Friday, November 27, 2015

The Sweater I Hope Never to Spill Tomato Sauce On

Earlier this year I decided I would like to have a plain cream pullover in my wardrobe. They're such a staple for me that I've been through a number of them over the years, as I wear them so often they tend to either become ratty or get something spilled on them before too long. I did technically have one already, but it was one I made back before I clued in to the importance of waist shaping, and it was knitted in an intricate rib pattern and in a DK weight, which made it too bulky. Nice as the sweater was in itself, it did not look good on me and I consequently had only worn it two or three times in the ten or so years I'd had it. So my existing cream pullover got taken apart, I washed the yarn, and I knitted it into a little dress and purse for my grandniece.

Then I got to select a pattern and yarn for my new cream pullover. Turtlenecks don't look good on me, so I looked for something fairly plain with a cowl neck, and in a fingering weight. After some searching on Ravelry, I decided that the design pictured above, Echoes of Winter, by Ruth Garcia-Alcantud, would suit. I bought 500 grams of Schachenmayr Merino Extrafine 170 and some little pearlized buttons for the project.

And here's my version of the sweater. I made quite a few mods. I knitted it on 3.5 mm needles rather than the suggested 4.5 mm needles. I found the heart motifs in the lace pattern too young and twee for my liking, so I went with the Rowan's Leaves Lace Pattern, as reproduced from Kathleen Kinder's book The Technique of Lace. I didn't use the shaping given in the pattern as I didn't want such a fitted look, but instead shaped it as most of my sweaters are shaped. I wish I'd added another repeat of the lace pattern to the waistband and cuffs. I also wasn't thrilled with the way the collar turned out. I shaped the neckline as the pattern indicated and calculated the number of collar stitches so that my collar would be the same length as the one in the pattern, but I must have gotten the latter calculation wrong as it is bigger in my version. The collar doesn't look too bad in the photo because I arranged it to my liking before taking the photo, but I doubt it can be relied upon to sit exactly that way through a day's wear. However, I am going to try test wearing it a few times, and just see how I like it before I fiddle with it any more.

I paired this sweater with a little tartan skirt I made earlier this year, but looking at them together I'm thinking I probably won't go with this combination, as it's a little too schoolgirlish, and I'm more than two decades too old for that look.

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