Project Diary: The Thermal Pullover

I consider my friend Dinah one of the most accomplished knitters I know. When we show our projects in our Wednesday night knitting gathering, Dinah is always the one pulling out a fabulous lace shawl, or an Aran blanket, or some intricately cabled socks. She holds up her needles and says in the most understated way, "Oh, I just started this __________, and it's actually pretty easy and fun." The rest of use slowly put our work on our laps and just oh and ah over Dinah's lovely project.


I love having her knit for Knitting Daily for many reasons, but one of them is that she's willing to take on anything. Last year, I asked her to pick something from one of the fall releases, and she chose the Thermal Pullover, by Allyson Dykhuizen, from knit.wear Fall 2012.

Dinah has worn this sweater all over the place, as she'll tell you below, including to our annual knitting retreat in October. It's absolutely beautiful. It looks like she spent a mint on it at Nordstrom, but, of course, she knit it herself. And because it's knit from Knit Picks Wool of the Andes, it's totally affordable!

    The Thermal Pullover

Finished Size: 27¾ (32, 34¾, 39, 41¾)" bust circumference. Pullover shown measures 27¾".
Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Worsted (100% Peruvian highland wool; 110 yd [101 m]/13⁄4 oz [50 g]): #24075 camel heather, 10 (11, 13, 14, 16) balls.
Needles: Size 9 (5.5 mm): 24" circular (cir), 16" cir, and set of double-pointed (dpn). Adjust needle size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.
Notions: Markers (m); stitch holders; tapestry needle.
Gauge: 23 sts and 21 rnds = 4" in Ovals in the Rnd patt.

 The Thermal Pullover is a modified drop-shoulder knitted pullover, which is a design where the armhole is set in just a bit, but there's little to no cap shaping or armhole shaping. Designer Allyson calls the highly-textured stitch pattern the dimple stitch, which I think is the perfect name. It looks complicated, but like so much in knitting, once you get rolling, it's easy to memorize.

One of my favorite things about this sweater is the deep shawl collar. It really finished the sweater nicely, with a nod to cozyness and style. And it's worked in the round from the bottom up, so no seaming!

Here's Dinah to tell you about her knitting experience.

Dinah's Thermal Pullover

When Kathleen asked if I would be willing to knit one of the projects from Fall 2012 knit.wear, I began browsing through the patterns, and the Thermal Pullover caught my eye right away. I really wanted something that I could wear over a lightweight top for work, and also layer over a heavier turtleneck for spring camping, and this sweater looked like it fit the bill. I was really drawn to its simple construction (no shaping!), interesting stitch pattern, and cozy looking neckline.

I choose the yarn that the designer used, Knit Picks Wool of the Andes, in Onyx Heather. It's really a work horse yarn, and it's held up great to all that I've put my sweater through, which includes riding an actual work horse!

I knit the Thermal on size 7 U.S. needles; as always, I had to go with a smaller needle to get gauge. I'm a hopelessly loose knitter.


I did a little research on Ravelry before I started, and some knitters said that the fabric in this sweater had a great deal of stretch. I don't like my wool sweaters to be too fitted, and I really wanted the option of wearing this sweater over a heavier layer. So I decided to knit the size 39, which is probably the size I would have gone with for a sweater with no negative ease (the pattern notes suggest that this pullover is designed to be worn with negative ease).

I really enjoyed knitting the Thermal. The stitch pattern was fun to work and the pattern was clearly written. I followed it exactly, almost. I wanted the cuffs to be a bit more snug than pictured, so I added four extra decrease rows, spaced evenly between the decrease rounds specified in the pattern.

The only thing I wish I'd done differently is to add a couple inches of length. The finished project is totally wearable, though, and I've gotten so many compliments on it.

And I have indeed worn my beautiful sweater to the office. I also wore it on several early spring camping trips as well. It's sturdy and warm, and still looks feminine. The Thermal Pullover will be part of my cool-weather wardrobe for many years to come.

I highly recommend this sweater. It's enjoyable to knit and so satisfying to wear.

—Dinah Demers, knitter extraordinaire!

I love this sweater, and I think you will too. So get yourself a copy of Fall 2012 knit.wear, which is on sale now, and cast on!


P.S. Have you knit the Thermal Pullover? Tell us about it in the comments, and post a picture in the reader gallery!

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