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It Started with a Sketch: Ikirouta

First pattern release in 2020: Ikirouta is a cozy cabled sweater with a turtleneck, two cuff length options, and optional thumb openings.

Ikirouta :: cabled sweater knitting pattern

For this design I was inspired by icy rivers and the way they groove their paths between mountain ranges. The name comes from the Finnish word ikirouta, meaning permafrost, ground that remains permanently below the freezing point of water.

Sketch for the Ikirouta sweater

And with a name like that could the sweater be in any other color than this icy cold bluish green? I think not! For my sample I used De Rerum Natura Cyrano, an aran-weight organic merino, in the colorway Lagon. It is a soft, bouncy yarn with a round profile which is just ideal for bringing out the plump cables.

Ikirouta :: cabled sweater knitting pattern

Ikirouta is an updated take on the classic, sporty ski jumper. It's knit from the top down with raglan sleeves. Waist shaping gives the sweater a slim and tailored look. The 10 cm (4 inch) wide ribbing at the hem ensures a comfortable, hugging fit around the hips. And the high turtleneck keeps you warm even in the coldest winter breezes.

Long cuffs with thumb openings on the Ikirouta sweater

There's lots to love in this sweater but my favorite feature of the design are the long ribbed cuffs. The pattern actually comes with two length options: regular ribbed cuffs or foldable, super duper long cuffs. If you so wish, there's even instructions for making a thumb opening so you can wear the cuffs fingerless mitts style! If you suffer from cold extremities (like I do), the long cuffs will keep your hands warm while skiing... or just typing at your computer.

Cable detail at the back of the Ikirouta sweater

And then there's the cables! There's a wide cable panel at the center of both front and back pieces. I must say, though, that the most complex part of the pattern is right at the beginning: you have to simultaneously work the cable on the back, do raglan increases, and shape the neckline setting up for the cable panel on the front... Kind of like doing long division in your head while juggling! It is quite a lot to take on at once, I admit.

Ikirouta :: cabled sweater knitting pattern

But the good news is even though the cable pattern looks quite complicated, it's actually quite a short pattern repeat so you'll soon get the hang of it. Once the neckline shaping is complete and you've joined the piece in the round, the rest of the sweater is just smooth sailing. Instructions for the cable pattern are provided, as usual, in both charted and written formats.

Ikirouta :: cabled sweater knitting pattern

Ikirouta comes in sizes XS to 5X, intended to fit a 75–155 cm (or 30" to 62") bust with approximately 5 cm (2") of positive ease. To knit the sweater you need approx. 900–1600 m (or 1000–1750 yd) or aran-weight yarn. I recommend choosing a smooth, round, high-twist yarn in a solid color to make the cables stand out.

Ikirouta :: cabled sweater knitting pattern

Ikirouta is now available both in my Ravelry store and on LoveCrafts. Looking for color inspiration? Check out the hashtag #ikiroutasweater on Instagram!


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Ikirouta :: cabled sweater knitting pattern

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Susanna Winter is a knitwear designer, creating timeless and elegant pieces with clean lines. She has been knitting for over 20 years, knit blogging since 2007, and designing knitting patterns professionally since 2016.

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