An Ode to Ranunculus

The Ranunculus Sweater. It's become a knitting classic in a very short period of time. And with very good reason, I think. Having knit it twice - once as a short-sleeve version in Mojave, and this second time, which I'm here to talk about, in Andorra - I have decided that Ranunculus does two things very well. The first is it gives us all the satisfaction of a fun knitting process and the certain pleasure of a timely product. I have been thinking this week about process knitting versus product knitting. And what I mean by that is, process knitters are in it for the motion, the action, the doing of the thing. You might not care where the finished item goes in the end, or if you even finish it. You're up to try something, and you know you are compelled to put stitches on sticks, and so you do. Product knitters are in it for the garment at the end, the thing they want to make, and the knitting of it is just what has to happen before you get what you want. All knitters have both in them, but I bet we all stand on one side of the divide, some of us more firmly planted than others.

So, the thing that I think is so appealing to knitters about this sweater, with over 20,000 projects on Ravelry, is it is so quick to knit, and takes up so very little yarn in the process, it is the perfect balance of process and product. Those of us (I myself am a more of a process knitter) who just like to knit will enjoy this knit as fun, quick romp through the creative mind of the designer, Midori Hirose. And because the sweater will be over before we know it, we get the added bonus of having a fully functional garment at the end! Those of us who are in it for the sweater (Kate is more of a product knitter) will get to that end goal in record time, making for a very satisfying experience of knitting all those stitches.

The second thing I think about Ranunculus is it is an "in-between" project. Think of it like this, you've just finished a sweater. It was a big, cabled sweater with many pages of instructions, many stages of knitting, loads of finishing. Now you need a little refresher project before you move onto the next big thing. Usually that might be a quick baby item for a coworker, a hat, some bit of fluff knitting. Something small and satisfying. But what if that little in-betweener could be another whole sweater?

That's Ranunculus. And so I love it. In fact, I think I might knit it again! I have, admittedly, worn this one a lot over the past few years, which I am sure is evidenced in the photos.

Want to recreate the look of my Ranunculus?

I knit the long sleeve version of Ranunculus in the second size, which lists a finished measurement of 48.5″ at the chest. My actual chest measurement is about 39-40″, so that’s about 8.5″ of positive ease – except…

I knit mine using size 9 needles, not the size 10 the pattern calls for. As a result, my gauge is 16 sts to 4", not 14 sts to 4" as called for in the pattern. This gives the finished sweater, for the second size, a chest measurement of 43″ - which is just right for me. The finished sweater weighs 194 g, which is just under 4 skeins of Andorra