July 11, 2015

In 2011, on a visit to New Zealand to attend a wedding, I bought some Naturelle Chunky 14 ply wool yarn, grown and processed in New Zealand, as a yarn souvenir.

I made Kate Davies’ Owls yoked sweater. I was experimenting with shaping and thought I knew better than Kate Davies where it should go. Turns out I didn’t! The front shaping was too close together and the whole thing was a bit too short because I had not considered the relationship between boobage, negative ease and the riding up which ensues after I had shortened it anyway. The Kate Davies bits, like the 0wls and the neckline were lovely and very flattering. I loved that sweater for many years, till the elbows wore out in fact. Here it is after much loving.

IMG_0610If the sweater had fit me properly, I would have done elbow patches but with the wonky fit, I decided to frog completely and reknit something else. The worn areas were excised and the rest was washed and wound into balls.

IMG_20150710_25772I chose Lesley by Hannah Fettig as my new sweater, particularly as it was such a good match for the yarn gauge. It also had a nice open neckline like Owls.  But this design has negative ease and no shaping which I knew was not going to work for my shape. I added back shaping (more skilfully this time) and zero ease to minimise any front rise.

The sweater was worked in pieces and seamed. Each pattern in Fettig’s Home and Away collection is presented in a seamless and seamed version, with a short essay on the advantages of each. I thought a seamed raglan would keep its shape better across the shoulders.

I knitted the front in the stitch pattern used in Hermione’s Everyday Socks by Erica Lueder.  It is a broken single moss stitch and it is wonderfully textured. This was my carry around knitting and it never seemed to require special time set aside to make it. It just sort of happened.

IMG_20150710_2678The sweater came out exactly as planned but I realise now that the raglan style construction is not actually that flattering for me. It narrows the shoulders, broadens the chest and creates construction lines that magnify my widest section of hip and thigh.

Live and learn eh! I am consoled by its warmth and it fits me well. The yarn is sturdy and is having a good long life. Also, it is very hard to be vain and self conscious when my 5 year old is taking all the photos on my phone using voice command yelling SMILE, SMILE, SMILE like a tiny, angry sergeant major.

IMG_20150710_26318Reknit deets here.