Project Diary: Ginevra's Pullover

Gerda Porter modeling her version of Ginevra's Pullover by Amy Polcyn

My Friend Gerda Porter knitted Ginevra's Pullover from the Winter issue of Interweave Knits, and it turned out great!

Gerda has known how to knit since her Oma (grandmother) taught her when she was 7. She took a class from a Norwegian lady who only allowed students to knit Continental style ("picking") and she's never looked back.

I've known Gerda for three years now, and I can tell you that she's one of the best (and fastest) knitters I've ever known. And she's one of the sweetest people I've ever known, too! When I needed a knitter for the Ginevra Pullover, I knew Gerda would enjoy this easy knitting pattern.

Gerda worked with me at our LYS, and she still works there, teaching classes and helping knitters pick out yarn and patterns that are perfect for them. She has quite a following!

Here's Gerda to share her project diary with you.

Ginevra's Pullover by Amy Polcyn
(featured in Interweave Knits Winter 2010)

: Gerda Porter
Yarn: Malabrigo Twist 150 Azul Profundo 6 skeins, Malabrigo Lace 150 Azul Profundo 1 skein
Needle size used: The pattern called for a size 9 but I'm a loose knitter so I used an 8.

I adore all things Malabrigo and I love knitting garments top down avoiding the seaming. Knitting in the round is so relaxing and the neckline detailing is so feminine and flattering. So when Kathleen asked me if I wanted to knit this project and write up my experience for you all, I jumped at the chance!

Another view of Ginevra's Pullover. I love how the neck insert adds interest.

Size I made: 42"

My measurements
Waist: 35"
Hips: 40"
Arm length: 16"

Waist: 38
Hips: 42
Arm length: 16

Right after knitting this, I thought I'd chosen the wrong size and I was afraid it would be too big. After blocking, though, I think it fits just fine!

Here are some of the modifications I made:

  • I lengthened the sweater to get past my tummy area, and I shortened the sleeves to be bracelet length. I have short arms already so I always do this for any sweater I knit.
  • When working the waist shaping and for the arms I used paired decreases—SSK on the left edge of the row and K2tog on the right. (The pattern simply states to decrease 1 stitch each side in the waist shaping and sleeve shaping.)
  • I knitted the arms using the Magic Loop techniques to avoid DPNs. I'm not as efficient with DPNs as I am with the Magic Loop method.

What I loved most about this pattern is the neck insert and how flattering it is when it's sewn into the sweater (although it's not very exciting to knit, as I note below).

The pattern is an easy knit, almost too easy because I got carried away with the increasing and was 20 stitches over at one point! Minding a grandchild and knitting this was not a good choice!

The yarn made this very fun to knit; I love working with Malabrigo and the subtle color variegation is beautiful.

Gerda's Tips

  • Read through the pattern first and use a counter to keep track of where you are on increases. If you are off on the back section of this sweater it's not that big of a deal but you do want the front sections and sleeve sections to remain in balance.
         Tech Tip from Interweave Knits: Ginevra's Pullover has increases worked at different rates at the same time. To keep track, try writing down all the increase rows (Row 1, Row 3, Row 5, etc.) and circling every other number to denote the rows in which both every-other-row and every-fourth-row increases are worked. Cross off each increase row as you work it.
  • Because this is a top-down pattern, you can try it on at any given time so customizing is easy to do. For example, I was able to try on the Ginevra as I knitted to see exactly how much longer I needed to make the body section to cover my tummy.
  • I would knit the neck insert first as this is what held me up from finishing the sweater. The insert is just a stockinette rectangle, so it was a bit tedious to knit. The rest of the sweater was ready in a week but the insert took me longer because I wasn't motivated to knit it! I think if I'd have knit it first I would have gotten it done quickly so I could move on to the rest of the sweater.
  • When sewing in the neck piece, put in some long basting stitches at the ends of the insert so it can be gathered to fit into the neckline properly.
  • Be sure and do your gauge swatch in the round; not purling can make a big difference in your gauge.
  • If you don't enjoy working with DPNs, the sleeves can be easily worked using the Magic Loop method.

Lucy likes my sweater, too!

Overall this pattern was really fun to knit, and I love the way it fits, the neck inset is so flattering—I may make another one for myself in the future!

I plan to wear this with a black pants, black camisole and Spanx to slenderize the lines! (I am modeling it in a turtleneck because the weather was 7 degrees that day)!

I encourage you to make Ginevra's Pullover. I think you'll get as much wear out of it as I have!

Happy knitting,



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