Updated: Jan 13
This is the first in our series of pattern reviews which we hope you will find useful when you are trying to decide whether the pattern is right for you.
Pattern rating: 4 out of 5
Ability level: Confident beginner who wants to try a top down sweater
The Metamorphic Sweater pattern https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/metamorphic-2 is a design from one of our favourite designers here at Stitches and Cream and when it was released I knew I had to give it a go using some of our yarns.
The pattern is designed in a way that lets the inside shine as the star feature using a reverse stocking stitch with a slipped stitch faux seam strategically placed centre front and back, with the same down either side of the sleeves too..
This subtly striped sweater is a boxy type shape and knitted like many sweater patterns nowadays, from the top down on circular needles so you can adjust the length if you want to.
The original is knitted in double knit and Andrea uses her 'go to' favourite Spincycle 'Dyed in the Wool' yarn for her pattern.
The materials I used to make my version:
Although I love the Dyed in the Wool yarn it is an expensive option. After looking at what I could use from our shop stock I decided that the Arranmore Light from The Fibre Co. would be a good base and I opted for the "Glenveagh Castle' colourway to try to replicate the original sample photo in the pattern.
Spincycle yarns are unpredictable in their colour changes which is what makes them so popular. The colour shifts throughout the project and gives subtle flashes and pops of colour throughout. But at roughly £30 per 50g skein here in the UK it is expensive to use for a whole sweater.
So I decided to look for alternative options. To achieve those variations of colour I chose 2 different but complementary indie dyed yarns from one of our fave local dyers, Hannah from Camel's Yarn. The yarns I used were from her Merino DK range in 'Earth Day' and 'Mermaid of Zennor' and I wanted to alternate them for the striped rows so that they blended in and therefore I wouldn't get any colour pooling.
I knitted the size 4 as I like some ease and I wanted to knit it slightly longer than the pattern suggested as cropped sweaters tend to hit me right in the mid section which I would rather hide from public view if I can!
The products I used:
MC was Arranmore Light Glenveagh Castle 3 x 100g skeins (300m per 100g)
CC1 was Earth Day Merino DK by Camel's Yarn 1 x 100g (215m per 100g)
CC2 was Mermaid of Zennor Merino DK by Camel's Yarn 1 x 100g (215m per 100g)
Ribbing 3.5mm/ main body 4mm/ sleeves 4.5mm (various cable lengths or magic loop)
All of Andrea Mowry's patterns are so well written that you always feel that you are in a safe pair of hands when you start one of hers as she has thought of everything you might need to know. There are loads of video links for additional support and some techniques are included too.
After swatching and hitting gauge I used the long tail tubular cast on she suggests in the pattern but now I have learnt the German Twisted cast on method I would probably opt for that if I decided to do it again as I prefer the stretch and look of this method.
I also appreciated the advice to go up a needle size for the sleeves as this made them more comfortable and helped me stay on gauge.
The sweater is an easy knit with nothing really complicated about the construction as long as you know how to do German short rows (but she has a tutorial for these if not) and I liked the inside out technique as the thought of purling to achieve a 'reverse stocking stitch' effect overall would have been probably put me off starting in the first place.
I liked the adaptations I made to the length because it sits perfectly on my body (and on Sandra's who is modelling it for me here!) hiding a multitude of sins and chocolate consumption, and I didn't have to break into additional yarn to achieve it either which is always a bonus. As sweaters go it was quite an economical make.
The only other adaptation I would do if I knitted it again would be to take out the faux seam on the inside of the sleeve. Instead of doing 2 on the sleeve I would opt for just the one on the outside as I am not sure the inner seam adds anything to the pattern.
Pros and Cons:
Pros - It was an easy pattern to knit and could easily be dropped and picked up again if you wanted leave it for a while to do something else. The sweater will be an easy wear and perfect for throwing over jeans or a dress as a layer during colder weather.
The pattern is easy to follow and has a really inclusive range of size options and you can experiment with colour to achieve very differnet results, or you could use up scraps of DK to add variety to the stripes and save on cost.
The video support is great with this pattern for people who are learning their craft, and it is very well written and easy to follow.
Cons - If you have already knitted the Weekender Sweater by Andrea Mowry this pattern may feel very familiar. The faux seam and reverse stocking stitch is exactly the same with the main differences being that the Weekender has a boat neck and side splits, and is knitted from the bottom up and not the top down. But if you prefer a round neck and knitting from the top down this sweater pattern is a good option.
If you would like to look at something slightly different take a look at our other recommendations for a DK sweater:
Seaglass Sweater by Wool and Pine https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/sea-glass-sweater-2
Festival Sweater My Size by Petite Knits https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/festival-sweater-my-size
Merrivale by Along Avec Anna https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/merrivale-jumper
Oles by Belen Fernandez https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/oles
Some DK yarn recommendations:
This is definitely a pattern I would recommend and it would be an easy first sweater for someone who wants to give top down sweater knitting a go. Make sure you look at the technical videos to support you which are all helpfully included within the pattern and you shouldn't go far wrong.
My only reservation is the similarity to the Weekender but if you love Andrea's designs you will really enjoy this pattern and playing with colour.
If you have knitted this pattern or want to get more info leave a comment below.