Pattern of the Week: The Orphism Pullover

Generally speaking, I prefer knitting simple sweaters to complex sweaters. While lovely, any sweater that has multiple shaping and charts going on at the same time takes way too much focus for me. However, simple sweaters can be, in a word, boring. They’re boring to wear. They’re boring to make. So it’s good to find a happy medium between simple and complicated. I like something that has a little element of both: interesting detail and miles of mindless stockinette stitch.

Orphism Pullover

The Orphism Pullover from Wool Studio volume VI

The Orphism Pullover from Wool Studio volume 6  is a great example of a simple pullover with a distinctive accent. It’s a fairly basic sweater, with  modified drop-shoulder sleeves, no waist shaping, and a classic wide neckline. However, the cable patterns on each side are really what make this sweater pop.

The decorative cabled diamonds were inspired by the work of Sonia Delaunay, a Ukrainian-born French artist. Along with her husband Robert Delaunay and Czech artist František Kupka, she co-founded the Orphism movement. Orphism used the geometric elements of Cubism, but had an abstract rather than figurative style. In addition to painting, Sonia Delauany also designed clothing and fabric using her trademark bold colors and liner patterns. The angular motifs echo both her paintings and her dramatic scarves, coats, and swimsuits.

orphism pullover

The diamond motifs were influenced by the work of Sonia Delaunay, one of the founders of Orphism.

While the overall silhouette is simple, the large cabled diamonds on each side add visual interest. The diamonds create the illusion of an hourglass figure, if you’re into that sort of thing. (If you’re not, that’s cool too! The straight shaping still works in your favor.) Designer Cheryl Toy cleverly changed the size of the diamonds depending on the finished size of the sweater, so the design remains proportional at any size. If you’re small, you won’t be overwhelmed by the cable motif; if you’re bigger, the diamonds don’t look like a tiny afterthought.

The Orphism Pullover is made in a delightfully soft and squishy yarn, Plymouth Yarn Incan Spice. Incan Spice is a fingering-weight blend of extrafine Merino wool, baby alpaca, and mulberry silk—all fibers guaranteed to be plush and velvety! With eight striking colors to choose from, you’re sure to find a shade that would make Sonia proud.

Channel your inner abstract artist and start your Orphism Pullover today!


Pattern Details

FINISHED SIZE 30 1/4 (33 3/4, 37 1/4, 40 1/4, 44, 47  1/2, 51)” circumference at underarm. Pullover shown measures 30 1/4″; modeled with 1 3/4″ of negative ease.

YARN Plymouth Yarn Incan Spice (45% extrafine Merino wool, 25% baby alpaca, 15% mulberry silk, 15% yak; 218 yd [199 m]/13/4 oz [50 g]): #2 Orange, 7 (7, 8, 10, 10, 11, 12) balls.

NEEDLES Size 4 (3.5 mm): 16″ and 24″ circular (cir) and set of double-pointed (dpn). Adjust needle size if necessary to obtain the
correct gauge.

NOTIONS Markers (m); cable needle (cn); stitch holders; tapestry needle.

GAUGE 27 sts and 38 rnds = 4″ in St st.

All photos by Harper Point Photography.


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