Tensho for the win!

I finished my first knitted garment of the year; the Tensho Pullover (Artist), designed by Beatrice Perron Dahlen:


I knit this for my daughter, Leah, but as she is back in Vancouver now, I have modelled the pullover myself in these photos.  Tomorrow it goes in the post!

The pattern has a good range of sizes covered, from 32.5″ to 51.5″.  I made it in the size 44.5″.  I am wearing it with about 3″ of ease;  Leah is one size bigger than I am, so it will have a tad less ease on her.


I knit this EXACTLY as written.  This is very rare.  I didn’t need to swatch because I had used the yarn previously and knew my gauge.  I was able to cast on immediately and I didn’t need to change a thing.  I commented on a previous post about how much I love the way that this pattern is written.  It gives me exactly the information I need and doesn’t pfaff around with the information I don’t need. Of course, we will all differ on what we need/wish in a pattern, but I know that I would pick up another pattern by Beatric Perron Dahlen without a moment’s thought.  I like the way she writes and thinks.


When Leah came home for the holidays, I sat her down and showed her a bunch of knitting designs which I thought she would like.  Her answer to each was the same: “Hmm, that’s nice.”  Imagine this said with no inflection, while trying to hide a yawn.  Finally, I showed her a photo of Tensho, which I had planned to make for myself, and she said “Wow!”.  And, boom, it went from the knit-for-me queue to the knit-for-Leah queue.  I ordered the yarn that day and cast on as soon as it arrived.


I am wearing it here with the Cascade cap which I knit for Doug, but frequently steal borrow (blogged here).  Tensho is knit bottom up.  The sleeves and the body just flew off my needles, but then I got bogged down with work, Leah flew back home, and I had a gluten-accident (25 years gluten-free and then I made a BIG mistake) – this means I slowed down quite a bit.  Even so, it took me 6 weeks from start to finish, which is a pretty good pace for me.


I used Gilliat, a worsted weight wool yarn by De Rerum Natura.  I purchased it from Wild and Wooly in Hackney, London. I used this yarn last year to knit another sweater for Leah, SnowFlower, which I blogged about here.  I love this yarn.  It is incredibly durable, it takes to colourwork really well, and best of all – it is economical.  I don’t know about the rest of you, but it is important to me to watch my pennies.  When I go to a yarn event (not too often these days), it is hard not to come to the conclusion that knitters have no limits on their disposable incomes.  I have been spending less on knitting year on year for the past 5 years, and still manage to knit nice things with nice yarn.

Gilliat comes in 100g balls, with 250 metres per ball.  I bought 5 skeins of the grey (Fusian) and 1 of the white (Sel).  I used 45 grams of the white, and I only needed to break the 5th ball of grey for the last few rows of ribbing around the neck.  If I left off a quarter inch from the length of the sweater I could have made this with just 4 balls of the main colour.  This means that the entire pullover comes in at £55.   (As a comparison, if I  knit it with Brooklyn Tweed Shelter, I would have needed 8 skeins of the main and 1 skein of the contrasting colour – and that would be pushing my luck a bit with the CC – which would have come to £112.50.  Note that BT is an American yarn and the Gilliat is a European yarn and I live in the UK; it could be that BT is cheaper in the US and Gilliat more expensive. Nevertheless, my point remains – this yarn is economical.)

Since I know that knitters like this kind of thing, here is a photo of the reverse side:


I am not a natural in front of the camera.  One of the problems with acting as my own model is trying to relax and not look stiff in the photos.  Emma’s approach is to make me laugh:


Tomorrow this goes in the post.  Hopefully, Leah will enjoy wearing it.  Apparently it is already warming up in Vancouver.  Am I evil to hope they still have a few cold weeks left in the season so that the pullover gets some use?

16 thoughts on “Tensho for the win!

  1. What a fabulous sweater – Leah and Emma are very lucky to have you knitting for them. Great to know that the pattern by this designer is so reliable.

  2. Your Tensho turned out lovely! Are you thinking about knitting it again for yourself? You should – it looks great on your! And it looks like you had fun taking the pictures too 🙂

  3. This sweater turned out so well! It is really gorgeous. So sorry about your gluten accident, hope you are feeling better. I have gluten free kids (allergies and autism) so I know what it means to be careful all the time.
    So glad you mention the price of yarn, it is a topic not often discussed. BT is expensive everywhere, to be honest. I used to live in Canada and it was expensive over there as well. I have been spending next to nothing on yarn for a while, living off my big stash. Which was built with yarn subscriptions over time and the amazing web sales from US sites (and some big sales locally as well). Yarn is expensive in France too. Sometimes you can find the same type of yarn for half the price, sometimes a third or a fourth of the price of a bigger brand. Definitely worth checking and comparing.

    • I’m with you on the checking and comparing. I love beautiful yarns, and I will definitely splurge for a special project, but I am trying to work more reasonably-priced yarns into my rota, as well (fully understanding that we all have different notions of what “reasonably-priced” means to us.) As far as the gluten goes, I was diagnosed with coeliac’s so long ago now that it is all second nature to me; that’s why I was shocked to have made such an error. I am still suffering three weeks later, and expect it may take another month or two to be back to normal. Vigilance is necessary.

  4. This is really lovely – and I love the hat too!!

    I feel the cost of yarn is crazy! But, I’ve spent so long spending as little as possible and then not being happy with the end result (feel,wear,style,texture) I’m now a bit nervous about substituting yarn – but can’t afford to buy the stated yarn (usually), so I’m buying less – and therefore making less. Not having a local yarn shop with decent stock doesn’t help either – buying sight unseen/unfelt from the internet can result in some very costly mistakes!!

    Although – decent yarn producers deserve to be paid a decent price for their product.

    Like most things at the moment – it’s tough!!

    • Yes, it’s a dilemma isn’t it? I also feel the importance of supporting local and small producers in the knitting community, in particular those who care about sustainability. I think it all comes down to balance. Sometimes I splurge and sometimes I search for alternatives. I am a very tactile person, however – if the yarn doesn’t feel nice, then I can easily pass.

  5. Beautiful jumper! I’ll be checking out the pattern. Good discussion of the cost of wool too. it is something i am very conscious of. Thanks. I am trying not to buy any yarn this year and knit from stash but sometimes I had something in mind for wool and then have the dilemma of whether I use it for something else instead.

    • I know just what you mean; especially when it comes to SQ (sweater quantities) of yarn in the stash. I do feel as if the cost of knitting as a hobby has gone up. So many sweater patterns that I admire now add up to £200 in yarn unless I substitute. The last big yarn show I went to, I walked away with two skeins of yarn to knit a hat, so I think I am getting better at watching my pennies. I still fall for the impulse buy however; those rarely work out.

Leave a Reply to knitigatingcircumstancesCancel reply