Tuesday, October 30, 2007

FO: Bea

After lots of math, mismatched dyelots and fear of running out of yarn, Bea has redeemed herself to be a decent FO!

Pattern: My own, inspired by Kim Hargreaves' Bea. I have parts of this written up for a size 34". It has stretched a little and probably would fit a 36", too. There was a lot of math involved, mostly to get the purl knots to match up correctly at the ends of the rows and to get the eyelets to match up across the waist. I used a simple K4, P1 across to get the texture and garter stitch lower body (peplum), sleeves, neckline and button bands. To get the picot effect on the edges, I did a KFB at the end of every other row and then cast off the extra stitch on the following row (I copied this trick from knitternatter Amelia). For the sleeves, I did a picot bind off.

Yarn: Debbie Bliss Wool/Cotton, color 604. 10 balls exactly, with maybe 1/2 yard to spare.
I made the never-again mistake of getting 5 balls each from 2 different dyelots. The effect was very noticable, but well hidden by changing from stockinette to garter stitch. This is why I have garter stitch sleeves from the elbow down.

Verdict: Since this was only my second attempt at designing a sweater myself, I am happy with it. The finishing touches, like the purple shell buttons and i-cord, really make it work. If I had to do it over again, I would cast on fewer stitches at the neckline and make it just a teeny bit smaller across the chest. It's pulling down towards my shoulders, which is making the raglan seam get big under the arms.

What I Learned: Writing up your own pattern is hard! It does take a lot of time and thinking, so I really do appreciate what desginers go through when they are working out a new pattern. I also learned a cardinal rule of knitting (the hard way): DON'T MIX DYELOTS!

The wool/cotton is a nice yarn to work with, but I find that Debbie Bliss yarns come with lots of knots, and usually only a few yards into the skein. The yarn did bleed a bit when it got blocked, which I was happy to see. I think it helped the dyelots blend a little more. I am going to try wearing this over a collared shirt - the yarn is just a teeny bit itchy on my skin.

Thanks for all the suggestions and help along the way. You all are the best!


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