In all her sparkly fashion, Sahara is finished!
Pattern: Sahara, by Wendy Bernard
Yarn: Jaggerspun Zephyr DK in Elderberry (50/50 silk/wool), 1 cone; Tilli Tomas Disco Lights in Dusty Purple, less than 1 skein. I lucked out big time that the two yarns are a near perfect match. I ordered them both on the internet and crossed my fingers. Funny thing is, the whole cone of Jaggerspun (1200 yds) cost less ($34.50) than 1 skein of the disco lights ($38). The sparklies were worth it to me, though.
Needles: Size 6 and 4 circulars. My sleeve stitches fit comfortably around the 16" circulars after decreasing, so no DPNs needed! Added bonus.
Modifications: Just a few. I made a size between the S and M. The schematic scared me a bit because even the M was less than 34" around (my usual size). I know negative ease was built into the pattern, but since I was wasn't working with the 100% silk yarn called for, I knew I wouldn't get as much. I got a gauge of 20 sts/4" and in the end, it fits perfect. The other mod was that I made the sleeves longer than specified. I think in the end they were about 19 1/2 " before I started the ribbing. I don't normally make longer sleeves, so this must have been due to how high up under my arm the sleeve started.
Verdict: Great. I really love this one because I can dress it down with jeans and fun earrings to go out casually, or I can glam this up with a saucy skirt. And I love the sparkles, which is what drew me to it in the first place.
What I learned. Short rows, which are a great shaping technique if you are curvy in some areas, or they're great just to create a lovely hem, as in this case. I had never done the diamond rib before. And, I had never knit a garment that picked up stitches to create sleeves - brilliant!
Would I knit this again?
Well, actually, yes. I'm all smiles about this pattern.
I already have a skein of TT Exotica in a light green for a short-sleeve version. But, no yarn for the body yet.
This pattern is freakin' brilliantly written. Wendy is a genious. Sahara has all the features of an expertly designed garment - shaping darts, set in sleeves, shirt-tail hems, and the best part - it required zero finishing. My favorite part was picking up stitches around the armhole and using short rows to create the sleeve cap. So. Smart. No bumpy sewn in sleeve seams!
I started this in mid-December and really took off with it in January. Although I was tempted to just knit away, I did take it off the needles about 3 or 4 times while knitting the body to check the fit. I did one extra decrease at the waist. It only took an extra 15 minutes or so and was worth it to get a custom fit.
Side shot. I heart darts.
Close up of the neckline. I've got a light purple lacy cami thingie on here. I want to find a dark purple one.