Monday, November 10, 2008

February in November

Hello! Reporting in with a finished sweater!

The history of my February Lady:

I started in June, right after I saw the pattern via Ravelry and dug through my stash like a crazy woman to see what I could use. I had 10 balls of Debbie Bliss Merino Aran that had aged quite nicely and the color was a great choice for the sweater.

The knitting took me less than 2 weeks, mainly because I was racing to see if I would run out of yarn, and, of course, I did. I thought finding more yarn would be hopeless, since the yarn had been in my stash for a few years, so I weighed options like shortening the body or the sleeves. Then on the off chance that I could find more yarn I browsed stash yarn in Ravelry and found that it was a pretty common color.

Then I found a yarn store several states away that still had it. Whoo hoo! When I got it (2 more balls) I discovered that it was even the same dyelot! Double whoo hoo!

So I finished the sweater with the sleeves and body just the right length and found great buttons but when I tried it on it just wasn't the total love fest that I imagined it would be. It sat the rest of the summer in the corner and had a little time-out.

I kept trying it on and trying to pinpoint what I didn't like about the sweater and I decided that it was the neckline. It was too wide on me and looked stretched out and (floppy? wimpy? I can’t really think of how to describe it) unflattering. Not to mention that the cast on edge--the neck edge--already looked worn from just the trying-on sessions.

I had the idea to crochet a scallop around the neckline, hoping it might draw the neck in and make the cast on edge a little more substantial. I wasn't completely sure if the scallop would go with the style of the sweater, but since it is pretty girlie, I thought it would.

But I had very little yarn left:

And I am very new to crochet and I didn't want to mess it up. I didn't want to crochet part of it and run out of yarn or worse, have it look terrible and then have the edge even more worn after I had to rip it out.

A few months later, I was determined to "make it work". Armed with an hour of complete peace and quiet and strong coffee, I grabbed a beginner crochet book, my hook, my meager yarn leftovers, and I practiced on the back of the neck, figuring out the spacing I would need. Above is a photo of the neck halfway through.

I stopped and ripped about 3 times, trying it on after almost every few scallops to see if it was lying flat. As you can see below, it doesn't look fabulous when it isn't being worn:

But when I am wearing it the scallops spread out a little and lie flat. Just right. Adding the crochet really tightened up the neckline so it isn't so wide and made it much more flattering on me. And I like the feminine touch it added to all that garter stitch on the yoke.

In the end, just a little tweaking took a sweater that I felt meh about to a sweater that I now LOVE.
Pattern: February Lady Sweater by Pamela Wynne
Yarn:Debbie Bliss Merino Aran Color 325701 (what I would call "cadet blue") 12 balls.
Mods: Added crochet scallop around neck.
Notes: I LOVE THIS SWEATER! Many exclamation points!!!!
A few more photos over on Ravelry.


Blogger PatQ said...

That turned out beautiful. I haven't made one of those yet but everyone is loving that pattern. The more I see it the more I want one.

10:18 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Scallops are a great idea! It looks wonderful. I have admired that pattern but, like you, don't like the way the neck looks unadorned. Seeing yours is giving me lots of ideas...

10:36 AM  
Blogger Gigi said...

Nice solution! It looks just wonderful. =-)

12:00 PM  
Blogger Carole Knits said...

I love the addition of the scallops at the neckline! What a great modification!

12:20 PM  
Blogger Nell said...

Ooooohhh!!!! I love the scallops. Very clever!

1:58 PM  
Blogger Leisurely Lesley said...

Yep, you did well.

2:36 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

I bought the yarn to make the sweater--but alas will have to wait till after christmas. Love that neckline

5:51 PM  
Blogger stitching under oaks said...

That looks great! I'm knitting the FLS right now. I'll have to remember this idea when I'm done and I see how it looks on me.
Beautiful job.

6:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great idea! And it looks wonderful. What a nice color.

Is it OK if I copy? Mine needs some major neckline pull-in too.


6:42 PM  
Anonymous Carla said...

Love the scallops- I know mine is 75% done in a bag some where! I just need to get snowed in and I will have time to finish it! :-)

7:03 PM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

What a gorgeous sweater! It looks great on you. Such a beautiful colour, and the scallops look fantastic. It really makes me want to finish my own FLS asap!

9:51 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

So pretty!

Mine isn't flattering on me, I think because I used a mostly cotton yarn and it stretches out and hangs. Cotton is too heavy. I think it's much better in wool or a blend.

7:13 AM  
Blogger Malka Dubrawsky said...

I'm one sleeve away from finishing this sweater and I'm in love with this pattern. Your turned out so well. I love the blue color too!

6:06 AM  
Blogger La Cabeza Grande said...

Oh, well done Emily! It's quite lovely on you.

7:41 PM  
Anonymous Emma said...

What a beautiful February Lady Sweater, Emily! It looks so nice and pretty on you. :)

6:58 AM  
Anonymous DebbieG said...

Are you willing to share your crochet neckline? I would love to add that to my FLS since I am not a huge fan of boat necklines. Thanks. -Debbie

9:17 AM  
Blogger judy coates perez said...

So Cute Em! The scalloped neckline is a perfect finish.

By the way, did I tell you I made two berets from your yarn with the slouchy gwen beret pattern? I knt them single strand and they came out great. You can see a bit of the red one in my houston photos.

6:48 PM  
Blogger Knitman said...

This is beautiful work.

3:24 AM  

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