This yarn traveled long and far to meet me, all the way from China. My Chinese friend Peiyi, who’s studying here in Germany (although we met sharing a room at summer university in Budapest), brought it back as a present for me. Isn’t she the sweetest? This was such a great gift, and I was stoked when I held the yarn in my hands. As far as I can tell, it’s 100% merino wool, fingering weight. “As far as I can tell” because I can’t actually read the label …
… except that it’s 100% from the animal that’s pictured on the label, which I have deduced is a merino sheep using my superior Holmesian detective skills. (I googled pictures of merino sheep.) I determined the yarn weight using this Craftsy tutorial. Of course, such a special yarn needed a special pattern to go with it, so off I went to peruse the reliably gorgeous “A Stitch in Time” sitting on my shelf. I was looking for a simple, but elegant jumper that would emphasize the yarn’s crisp, clear stitch definition. I settled on “Such Flattering Puff Sleeves”, a pattern that I had overlooked until then in favour of its flashier siblings.
Silly me! It turns out this is my most successful sweater from the book. I knitted the front and back rather quickly, despite using fingering weight yarn, during a Sleepy Hollow marathon. Based on experience, I added about 2.5 cm to the body so I’d be able to wear the jumper with modern low-cut jeans. There was a funny thing with the yarn: I had about seven balls, but some of them were significantly smaller than the others. It didn’t really matter, though, because I was fairly sure I had more than enough for the sweater.
I first ran into difficulties when starting the decrease rows on the sleeve; I always ended up with the wrong number of stitches. Eventually I wrote to the A Stitch in Time pattern support and heard back from Susan promptly (thank you!). There was indeed a mistake in the pattern description. Here is what she wrote to me:
I’ve just been through the pattern again and unfortunately there is an error in the next row for the sleeve decreases after reaching 208 sts. The pattern should read as follows:
Next row (Dec): ([k2, p2], [k2tog] 4 times) rep to last 4 sts, k2, p2, 140 sts.
Next row (Dec): ([k2, p2] TWICE, [k2tog] 4 times) rep to last 4 sts, k2, p2, 140 sts.
The pattern should work correctly from this point.
I forgot to add; please remove the word twice from the next set of instructions as well then on the final decrease row work as stated in the pattern but instead of ending with 64 sts you will end with 72 sts.
Afterwards, the sleeves turned out just fine! I really wish there was a schematic for sewing on the sleeves included in the book, though. I had to re-do it several times because it’d bunch up weirdly at my armpits. (I recommend using the slip stitch crochet seam to make unpicking the seam easier, and hold off sewing in the ends until after you’ve tried it on and are satisfied with the results.) I ended up making three pleats to each side of the shoulder seam. It looks different from the original model, but I like it.
What’s the verdict? I think it’s super cute. The sleeves are a bit too tight, unfortunately, but I can live with that. The yarn is amazingly soft. I love the neckline. I love how the sweater hugs the curves. Honestly, I basically want to wear it ALL THE TIME, I love it so much. This is my face when I wear it:
See? HAPPY FACE. Yes, that’s the verdict: HAPPY FACE.
Pattern: Such Flattering Puff Sleeves (A Stitch in Time Vol. 1) by Susan Crawford and Jane Waller
Yarn: Chinese yarn, probably 100% merino, probably fingering weight