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.