FO: Kasha

A few months ago I received the  Stitch In Time: Volume 2 book.  I had pre-ordered it and was eagerly awaiting it.  I love love loved the Volume 1 book.  Realistically, there are probably more patterns that are my style in the first book, but the second book is amazing too!  It is filled with 80 updated vintage knitting patterns.  At Vogue Live in Los Angeles, I bought a bag of fingering weight yarn that I earmarked for a project from the book.  I finally got around to doing it!

Pattern: Kasha from A Stitch in Time: Vintage Knitting Patterns, 1930-1959 volume 2

Yarn: Sanli Pure Knitting Wool 216 in color 306, 6.5 balls

Needles: 3.00mm, US2 1/2

Start Date: June 15, 2012

Finish Date: July 26, 2012

Ravelry Page: here

I was loving this sweater the whole time I worked on it.  The color of the yarn is really vibrant, and I really dug the stitch pattern.  I started it while I was on vacation with my parents in the Grand Canyon.  I did the swatch as called for in the pattern.  At first I tried to just do the first half of the swatch (18 rows instead of 36) because I am lazy.  I couldn’t figure out how my gauge could be so far off!  Mine was like 4 inches wide instead of 3.  Then I decided to go ahead and finish the swatch because there was no way I could be that much off.  And it turns out, those last 18 rows are really essential.  They  pull the diamond back in at the top.  And my gauge was right on.

The lace pattern is fairly intuitive and I eventually memorized it.  I would occasionally realize that I had missed a Make 5 out of 1 stitch, and have to tink back.  You can’t really drop down and fix those kind of things because they take up so much more yarn than a knit stitch.  At first I thought it was unnecessary the way the rows are written out for the armhole and neck decreases.  But it was quite handy, not having to think about how to decrease in pattern and instead just follow the line-by-line instructions.  I was so stoked on this sweater while I was knitting it.  I blocked out the pieces before assembling them.  I blocked them to the 2nd measurements, which should fit my bust size.  I sewed everything together and hmmm.  It was pretty big.  I immediately re-blocked the finished sweater.  This time I squished it together, so it still had some of the 3-dimensionality of the pre-blocked piece.  After reblocking, it is pretty much zero ease, but it looks bigger than that.  I am so used to super fitted sweaters that I had trouble getting used to this looser fit.  I was pretty bummed out.  I took it to my knitting group hoping that everyone would say, “You’re so crazy, it looks great!”  but they were like, “Maybe wear it unbuttoned?  Can you make smaller sleeves?  That’s a shame after all that work…”

I didn’t think it looked all that different from the pattern picture, but I wasn’t really used to seeing a ’40s style sweater on me.  I felt like I was wearing an older woman sweater.  I buckled down and got into saving mode.  I made a few changes that I think salvaged it.  First, I threaded elastic thread through the ribbing at the bottom.  I did three lines of elastic though the purl stitches.  I maybe went a little too far, based on how it looks unbuttoned.  This little nip in, really helped accentuate the style of the sweater instead of trying to fight it.  Now it has that little blouson shape at the bottom, instead of loose ribbing that made the sweater look frumpy.

I also decided to make the sleeve (shoulder) pads that the pattern calls for.  I had previously thought, “Shoulder pads?  No way!”  But I do think they add some definition to the piece.  Again, playing up the vintage style.  I used the half-moon sleeve pad from the book, though if I had to do it again, I might make the triangle shaped ones instead.  I got conflicting opinions about the sleeve pads.  Instead of sewing them in, I sewed on snaps to each pad and into the sweater.  This way I can wear them in or out.

(I wouldn’t wear Converse with this outfit.  I didn’t think they would be in any photos.  And I am too lazy to edit them out!)

Here’s how it looks without the pads in:

I think it looks fine, but I think it makes my shoulders look a little slouchy and sloped.  Maybe I would modify the pattern to decrease more stitches in the shoulders.  Or perhaps, tried to make the armhole shallower.  Without the shoulder pads, the shoulders tend to slip down into a bit of a drop sleeve style.

So do I love it?  Not totally.  I am finally happy with it.  I am not sure if this style of sweater will get much use in my closet.  Also, the color does not go with very many of my dresses.  My Mom could get a surprise gift out of it!  The pattern is very well written.  I will make more items from these two books again, but I’ll have to think about what shapes really flatter me first.

Have a great weekend everyone!  I still need to show you my Convergence purchases.  And I have a haircut scheduled for Sunday, so should have some crazy before and after photos!

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