Birch Bark was part of the design collection for my very first make. wear. love. fall sweater retreat, held in my hometown each fall. It’s inspired by my hometown, too: The weather on the coast of Maine is crisp, the light is golden, and nature is constantly calling. Curves are everywhere – on the waves, on the trees, in the rocks. I wanted a pullover that was flattering and comfortable, but that also used cables to evoke the things I love about the landscape here.
You can knit Birch Bark in one of two ways: As a traditional pattern for a single gauge and 12 sizes, for $10, or as a fully-custom-gauge-and-size pattern via CustomFit, for $12.50.
As shown, Birch Bark is worked with hourglass waist shaping – though with CustomFit you can also make this design with no waist shaping, or with A-line shaping by altering the “silhouette” as you customize. The sleeves are slightly belled, with a cable panel that removes the bell via decreases. If you are making the custom version of Birch Bark, I strongly recommend you work this sweater in a worsted-weight yarn to retain the scale of the original sample. (Slightly lighter than worsted weight is preferable to slightly heavier.) Please swatch in Stockinette stitch for this design, as CustomFit will automatically adjust for the cable shrinkage.
It is worked in The Woolen Rabbit’s wonderful Frolic, which is gorgeously colored, soft, and substantial. If you decide to substitute yarn, you will need approximately 836 (917, 992, 1051, 1138, 1217, 1308, 1385, 1502, 1591, 1718, 1890) yds/765 (839, 908, 961, 1041, 1113, 1197, 1267, 1375, 1456, 1572, 1730) m.
The traditional Birch Bark pattern is available in the following sizes: 30 1⁄2 (32, 34 1⁄2, 36, 38 1⁄2, 40, 42 1⁄2, 44, 46 1⁄2, 48, 50 1⁄2, 54 1⁄2)”/77 (81.5, 87.5, 91.5, 97.5, 101.5, 107.5, 112, 118, 122, 128, 138) cm
CustomFit Birch Bark Patterns are written specifically to your size (and gauge). It’s shown here on Amy in an “hourglass average fit” with an hourglass silhouette, but is available with a-line and straight silhouettes and other fits as well.
For the traditional Birch Bark pattern, 20 sts and 26 rows = 4’’/10cm in Stockinette Stitch.
Your own customized version of the Birch Bark pattern will be written to your gauge, whatever it may be. I recommend something in the vicinity of a worsted weight, though. And please knit your yarn firmly for stability with this design.
Woolen Rabbit Frolic [100% merino]: 200 yds/183 m per 115 g hank, shown in color “Autumn Aster”: 5 (5, 5, 6, 6, 7, 7, 7, 8, 8, 9, 10) hanks
Birch Bark is worked in pieces from the bottom up and then seamed, with set-in sleeves. The shorter, slightly-belled sleeves and boat neck draw the eye up, while the dramatic cable panel on the front narrows the torso and captures the attention.
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