Thursday, March 20, 2008

Spring Knit, Caftan Pullover

I've finished my modified version of Norah Gaughan's Caftan Pullover, as I planned, in time for Spring. The weather has certainly cooperated by providing a beautiful spring day with the beginnings of green everywhere.

I left out the split neckline which you see in the pattern (Interweave Knits, Spring 2006). As I explained earlier, I was concerned about having to sew the split together. I hated to leave out all the pretty cabling and motifs, but I wanted a sweater I would wear comfortably. It is totally comfortable, and not without some nice details. The Ultra Silk yarn is wonderful for cables and seed stitch. I used a size 9 needle. My gauge was perhaps a fraction of a stitch too large, but I got too small a gauge on the size 8s.

The fit came out ok. Actually, the yarn is so stretchy, I could have made it smaller. However, that would have made it even more clingy.


I followed the instructions exactly on sleeve length, although I had my doubts. It isn't perfect, but I've decided it is close enough. I much prefer too long to too short.

If I hadn't modified the bell sleeves to tapered ones, I'd have wanted them to be bracelet-length, as in the pattern picture. I narrowed the cuffs as much as I could and still have the motif nicely centered, then increased as I went up to make them 13" wide at the bind-offs. I don't usually need them that wide, but I followed the schematic on that after I saw how tight they are on the model's upper arms. She must be much taller and larger boned than I am. I have long arms, so it worked out, but I think only a very tall person would need the 18" sleeves.

Probably the shoulders slide down a bit more than they should, making the sleeves longer. I thought I'd try a three-needle bind-off there, since the seaming would show in this yarn. The problem is, the bound-off shoulder seam is much more stretchy than a sewn one. I may reinforce it there with some crochet, it I can find some yarn to do it in. Ultra Silk is so stretchy, it would not provide much reinforcement.


One last look at that front motif. I'll use this photo to update my Ravelry page for this project. I have one there of the motif before the sweater was finished. It looks very much the same, but there's loose ends showing because it wasn't seamed together yet.

This leaves me with only one unfinished project, my mitered jacket in Wooly Stripes Tweed. It's hibernating, trying to decide if it should be a sweater or an afghan, and there it will stay.

Clearing the decks by finishing up old things is a good way to start Spring.

12 comments:

Patricia said...

Let me be the first to say "Wow", you don't need jewelry. The sweater is a jewel in itself.

Wool Enough said...

It's gorgeous!

I pulled out my copy of Interweave Knits to see how you had changed the pattern and was greatly impressed. Your version is much prettier than the one in the magazine. You've inspired me to look for salvageable parts of patterns that I don't like in their entirety.

Jan said...

How lovely and just the perfect color for this time of year. I have to say that it looks like it fits you perfectly! I love the way it turned out for you. Much better than the picture in the mag. And only one UFO left, I'm impressed!

Anonymous said...

Amazing. I loved the sweater and immediately went to interweave knits to see if I could get a back issue with this pattern. I would not have given the original pattern a second look! You did a wonderful job making the sweater a wearable object. You are very talented. I enjoy your posts.

Michelle said...

That turned out great! I love the modifications you made.

Kathy aka the Minx said...

Very nice! I think that is the perfect length for a sweater (at least for me - I like tunics) and I love the simplicity of the design. I'll have to pull out the magazine and check out the original pattern now.

Bron said...

Fascinating. I've been considering that pattern since the mag came out. If I ever DID make it, I'd modify it exactly the same way. It just looks perfect. :)

Sam said...

WOW! It's stunning. I love it!

Laura said...

It is charming and a perfect fit on you. Really elegant and so easily wearable too. Great job!

Marjorie said...

That is absolutely sensational--and your pictures are wonderful.

I've had a similar problem with the shoulder drooping on two sweaters. I used a 3-needle bindoff, but I went over the seam with some heavy embroidery thread to keep it from stretching (a crocheted chain along the seam edge). I found this embroidery floss in my mother's things, and I don't know where to get it. It is heavier than standard embroidery thread.

jane said...

Your sweater is beautiful! Very springy! Jane

Sonja said...

It is so beautiful. Congratulations on excellent workmanship :)