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by Sarah Stanfield November 05, 2020 4 min read

Looking for cosy and stylish gender inclusive knitwear? The Threipmuir sweater is one of Ysolda's most iconic knitwear designs, and we thought it was special enough for an update, making it gender neutral and with a greater range of size and fit options than before.

A white woman with long curly brunette hair stands on the beach smiling at the camera with the sea behind her. She is wearing an earthy green knit sweater with a dark brown and light grey colourwork yoke. Her arms hand down by her sides.

Specifically evoking the Icelandic Lopapeysas yoke style, this slouchy, comfortable sweater pattern lets you combine the colours you love wearing to create a unique handmade piece. One of our favourite features of this style is the way that the yoke feathers into the main body of the sweater, which means it avoids the visual heaviness of some more blocky yoke patterns.

Options for All Bodies

A south asian woman with mid length dark hair stands in a doorway looking towards the right of the frame. She is wearing  an earthy green knit sweater with a dark brown and light grey colourwork yoke.

When making our own clothes, we don’t have to be limited by the binary assumptions about fit and style so many of us struggle with when shopping in the men’s or women’s departments. One of the beautiful things about making is that we can create clothing that fits both our style and our bodies. However, patterns are still usually divided along the gender binary, and adapting fit requires skill, practice and a sense of where you need to make adaptations to achieve the effect that you want. 

A white trans man leans casually against a light coloured stone wall, he has short hair, is wearing dark glasses and smiles at the camera. He is wearing an earthy green knit sweater with a dark brown and light grey colourwork yoke and dark trousers.

With this in mind, the Threipmuir pattern has now been reworked for all bodies and genders. The directions include the option to knit broader shoulders relative to the chest measurement (the original ratio is also included.) Waist shaping has been included as an option, as have tall and regular sweater lengths.

As a designer, I see it as my job to make it easier for you to successfully knit the garments you want to wear without having to adapt the patterns yourself. I’ve regularly been asked to offer design knitting patterns for men, or offer men’s sizing in my patterns, but the last thing I want to do is replicate the same gender binary that’s so frustrating in ready to wear by adding men’s and women’s sizing to my patterns. Consequently I decided to approach gender inclusivity in patterns in the same way I approach other size inclusive fit issues, by offering various fit options, all of which have full instructions in the pattern and can be mixed and matched.- Ysolda

One of our models, Oli, gave us some very helpful input on his experience wearing sweaters with a binder, which you may find useful. It highlights the way that style and fit can work together to create a particular appearance.

Knitwear can be a little tricky, especially when wearing a binder. The way it drapes and falls can work in really different ways. That difference can really change how it makes you feel wearing the garment. Raglan sleeves emphasise shoulders, which helps. In some cases, the way a sweater falls can make your chest feel much more pronounced. The reason I liked wearing Threipmuir is that there is colourwork at the yoke which draws the focus up to my shoulders compared to a plainer sweater, which I'm much happier being emphasised! Where the design sits on my body makes a big difference to where the eye is drawn.- Oli

Choosing the Pattern Option for You

Most of us have a frame of reference for how gendered clothes usually fit, which can be helpful when choosing what to make, so with Threipmuir we’ve included some notes to help you pick, but otherwise there’s no binary division between the fitting options. Short with broad shoulders and long arms and prefer a less-drapey, more masculine fit? Tall with narrow shoulders and a preference for a defined waist? Simply choose the options that work best for you.

Yardage and the schematic group the regular yoke and lengths, and the broad yoke and lengths, however all options can be mixed and matched for your perfect fit. Everyone's body proportions are different but the regular lengths are most likely to fit if you are under 5' 8" and the tall if you are 5' 8" or taller.

You may also find this article, by Liam Hartle, on choosing and adapting sweater patterns when you don’t see your gender identity and body represented in models useful.

Sizing options

Threipmuir includes 16 sizes, with a finished chest circumference of 32 1/4" to 72 1/4", equivalent to ready to wear sizes XS-7XL. Our models are wearing the size 9 with between 2 and 8" of positive ease. Note that the numerical sizes are provided simply for ease of following the pattern, and do not correspond to any sizing system, use the measurements provided to choose a size.

Want to make a Threipmuir for your body? The updated pattern with new sizing and fit options will be available on 11 November. If you've already purchased the pattern, or do so before 11 November you'll automatically be sent the updated version when it's released.

We've also paired the Threipmuir pattern with Tukuwool Fingering in colour combinations to create kits we think you’ll love. We've selected five colour combinations of this amazing Finnish wool to purchase as a kit in sizes XS - 7XL, featuring the pattern and enough yarn to complete the sweater in your size.

four small images of swatches of a colourwork yoke in different colours, and underneath an image of a folded colouwork yoke sweater with skeins of yarn to the side.

Tukuwool Fingering is a unique yarn that’s grown, spun and dyed in Finland. A 2-ply yarn with a tight and lively twist, your knit will become even and smooth once washed. Tukuwool is a non-superwash yarn but is easy to care for: a cold handwash with wool detergent when you feel it needs it should be enough.

We know that making a sweater in a larger size is an investment, so sizes 9-11 include a 5% discount, and sizes 12-16 include a 10% discount compared to buying the yarn separately.

Threipmuir, a classic yoked sweater for all bodies. Images of a folded colourwork sweater, hands holding skeins of yarn and an image of a white woman with dark curly hair wearing a colourwork sweater on a beach, which is faded in the background.

If you're casting on we'd love to see - use the tag #TheirpmuirSweater so we can all swoon!

Sarah Stanfield
Sarah Stanfield

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