that included Flette Bulky! Woohoo… I immediately grabbed up my four skeins with a savings of $4.80 per skein. That was huge! And I got free shipping… double win! Eat.Sleep.Knit is one of my favorite places for buying yarn online.
So how well does this yarn wind, and what about knitting?
I had to wind my skeins, which I do by hand, over my knees. And I was a bit worried because of the nubby texture. It wound very easily, but there was a tag attached and I mistakenly cut the yarn at the tag- I should have cut the tag – not the yarn! So I ended up with one small ball and used it to knit my swatch.
Don’t cut the yarn at the tag! And when making the swatch, know your stitch and row numbers because you will not be able to count them.
This Flette yarn itself is pretty awesome. It is a boucle (pronounced “boo – clay”) which is a “yarn with a looped, or curled, ply”. It is quite different from anything I have knit with, and super soft. The skeins did have little knots occasionally. I cut out the first one, but decided to knit the others in.
As far as knitting with this yarn, it was okay. Unknitting can be tricky and if you have a mistake many rows back there is no way to pick up stitches to unravel – you must tink, or unknit, your stitches. I noticed a dropped stitch and had to bring it up over 5 rows and that was not easy either!
Doing the 1×1 ribbing was tricky too. See my swatch above which has stockinette in the center with garter at the edges – it’s hard to tell what is what!
Below is a photo of my body ribbing. I’m doing knit one, purl one. Can you even tell the difference?
Suggestion For the Ribbing
Simply knitting around and around isn’t bad. When it came to the 1×1 ribbing, forget it. I had no idea which was a knit and which was a purl if I lost my place. I ended up placing markers every 10 stitches or so (an even number) knowing that I would begin after each marker with a knit stitch. It was the only way to keep track of my knits and purls.
Because I was worried about yarn amount, I put body stitches on hold at 8 inches to knit the sleeves. I knit the first sleeve on a 16” circular to begin, then changed to DPNs. It was difficult. The yarn is slippery and keeping the stitches on the needles was a pain. On the second sleeve, I used a 16” circular for the entire sleeve after dropping stitches when one of the DPNs slipped right out of the stitches! I was not having fun. (I knit with Lykke wood DPNs, but switched to the same brand 16”.)
I don’t know how to do Magic Loop, but it is probably the best way to knit the sleeves. *Changes made on sleeves: Pick up extra stitches when taking stitches off the waste yarn to close up the gaps under the arms. Usually patterns will say to do this, but this one did not.
After finishing the sleeves I picked up the body stitches with the smaller size 10 needle and did the ribbing until the yarn was gone – with enough to bind off. I would have liked a little more length, but the yarn was gone.
On a positive note, Flette yarn has great color selections. Choosing my yarn color was difficult because I had many favorites! I’d have chosen the dark navy blue, but dark colors can be a challenge for my eyesight. I love the dark green and purple-brown colors as well. I’m not ruling out using this yarn for another project. In fact, I wish I had chosen one of the unique colors instead of gray.
Finished sweater fits great and is a lovely, and unique, wardrobe addition.
My final opinion of this sweater pattern is to be glad I made it once, but will never do it again. I had to make too many changes to an overpriced pattern. The yarn is soft, but knitting and fixing mistakes is not easy because I can’t differentiate between the stitches.
This pattern (and yarn) is NOT for beginners. Having sweater knitting experience will be helpful.
How Much Do Sweater Patterns Cost?
Here are some sweaters I have knit recently with the price I paid for the pattern at the time. Sweater patterns can be found for FREE and up, but the general price seems to be around $7-$8.
The unisex Cobblestone cardigan, by Jared Flood, was also $10.00 but the directions were excellent. (I loved that the buttonholes were made while the sweater was being knit.) I would certainly knit this one again.
Meadow Moon, by Jennifer Steingass, was $7.00 and has colorwork and great instructions. This designer goes to great lengths to explain her patterns and provides helpful links.
The Carbeth cardigan, by Kate Davies, was around $8.00 and certainly gave me lots to learn. The construction was unique and the folded collar was something new for me. It was missing short row instructions, and even though I will never knit it again, the pattern was at least worth the money.
The Calliope and Warm-up were both free patterns, with excellent directions. The Turtle Dove (free) sweater pattern from Espace Tricot uses Woolfolk Luft yarn, which is cheaper than Flette, but also bulky. The pattern is also raglan, and the sleeves could be modified to create a sweater very similar to this one – for free.
Tin Can Knits also offers many free patterns including sweaters.
So paying $10 for this needlessly difficult, yet simple raglan, was too much in my opinion. I only chose it because no reviews of the pattern warned me away… and I wanted to try out the Flette yarn. I did search for other sweater patterns that used the Flette bulky, but did not like them as much.
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