Posted by: mick | December 26, 2008

FO: Francis Revisited (aka The Bandwagon Sweater)

Francis Revisited

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.

FrancisThis 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.cowl detail

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!



  1. Sold!!! I’ve been seeing the sweater too, but you have me officially wanting to make it!

    I love the deep red/crimson color and you look GREAT it in!! (like the matching specs)

    Ooh I hate the alpaca actually irritates you :o(

    But like you said you will still get some good wear out of it!

    Great sweater!! I got the itch to knit them up right now!

    Hey! How did you make it “snow” on your blog?!?

  2. Beautiful color on you, Mick! Too bad about alpaca being itchy on you….so sad 😦

  3. Love, love, love it. It will definitely be on my list and may use the Andeean Silk also. I really like the cowl neck.

    Beautiful work!

  4. Oooh, that’s a really gorgeous color on you. That’s really too bad about the alpaca being so itchy for you…but at least you can still get some good wear out of it, so that’s good!

  5. I am totally having deja vu here – this looks exactly like one of my favorite store-bought sweaters from years ago. (Except that it was cotton, and I have now learned to hate cotton sweaters.) So, because of that, your’s is much more fabulous! I like the extra-slouchy cowl, it looks very fashionable.

    And I LOVE knitpicks yarn! I have always been pleased with all of their yarns that I have worked with, particularly their sock yarn, which is super-affordable. They even have kettle-dyed sock yarn that I am dying (haha) to try out.

    I hope you are enjoying your in-between semester break!

  6. stunning! bravo!

    on the alpaca allergy front, maybe it’s something else? lots of people are sensitive to wool because of the lanolin or the process the wool went through – dyeing, cleaning etc… wonder what it is in alpaca? wonder if you’d be allergic to, say the alpaca i have upstairs that has just been sheared. hm…

  7. That is gorgeous!

  8. Love it: so flattering, and the colour’s so cheerful. Regarding the alpaca, perhaps it has a lot of the guard hairs left in that particular yarn? I find myself reacting to some alpaca yarns far more than others. PS. Your blog is snowing! Hpw exciting.

  9. Mickles:

    That sweater turned out beautifully and it looks gorgeous on you. The color on you is so complimentary. I would love to have a copy of the first picture on the blog. You look so pretty, but of course, you are. I love you.

    Mom XXOO

  10. This is beautiful! I’m planning to knit Francis soon, myself – I’m also alpaca-sensitive (not allergic, just very sensitive to itchy short guard-hairs), so I’m going with a wool-silk blend. I hope it’ll work out – it’s such a lovely sweater. I love the color you chose, it’s beautiful on you!

  11. […] cow, it’s a WIP post! So lately I’ve been knitting really quickly.  Between my Bandwagon Sweater, which was knit in a whirlwind of finals and fever, and a non-bloggable hat that took about 4 hours […]

  12. […] is an acceptable substitute for the Phildar pattern!  What do you think?  I really like Much-Adored’s Francis Revisited, knit in Knit Picks Andean Silk. I think I will need to make one that is very similar, maybe the […]

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