knit, Swirl!

Eye candy. Inspiration. Drool-worthy. Shelf jewelry.

And all those words describe only the book. What you can make with this book deserves a whole new set of adjectives.

A “Swirl” is a sweater. Or is it a jacket? Or is it a piece of art that you can wear? It’s definitely a chance to pick your favourite yarn and really show it off and enjoy it. It’s also a way to use up large amounts of yarn from your stash.

The construction behind the Swirl involves a circle or oval, knit from the outside in, which then morphs into an additional shape that forms the sleeves and neckline. This is all knit in one piece, then joined together by sewing one seam under the arms. That one seam provides some structure to the garment, which is largely drapey. The collar is basically made by the top of the circle or oval, folded over. Some of the Swirls can be worn either right-side-up OR upside-down, giving them a lovely versatility in collar size and letting you choose your look for the day.

The book knit, Swirl! is basically one pattern, repeated in all its variations of shape and yarn type. Since your Swirl can be either a circle or an oval, with either off-centre or on-centre sleeves (creating either large or small collars to complement either long or short waists), it really can take a while to choose which variation of the Swirl you would like to knit first. Some are more tailored looking, while other are more flowy and artsy. The creator of the Swirl really took her time working out all the differences in stitch count for the varying gauges and fits, and she provides great directions and tips for choosing your perfect Swirl. For the visually minded, there are also detailed diagrams for each variation.

I loved the photos and layout of this book. Each Swirl is shown in different ways, so you can really see what they look like on. Since we knitters obviously can’t try on our clothes before we make them, it’s great to have lots of visual clues beforehand to help with our decisions. The only problem is that every single photo is so pretty, I wanted to choose them all! And I also want to wear my Swirl on a beach, with wind gently tussling my hair, enjoying the coziness of the luxurious yarn on my neck. (But since a Swirl uses as much yarn as a blanket, I think I’ll have to settle for something a little more economically feasible than a cashmere blend. Boo.)

But, the good news is that the Swirl I’ve settled on is knit up in worsted-weight merino, and I can get that at Knit Picks for a pretty decent price — and it feels good on, too. (I love my Classic Lines Cardigan, knit up in Knit Picks lace-weight merino; it feels like I’m wearing a light yet cozy cloud.) Now, the hard part: choosing a colour. Oh, and finding the space in my ever-growing queue!

So, what are you waiting for? Go knit a Swirl!

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