Pattern: Bonbon Pullover by Mari Lynn Pat - Interweave Knits Winter 2007
Yarn: Sheldridge Farm W4 Soft Touch and Mission Falls 1824 Wool (White only)
Colour:"Silver"/"Misty Blue"/"Bottle Green"/"Green Apple"/"Lemon Lime"/"Cornsilk"
Needles: Aero Circulars 5mm 16",24", 36" lengths
Start: May 17 Finish: July 22, 2008
Pattern Modifications: Colours/Brand of Yarn
I'm very pleased with how it turned out despite undertaking a lot of new things with this pattern.
This was my first stranded colour work project and being a very tight knitter I found the stranding caused me to be ever vigilant about the tension of the floats. It seems to have paid off.
I substituted Sheldridge Farm W4 for the recommended yarn (GGH Belaire) and I used Mission Falls 1824 to get a less creamy white than was offered in the W4. The 1824 is slightly bulkier than the Sheldridge Farm but given its use in the pattern as the "netting" it worked fine. The W4 is part of their "Soft Touch" line and it really lives up to its name - especially after blocking in stockinette. Wool usually bothers me very little - even right against my skin (must be my Scottish heritage!) but its hard to believe this is wool at all. It's just that soft. I'll be looking to use it again soon.
I changed the colour scheme from warm to cool. This was the most harrowing part for me as I've never tried anything like this before but I'm pleased with the results. The main colour is a wonderful deep rich grey with a lot of blue and purple in it (at least to my eye) and I love it. It suits my colouring - phew! - and the accent colours of Apple and Acid Green - the topic of lengthy debate during and after purchase do end up giving needed punch to the overall scheme.
Of course there is a fair amount of waste with a design like this but what better problem to have than several almost complete balls of great yarn to add to the stash?
This sweater is quite long and goes right down over the hips. The decision to go with neutral ease was unproven until trying the sweater on after blocking. Pre-blocking the band of detail around the hips really pulled in at a location where a person with, shall we say a "womanly" form does not want a sweater to get narrower but I unpinned it last night and this morning its holding its shape and straight sides nicely.
As for the pattern, I didn't change a thing and I'm not a bit sorry. I briefly considered ditching the yoke detail across the shoulders and I'm so glad I didn't end up doing that. The yoke is my favourite part. I love the way it accentuates the shape of the shoulders without becoming pulled out of line. The sleeves are quite long (I may have blocked them to become even longer) but I really like the length as it further highlights the colour work at the cuffs.
I like the garter stitch edging at the collar and cuffs. It gives a slight a flair to the line without gaping and I like the way the turtleneck sits just away from the throat. The lines of knitted "dots" were the only thing that gave me any trouble with this knit. They don't really appear as they should but they do lend linear spots of colour as well as texture for an almost quilted effect. I worried while doing the collar that I wouldn't have enough ease to make it over my generous noggin so I changed out the circular needle to a longer one twice during the collar's knitting to try it on. An extra step like this is typically the kind I would have omitted in the past. Disastrous results naturally followed so its one of the things I'm trying to do more consistently now. There is nothing worse than the heartache of a finished knit that won't fit.
I will share the "Devil"s Eye" of this knit with you - I misread the first two rows of the chart at the very beginning but didn't realize it until I started the second side. Rather than rip the whole first side out, I did a duplicate stitch fix once assembly was complete and it really did the trick masking the error. Can you see the white underneath the grey "slipped stitch"between each pair of blue stitches just below the garter border?
Although it took a bit over three months to complete, the knit only received about 2 months of real attention. I enjoyed knitting Bonbon. I learned a lot of valuable lessons by undertaking it and I know I'm going to enjoy wearing it. Pretty satisfying all around!