Tuesday, August 10, 2010

FO: Que Sera

I finished Que Sera on Sunday and it feels really good to have another FO to show. I've been waffling about posting on this one, hoping to get some more flattering pics first, but I think what I have will make for a better discussion of the pattern. (Let's just say that 90+ degree heat, with high humidity, plus a worsted weight sweater do not make for a cooperative model.)

So without further ado, here it is:

Pattern: Que Sera by Kirsten Kapur, published in the 2010 Spring and Summer edition of Knitty
Yarn: 7 skeins Blue Sky Alpacas dyed cotton, colorway fern
Needles: size 8 circulars for everything except the neck band, and a size 6 circular for that
Mods: I mostly knit this one as written. Just two exceptions: I added about an inch and a half in length to both the sleeves and the body and I made more buttonholes than the pattern called for. Gaping button bands aren't flattering on anyone.

This is the yarn called for by the pattern, which is quite unusual for me, but I happened to have it in the stash and was happy to be able to use it. As some of you know, I hate knitting with cotton (both my mother and MIL tease me about this incessantly). So what I am doing knitting with this obviously cotton yarn? The Blue Sky cotton is the only one that I enjoy working with. Its substantial body and soft hand remind me more of wool than of typically unforgiving cotton. Plus, the colors are spectacular.

Getting down to business, what do I think of this pattern? First of all, it adds weight. Looking back at that first picture, I look a good 5-10 pounds heavier than I really am and you can't really see that I have a waist. Although part of the blame for the lack of waist rightly falls on yours truly for a less than stellar modeling job (note to self: suck in for the camera), there is no waist shaping in the pattern so all you get is whatever the knitted fabric does naturally.

There, I do have a waist after all. The lace pattern provides some elasticity to a naturally inelastic yarn. My recommendations: first, if you're planning to use a cotton as directed in the pattern, don't block too heavily. Otherwise, the fabric will hardly show any curves. Second, because the heavily textured pattern (read: much thicker than your normal stockinette) seems to add weight to the wearer, I'd only recommend this pattern for people with curvy figures that can take the extra bulk and still look good. Third, try it in wool. And no, that isn't just because I prefer it to cotton. Wool has a terrific natural elasticity that will hug whatever curves you have. Plus, a worsted weight wool knitting up at the same gauge shouldn't be nearly as dense as the cotton and so will knit up slimmer. Finally, negative ease is your friend on this project (no matter how much you may avoid it at other times).

As for the construction of the sweater, it's really quite simple. You work the body in one piece to the armholes and then work the fronts and back separately. The only seaming comes with the set-in sleeves.

(this color in this shot is the most accurate)

I found the seaming in this project pretty straightforward, although the underarm bind-off seemed a bit small for the number of sleeve stitches that I had to ease into them. Other than that, finishing this one was a piece of cake.

All in all, I enjoyed knitting this one - it made many hours of bar lecture much more enjoyable than they otherwise would have been. Will I enjoy wearing it? I honestly don't know. I like the fabric and the idea of the sweater (and the scoop neckline is really lovely), but it doesn't feel flattering at the moment and I don't enjoy wearing pieces that make me feel self-conscious instead of confident. But if the temperatures ever cool down around here, I'll give it a shot.


Jonah said...

It's very generous of you to blame the model and not the photographer. I shall endeavor to take better pictures in the future. (Although I still think that both you and the sweater look amazing!)

Leah said...

Hello, Tinks & Frogs! I stumbled upon your blog not too long ago, and I think your sweater looks great, and a fantastic color to boot. If I were going to wear it, I would put a belt around the middle and call it a pullover from then on. That is my 2 cents. It's a gorgeous sweater, and I'd hate for you to let it sit in a drawer because of the shape.

Judy@fab said...

Wow- I know you're not totally happy with it- but it really is a stunning piece of work- if you absolutely can't stand it- please consider trading it with us- we'd love to have it in the shop- it is by far the most sophisticated project I've seen to date with this yarn- and we'd love to trade for any yarn we have on hand! <a href="http://www.fabulousyarn.com/bluesky.shtml>Blue sky cotton yarn</a> is one of our favorites... I am wondering why you dislike knitting with cotton? Just curious? Texture. Weight. Hand. Let us know and really, it is beautiful but if you ever want to put it up for adoption!!! ;) - Judy

Gale said...

What a gorgeous sweater. The colour is wonderful. Putting a belt around it is a great idea.

elizabeth said...

Wow, what a flattering offer from Judy! I third the suggestion for a belt. I think with a lightweight top underneath and a belt around the middle, paired with a pencil skirt and pumps, and you have one hell of a flattering outfit! I love that color!

Maris said...

I think it's meant to be knitted with less ease than you used - part of what makes it so cute in the pattern photos is how you can really see the laciness, plus the curve-hugging - neither of which I'm seeing in your version. That said, it's a lovely piece of work, and I think you're going to love it for a fall sweater this year.

Rachel said...

So it sounds like knitting this with negative ease would be the way to go...so considering my propensity for knitting things way too big (but thinking it's the right size), perhaps I should stay away from this pattern!

I can see what you mean on the frontal shot...but considering how good the top looks from the back, I'm be surprised if 'in person' it didn't look much better (and no blame on Jonah...sometimes 2-dimensional doesn't cut it!). In the end, I really hope that it is a sweater that you can wear...it has some memories attached to it that though stressful, you probably don't want to forget!