Bleideag is easy and relaxing to knit, available in a wide size range, and would be perfect for your first colourwork sweater project! The larger needles and quick chunky gauge make short work of this classic wardrobe staple. Here are links to tutorials that will help you tackle Bleideag, every step of the way.
It's nearly impossible to control all of the variables that might affect the gauge in the swatch vs the finished garment but there are certainly some things you can do to maximise the honesty of your swatches - this blog post discusses what those things are.
An alternating cable cast on is a useful, stretchy cast on for ribbing that’s less fussy to work than a tubular cast on. It’s worked like a regular cable cast on, but instead of casting on each stitch knitwise stitches are alternately cast on knitwise and purlwise.
This tutorial includes both step by step photos and videos so you can use whichever suits you better.
Bleideag is worked in the round seamlessly from the bottom up. Starting off a bottom-up sweater is generally very simple, since you cast on all the stitches for the body and don’t need to worry about working any immediate shaping (increases or decreases). Instead you can just get your stitches situated and settle in comfortably by working some ribbing before beginning the first stranded colourwork chart.
The bit of colourwork detail around the hem and cuffs is a gentle warmup for the yoke pattern. The main part of the body and sleeves are worked in stockinette in one colour, perfect for taking your knitting on the go (or just watching something engrossing).
Joining the body and sleeves can be a bit confusing if you haven’t worked this style before. Stitches on the sleeves and body are placed on holders for the underarm gusset, and the remaining stitches are all worked onto one needle.
When you’re knitting a bottom up sweater and reach the directions for ‘joining the body and sleeves’ do you find it difficult to visualise how the pieces fit together? This tutorial talks you through the process, with helpful pictures.
This tutorial discusses how to decide how to hold the 2 colours in your colourwork and why being consistent is important
There are a few places where short rows are used in Bleideag. Optional short row darts create more fabric at the front of the chest, which keeps the front hem of your sweater from riding up. There are three options for C/D, E/F and G/H cups - or you can just work straight up to the underarm.
Once the sleeves and body are joined, a few raglan decrease rows are worked along with short rows, to raise the back neck for a comfortable fit.
A great advantage of working bottom-up is saving the best for last! Working stranded colourwork is great fun once you’re in the swing of it, especially with a beautiful yarn such as Einrúm. And since you’re decreasing throughout the yoke, the rounds go faster and faster. The yoke decreases on Bleideag are worked in pattern for a subtle, clean look. A bit more ribbing for the neck and you’re done!
Armed with all this knowledge, are you ready to knit Bleideag?
By following our step-by-step mattress stitch knitting tutorial, you'll learn how to make your seams look beautiful and how best to prepare your knitting so that when you seam it with mattress stitch, it goes smoothly on the first try.
The long tail cast on is a great multi-purpose knitting cast on and the perfect place for beginner knitters to start. Learn how to work the long tail cast on and how to estimate the length of yarn needed with our clear step by step tutorial and video.
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