Navelli tee by Caitlin Hunter



Caitlin Hunter Navelli tee pattern review

There's something about having a short sleeved top that has been knitted that doesn't make sense. Surely knitting is all about making warm jumpers and cardigans to wear in winter, right? Well, for a start, loads of people have made this pattern, so it must be wearable. Then I got to thinking that wool is quite breathable, so maybe it wouldn't be too hot for days where you want short sleeves. It is still warmer than a regular t-shirt, but actually, it has turned out pretty well on those in between days in late spring. It's also an enjoyable knit, with colourwork and more gentle knitting as well.

Yarn


Part of the reason I was led to this pattern is that I was looking for a way to sue the two skeins of Qing Fibre Merino Single that I had left over from my Poet sweater. These are a different dye lot to the Okinawa skein that I originally had, so I couldn't use them in that project. Two skeins isn't enough for a sweater but I thought it might be enough for this tee. As it turned out, it was plenty. The colour work at the bottom meant that I still had 60g left over from the 200g I started with, and I did add a little bit to the length as well.

Poet sweater knitting pattern review

For the colourwork, I decided to pair with another skein that was stashed away. I had a Norah George Yarns Sock base in the Ochre colourway - it is a beautiful gold that I thought went well with the main blue colour. I used about 40g of this skein.
Then I was stuck on what to have as the second contrast colour. Nothing I had really went well, so I asked Instagram for a hand, and the community delivered....suggesting a chocolate brown. I hadn't considered this before so set about trying to find some. It wasn't as easy as you'd think. Eventually, it was only by a chance visit to Loop London after the Knitting and Stitching Show that I found a 50g skein of Lang Jawoll that would work. There was practically none left.

Caitlin Hunter Navelli tee
Original pattern image c. Caitlin Hunter
Pattern available on Ravelry for $8 (click on image for link)

Pattern and Instructions

This top is knit from the bottom up. It is mainly knit in the round. When you get to the sleeves, you put one bodice on hold and knit the other one flat to the neck, then you repeat and join the two together at the shoulders. The construction is quite simple really and there isn't any shaping. The key skill on this piece is the colour work, where you will mainly be working with two colours at a time.

The instructions themselves are clear and easy to follow, with a chart for the colour work and stitch counts at key points to keep you on track. The instructions don't take up a lot of pages either which is nice!

I did need to rip back and start over, about 3 inches in to my colour work. I found that the plain brown ribbing at the bottom was flaring out and looked messy. There is no point carrying on for the rest of the sweater if the beginning looks awful, even though I was disappointed to lose my hard work to date. I had gone up a needle size to get gauge anyway.
PS I didn't swatch. I used my Poet sweater as a swatch to figure out the needle I would need to obtain gauge. I figured that as this had a lot of ease in it, there was room for error.

Caitlin Hunter Navelli tee pattern review

So, after ripping back, I started again. I used the recommended needle size for the ribbing, went up a size for the first row of colour, then up again for the rest of the colour work (so it wouldn't be too tight) and then down again for the stockinette. This meant that I ended up mainly working one size larger than recommended. I did the gradual increase of needle size at the bottom to stop it being too much of a change. The ribbing did flip up though, because the colour work was tighter. After blocking though it hasn't been a problem. It also fits fine, with a little extra length added in the body. I chose the size with measurements that matched my sleeve circumference, rather than being guided just by the bust measurement as there's a lot of ease there and not so much in the sleeve. I also used other sweaters to decide where to stop for sleeves, instead of the recommended length in the pattern. 
The only other adjustment I needed to make was to close up the neckline a little more, knitting together another inch at each shoulder, so it would hang better. The neckline is quite wide otherwise and wouldn't have suited my style. You can see it compared with the original pattern, which looks more like my adapted version.

Caitlin Hunter Navelli tee pattern review

Thoughts

I wouldn't recommend this as a first sweater, but it is certainly in the realm of adventurous beginner. The key skill here is colour work. Other than that it's basic knitting in the round and flat. The finishing techniques are slightly more advanced, but these are all easily fathomed using You Tube.
If it's your first time knitting colour work, check out Voolenvine's stranded colour work tutorial on You Tube. I knit in the continental style and this really helped me.
I also recommend checking out using German short rows  - I substituted these instead of the recommended method and I think it gives a much better finish. They are incredibly simple and I will use them a lot more often going forward (instead of wrap and turn).
I have also seen adaptations with longer sleeves, in case a tee isn't your thing but you still like the look of it. For this, all you need to do is carry on knitting sleeves down instead of changing to contrasting colours for cuffs, decreasing a few times until your desired length.




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Hi, I'm Laura. Welcome to my journeys with modern, feminine dressmaking and knitting; pattern reviews, tips and guides for beginners. I'm a lifelong foodie, so you'll also find some delicious recipes and places to get that foodie fix.
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