Earlier this year, when I had just received the latest batch of Shetland DK and 4ply/Sport back from The Natural Fibre Company, I began looking for a sweater design that would suit Shetland DK. Around the same time Elizabeth Doherty released a new design, the Sian Sweater which immediately caught my eye. Knowing that I would struggle to knit one myself as quickly as I hoped I asked Clare Shaw if she would be able to sample knit for me and luckily she was able to.

Shetland DK Mocha and Toasted Coconut for Sian Sweater

I decided to use natural undyed Mocha for the main body of the sweater but wasn’t sure what to use for the contrast slip stitches on the yoke. The undyed natural White seemed like the obvious option but I felt it might be a little more stark than I was aiming for. I did a little experimenting with alder cones and cutch, and tried both alum mordant and not and modifying with iron afterwards or not. I loved all the results but felt that alder cones and cutch modified with iron (and not mordanted) gave the effect I was looking for. Clare came up with the name Toasted Coconut for this new colourway which I think is perfect.

Toasted Coconut Shetland DK naturally dyed with alder cones and cutch

As usual Clare knit quickly and checked any queries as she went along. I went for the straight version of the design but lengthened the body a little to suit my long torso. Clare felt the sleeves looked quite tight at the point of picking up stitches so she picked up the number required for a Size Four (the body is knit to Size Three). The whole sweater used 395 grams, most of four skeins of Mocha plus part of a skein of Toasted Coconut. I absolutely love the finished sweater. It is easy to wear, comfortable and flattering.

Sian Sweater knit in Black Isle Yarns Shetland DK

I don’t think Elizabeth has the design available to buy on her website at the moment but copies are available from Ravelry here, or if you would like a copy but can’t use Ravelry let me know and I will help out. Clare’s Ravelry project notes are here.

Shetland DK Sian Sweater

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