June 26, 2019

Last week I was in Sunriver, Oregon on vacation with my family. It's very close to Bend where they have two yarn shops, so of course I had to go and investigate! I love taking home yarn souvenirs! Fancywork Yarns in Bend had a beautiful display of Blue Sky's Woolstok which I had previously used in the 21 Color Slouch and loved, but had never seen in all its glory; all 21 glorious colors hanging on the wall, ready to become a new sweater for me. Upstream by Kate Davies had just come out and to make it I needed 3 colors. So with all those 21 colors to choose from I decided to go with fawn, beige and ivory. Ha! I'm very happy with my color choices. My Upstream is subtle and sophisticated.

We had a long drive home so I cast on just before we left and was finished with the body by the time we drove into our driveway 8 hours later. The sleeves came next, then all three were combined into one piece and then the fun part began--the mosaic stitch yoke. I was so enthusiastic about it that I had that part done in just two days. I fell hard for the stitch pattern and have found it in another pattern using fingering weight yarn, Fiskur by Christiane Burkhard, and I've got that in the queue.

I just loved this in every way you could love a knitting project. The pattern was clear and simple, the yarn was soft and well-behaved yet wooly and rustic, and the fit is perfect--but only after I made some pretty major but easy modifications: The pattern is mean for aran weight yarn and the smallest size is a 36" bust. Neither is that great for me because 1) a pullover in aran weight yarn would be too warm for my California weather, and 2) I wanted this to be fitted with zero ease and a 33" bust. To make these changes I simply switched out the yarn to a lighter weight worsted weight yarn with a smaller gauge and knit the smallest size. It worked! I also added length to the sleeves and body. Lastly I wanted the neck to be a little less tight so I didn't do as many decreases and ended up with 8 more stitches.

Edited in the afternoon: I am answering a question from the comments section at the end of the post. Yes, the little shapes are meant to be fishes and I do think the strands of yarn (which are made when slipping stitches with the yarn in FRONT) are the fins. Also, I do not think that stitch will pull any more than any other stitch and I am not concerned about it. They are not loose and lie pretty close to the fabric. 

Upstream by Kate Davies
from her Bold Beginner Knits book

Fancywork Yarns in Bend, Oregon

My colors were Gravel Road, Driftwood, and Highland Fleece

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  1. Very pretty Kristen, and a good fit too! I guess the design is supposed to be fish and the strands of yarn are the fins? Are you afraid they will catch on something and pull? How are they made? I just wonder about the practicality of such a stitch. Thank you. I hope you can tell me without giving too much away because I know it's a paid pattern.

    1. Those are great questions. I am going to edit my post to discuss your questions and concerns.

  2. This is fabulous on you and the taupe IS more of an actual color than gray, I think. While still maintaining that subtle, sophisticated and Classic look that allows you to wear it anywhere. I want one! and have favorited it for the day when I have the wherewithal to knit a sweater for ME! Thank you so much for pointing the way to this pattern, Kristen. I might have missed it otherwise. Chloe

    1. Chloe. I really want to make super colorful sweaters but alas, I won't really wear them! Oh yes, you should knit this one. You deserve it first of all, but also it was super fun to make and went fast with the larger gauge.


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