|Reticulated, front view|
Reticulated Pullover by Mathew Gnagy, knitted by Michelle Galvin
Michelle is 5 feet tall and wears a size 2 top.
Size knitted: 32-inch bust.
Yarn and needles: Cascade Yarns Eco-Wool, size US 10½ needles.
I was a little reluctant to knit this pullover; at first glance it looked so complicated! But when I saw it was knit on size 10½ needles, I thought I would give it a go. I used the Cascade Yarns Eco-Wool (100% natural Peruvian wool) in shade 8085 which is a mocha-brown color. The pattern calls for two skeins of yarn but I ended up using only a quarter of the second skein (I have enough left over for a hat!). I knit the size small, the 32-inch bust.
The pattern starts out with the front and a simple ribbing which lulled me into thinking, "this won't be too complicated," then after an inch and a half, reality hit. This is not a project to knit sitting in front of the TV or chatting away with your knitting group. There is a right-slanting cable, a braided cable in the middle, and a left-slanting cable to keep track of. It wasn't complicated as long as I kept track of where I was on the cable charts.
|Reticulated, back view|
After two knit-throughs with the chart I was able to pick up the pattern enough to knit without the chart, which is good because right around this time the shaping began. The shoulder shaping was done using short rows, which I had never done. It was fun to learn this new technique and the shaping looks great.
The back was next. It is far less complicated then the front. In hindsight, I might have knit the back first to get a feel for some of the cabling. The back has a left-slanting cable and a right-slanting cable and since I used the size 10½ needles it went really fast. After the back, I knit the two collar pieces, which have some fun shaping and are knit in garter stitch.
Finishing has always been my weakness. I am known to knit up all the pieces and drop them off at my local knit shop to have the experts finish for me. This time I was determined to seam and finish the pullover on my own. I am glad I did; the pattern has a selvage built in to each side so seaming the pieces together was very simple, even for a novice like me. The collar was easy to sew onto the sweater vest, too.
This was such a fun project to work on. It was interesting to knit all the way through, with many different techniques in the pattern. I really like how it fits and how it works so well layered with a tee-shirt.
|Cobble Hill with the front in the front|
The Cobble Hill Pullover by Erica Patberg, knitted by Sucia Dhillon
Sucia is 5' 9" tall and wears a size 8 top.
Size knitted: 36" bust.
Yarn and Needles: Yarn Cascade Yarns Baby Alpaca Chunky, 9 skeins, size US 8 and 10 needles.
The Cobble Hill Pullover screamed: Try this! This sweater gave me a new shape to work with, a unique look, and the opportunity to work with a deliciously soft yarn.
I enjoy wearing sweaters to work in the winter, and this one works perfectly, in order to fit my tall frame, I made the size 36 with a few modifications:
|Cobble Hill with the back in the
—After knitting the length of the body, I tried it on and found that I needed about two more inches. I added these with the sides stitched together in the round. I continued the decreasing pattern, but added a stitch on either side to keep the stitch count the same.
—I also added an inch to the width of the armhole openings. When I tried the sweater on, I thought the ribbed arms were too tight so made a 5½ sleeve opening instead of a 4½ sleeve opening.
—I added length to the sleeves, working about 1½ extra inches of ribbing than recommended on the pattern.
I think I was a little paranoid about how tight it was when I tried it on, because once I had blocked it, I found the sweater was plenty wide. In retrospect, I probably would have added length by continuing the front and back in separate pieces, and then stitched them together. I think this would have kept it more form fitting. Both the width and length really grew after wet-blocking.
Another aspect I would consider more is the ribbed edge (the opening that's not folded over) and how I wanted it to hang. I bound off really loosely, using much larger needles to bind off on this edge; I don't think that was necessary.
I'm glad I made this and will enjoy wearing it for many winters to come. There are not very many sweater patterns out there that give you such versatility; I love how this sweater looks with the Vs in the front, but if I'm in the mood I can switch it around and upside down, and voila!, I have another style to wear!
Manteo Cardigan by Lisa Hoffman, knitted by Kathy O'Neill
Kathy usually wears a size 12 top; she's 5' 4" tall.
Size knitted: 39½-inch bust
Yarn and Needles: Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, 8 balls, size US 6 needles.
It was a combination of the cute design and working with cashmere yarn that drew me to this project, just as working with the alpaca attracted me to the last gallery I did. However, by the time the Spring 2012 Interweave Knits came out, the Araucania Truaco had been discontinued.
Kathleen had me look for alternatives, so I ended up choosing Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino. It's not 100 percent cashmere, but it is really soft and I love my raspberry color.
Using the Baby Cashmerino had the huge advantage of allowing me to get proper gauge without having to carry two strands of yarn, as instructed for the Tauaco. So much simpler to work with and care should be lovely, too! I made the 39½ and I got gauge with a size 6 needle. I'm a compulsively snug knitter so the size 6 loosened me up to get the perfect gauge. The fabric weight is near ideal, too, it has a bit of give to it and will be very comfortable to wear.
I didn't run into any issues with interpreting the pattern.
I was averse to doing the sloped bind-off because it seemed like a tedious and unnecessary detail. However, for the sake of this gallery I decided to give it a go on my second sleeve. Okay, now I've been educated on the why and wherefore of it! The sloped bind-off made a much nicer shoulder seam to stitch together and didn't have the washboard edge on it like the sleeve without it. And it's really not very difficult to accomplish. I do have to keep myself from wanting to cut corners at times!
The instructions didn't quite clarify if it was the same whether you were on a knit side decreasing or a purl side decreasing so I did the slip as if to knit on the knit side and slip as if to purl on the purl side. Keep an open mind about those new techniques that Interweave likes to throw at us!
I haven't put the buttons on as I'm writing this! I have to see how it will look double breasted on me; I might not have enough overlap, if you can relate to that issue. I should be able to do anything I'd like with the buttons (including leaving them off!). With the eyelet stitch pattern, though, you've got built-in button holes everywhere!
Chincoteague Jacket by Lisa Jacobs, knitted by Gerda Porter
Gerda usually wears a size 12 top. She's 5' 4" tall.
Size knitted: 43" bust
Yarn and needles: Harrisville Designs Silk and Wool, 20 skeins (to make it a little longer), size US 7 needles (I'm a LOOSE knitter!).
This jacket was a challenging project and I had a few false starts before getting into the rhythm of knitting this. I would rate this project for an expert knitter, or for an intermediate knitter who has a lot of willingness to learn!
The project is knitted initially in one large piece that encompasses the fronts and back at the same time, resulting in long rows.
The charts are to read from right to left for right side rows and left to right for wrong side rows. I forgot about this because I knit in the round so much, and it's important to note when working back and forth in rounds!
The charts are somewhat intimidating at first glance but they are easily memorized as you go.
It's helpful to place markers where the charts change and to use a magnetic board or liftable highlighter tape to keep track of which row you are working on.
A couple of cons:
One of the cons of this project is that I could not figure out how this was actually going to fit me, there is quite a bit of ease and the ending result was actually much bigger then I thought it would be. My gauge was correct but the coat is too large for me around the body and the sleeve hole. I might be okay though because I'll really be able to wear it as a jacket; it'll fit over cool-weather wear just great.
I would have liked a little more guidance on how this pattern works. First a reminder about how the charts are to be read (knitters would rather have more info then less); better explanation of the short-row shaping techniques used for working the sleeves, and lastly, how size modifications can be made.
And the pros:
The yarn used for this project was perfect, it gave wonderful structure to the project and it showed the stitch pattern beautifully.
The stitch pattern looks great and the design is flattering. The length is just right and hits me (a short person) exactly where I would want a jacket to hit.
Mods: I knitted the jacket in a medium and when working the sleeves I chose to follow the small instructions. I could tell that the sleeves were going to engulf me based on the size of the armhole. When I completed the sleeves and tried it on the sleeves were way too short so I added four rounds of double crochet to serve as a ribbing. I liked how that turned out it gave a nice finish.
I decided that I would probably never were this with the reverse side showing so I decided to work the collar in stockinette, the result is that the collar is wider than I would have liked but I still preferred that to working the collar in the chart pattern.
I admire the skills required by the designer to come up with this jacket and if I were to make it again I would figure out how to make it smaller. I also think this design would be fabulous in a skirt or on a pillow.
Chincoteague Jacket by Lisa Jacobs, knitted by Mimi McClellan
Mimi usually wears a size 22 top. She's 5' 7" tall.
Size knitted: 51" bust
Yarn: Harrisville Designs Silk and Wool, 20 skeins, size US 10 needles.
What first drew me to the Chincoteague Jacket was the stitch pattern—I just love the zigzag look. I ordered what I thought was a light blue colored yarn, but it ended up being a lavender/periwinkle, which I wasn't at all sure about. It grew on me as the sweater grew, though, and now I really like it.
I had a rough start on the pattern because I wasn't totally clear about which order the charts were knitted in on the wrong side rows. I knit about three inches and my design was obviously not looking like the photos in the magazine. I called my friend Gerda, who was also knitting the Chincoteague, and she said she'd had the same issue, but got herself straightened out. She got me straightened out, too, and soon I had the hang of the charts and was whizzing along.
The first snag came when I did the pockets. They're tiny! Maybe it's because I knit the sweater in the largest size, but they should be bigger, I think. I also had a brain lapse during this part and one of my pockets was shorter than the other. I fudged on the last few rows, though, and now they're pretty much the same size.
Everything was on track again until I got to the part where I picked up stitches for the sleeves. Since the jacket is reversible, the directions say to pick up stitches in rib, one on the right side and one on the left side. This is a cool technique, but it leaves a rippled look where the sleeves were picked up. After working the first sleeve cap I started the other sleeve and picked up stitches using a smaller needle and pulling tight, which resulted in a better look. I was happy with that, but not happy with having to rip out my first sleeve.
I think if I had it to do over, I'd forget about making the Chincoteague reversible and just concentrate on the somewhat advanced chart work. The sleeve snafu ate up quite a bit of time so I'm not quite finished with the second sleeve, as you can see in the photo at right!
I'm really happy with my jacket so far; the fit is great and I still love the zigzag pattern. And this project made me feel like a really great knitter because I relied a lot on my intuition to guide me. The pattern is really bare bones; I had to use my judgment and trial and error in a few places, like on the collar where the pattern doesn't mention doing the set up row for the stitch pattern, but you have to do it to begin correctly.
If you knit the Chincoteague, read through the pattern before you start and again when you get to each new part of the jacket.