Leif’s Twisted Tree Pullover

Published on Sunday August 26th, 2007



New version with corrections added 28 January 2010

Leif’s sweater is ready to meet the public at last! This is a raglan pullover I designed for my good friend Abbie, who has an adorable nephew called Leif to knit for. Since Leif has a fine old Viking name, I wanted to add an element to his sweater that would remind me of Norse mythology. This ancient illustration of Yggdrasil, the World Tree, put me in mind of the Twisted Tree stitch in the first Barbara Walker treasury, which opens its branches to the sky in the same manner. I threw in some panels of reverse stockinet to set off the twisted trees, sketched in rolled cuffs, hem, and neckband for an unfussy look, and the design was born. My test sample, which you see my cousin Asa modeling above, showed the need for much fuller sleeves and a slightly looser neck, which I have now written into the pattern. Asa is a well-grown three years and eight months old and is wearing the 2/3 size, so it’s also snugger on him than intended. Leif’s Twisted Tree Pullover is sized for kids aged 1-7, and can be knit with almost any DK-weight yarn. If you want to make one for a bigger kiddo, use worsted-weight yarn and larger needles and follow the directions for the largest size. Click the link below the picture to download the free PDF. If you find errors, I want to know about them right away. Leave a note in the comments here so others will know about the problem, and I’ll make corrections as quickly as I can.

Here’s Leif modeling his eponymous sweater just the way it ought to be worn – askew from playing in the snow! Thanks to Abbie for the photographs and the knitting of this one. (And if you’d like to eat this darling boy right up, you’ll have to get in line. But there are more pictures of the irresistible laddie in his Twisted Tree sweater on Abbie’s blog – go look!)



Axel mitts

Published on Friday January 5th, 2007


Axel fingerless mitts.pdf

Behold, quick-knitting fingerless mitts! I have named them in honor of recently retired cyclist Axel Merckx. They have three crossed cables on the back; the palm is in 2×2 rib like the cuff and finger covering. For extra warmth, you can wear them like this:


They’re a fast, stash-busting project — perfect for toasty hands this fall, whether you’re cycling, knitting, reading, or typing. Click the link beneath the first image to grab the free PDF.