Frequently Asked Questions


Sizing Most of our patterns include at least 3 sizes but virtually all are easily adjusted. They are in the range of 44/46 to 52/55" chest.
Yardage Our wool is sold in 4 ounce skeins ( except the hand dyed 2 ounce skeins) and owing to difference in colour, wool and other factors it is not possible to be accurate on the yardage.The 2 ply worsted weight is about 175 - 275 yards and 3 ply chunky weight is about 120-180 yards.
Gauge Our 2 ply worsted weight is approxiamtely 4.5 to 5.25 stitches per inch on size 5 mm, and 3 ply chunky weight is approxiamtely 4 stitches per inch 6.5mm.
Cutting it Open!

All of our Philosopher's Cardigans that are knit in the round are steeked with a single purl stitch up the middle, then machine sewn, the button bands added, and then cut open.

This section is for you to share your cutting anxieties and successes with other knitters.

Each of our patterns comes with a 'Colour and Cutting' sheet - instructions for our system of the centuries old technique. Over the years we have helped innumerable knitters with their fears of cutting open their hours of beautiful work. (We have never heard of a disaster! ) Our encouragement includes a reminder that this is a centuries old tradition and highly successful method, that your sweater is ready to wear when you finally cut it open, and even that each of us began life by being cut from our mothers.

Now it is your turn to add experiences and encouragement to empower others to share the liberation that cutting brings to your knitting.

We would love to hear from you at Philosopher's Wool .


From Barb,
I did it!

I finally learned how to knit with BOTH hands! What a joy! Your video clip of just a few minutes made all the difference. I already knew about steeks and do not have a problem with cutting my knitting. I would not have gotten that far if I had not learned how to two color knit.

Now I can continue and make the sweaters I never thought I could ever do.

Thanks for the help!

From Sandra,
While attending a craft show in Phoenix, Az., I came upon a display of Philosopher's Wool sweaters. Since I am a knitter it was a great attraction.
I didn't know if the sweaters were too advanced for Me, but I purchased a Kit anyway. Changing the colors seemed a bit difficult, but I gave it a try.
Well it made the exercise exciting! Every step is explained in the Video and book. I reviewed them often. To have a cardigan from a knitted tube the next step is to machine sew then cut down the middle of the sweater with scissors. My thought was I will do this part on FAITH! It wasn't difficult and the results were ideal.
My sweater is lovely and I am now on My 16th! Each one gives Me a great sense of achievement.
From Debbie,
Hi,We met at Sewexpo and you thought others might be interested in my experience in cutting sweaters. My mother was an avid knitter specializing in aran. Being a girl who always knew more is better when it came to clothes, I always had my hand up when it came to who gets the next sweater. I had a lot. When I was 16, I lost 50 pounds. None of the sweaters fit. I was altering the rest of my clothes and I saw no reason not to include my sweaters. They wouldn't fit anyone I knew so I had nothing to lose. They were very easy to work with. When my mother found out she was appalled. She saw the practicality, but it never occurred to her I would do it. With the arrogance of youth, it never occurred to me I shouldn't have one it. If I ever manage to lose that much weight again, I would do it all again.
From Rachel -
My recommendations for conquering your first Philosopher's Wool Cardigan:
-Make yourself accountable to someone. I showed my first sleeve to my elementary music students. They just kept asking me about it until I showed up wearing it one day.
- Use the neckline of your favourite sweater as a pattern for your neckline. I didn't. I ended up with a slightly wide neckline and I had to fiddle with it to make it behave.
- A glass of wine will take the fear out of that first snip.

With a smile on her face and moral support from her friend Grace, Rachel makes her first cut!
Ann and Eugene,
Thank you for the hours of entertainment that your book, video and kit have given me. Also, nothing beats the sense of accomplishment I got from conquering something challenging!
From Wendy in Elk River, Minnesota
Hello! I purchased your book a little over a year ago and I've just finished my second sweater (Color Your Own in manly shades of blue, green, rust and brown for my husband). I was nervous when it came time to cut my first sweater (Traditions in pastels) - especially when my sewing machine gave out 3 inches into the neckline. But I remembered that "Scandinavian knitters have used this technique for centuries" - and surely for several of those centuries they did not use sewing machines. I got out needle and thread and back-stitched the neckline by hand. I finished the neckband and cut the extra fabric out of the way - and everything worked out just fine. I'm about to start my third sweater for a baby to be born in February; my fourth - for the baby's grandma - will follow soon after. I love your patterns and never get tired of knitting them. And it was so easy to teach myself the technique from the instructions in your book. I look forward to a time when you might print your second volume including patterns for Mandala, Tartan, and the beautiful throws and afghans.
Elk River, Minnesota
And from customers we have met in our travels -
There was the knitter who told us that since cutting open her cardigans was as bad as going to the dentist
she always cut them in the waiting room before her appointment!
But she survived both!
Or the knitter who told us that today was the day that she was going to cut open the five sweaters that she had completed but not yet cut open!
Imagine five new cardigans to wear.

Our first letter from Gail in Greensburg, Pennsylvania


I wanted to share my experience of cutting steeks with you. I had been working on a "Dale of Norway" sweater for quite sometime. This past winter I decided that I was determined to finish the sweater. The sweater like the Philosopher Wool sweaters was knitted in the round. When it came time for me to "cut" my work I froze. I decided that I needed to investigate this thoroughly before I made that first snip. I found myself reading every knitting book that I own as well as those that I do not. I was in a Barnes and Noble bookstore investigating when I came across a really beautiful book. I began flipping through the pages and to my delight I found the best instructions and illustrations of what I needed to do. I started to buy the book when I realized that I thought that I might already have it. When I got home I checked my "library" and sure enough there it was. It was Fair Isle Sweaters Simplified.

My next step was to wait for a bright sunny day and a clear mind. With my sweater in hand I sat down at my sewing machine. I followed your instructions and they worked like a charm. After stitching and snipping I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it actually was. I especially love the clean finished inside my sweater. I have not been able to wear it yet, because I finished it too late in the spring, but I look forward to having a new sweater for this winter.

I will definitely not be afraid to try it again as long as I have your book by my side. My next project is your Garden Patch sweater so stay tuned.

Greensburg, PA
Please send us your stories we love to hear them, they are all so positive in the end!

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