My Skelf

For holidays last year, Mom sent me Ysolda Teague’s Little Red in the City. While reading the book, I felt a surprising urge to knit Skelf, a mostly reverse stockinette pullover with some fun details. I had never considered knitting the sweater before that point, despite mulling over the projects in advance.

skelf front

I pulled some very-well aged Rowan Calmer in Peacock from the stash and cast on.

Three months and a lot of math later, I had a new pullover. I wore it a fair amount during the spring. Cool!


I did a lot of math on this sweater. I knit a 44 hip and a 38 shoulder, with a 50 bust in between. I used vertical and horizontal bust darts to get the bust up to 50, and then I worked extra decreases at the shoulders to bring the neckline in. It worked pretty well, though the neckline could have still been a little smaller. It was hard to tell because the neckline is knit on after the rest of the knitting is complete.

Button and Cable Detail

Speaking of the neckline — I had a HELL of a time with it. The first two times I tried to knit it, it would develop holes where I picked up the stitches along the neck edge. I finally had success by going down to a US5 needle and pulled verytaut the p2tog at the edge. It looked much tidier that way and I am happy with it.

I wasn’t sure how much I would wear it, but it turns out that while cardigans are what tickle my knit fancy, I seem to wear pullovers a lot more these days. I ended up wearing it a lot and not feeling as though I was sticking out like a sore thumb for wearing a handknit.

The next time I knit a reverse stockinette stitch sweater with sleeves in the round, I will add a fake seam line in stockinette. Otherwise the slanted decreases look awful.

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