- I really appreciate the raglan style sleeves. They make fitting less of an issue and soften my broad shoulders.
- I like that the pattern is interesting without being too flowery. It is simple enough that it was easy to switch with a yarn that had minor recurring color changes, instead of making yarn changes for stripes.
- I like that the yarn is super fine gauge, sock yarn or size 1. Since I am still pretty new at crocheting sweaters, I wasn’t willing to invest in the higher quality yarn. Instead, I used Lion Brand Sock-Ease, also a size 1 sock yarn. Fiber content was 75% wool and 25% nylon.
- I partly chose this pattern because it is a more solid sweater without looking heavy.
- The project was very portable.
Where can you get the original pattern?
The pattern is in the Interweave Crochet Spring 2015 issue, designed by Natasha Robarge. I began crocheting it not quite a year ago on an airplane. The yoke went very smoothly. However, when I got to attaching the underarms and beginning to work the body in the round, something didn’t line up. (click on any photo to enlarge)
There are some modifications you need to know about
Fortunately, I was able to contact Natasha Robarge on ravelry.com. She responded to me very quickly and was extremely gracious and helpful. The fix for making the body work was simple and soon I was on my way to completing that part. I have made a pdf of all changes discussed, which you can find a link to below.
The changes to finishing the body affected the sleeve instructions. Again, Natasha was very helpful. She provided me with a detailed revision, as well as guidelines to make sure I was looking at the pattern correctly.
At this point, I got confused. After I had tried several times to proceed, I decided to set the project aside for a while. I finished this afghan.
Quirks in my sleeves
When I returned to my zen sweater, I was more relaxed about the problem solving and able to see some things about the pattern that I hadn’t taken into account when trying to apply the changes before. I thought more about how the pattern was supposed to continue and then was able to use the instructions provided.
Once I had gotten one sleeve going, the rest of it and the other sleeve were finished quickly. The only other minor problem I had was in finishing the border. I am pretty sure I did one sleeve border upside down, so-to-speak, but someone would have to look very closely to figure this out.
A handy pdf of the zen sweater pattern modifications
While you can get the helpful modifications by clicking on the purple button just below, I should remind you again that you will need to get the original pattern from Interweave Crochet because it is copyrighted by the magazine.
(The pdf will be available again in the near future. I am currently updating how I deliver my pdfs. If you sign up for my newsletter, you will get notified when this is available again. Or you can bookmark this article and check back at your convenience. If you are currently working on the sweater, after you sign up for my newsletter, email me and I will send you the pdf via email.)
One of the things I like about crocheting my own sweaters is that I can make the sleeves long enough. I am somewhat taller than average and am forever fighting long sleeves that are 2-3 inches too short. The zen sweater sleeves taper, so I tried them on a lot to make sure they weren’t getting too narrow at the wrist.
This is definitely a sweater I would try again
I think I am finally ready to try a project with some higher quality yarn, so just started a vest with some silky smooth 100% merino wool I have been saving. My daughters have been making eyes at my zen sweater, though, so there is a good chance I will try another one or two in the future.