The Irina Pullover: Fit for a ballerina, and you!

Irina Pullover Sweater

Irina Pullover

I love ballet. Its beautiful, graceful, lyrical movements and music enchant me. One of my favorite movies is The Turning Point from the late 70s, and also White Nights, which is quintessentially 80s, but still amazing. Mikhail Baryshnikov was in both of these movies, and wow. Am I right?! When he was in Sex and the City I wanted him to break out into dance so bad, but alas.

Oops, I got away from the knitting topic (again!). What started me down this path is a knitted sweater, though. It’s Linda Margveng’s beautiful Irina Pullover, shown at right. Designed in honor of Russian ballerina Irina Baronova, its elegant cables stopped me in my tracks. I just love it.

I had to look into the history of the real Irina, of course. She was born in 1919 in Saint Petersburg. Her family escaped the Russian Revolution by crossing into Romania. Irina’s mother was a ballet enthusiast and found a teacher for her when she was seven. She excelled and was discovered by George Ballanchine in the 1930s and became a star in the famous Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. She retired at 27 and married Cecil Tennant. She is also the mother of the actress Victoria Tennant.

What an exciting life! Makes me a bit jealous as I sit here in my yoga pants writing this newsletter. Not that that’s not super fun!

All kidding aside, it is fun, because I get to see knitwear like the Irina Sweater and delve deep into the designs. One of the things that makes Irina stand out is the yarn combination. It’s knit with a strand of Rowan Felted Tweed and Rowan Kidsilk Haze held together. I’ve knit with these two yarns held together, and they make a beautiful fabric. The softness is amazing, and the drape is beautiful.

Irina pullover sweater

This sweater is knit in the round from the bottom up to the armholes, and then knitted flat to the square neckline and shoulders. The cables are framed with panels of garter stitch.Irina is designed to fit closely, but not tightly. The pattern goes up to a size 48-inch bust, and it’s shown on the model with 2 inches of positive ease. So if your bust measures 42, you’d knit the size 44½, which would give you that 2 inches of roominess, plus a little more.Get the Irina Pullover in the new issue of knit.wear, or you can download the single Irina pattern if you just want that. We love options!


P.S. Are you a ballet fan? Leave a comment below and share your favorite ballet, ballet movie, or ballet star. And let me know what you think of the Irina Pullover, too!

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