Intoku Sweater


There is Sunday morning sunshine and I am off to take Karie Westermann’s Nordic Traditions workshop at Wild and Woolly today. So far, I am having a wonderful day!  Today, I would like to introduce the Intoku sweater.

INTOKU is the Japanese word, meaning ‘good works performed in secret’. The pullover features a deep V-neck and integrated pockets finished with knit-as-you-go i-cord.

Zen Variations Intoku Knitting pattern by Renée Callahan-16

As a tenet of Buddhist practice, the idea of intoku is pretty deep; do good works, but abolish the ego by not telling anyone or displaying those deeds. Admittedly, my interpretation is much less deep: I have designed a sweater in which pockets are integrated into the knitting of the garment so as to create a secret place for keeping your good works.

After knitting the sample, I changed my mind about the pockets and re-wrote the pattern to accommodate a pouch pocket that stretches the entire width of the front to allow for a more generous pocket space.

Zen Variations Intoku Knitting pattern by Renée Callahan-17

The deep V-neck of the Intoku pattern makes it a flattering silhouette for larger busts.

Zen Variations Knitting pattern by Renée Callahan-18

79.5 (83, 89, 92.5, 96.5, 102)(110.5, 114.5, 120, 125.5, 129.5) cm or 31.25 (32.75, 35, 36.5, 38, 40.25)(43.5, 45, 47.25, 49.5, 51)”
The sweater is intended to be worn with 5cm / 2” of positive ease.

Intoku pattern schematic by Renée Callahan


The Fibre Company Acadia (60% Merino Wool, 20% Baby Alpaca, 20% Silk; 145 yds/133 m per 50 g skein) in main colour: Blue Heron; 7 (8, 8, 9, 9, 10)(10, 10, 11, 12, 12) skeins.

Acadia is a DK weight yarn. Intoku uses approximately:

345 (370, 390, 410, 430, 455)(485, 500, 530, 550, 575) grams

1005 (1075, 1130, 1190, 1250, 1325)(1410, 1455, 1540, 1600, 1675) yards

920 (985, 1035, 1090, 1145, 1210)(1290, 1330, 1410, 1465, 1530) metres

Zen Variations Knitting pattern by Renée Callahan-43

The Zen Variations patterns are for sale individually for £5 and the collection of all 6 sweater patterns can be purchased for £15.

The Intoku Pattern: 
The Zen Variations:

Happy knitting,


Note: The Zen Variations were beautifully photographed by Tommy Martin for The Fibre Co.


One thought on “Intoku Sweater

  1. Pingback: Buji Tunic | EastLondonKnit Shows & Tells

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