Pattern: Notre Dame de Grace by Veronik Avery
Yarn: Jamieson’s Soft Shetland (now Heather Aran) in Nighthawk
Notions: 1.25 inch bamboo button from Windsor Button
Needles: Denise 5’s
Notes: I can’t say enough about this pattern. I’ve long admired Veronik Avery’s designs (as is witnessed by my Ravelry queue) but I’ve never felt up to the skill level they required. They look so gorgeous that I always assumed they must be very difficult. This sweater proves me quite wrong.
The pattern is well-written and easy to follow. I’ve never seamed a sweater before, and this went very well. The selvage stitch really helped in that regard. The double seed stitch is easily memorized and keeps things just interesting enough. My only modifications were ones of length. Looking around on Ravelry, I found two common complaints: the sleeves as written are way too long and the body is a little short. I took that into consideration, adding about 1.25 inches to the body length and subtracting 1.5 inches from the sleeves.
Overall I’m quite happy with the fit. The stitch pattern stretches out considerably when blocked, which left the sleeves still quite long (though I like that in a sweater); if I hadn’t shortened them, they’d be entirely too long. I’ve got long arms, so I definitely recommend shortening the sleeves considerably. I knitted the size 40 bust, which gives me 2 inches of positive ease, but I think it ended up being a bit more. As I said, the stitch pattern stretched a bit when blocking. I couldn’t be happier with the result, however. I was aiming for a comfy, roomy sweater to throw on over tees to keep me warm, but looking less frumpy than I would in a sweatshirt. That is exactly what I got.
I am completely obsessed with this yarn. I bought an entire bag for about 30 bucks at A Good Yarn before we moved from Boston, unsure what to do with it. I was struck by the deep teal of the yarn, as well as its pleasing woolliness, and knew it would make a very warm, well-wearing sweater. After washing the fabric and wearing the sweater all day, it hasn’t given me one ounce of itchiness. The yarn knitted into a light, somewhat rough woolly fabric. You can’t beat the price, and I am really happy with it for this sweater. It gives surprisingly good stitch definition, and in the light you can see some brighter green fibers running through which give the color a lot of depth. It’s the most gorgeous, saturated teal, and it didn’t bleed at all when washed. Of course, I got such a good discount because this yarn had been discontinued, but I’m told after revamping the colors it’s now called Heather Aran. I’ll have to check out the new colors and see how the yardage has changed before I try it again; I try to buy cost-effective yarns, being on a student budget.
So there it is. This sweater wouldn’t have taken me so long to make had it been my only project. I started it in September, but put it down after about 8 inches of the back. I then picked it back up after New Year’s, and within a little over a month it was finished. When you consider how busy I am with school, that’s not bad at all. I have a feeling I’ll get a ton of wear out of this. It’s the perfect cozy winter sweater, which is exactly what I need right now. If you look at the photos, you’ll see that winter in Kalamazoo is still going strong. There are more photos on my Flickr, including some cute ones of Patches “helping” block the pieces.