Some days, I'm just too impulsive for my own good.
A trip to browse the haberdashery department at the local John Lewis led me to see a beautifully knitted sample of this:
Oh! Oh! Oh! What a lovely pullover! Never mind that I dislike working with linen and cotton (although wool would have done quite nicely) and I didn't bother giving the pattern a read-through to figure out just what doing color work would involve. Sign me up! Oh, and the Creative Linen yarn is on 60% off? I always wanted a boxy summery sweater! I'm be lounging around in my harem pants in my riad in no time.
Off to the races I was. I knocked out the sleeves first and soon realized that the flawed logic of this design. The Creative Linen was terribly splitty, meaning it was painfully slow to do lace work without it looking sloppy as ice cream on a hot tin roof.
Once the sleeves were done, I started the body. Like all Rowan patterns, it is written to be knitted flat, but I merrily joined it together in the round until the arm pits, where I switched to the color work.
Have you ever tried to do colorwork that wasn't in the round? I hadn't before this.
It was terrible. In fact, I had to walk away for a few months.
I picked it back up again, only to give up again. Another couple months passed.
Finally, I made a deal with myself. Two rows a day. I have to complete two rows a day on this. I didn't even know if it would fit, never mind look good, but I kept up my personal bargain, and in a few weeks I was sewing in the ends.
I am so sick of looking at this thing, but here it is. I don't have it styled at all here, but it is in my "not bad at all" category. It's boxy, yes....even though I did three repeats of the lace to lengthen the torso a bit and there's not waist shaping at all. I'm not really good in boxy things- it makes me look too stout and barrely and I just don't need that. Halfway through I decided this would be gifted, so it doesn't have to look good on me anyway, ha!
This thing was a BEAST to knit. I would not recommend it. The way Rowan patterns are written are not for the faint of heart, either. Although I did see someone leave the sleeves out and turn this into a vest, which looked just fine. I think that any time you do any sort of color work, it should be knitted in the round, even if this means steeking (slicing the sweater carefully to make holes for the sleeves).
I'm glad it is over with- I was getting so very sick of seeing this day in and day out, just taunting me. I've learned my lesson- stay out of John Lewis. I practically sabred a bottle of Champagne to celebrate.
Happy that it turned out okay- about halfway through I was overcome with despair that it just wasn't going to hang together right once it was sewn up. Relief: it looks just fine.
However, I am so very sick of it that I no longer want it. There's nothing wrong with it, but I feel as though someone else can lounge around their riad in harem pants more effectively than I could.
The deets: After my gauge being a little lose, I decided to knit the smallest size as written. I used 5 skeins of Creative Linen in ocher and just 1 of salmon pink. The pattern is Dia from Rowan 55.