Finishing Up the Arco Iris Sweater Pattern

Arco Iris sweater done

Over the past couple of days I’ve been knitting like mad to finish up the body of the Arco Iris sweater pattern by Joji Locatelli.

Instead of dreading that k1, p1round and round hem, this hem has an interesting cable and rib alternating pattern. It’s a nice way to finish up after long rows of plain old knitting. And it looks pretty cute too!

I was already familiar with this ribbing because I jumped ahead and knit the v-neck before finishing the body.

I knit sweater size 4 (with mods), using main needle size 6, hem needle size 4.

My selfies are not great, but I’d say that photo #3 is the way to wear this top. It’s sort of a blouson effect.

Notes about the body and ribbing

I followed the advice of one test knitter who added 12 extra stitches under the arms. This widened the bust and body area (I did not reduce those stitches until near the bottom) which seemed to be a good idea once I tried it on.

I would not have reduced at all except that I needed an exact number of stitches (a 18 stitch repeat) for that hem. *Hint: Place markers between the 18 stitch repeat just in case you lose your place.

Knitting The Sleeves

I have two balls of yarn left to knit the 3/4 sleeves of this sweater. This is when a scale can come in handy. I don’t know yet if I will alternate skeins, but knowing the amount of yarn (by weighing) will be helpful if it seems I might run short.

Notes on Knitting the Sleeves

While knitting the first sleeve of the Arco Iris sweater, I made some mods and will share them here.

I felt that I had to be mindful of yarn use so I only knit to six inches before beginning the ribbing. I would have liked to go about another inch and have the cuff fall just below my elbow, but didn’t dare. It turns out I probably could have done that and had enough yarn.

I also began with more stitches at the arm pick up. I picked up 8 extra stitches and that gave me 74 total stitches when I began knitting down the sleeve (as opposed to 66 per directions). I reduced stitches on every 5th row, until I got to 63 total. I did alternate balls of yarn.

sleeve underarm

Also, I did not reduce as many stitches as called for while knitting down the sleeve. AND the decrease directions seemed wrong to me. The pattern says to do the SSK first and the K2TOG at the end of the round.

If you follow the designer’s suggestion, this is what it will look like (photo below). I think every sweater I’ve knit has the decreases listed the opposite way. By following the directions, my knitting left a weird bump because on each side the decreases faced outward. On the last decrease I did it the right way with the k2tog first, and the SSK last – and it looks much better!

*Note: Check those decrease directions, you may want to change them.

The ribbing is done much like the body hem and neck, except the repeat is only 9 stitches and not 18. The reason is that the cables will all face the same way on each sleeve cuff. So you must begin the cuff with a stitch count that is a multiple of nine. For the sweater size 4, which I was knitting, the cuff should have 54 stitches. I had 63. I’m glad I did not reduce to 54 because my cuff is perfect.

*FYI: My actual elbow measurement- where the cuff ended up – measures 10 inches around. This cuff feels perfect at 63 stitches, and I’m glad it is not any tighter.

Buy the Arco Iris Pattern Here

Pictures of the top once I finished knitting. Washing and blocking to come. The style is not really made for my body type, but I do like the finished sweater. The fabric is quite heavy, so it won’t get worn at all until maybe next December.

More stories from the blog…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.