My latest knitting project is off the needles! And on my back, well, pretty much every single day since I finished it.
The pattern is Dragonflies Jumper (that’s a link to the pattern on Ravelry) by designer Joji Locatelli. As soon as I saw the dragonfly stitch pattern I fell in love with this sweater. As it happens, the designer was having a fall knit-along in her Ravelry group, so I joined in the fun.
Here’s a look at the original pattern:
Source: © Copyright Joji Locatelli
I know, pretty big difference from how I knit it up, isn’t it! The pattern is gorgeous and well written, but wasn’t quite the style I wanted, so I gave it a vintage face lift.
The original pattern is a top down raglan, with garter stitch neckline, hem and cuffs, and a long torso. I knit it bottom up with set-in sleeves and ribbing at the neckline, hem and cuffs, and a short torso. For the body I used the pattern’s math for my size and worked out the rest myself.
You know I’ve talked before about how I sometimes like to tinker with modern patterns to give them a more vintage feel, and this is definitely an example of that!
As I mentioned, I knit set-in sleeves, but that’s actually not quite true–the sleeves aren’t technically set in. I used a method where you pick up stitches around the armhole, work a short row sleeve cap, and knit the sleeve down to the cuff. It’s a seamless way to get the look of a set-in sleeve. (I’m thinking of talking more about this method a bit in the future, if you’re interested.)
I absolutely loved working the dragonflies stitch pattern. I’m not really a big lace knitter, but it was so much fun it felt like it practically flew off my needles! And in DK weight yarn (I used Wollmeise Merino DK which is scrumptious), it kind of did. I knit this in about twelve days.
You’ll also notice another thing I did was to block the lace stitch pattern quite aggressively, which opened it up a good deal. It actually looked like this prior to blocking:
(In case you’re wondering what the two sets of knitting needles are doing in that photo, I had the stitches for the front above the armhole on a needle just using it as a holder while I worked the back above the armhole, having knit the body up to that point in the round.)
A few other knitters also blocked the lace pretty aggressively in their own versions and I liked the look, so I did the same thing. I went for a black tank top underneath instead of a nude camisole because I thought it would look like I was trying to give you a little peep show otherwise!
Here’s a funny factoid about this knit… I knit a crew neck as you can see, and when I bound off the neckline, I couldn’t get it over my head! A combination of a big head and a bind off that wasn’t stretchy enough meant I had to unpick the bind off and do it again. The second time I used Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off and let me tell you, that bind off delivers what it promises! It’s as stretchy as you could possibly want and more. Winner! I’ll use it on all my pullover crew necks from now on.
I can say this with absolute honesty: I have never knit something and then wanted to knit it again. Until now.
It was such a pleasure to knit my Dragonflies Jumper that I’m actually planning to knit a second one at some point this winter. I’ll make a few tweaks to keep it a little different than my original one: I won’t block the lace as open (I’ll need to knit a bigger body size so it will still fit), I’ll knit it slightly less fitted in general, and I’ll add a couple of inches to the length.
The color of this one couldn’t have been more at home in the woods, with the foliage that’s just beginning to turn here. I’m in love with this bright green. It’s a crazy vibrant, almost acid green. And I love every bit of it.
Hell, I’m in love with everything about this pullover!
pullover – knit by me
jeans – Freddie’s of Pinewoods
shoes – Minnetonka
vintage watch – a gift
So what color should my Dragonflies Redux be? Anything but bright red, as that’s the color of the pullover I’m knitting for my fitting a 40s pullover series. Any others are fair game. What color would you like to see me knit? Do tell!
You might get lucky–I may go with majority rules and knit it in whatever color is most popular! 😉
It is SO ADORABLE! I’m still working on my first cardigan, so I’m amazing at all the projects you’re finishing! You must knit like lightning! I’m working up to that, and I’m learning a lot from your blog! Thanks Tasha!
ThatCleverClementine (aka "mom") says
Something in the orange family, I think. TPK’s Sticky Toffee, or Hazelknit’s Entice?
Helen Mae says
It’s so pretty! I think it would look nice in a soft pink, that’s probably the colour I would choose if I were going to knit it for myself.
Oh, that’s so pretty! I think it might look nice in a thirties-ish lilac/purple or maybe a dusky pink? Or navy blue…
oh this is gorgeous! I can’t believe it’s not a vintage pattern! i love your version far more than the original. great work!
I love this!!!!!! The color is great!
I love your version more! I wish I had your skill in adapting and changing the pattern!
Wow! I love this and would rather knit your version than the original pattern! So very pretty and that green is sensational.
How about a rich purple heather for your next make?
Love the sweater, makes me wish I could knit, but alas I can not. I vote for a turquiose or teal color. It is my favorite color right now and is also a vintage color.
I love it, and I think a pretty teal color would be nice, something like a dragonfly wing.
Sarah Anne says
Gosh, you are so talented!! I just love how you tweaked this and now I can’t stop daydreaming about having my very own in red. I wish I had your talent (and patience) for knitting. I can’t wait to see what you do with the 2nd one.
Beautiful! I’m in awe of your knitting pattern altering skills.
Oh yes, I love the idea of an orange one- maybe pumpkin? Blue would also be lovely… powder or sky blue (to bring out your eyes 😉 ).
I am definitely interested in hearing more about the sleeve method!
I meant to add, that I have had great success with the super stretchy bind off for the head opening. So much so, that I too resolved ALL future ones will use it LOL (And I told my Mum so she could use it!)
As soon as you asked what color I immediately though: Red. heh Since you’re looking to wear more browns – perhaps a color that would coordinate well with that natural color palette?
I love your mods on this! I have to say – I do like it more than the original. Such a lovely knit and I am still reeling that you knit it up in 12 days!
You are my knitting idol! Another beautiful sweater. I would love to learn more about that sleeve technique if you don’t mind sharing! I love the look of set in sleeves, but anything that saves me some seaming is A-ok in my book.
Jessica Cangiano says
How beautiful! The vibrancy of this colour is just amazing! I really, really love this fun, sweet, classic sweater. Top notch work, honey!
That color is scrumptious on you! And, would definitely be interested in your set-in sleeves technique. I’m getting close to sleeve time on my first cardi, so would love to see how you do it. Really remarkable job! And, can’t believe you did it in 12 days! Do you mostly watch TV or listen to something while you knit something like this? I feel like my eyes always have to be on the needles & if I watch TV, it slows my process.
I ‘listen’ to a lot of television or movies. 😉 Actually unless it’s a difficult chart or colorwork that I’m staring at the whole time, I am usually able to watch and knit pretty well.
That jumper is stunning! I adore that green. The design is so pretty and you’ve a great job giving it a vintage twist. As to colour on the next one, deep purple would look stunning 🙂
I love the idea of a bright navy or royal blue on you. Although brunettes in jewel tones are my favorite, so purple would be great as well!
Please do show the set in sleeve method, it looks fascinating!
it looks wonderful! and for the next one, mustard yellow or orange!
I think you even know more about knitting than my gramma did, and she owned a kyarn shop and was the town go-to for knitting help. I mean, those faux set-in sleeves, I never even seen that but it makes SO MUCH sense!
Im thinking a vibrant bluish purple like deep indigo or a royalist blue for your next dragonfly sweater.
Gorgeous! That green color really catches my eye, but the lace pattern is really lovely once I start to actually look at the sweater, not just the awesome color 🙂 I love how you’ve updated (or pre-dated) the design of the sweater to make it more vintage. Can’t wait to see more!
Katie Emma says
I think I medium or light gray would be great with the slightly oversized look you’re going for with your second one.
I kind of forgot about this pattern, but your awesome limey sweater is making me think about it again!
It’s so beautiful! Love the colour as well.
Some form of purple…either a perriwinkle or a deep plum.
It’s so pretty! Blocking it to open up the lace was a good idea, love the lacey look, I like all the modifications you did, your version looks cuter!
Love the jumper. I was so glad to see your link for the stretchy bind off, thank you! As has happened a few times before, in an ‘amazing coincidence’ type way, just when I’m knitting something and realise I need some help or info up it pops on your blog. The way you share your knowledge is so helpful.
Color-fabulous! Whole shebang? Absolutely fabulous! You have some serious patience and talent Sistah. Lucky!
Love this jumper! I’l have you know it’s because of you that I signed up for a knitting class! You amaze and inspire me with such beautiful creations. Thank you for sharing. Love blue for your second jumper, any shade really 😉
Wow, you knitted it in 12 days?! That is crazy fast. I just finished my Miette in 3 months and was happy with that, guess I just need to try harder 😉
I am following along on your 1940s knitting progress, it is really interesting so far. I have a few patterns that I haven’t got around to trying yet so this might be the push I need (after I finish the Hetty jumper)
Gorgeous! Your knitting skills are awe-inspiring! Love the changes you did to the original pattern, and the colour is fantastic (and so perfect for the backdrop =) ). Can totally see you knit this one up in a number of different ways.
What a great jumper! The colour suits you nicely, too.
I’d be very interested to know more about the way you set in the sleeves. Seamless construction with the look of set-in sleeves? Totally I skill I’d like to learn 🙂
Emma Jayne says
Ohhh I totally want your version in plum…. sadly my knitting skills won’t stretch further than hats/scarfs/cowls!
Siri Andersen says
That color is KA-POW!!! And it looks gorgeous on you!
Love that lace pattern and the effect it gives, and I too much prefer your version over the original 🙂
I am currently trying to sew sleeves on a knit pullover, and it kind of sucks… Wish I could do it your way instead. So much easier 🙂
What a gorgeous jumper! I love everything about it. Please do share how to do sleeves like this as I’m very interested. I’m going to check out your link to the the bind off too.
As for your next one…. I love blue and I notice you have blue eyes so it’ll be great on you. Happy knitting!
I am in love with this sweater! Great job! And the colour looks spectacular on you!
Really, really, REALLY gorgeous sweater! The color is absolutely incredible! It looks amazing with your coloring and hair. I like the mods you made to the length. And, this sleeve is fantastic. I’d for sure be interested in seeing how you went about easing it in and picking up stitches. As for the redux, I vote INDIGO!
Lisa Suit says
I love this!! I love the color and how you made it look vintage-I probably would have completely passed by the original pattern, to be honest. (Pretty-just not my style.) I would love it if you did a post on how you knit the sleeves; I have found that if I can’t knit something seamlessly I’m not going to knit it in this season of my life, & this technique would open up a lot more patterns for me! 🙂
I love this sweater! And that color…fabulous! Almost makes me want to try and learn to knit, though I’d have to start with something easier, like a pot holder. 🙂
I am amazed at how someone can take yarn and some knitting needles and turn it into a beautiful sweater — amazing!
for the next one, I vote either a burnt orange or a deep teal. 🙂
What a beautiful jumper, the lace pattern and colour are amazing. The modifications work out really well. You’ve done a great job!
Miss Crayola Creepy says
Your version is so cute! I wish I could knit this pattern and make it look like yours!
oh it’s so pretty and the color !!! It’s always to watch your blog to discover all those beautifuls creations !!
What a lovely sweater! The lace work looks amazing and I love the vivid green yarn you chose 🙂
Wow, I love this! I’m trying to learn to knit right now, and I’m adding this to my favorites on Ravelry so I can make it as soon as I’m ready. I like how you blocked it to emphasize the look of the lace. I can’t wait until I can make some of these beautiful knitted things!
plum or purple! that would be gorgeous as well. and i envy your quick and perfect-looking work (12 days is pretty amazing…i can knit a baby sweater in that time)!
Oh my goodness, that’s so lovely! I was just catching up on my RSS feed (tedious life drama has made me fall behind) and this post absolutely caught my eye! I love the color. And I’m totally blown away by how vintage you made it look. I love all the waist length sweaters you make. I’m always telling myself that they aren’t flattering on me, but you know, I’m beginning to not care if that’s true or not. You are a master of the vintage sweater!
Your skill in knitting is very good!! This sweater is amazing! I used wollmeise wool for shawls and I like it a lot, I am planning a sweater with this yarn too and seeing yours convinced me to put it on the top of my list 🙂
Gorgeous sweater! I may have to take the time to check it out more on Ravelry, and knit one for me.
That’s a lovely jumper – you knit things so quickly, too, you must be a really speedy knitter.
Maybe you could do a blog round-up post of how to knit fast? There must be some secret besides knitting in front of the TV…although it seems like you do a lot of pre-knitting planning, which probably helps plus really reading the pattern, anticipating challenges. Then swatching plus doing the essential math to get the right fit. Does this sound about right?
Yes, sounds about right! I do get quite familiar with the pattern ahead of time so that I can anticipate things one step ahead of the pattern. That way I can go for quite some time just knitting, without worrying about what is supposed to be happening upstream in the pattern.
That’s a beautiful jumper and I admire your skill in adapting the original pattern. I’m sadly not so talented, so would you be able to publish the revised pattern so we can knit your version of the jumper? Thank you.
Hi Penny, it’s not my pattern so I wouldn’t be publishing it in any way, however you can see more about the modifications I made on my Ravelry page. 🙂
Those jeans are so cute! Which model are they?
I’m not sure as they’re a few years old at this point, but probably the Classics.
Thanks! I have been thinking about getting a pair for a while, but couldn’t decide which ones.
jane cairns says
How I happened on this terrific site I have no idea but thank goodness! I’m knitting a vest – Penny Straker “Rigby” – for my husband but realize after completing the back that in the yarn I chose, it will look better as a pullover and as well, he’ll wear it more. So, now for some furious knitting to complete the front and get launched into the set-in sleeves top down! Very exciting (and yes, I did purchase enough yarn). BTW, love the colour of your Dragonflies Jumper, especially in the woodsy setting.