Pattern: Francis Revisited by Beth Silverstein
Yarn: KnitPicks Andean Silk, approx. 7.5 skeins, colorway Hollyberry
Needles: Denise US 10 and 7 circulars
Began: December 2, 2008; Completed: December 21, 2008
Notes: This sweater has really been making the rounds on teh internets, and with good reason. It is simple, it is free, it is well-written, and it is an incredibly quick knit. I’d been eyeing it for a while, but was unsure if I’d like the shape on me. When I saw Sarah’s and Lolly’s gorgeous finished versions, though, I knew I had to have one for my own.
This yarn had been languishing in the stash for over a year, and was originally bought for Zephyr Style’s Tree Jacket. While I still love that pattern, I’ve come to realize that it would be impractical for me. I’d end up having to buy shirts to wear under it because of all the holes, and money’s a little tight right now. Since this pattern recommends an alpaca or alpaca blend yarn, it seemed a match made in heaven.
I knitted the 37″ size, and was a little nervous. I usually don’t like sweaters with negative ease, but I decided to try it. With a drapey yarn knitted at a loose gauge, I thought it would stretch out nicely. The gamble paid off, and I am really happy with the fit. You can see that my cowl is a little droopier than other FOs on Ravelry, but that’s okay. I think it’s due to the silk content, but I’m fine with it. I have a short neck, so the drapey cowl is more flattering on me anyway. Everyone’s a winner!
I actually really loved the yarn, too. Somehow I’ve avoided knitting with KnitPicks yarn for the 2+ years I’ve been knitting, and I’m not sure why. This yarn was inexpensive and a dream to knit with; so soft and really does have beautiful drape. The color is much closer to the darker pictures here; it’s this amazing deep red. Perfect for Christmas time. Unfortunately, my suspicions that I’m allergic to Alpaca have been confirmed. Right after this shoot I had to rip the sweater off; I’ll need to wear something with a crew neck and sleeves underneath to minimize the itch factor. I just read this weekend that Alpaca is considered a hypoallergenic fiber, which is strange to me; I can wear the itchiest, most rustic wool with no problems, but the super soft Alpaca really gets to me. Just my luck, I guess.
This pattern was fantastic. It is so quick to knit! I started this during my crazed finals week, and finished it in between papers, grading, and preparing for family visits. I honestly think that I could have done it in a week of “normal” time, whatever that means. The pattern would be excellent for a first sweater, I think. Its top-down construction enables you to really customize the fit, and knitting in the round is great for beginners. The big gauge makes the stockinette fly by and, while I really love the cowl, the neckline would be super easy to customize to a crew neck or turtleneck style. So, overall, I really love this sweater and will be wearing it for the rest of the winter. Here’s the Ravelry link in case you’re interested.
I hope you all had a lovely holiday! My next post will be a Christmas round-up, complete with knitting-themed presents and cat photos. Get excited!