Wild Ice Sweater



There’s an early season ice skating thing that happens on the lakes when the weather has been just exactly right. In an early winter with very little wind and very little snow, when the lakes freeze over, the ice is smooth and clear. It’s perfect for skating on and for seeing through. And the folks who know about these things call it Wild Ice. Grab your survival gear and dig out your skates! Hurry to the nearest lake because as soon as it starts to snow and the wind picks up, the ice gets bumpy.

This year, the ice was so good. In a fever, we rushed to the lakes to glide over the water that we canoe on in summer. It was during that time, in the darkest part of the year here in northern Minnesota that I designed this bright, soft sweater. While we joined the long lines of cars heading deep into cell free zones where the best ice is, I scribbled down colorwork patterns as quickly as they came to mind; working to capture the frenetic energy of the locals trying to seize a piece of the fleeting season to carry them through the long winter. The result was a simple colorwork yoke worked in vivid shades , with a relaxed fit. This sweater is playful and cozy. Worked top-down with straight sides and a splash of colorwork on the sleeves, in worsted weight.

Yarn (to make the mostly pink version):

  • Malabrigo Worsted (100% Merino Wool 210 yards/192 meters)
  • Main Color – Very Berry 5 (5, 5, 6, 6) (7, 7, 7, 8, 8) skeins.
  • Contrast Color – Paris Nights 1 (1, 1, 2, 2) (2, 2, 2, 2) skeins.

Yarn (to make the mostly black version):

  • I used Magpie Yarns Nest Worsted (100% Non-superwashed Corriedale wool) in Midnight Velvet for the Main
  • Color – 735 yard / 672 meters. I used Spincycle Yarns Dyed in the Wool Sport Weight (100% Superwashed American Wool) in Castaway for the Contrast Color – 240 yards / 220 meters. I held the Contrast Color double.


  • Approximately 817 (899, 988, 1087, 1196) (1316, 1448, 1592, 1751) yards / 331 (366, 405, 461, 507) (557, 602, 640m 689) meters in Main Color.
  • Approximately 163 (180, 198, 218, 240) (263, 290, 318, 350) yards / 149 (173, 180, 199, 219) (240, 265, 291, 320) meters in Contrast Color.

20 stitches and 26 rounds= 4” / 10 cm in both Stockinette Stitch & Colorwork Pattern on larger needles. To create the swatch for this project, CO 48 sts and work Colorwork Chart D.

Note: It’s common for knitters to knit more tightly in the round, over a small circumference like a sleeve than they do when knitting over larger fields of sts. If this is a concern for you, consider going up a needle size when you’re knitting the sleeves. It is also common for knitters to knit at a different gauge over a colorwork pattern than plain stockinette stitch. When you swatch, test both for the best results.

Suggested Needles
  • US Size 5 / 3.75 mm circular needle, 16” / 40 cm / length for the neckline AND 24 – 40” / 60-100 cm length (depending on the size you’ve chosen) for the hem ribbing.
  • US Size 6 / 4 mm 24 – 40” / 60-100 cm length (depending on the size you’ve chosen) for the sweater yoke and body.
  • Double pointed needles of the same sizes suitable for small circumference knitting for the sleeves.

Always choose the needle size that you need in order to obtain the pattern’s gauge.


XS (S, M1, M2, L1) (L2, XL, 2X, 3X)

Finished Bust Measurements:
34.5 (38.5, 41.5, 46, 51.25) (54. 5, 58.5, 62.5, 66.5)” / 87.5 (97.75, 105.5, 116.75, 130) (138.5, 148.5, 158.75, 169) cm

  • Stitch markers
  • Highlighter Pen (optional – for highlighting your size’s instructions)
  • Highlighter Tape (optional – to keep your place in the pattern and on the charts)
  • Scrap Yarn (to use for Sunday Short Rows and for putting sleeves on holder)
  • Measuring Tape
  • Tapestry Needle
  • Wool Wash and Blocking Mats
Techniques Used
  • Long Tail Cast On Method
  • Small Circumference Knitting in the Round
  • Stranded Colorwork
  • Make One Left
  • Increase Knitting in the Round on a
  • Circular Needle Increasing and
  • Decreasing Sunday Short Rows
  • Joining the Sleeves to the Body



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