Ebba Pullover: Pattern Math


As you know, my next big project is the Ebba Pullover by Dianna Walla. I love the aesthetics of this sweater; and, after getting my hands on the Quince & Co. Chicadee yarn that the pattern calls for, I love the fabric as well. The yarn is light and bouncy with a strong 3-ply construction that will stand the test of time and wear.

Having knit four other sweaters, I knew that I was not quite willing to just follow-along. Sometimes you get lucky–sure–but my experience with sweaters has been so-so when i follow the pattern for a couple of reasons: 1) I’m a tight knitter, so my gauge is usually a bit different and 2) I like things to fit my body in particular ways, which means I usually don’t want to go with standard shaping. Ysolda Teague speaks about these standards in a recent interview with Felicia Lo of Sweet Georgia yarns. So, this means going my own way . . . which means I need a few hours of concentrated time to understand the pattern and then apply my gauge and adapt the pattern to my body math.

This pattern is fairly straight forward for a yoked pullover: you basically knit a tube, add steeks for the sleeves and then work the sleeves. The tricky parts in adapting it are 1) the color charts need to be adapted (and the designer helps with this a bit for the different sizes she offers); 2) my stitch gauge AND my row gauge were different, so I had to do some extra maths for the length of the garment; and 3) the neck line requires a bit of modification (for my taste) and that means understanding BOs and neck hole size.

At this point, I’m about 4″ into the sweater and I’m super excited about the fabric that I’m creating. As I mentioned on Episode 6ย of the VLOG, I’m planning three major modifications in addition to the body measurement changes I’m making:

  1. bringing the neckline in a bit on both sides (and possibly adding buttons)
  2. lengthening the sleeves so that they are full-length
  3. possibly adding colorwork to the sleeve ends

I would love to know whether and how other folks work with patterns to modify them for their own bodies and tastes–ideas? Please share in the comments ๐Ÿ™‚


This entry was posted in custom pattern, Ebba Pullover, knitting, knitting math, pattern, Quince & Co., WIP, yarn. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Ebba Pullover: Pattern Math

  1. Tasha says:

    I think it’s because I’ve sewn a lot of my wardrobe for a while now, but I am also very picky about fit, especially if I’m going to knit an entire sweater! Most patterns I “use” end up being more like “inspired by” since I tend to do my own shaping, switch up yarns & stitch patterns, & yeah do a big chunk of math at the beginning. For me it’s totally worth it to have clothes that fit & look the way I want.


    • Yes! This is exactly my feeling: I love to be inspired and to read a ton of patterns and take bits and pieces of knowledge and design and apply them to a final product that will fit. Thanks for sharing your approach, Tasha!


  2. madgeface says:

    I’m picky about certain things, like sleeve length and overall garment length – I’ve modified almost every sweater I’ve made to make these a bit longer. I’ve also had to modify sleeve cap shaping so they fit properly into the armscythe, which I discovered thanks to other people’s pattern notes on Ravelry. I’ve changed necklines, skipped collars I didn’t like, knit a turtleneck instead of a crew neck and then turned that sweater into a cardigan with a shawl collar because angora is too hot for a turtleneck. Thinking about it now, I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve made a sweater exactly according to pattern. I think part of the fun of knitting, for me, is to customize the pattern to suit my needs or sense of the best way to accomplish something (e.g., using 3 needle BO at the shoulders instead of binding off then seaming). I’m excited to see your modifications & progress as you make this sweater!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Mandy! So nice to see your selfie for the #yarnlovechallange–faces and names! I completely agree with your design ideas and mods. I love the 3-needle BO and often add it to sweaters–it just helps with the structure so much! Looking forward to sharing more about this sweater . . . it’s coming out fast and furious and oh, so lovely. No guarantees on fit, since this is my first color-work sweater, but I’m excited by the whole process, even if things have to be re-done. I find I learn the most through mistakes, sometimes ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • madgeface says:

        I definitely learn the most from mistakes – I’m also a learn-by-doing person, so there’s lots of trial and error going on. It was nice to see your selfie too! Faces & names & making connections! The knitting world is awesome! ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

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