Friday, February 10, 2006

Love it ... love it ... love it!

Absolutely love the Lace Leaf Pullover! It turns out exactly the way I want it to:


Please excuse the blurry picture ... I forgot to change the setting for picture under bright sunlight. :) Can you feel that I was sweating there? The temperature was around 70F when the picture was taken! Can you see the grafting line? I bet and I hope you can't ... to divert your attention from it in case you see it, here is a closer up of the shoulder with the button:


Ever since I saw the pattern in IK, I had wanted to make one. But when I found that a very bulky yarn was used, I thought maybe it was not for me then. Then when I got the book Loop-D-Loop, my love for the sweater was renewed. Yet, the 10sts-for-4" gauge is a big problem for me. After going back and forth several times, I finally decided I wanted the sweater ... even though it meant I need to do some serious math work. By the time I made the decision, I have already seen several pullovers made on blogs. I was indeed lucky to catch Yarn Harlot's post on her pullover as I could avoid similar frustration like that of Alison's.

Details:
Pattern: Lace Leaf Pullover by Teva Durham from Loop-D-Loop

Modifications:
(1) Since my gauge is way smaller than what the pattern specified, all the numbers of stitches have to recalculated. While this may be some routine preparation work for some of you, to me it was not the case. I took out my copy of Stitch and Bitch Nation and read the relevant chapter all over again before I started. It is a milestone for me since everything worked out fine. I gained a lot of confidence by working on this sweater, knowing that my knitting would not be limited by my wonky gauge.

(2) With the smaller gauge, I thought the lace leaf pattern would appear to be too small if I kept to the original pattern. There are altogether 3 lace leaf patterns in the sweater - the one just above the ribbing, the one under the neckline and the one on the left sleeve. For my pullover, all three are of difference sizes. The one above the ribbing is the biggest one - 21 stitches wide; the one under the neckline 17 stitches and the one on the sleeve 15 stitches.

(3) In Stephenie's post, she said that the arms were too tight and the sweater didn't have shoulders. If you look at the sweater being laid flat, you would find that the shape of the shoulders is indeed a bit strange. So, while knitting the upper body, I paid particular attention to the shoulders. Besides, before I started, what worried me most was the raglan armholes. For this, Ann Budd's sweater pattern book pointed the direction to me:

"For the raglan seams to lie flat (and the sweater to fit well), the sleeve caps must have the same number of rows as the armholes."

I am not sure I knew about this basic principle of raglan seams before. But it certainly gave me an idea how to make my recalculation work. When knitting the shoulder increase rounds, I disregarded the instructions on how many rounds to knit, but kept trying the piece on to make sure I have the desired width for my shoulders. Then I measured the desired length for the armhole to figure out how many rows I need for the raglan increase in the case of the upper body, and decrease in the case of the sleeve caps. Next, I made use of tools (Taper Sleeve: decreasing and increasing) I found on Lucia's blog to calculate how to make the decrease and increase. If Ann Budd is right, my sleeve caps should have no problem fitting into the upper body. Guess what, she IS right! I also bore in mind the tip from Stephenie about leaving extra stitches at the grafted shoulder to avoid the wonky seam which caused Alison to rip out her Lace Leaf.

Yarn: Lion Brand Kool Wool Col: 147 (Eggplant) (50% Merino Wool, 50% Acrylic)
I bought the yarns from a closeout blowout sale at Smiley's. I like this yarn because it is soft and I paid very little for them. After blocking, the sweater becomes very soft and comfortable to wear. But since it is only 50% merino wool, I think it is perfect for the weather here. Yesterday the temperatures around here were record high (75F) and I was like a mad woman wearing a bulky sweater. It felt warm ... but not unbearably so ... at least I didn't suffer from a heat stroke. Now I am looking forward to a little bit of cool weather so that I can wear my new sweater comfortably.

Gauge and Needle: 14 stitches to 4" using US10.5 in stocking stitch

Start Date: 01-24-2006
Finish Date: 02-04-2006

There are more patterns from Teva Durham's book that I'd love to make. The next possibility is Dreamcatcher Medallion Cardigan ... here and here are two beautifully finished ones.

22 comments:

twig said...

Fabulous. I'm not quite brave enough to completely refigure a pattern like that. I can't believe you finished it in 11 days!

marirob said...

Beautiful! You did such a great job on it. And I can't see your grafting at all. Yay!

Toni said...

It looks great on you! I like your smaller gauge version much better than others I've seen.

grumperina said...

Looks wonderful on you! I love the color!

caitlyn said...

Awesome, Agnes!! The sweater looks absolutely wonderful on you. I'm glad that you figured out the modifications to make the pattern work for you!

Susann said...

Awesome sweater! It turned out really nice.
Doesn't it feel good when "knitting math" works? :)

erin said...

I like your version in the less bulky yarn. Congrats on making all the math behave!

candsmom said...

Your Lace Leaf is BEAUTIFUL!! The color is lovely and it looks absolutely fantastic on you- what an incredible fit. I'm so in awe of all the calculations you did to make this sweater work- so worth it, too! I learned a lot reading your post...maybe I'll be less afraid to re-work a pattern with math next time. I've always been intimidated by that. Fantastic job, Agnes! Take care! :-)

Debi said...

Beautiful! Perfect! Stunning! Glorious! Adorable! Glamorous!
I can't think of any more words, you get the drift!! WELL DONE AGNES!! You be PROUD, girl!! :)

Pumpkin says HUBBA HUBBA!!!

Zonda said...

Beautiful job! It looks really good! zknitter

alltangledup said...

it's lovely and well done on recalculating the pattern to a more reasonable gauge. It's not difficult to do, just takes some time and you did a marvelous job at it. So you like this LionBrand yarn? I'm not sure that I've forgiven them for discontinuing cotton-ease yet!

Bron said...

Beautiful! Great work. :) I have that exact same yarn, in that exact color and the pattern too. I'm SO tempted to try my own!

joy said...

Great job with the mods. If you're sweating in this one, can't imagine how hot it'd be if it was the original thickness! :)
And nope, can't see the grafting line.

katie said...

Beautiful! And since you resized the leaves, I had to look back to your picture several times before I really believed you that you used a smaller gauge yarn. You really captured the feel of the original--but without the bulk. :)

lori said...

Your Lace Leaf looks so good!! I am so impressed with your math skills!! I really like it in the finer gauge and it looks really good on you!

Lynette said...

Excellent job with the maths on this sweater - beautiful result! As usual, it's impressive.

BTW, thanks for writing in about your typical knitter's day schedule. There seems to be a common thread where we all knit in the evenings but you're lucky you're a night owl!

Lolly said...

Agnes, it turned out so splendidly on you! I love it. I have that same yarn just waiting for me! Seeing yours knit up makes me want to start on it now!

Great work!

blossom said...

your seater turned out beautifully!! nice color.

Siow Chin said...

Hooray and bravo for doing all the math! Love it and makes me want to knit one too. Do you think the Jaeger Como yarn is suitable for this sweater?

Ruth said...

PRETTY!! you did a great job and looks wonderful on you.

Laura said...

So lovely! That's one of the few Teva patterns that I like and your's turned out beautifully. I'm so impressed with your math skills.

I can't see the graft line. Very impressive!

Mimi said...

What an accomplishment, Agnes! I like the idea of having the leaves in different sizes. I also prefer thinner yarns as they are much more comfortable on the body.