Is It a Swoncho or Is It a Poweater?

By Kay Gardiner
July 27, 2021
Field Guide No. 18 pairs Karida Collins's simple, stunning designs with her simply stunning yarns. Join our Karidalong! It's perfect summer knitting.

Leave a Comment

  • Kay I love the colour also!! It really pops on you!! !! I agree with you on the top down befuddleness it happens to me too!! LOL Finally I also love the raglan section with the the garter stitches and the holes really make it pop!!! Can’t wait to see it completed!!!

    • OMG, me too – I’m test knitting a top-down pattern for a designer right now, and though I’m a very experienced knitter I haven’t done a lot of top-down sweaters. Phew! But very soon I’ll be dividing the sleeves out thank goodness!! 😀

  • Oh I love that color (and I’m not even a blue person). I think your mods would work for me. I am short-waisted and often feel drowned in roomy styles. Thank you for doing the math (and experimentation) for me, Kay, Lately I’ve been working on multiple projects to use up my stash (hah! my knitting heirs will be able to open their own store) and any shortcuts are highly appreciated.

  • Thank you, Kay! I am just beginning the “knit 16 rounds even” on the smallest size. This is my first knit sweater and your letter today is very helpful. I am an Ohioan that began this sweater on a trip to Alaska and knitted last week on a short trip to the UP in Michigan. I have dubbed it “The Traveling Swoncho”!

  • That color is gorgeous! And luv ur mods;)
    P.S. your Schitts Creek reference had me LMAO!!

  • I misplaced my new book and the pattern that I downloaded for the swoncho because my post Covid brain has yet to clear post 8 months but the advantage of my loss is that I can read about it and when I find my pattern and yarn I will be prepared using these posts

    • I’m sorry you had to go through that and are continuing to experience symptoms. I was talking to a woman who was still having ‘brain fog’ 6 months after her other symptoms had cleared. She was telling me how frustrating it is. I hope it clears for you soon.

  • I recently finished testing a saddle shoulder sweater for Thea Colman (another Field Guide MVP) and I see your swoncho has a similar effect because of fewer sleeve decreases. Great fit on you, and wow, what a color!

    Your “fold in the cheese” comment had me giggling. Given David’s vast sweater collection, I could picture that scene with him knitting one and asking Moira what the instruction to “work even” means. Hilarious.

    • “Work even” has a British tang to it and is splendid!

  • Squaring off shoulders is good! You’re right, the shoulders fit you perfectly.

  • When I first saw this design, i thought about the sleeve placement too. I wondered what happens if, when wearing it, you need to reach up….like when shopping for yarn. I hate it when my midsection is exposed!I

    Thanks for the tips on moving the sleeves up. Good to know others have the same concerns.

  • I would recommend that if you split for the sleeves earlier to go up a needle size for the sleeves so you have a bit more room at the upper forearm.

    • Excellent tip thank you!

  • Love your mods, Kay! I’m working on the Debut Pullover now and loving it and Karida’s yarn. But you have now made the Swoncho much more appealing to me with this mod—-when I looked at previous photos, I wondered what I would do with all that extra « interior space » between my underarm and waist. As you said, it’s MY sweater and now I can see how I want it to be. Many thanks!

  • Did you do helical knitting with your yarn to make the pooling less? It is gorgeous!

    • No, I can never be bothered to alternate skeins, and it’s not needed with Karida’s near-solid shades.

      • Wow, impressive! That’s awesome dyeing!

  • That garter strip for the raglan is great-looking! (and has the added bonus of no counting for cables…..I may copycat….)

    • Instead of garter, I’m doing seed stitch!
      I like the way it looks

  • Never thought of that tip! Now I want to make the swoncho. Love love love the blue you are knitting.
    Can’t wait to see you wearing it.

  • Kay, I love your modification! I think I will do something similar. When you get there, would you share with all of us anything you needed to re-tool on the sleeves? thank you for taking us along on your Simple Swoncho journey

  • Thank you for that article. Not doing a sweater right now but will be soon.

  • Ingenious! I love the idea of a swoncho, but I know I’d never wear it with the sleeves placed so low. But a poweater with sleeves where I want them?!? YES!!! (PS- I’m hoping to see a pattern with the instruction “fold in the stitches until you reach the desired fit”.)

  • Love, love ,love ALL of it- the color, the mods, the higher sleeve placement! Will you continue the sleeves in stockinette and switch to the ribbing as the pattern suggests?

  • Great style edit.
    Makes it more wearable and practical, I think.
    That’s knitting/sewing – the individual touch. Custom made.

  • This looks great on you. And the color of that yarn is the best. It looks like I may have to cast on.

  • I love how your neckline worked out – I was a little concerned about that being too ‘flashdance’-ey for us of a certain age, but I’m reassured. I’m finishing up another (also top down, narrowly my more-often-knitted type) sweater that is just past the ‘great divide’ and at the “cheese-folding-in” phase and then this one is next, can’t wait! The great thing about my hero Karida’s Swoncho design is that sleeve island is one of those little pretty ones that’s just a short hike across!

  • Inquiring minds want to know-is the small orangish red blob a necklace or surprise flower petal? Beautiful shades of blue!

    • Stitch marker!

    • Stitch marker, I believe.

      • Jinx!

  • fold in the sleeves!

    • Hahahaha!!! That was my most favorite scene from Schitt’s Creek.

  • Americans referencing Schitt’s Creek makes me so happy.

  • Love this, and the resultant slimmer body of the sweater, now that you’ll be working even from a narrower divide point. Great idea. I might switch from the Debut pullover to this following your inspiration.

  • I guess I’m slightly confused. Are you putting your sleeve stitches on hold and working the body down first, then working the sleeves down? Like you and other commenters I’d like it better more like a sweater.

  • Kay – since you’ve replaced the cables with garter stitch panels, did that increase the width of that segment a bit? Does that matter? I love your sweater-y adaptations, the color is beautiful, and like everyone else, I’m looking forward to seeing how it turns out!

  • Hi Kate – I just love all the changes you have made and your simple explanations. You have made this project even more accessible to the mind of a beginner. It is so kind of you to share! Thank you!

  • Is it possible to knit this swoncho I’d I have only knit one sweater years ago? I pretty ugh have been sticking to scarves and cowls…..seriously!

  • this is super helpful. thank you so much!