New knit: The Carbeth sweater by Kate Davies

I think it’s high time to post a few started-but-never-completed posts and catch up a little. I didn’t make a LOT over 2022, but I did make a few garments last summer. I also worked on numerous quilts, decorated a lot of house and knitted a couple of things. I even dabbled in a few random crafts here and there. This is one of the knitted garments and is/was my first ever completed sweater! I don’t know about you, but here in Scotland we had a couple of unusually cold snaps this last winter and that, compounded with rising energy costs, meant this sweater saw a lot of action. And baby, it is ccooozzzzeeeeyyyyy.

To Knit or not to Knit?

I have been working, at one point or another, since 2021 on 4 or 5 different knitted sweaters/tops. The first one I started was the Upstream Sweater by Kate Davies from her book “Bold Beginner Knits”. I worked away on the body of this bottom-up sweater, but when I got to the sleeves, the directions had me stumped. I tried to figure it out for a while, put it aside, and… well, you know the drill… didn’t pick it up again. At the beginning of 2002. I happened to notice some online sweater classes from Allyson Dykhuisen and decided it was time to dig a bit deeper into the realm of garment knitting.

What I really wanted to learn (for the Upstream sweater) was how to knit in the round, but it wasn’t until I was into my first class – a cable knit sweater – that I realised this particular garment was NOT knit in the round, but pieced together at the end. Haha, oops!! First rookie mistake. I still haven’t finished that sweater (it’s my current UFO project), because only a couple of months later I signed up for this – the Carbeth Sweater class. This pattern is also by Kate Davies, is knit in the round and seemed perfect!


From what I’ve seen, the Carbeth was and is a pretty popular sweater pattern. It came out in 2018 and there’s since been a cardigan version and a lacework version released. The original is described thus: “A wide, cropped sweater with simple lines and a deep roll neck. Swift and straightforward to knit, this is a great sweater for beginners.” As you can see, my jumper is neither cropped nor has a deep rollneck, which were both optional modifications we made in the class, but the distinctive v-shaped yolk stayed the same.


The Carbeth pattern uses two strands of DK weight yarn held together, but we dispensed with this and used a chunky yarn instead. Allyson assured us she’d knit it both ways and they both worked well. I was somewhat new to the UK at the point of the class starting and had limited options to find yarn, but came across the hot pink hue of West Yorkshire Spinners Re:treat Chunk Roving and decided to give it a go. I used the best part of 6 skeins and made the size 5, which has a finished measurement of 52.5″ and therefore ease of about 8 inches for me, rather than the intended 10. It’s not a big difference though, so it’s still loose and comfy on me.

I got gauge with 7mm needles (6.5mm suggested starting point). The pattern is knit from the bottom up, but Allyson showed us how to do a provisional cast on, with a crochet chain, which enabled us to knit up from the bottom and figure out the preferred sleeve length and neck length, but then come back and do the bottom of the body at the end of the process, which was a really useful thing to learn! I ended up using about 2 inches of ribbing for the neck, which seems to be a fairly common length for many people who don’t want the rollneck (it tends to dwarf me). I wet-blocked the sweater at the end and, as promised, the stitches fluffed up nicely and made my stitches look lovely and uniform. Magic.

And there we are! I started classes for this one in mid-April last year and finished up in September, so that’s not too bad to be honest. As I say, I wore it a lot over winter. It really keeps you warm fantastically well, but is still relatively lightweight for a chunky sweater. It does tend to pill a bit, being roving, but nothing too terrible that a light shave now and again doesn’t fix. A great experience and a classic sweater that will last me a long time I think!

Bonus pic of Luigi while I was knitting:

2 thoughts on “New knit: The Carbeth sweater by Kate Davies

  1. I am so glad to see your Carbeth sweater! I love this pattern, have had it and its extension versions for a while. I’ve been hesitant to start it/them because I thought the upside down V above the breasts would not look good on me (short and busty). But it looks great on you! So maybe I’ll reconsider and make it a little longer to avoid the cropped look. Thanks!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s