Nurtured Sweater

Time to start thinking about sweater weather! My house is very cold in the winter so this year I'm planning on getting a couple of handmade sweaters knitted up to keep me warm. First up is the Nurtured sweater by Andrea Mowry in Aran weight yarn. It's meant to be cropped but I lengthened it to sit at the hip knowing that I wouldn't wear it otherwise. There is a lot I like about this pattern, but I'm not sure I would make it again....


I used a pure superwash merino wool for this project - Malabrigo Rios in the Pearl Ten colourway, purchased from Love Crafts (previously Love Knitting), for £10.49 per skein. (Pretty sure you can get it for less elsewhere but I had a discount code). As I was increasing the length of the sweater, I added an extra skein in to what it looked like was required. As it happened though I didn't need it - I had already wound it up, being prepared for when I ran out of the other one, but I ended up finishing the sweater.

Nurtured Sweater Pattern Review
I also thought that I was buying a yarn that was more of a brown in tone - I really didn't expect it to be purple when it arrived! I know I am colour blind and looking at photographs online isn't quite the same, but on more than one website, it really does look more brown than purple. It's nice to have something different to what I would normally pick in my wardrobe, but it was definitely a surprise when I opened the parcel. What I do like about this yarn is the variation in tones across the skein which adds interest to the final project. What I'm not so keen on is the pilling which is already happening. It's part of it being a handmade sweater but I was surprised how quickly it started.

Nurtured Sweater Pattern Review

Pattern and Instructions

This pattern is a sweater that is worked from the bottom up. This means you construct the sleeves separately, then cast on at the bottom hem and work up until it's time to attach the sleeves in a raglan style and continue up until the collar. This is the first time I've kit a sweater from the bottom up and have some thoughts on benefits and drawbacks. One good thing is that you can construct and block a sleeve on its own to check gauge before you knit the whole thing (I didn't do this though Andrea suggests it in the pattern). Another thing is that once you're getting going with the body, you finish fairly quickly as the sleeves are already made. A drawback is that you can't try it on as you go though.

Nurtured Sweater Pattern Review

I find Andrea's instructions are always very clear and well explained. I obviously like making her patterns as I have quite a few now! I also liked the finish that you get from using the techniques she suggests such as for casting on and ribbing (love the collar). This is my first raglan sweater and I also like how this looks. Now, the main stitch pattern creates a honeycomb effect with slipped stitches. It involves a fair amount of purling as well which did slow me down quite a bit. It's easy to memorise and I got the hang of it eventually. Somehow I did end up with extra stitches fairly early on whilst knitting my first sleeve so had to try and replicate this on the other sleeve so they matched. There was a bit of deviation from the pattern in the sleeve construction so that I could balance out the extra stitches and still end up with the correct amount at the end of the sleeve because this was going to join to the body. I didn't wan't to basically be attaching a large sleeve head to a medium jumper! I wasn't worried about fit, because I find sleeves run tight on me anyway so a couple of extra stitches wouldn't hurt.


I knit a medium size based on the finished measurements. This is designed to have positive ease and only really needs to fit around the bust as the waist isn't tight fitting. I quite like how it fits in all areas, including the sleeves and cuffs - overall it isn't too tight but is snug enough to keep you warm when it's really cold. 

The only real alteration was to add 4 inches to the length of the body so it isn't properly cropped. It's not long and baggy but I wouldn't wear something that was any shorter! I managed to get this with 5 skeins of Malabrigo, which is still a lower yardage than suggested. I'm still glad I had the extra skein because although this yarn is easily available, it's best to order all in one go so there's less chance of dye lot variation. If you have a suggestion of a pattern that will use just the one skein that I have left, please let me know!

Nurtured Sweater Pattern Review


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Welcome to Sewing and Other Stories; my journeys with sewing and knitting; pattern reviews, tips and guides for beginners. I'm also the designer behind West Beach Knits knitting patterns and I host a Knitting and Sewing channel on YouTube where you can see all of this in person. Come have a look!

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