English pattern for Chicken Knit
Chicken Knit is my trip down memory lane – back to my early teens, when the Chicken Knit (Hønsestrik) tradition was going strong in Denmark.
This tradition aimed to free knitters of all ages, men and women alike. We were told to throw away all the rules, and just have fun in our knitting, and we did! The original Hønsestrik featured female signs, “No thanks to nuclear power” and political symbols, knit together with happy faces, cute cats, and whatever the knitter fancied. Yarn qualities and weights were mixed, colors were put together in untraditional ways; it was amazing!
With this model I want to honor the old tradition, while making something that I’ll want to wear. It doesn’t look much like the old knits, but the idea of freedom in your knitting is very present. I offer two different charts, and I hope you will use them as inspiration to create your own charts. Please go ahead and use all your scraps; don’t worry too much about yarn weight or qualities – just allow the yarn to come alive in your hands!
If you are curious about the old tradition, you can do a Google image search of Hønsestrik!
1-2-3 (4-5-6) 7-8
Chest circumference (on finished garment):
90-100-108 (120-130-140)150-160 cm / 35.4-39.4-42.5 (47.2-51.2-55.1) 59-63 inches
45-46-48 (50-50-52) 52-54 cm /17.7-18.1-19 (19.7-19.7-20.5) 20.5-21.3 inches
Chicken Knit is designed to be worn with 2-3 cm (1 inch) ease. I do not recommend negative ease for this sweater, as the colorwork wouldn’t necessarily present itself well if stretched out.
You can put all your scraps to good use in this sweater, as you use small amounts for the contrasting colors. You can choose either sport weight or fingering, depending on the kind of fabric you prefer. Just remember to check your gauge!
Yardage is given for the model with long sleeves. If you want short sleeves, you will use less of your main color and your contrast color 1.
Main color: 700-800-900 (1000-1100-1200) 1400-1500 meter / 766-875-984 (1094-1203-1312) 1531-1640 yards
Contrast color 1: 400-400-400 (600-600-800) 800-800 meter / 437-437-437 (656-656-875) 875-875 yards
Contrast color 2: 200-200-200 (280-320-360) 400-400 meter / 219-219-219 (306-350-394) 437-437 yards
Contrast color 3: 80-120-120 (200-200-240) 240-280 meter / 87-131-131 (218-218-262) 262-306 yards
Yardage is estimated and may vary depending on your style of knitting.
Circular needles, size 2.75 mm / US 2 and 3.75 mm / US 5, 60 cm / 24 inches long. You need to use Magic Loop or double-pointed needles for the sleeves.
Needle size is only a suggestion – you may need to go up or down in needle size to meet the gauge!
23 st x 30 rnds = 10 x 10 cm / 4 x 4 inches.