Things have been a little crazed around here as I prepare for a whole lot of stuff. Right now, I am focusing on trying to wrap up and summarize work projects from the past 6 1/2 years. Cleaning out my hard drive was a pretty sobering experience. It's almost over now and I'm begging my co-workers to throw me a party already.
This weekend was busy, but we made time to go to the Louis Armstrong house in Queens. I'll have more on that later as it was a blog-worthy experience in itself.
Louis and his wife Lucille settled in what could be called a modest house, in a real neighborhood...except they had a triple lot in which they had landscaped a beautiful Japanese garden to entertain in. I just happened to be wearing my latest sweater, and the day was sunny and warm enough for a little photoshoot.
I half excepted Louis to come out of his house and yell at me to get off his lawn.
The sweater is the Pas de Valse by Marnie MacLean from Twist Collective.
I used 4 skeins of The Sanguine Gryphon Bugga in Adonis Butterfly. I love this color blue. Since handpainted yarn tends to be a bit inconsistent color-wise I alternated skeins to make the color more even. I still ended up with an odd color splotch of green on one front though, but I'm not going to let that bother me right now. Aside from that, the yarn was a champion of loveliness- soft with cashmere and merino and it didn't stretch out when blocked (as superwash yarns tend to do sometimes). It's meant to be worn large and drapey, with a pin to fasten it whichever way you want. I personally like it low to give a more hourglass waist shape.
I do have a few gripes about the pattern. The collar extension was a bit sloppy to finish up in the back neck. The sample pictures seem to gloss over that fact that it's not quite perfect, and the instructions are a little vague when it comes to piecing that section together. I think the sleeves could be a little neater as well- they connect to the sweater by picking up stitches from the body and knitting down from the sleeve cap, and I don't like that look as much as sewn-in sleeves. I also think the sleeves as written taper too narrow, so I cast off when I had 50 stitches left on the needles (she has you decrease down to 34). I don't think that the sleeves would fit over my wrist otherwise- they are very narrow, fitted sleeves to begin with. I like the look of that as it is a nice contrast to the rest of the garment, but I think if you did it as written, you'll end up cutting the circulation off to your hands. I loved the lettuce crochet edging- it really finished the sweater off nicely.
I also love the drape and the shaping of the rest of the sweater- and there is a whole lot of shaping instructions to pay attention to. This is definitely making the cut and ending up in my suitcase. It's very flattering and wearable as far as a larger sweater goes. I kind of want to be the graceful and elegant person who would wear this on a regular basis. It wants me to go out and get my ears pierces so I can wear dangly earrings with it.
This did take a quite a while to make, and because I always had two skeins of yarn attached, it didn't leave the house. This is the 39" size. I used about 1550 yards of sport weight yarn- a lot of yarn goes into a long-ish oversized sweater knit at a fine gauge with a huge drapey collar. Aside from my pattern gripes, I enjoyed knitting this and I watched some good classic movies in the process.