When Caitlin Hunter of Boyland Knitworks cited Stefan Zweig as the source of inspiration when naming her newest sweater design, I confess that this English major had never heard of him. According to Wikipedia, Zweig was a famous Austrian writer of the early 1900’s, and since I consider myself fairly versed in the literature of that time I’m a bit perplexed as to how I was never introduced to any of his many works. After further reading I learned that some of his novels influenced Wes Anderson’s film The Grand Budapest Hotel, which is also the name of the Republic of Wool colorway that Caitlin used for the lace section of her Zweig sweater sample. It all links together so perfectly!
Of all the sweater patterns I have seen the intricacy of the Zweig sweater is unparalleled. The colorwork of the yoke alone is diverse enough to make any knitter giddy with excitement. Beginning with a row of squat triangles (I love triangles, by the way), the two-color yoke transitions to a lovely contrast in texture with a large section of delicate lacework in a triangle and diamond patterning and ends with a bold statement of vertical bars in a tidy row. As if Zweig could not be more elaborate (in the good sense), the body and arms are evenly sprinkled with small X-shaped cables for an overall textured appearance. This sweater is multidimensional!
As with all of Caitlin’s recent designs, upon seeing Zweig in its earliest stages I was like a dog dancing around for a treat. Accordingly I got my hands on this pattern as soon as possible and promptly joined Caitlin’s test knit group. I had long been wanting to knit a green sweater and, feeling seasonally inspired, also wanted to work with an autumn palette. How about green and orange? I wanted considerable contrast between the two colors and decided on Sweet Georgia Yarns Tough Sock in the “Willow” colorway as my main color and A Homespun House in the sparkly colorway “This Is Halloween” for my second color. It was my first time using either brand of yarn, and I was very pleased with the quality of both.
To say Zweig is an interesting sweater would be an understatement. Remarkably Caitlin pulled off a melange of knitting elements and motifs in one sweater without rendering it garish. Instead, the geometric complexity is achieved with style and elegance. The grand Zweig sweater design has successfully risen to the grandeur of The Grand Budapest Hotel. Bravo, Caitlin!
Click here to view a video demonstrating how I knit cables without a cable needle.