Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sallie pullover, knit and finished

Now that my excessively-modified version of Louisa Harding's Sallie pullover is complete, it's time for a review:

While the pattern from Harding's Summer Classics book is cute, with its jazzy stripes and wide sleeves, I felt I had to add some length to both the body and sleeves to make it more classic. I planned to increase the length from about 20" to 22" and the sleeves from about 13" to 18". I also wanted to add increases and decreases. To begin, I embarked on a complicated combination of the two versions of this pullover.

One version has a straight shape, one flares into a peplum at the bottom. The peplum version echos the flare below the waist with bell sleeves. I began with a more modest flare, adding stitches to a few of the ribs, then decreasing them away before I began the stripe pattern. Along with the shaping calculations, I had to make sure the stripes lined up on the sleeves and the sweater.

While it seems the waistline shaping was successful, the stripe pattern played havoc with sleeve length. Since the main stripes and the sleeve stripes had to line up when I joined them for the yoke, my choice was between 7 stripes on a 19" sleeve or 6 stripes on a 16 1/2" sleeve.

The sleeve length is probably compounded by my decision to use the saddle yoke from Veronik Avery's Skater Undertop for the shoulders. I thought it would be fun to knit a saddle yoke and wanted to avoid seaming in a cotton yarn that knits up as firmly as this Jaeger Aqua does. These photos show me that I should have decreased the front and back a bit more before beginning the sleeve cap shaping. The shoulders are a bit wide and allow the sleeves to droop down even longer. Still, considering the multiple changes I made, it's a wonder this sweater fits as well as it does.
I had to rework the stitch counts a lot, since my yarn gauge for the brown yarn was closer to 22 stitches/4" rather than the 20 stitches for which the pattern is written. That was easy enough, since the pattern suggests over 4" of ease. That's right, it recommends a 40" sweater for a size 36. For most of the stitch counts, I just knit what was recommended for a size 36. My version, with my smaller gauge, measures about 37". It's nice to have a little ease in a cotton sweater--it's so likely to shrink with washing.
While it would be easy enough to rip out the yoke and re-knit it with more decreases, I think it more prudent to wait and see if the sleeves will shrink lengthwise after a few washes. Until then, I'll enjoy the funkiness of long sleeves. They fold up nicely, proving that a quick fix of cutting off the excess and re-knitting the edging would probably work.
I've written up all the mods I made. They are so extensive, it's almost as though I wrote up the pattern. You can see them on the Ravely page for this project.
Edited to omit many of the references which seemed to attract unwanted readers. Still, I will keep comments on this post closed. It's not worth the bother.
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3 comments:

Wool Winder said...

It's really pretty! I think you'll like it better with shorter sleeves. Good idea to wait to see it will shrink first.

vlb5757 said...

I really like this sweater. I love the color and I really love the flare at the end of the sleeves. Very flattering.

beverlyanne said...

Hi Susan - You made all the right decisions. The sweater looks fabulous on you, fits great. I personally prefer my sleeves to be a little too long.