Monday, May 2, 2011

FO: not Rock Island

But I'm close! The yarn is even wound up into a ball (thanks, Mr. Tinks and Frogs, for taking care of that one) and is resting in the knitting basket just waiting for me to have a chunk of time to sit down and dive into the pattern.

Leaving aside what I haven't done yet, let's turn to the much more satisfying subject of what I have accomplished. This:

Pattern: Maile Sweater by Nikki Van De Car
Yarn: Dream in Color Rustic Sock, about 3/4 of a skein, in colorway Rusty Lilac
Needles: size 5 addi lace circulars
Mods: This is a basic bottom-up raglan sweater with a lace panel inserted between the raglan decreases, so I made a few changes in keeping with how I like to make a bottom-up raglan (and to fit the recipient). First, I made the body and sleeves a bit longer than the pattern called for. Tadpole is long and I'm hoping this mod, which was entirely unscientific - I just knit until it looked right, will help the sweater last a bit longer.

Second, I worked the sleeves in the round. It's quick and easy to knit a tiny tube with magic loop and this saved me the trouble of sewing up sleeve seams at the end of the project.

Third, and this is the biggest one, I disregarded the designer's instructions for joining the arms to the body at the start of the yoke. The pattern doesn't reserve any stitches for the underarm and instead has you knit all of the body and sleeve stitches together into a giant row. Why? The designer notes that she doesn't like the feel of an underarm with bound-off stitches and wanted to avoid that. After reading several pattern notes on ravelry, I was pretty sure I didn't want to follow the pattern as written since it puts a fair amount of tension on the stitches where the sleeves and body come together. Instead, I put 10 sleeve stitches and 10 body stitches on holders at the underarm and then grafted these together at the end using kitchner stitch. It's a nice, seamless join and seems to fit the body nicely.

Because I was working on fewer yoke stitches than the pattern called for, I worked four rounds straight after joining the sleeves to the body before I began the raglan decreases. I added the first buttonhole as soon as I started the decreases/lace pattern and ended up with three buttonholes compared with the pattern's five. I also ignored the instructions on when to stop decreasing and knit until I had used up all of the sleeve stitches.

It's a cute pattern and has a lot of personal significance for the designer but I don't think I'll knit it again. The leaf lace pattern at the yoke is a bit droopy for my taste so I may use this design as a template and substitute in lace patterns that I like better. All that said, it was a great pattern for this yarn.

What about the yarn? I'd never heard of Rustic Sock before - it was an experiment by Dream in Color yarns that will never be put into production - but the colors in the skein grabbed me when I went to the Dream in Color seconds sale last fall. It's a 3-ply fingering weight yarn and the plies have varying thicknesses and degrees of twist. This makes for a lovely, light fabric. It's great for a baby sweater but I don't think it would wear well for socks.

Ok, enough chatter and onto the important question: does the recipient like it? She's still working on her modeling skills (her "awake" modeling skills, to be fair) but she was pretty content while I took a quick photo shoot yesterday.

Of course, I don't think I got a single shot where she was holding still and I was able to get both her sweater and her face in focus. But she's cute enough that it doesn't matter a bit.


Sel and Poivre said...

She is very most certainly cute enough that nothing else matters at all!

That being said, the overall colour scheme of her ensemble is tres chic indeed!

elizabeth said...

Little squirmy! She's so cute, I love the yawning picture!

Gale said...

I would have done the same thing with those underarms. Much more comfortable for Rowan. It's a cute sweater despite the droopy lace.

Brenda said...

She is indeed cute enough to steal the show. Thanks for the feedback on the pattern. Weird approach to the underarms!

Anonymous said...

you are so lucky - you could knit a dishcloth and then put in a picture of tadpole and suddenly it would be the cutest dishcloth ever. :)

kidding aside, I like sweater and the recipient. the lace panel does seem a bit lost on the shoulders; i think it might work better for an adult.

Rachel said...

Super cute and it does look like Rowan enjoys her new sweater, squirmy though she may be! And yes, always more satisfying to talk about what we have accomplished rather than what we have not!