Finished: Amazing Technicolor Dreamsweater
If you haven’t discovered the beautiful, sometimes wild, design world of Stephen West, buckle up before you dive in. Stephen has been releasing patterns since 2009, when he first gained popularity from his unisex shawl and hat patterns. It has been immensely fun to watch Stephen’s artistic expression through knitwear design, and he’s become known for a liberal use of vivid color, quirky shapes, and dramatic proportions. When he released The Amazing Technicolor Dreamsweater pattern in early 2014, I bought it almost right away, captivated by the ultra-wide body shaping, slanted back hem, and interesting construction. While Stephen’s original sweater certainly captured my imagination, I’ve never been one to have a bunch of little bits and bobs laying around, and I wanted a more neutral garment (with a longer hemline) for myself, so I made a lot of modifications to this pattern.
First, I changed the texture. Stephen’s pattern uses Seed Stitch (sometimes also called Single Moss Stitch), an elongated sort of checkerboard stitch. I chose to knit mine instead in Double Moss Stitch, so instead of k1, p1, I was k2, p2, across the rows. This created a very robust looking ‘checkerboard’. Next, I swapped out the super-lightweight yarns held double in Stephen’s piece, for slightly thicker DK weight yarns. This meant I didn’t need to double strand throughout the project (less ends, not more!) I used my own handspun for most of the sweater, spun from Hello Yarn fiber club offerings Parritch and Fairytale. (Fairytale makes up the center front and back panels, while Parritch is the lighter, oatmeal colored base throughout.) I also accented and supplemented with a toffee-colored skein of Hudson Valley Fibers’ Moodna, an all-American wool yarn I had bought a single skein of to experiment. It ended up being perfect for this project!
The other major changes I made to this piece involved overall shape. The sweater is knit side to side, so when casting on the stitches for the body (which are added after the first sleeve is finished), I elected to cast on the length for the largest size of the pattern. This gave me an additional 3” in the front panel, for a total of 18.5” in the front. I also elected to increase a bit more for the slope in the back, making my back length 25”. This makes it just the right length to cover my butt when wearing leggings—a common outfit for me while working from home!
I love this sweater and wear it ALL the time, and I’m surprised it took me so long to pull together the details about it for anyone to read. I hope some of you might reconsider some of Stephen’s ‘wilder’ designs and think about small modifications to make his art into your new favorite wardrobe piece! Click the images below to slide through the gallery of pictures Amelia and I took of this sweater!