Ondawa. This pattern is probably the complete antithesis of everything I knit. It’s large, unshaped, and is designed with tremendous amounts of positive ease. It is also utterly, utterly gorgeous and after a while, I couldn’t resist.
I swatched with Madelinetosh DK and got a pleasantly drapey fabric – important because I wanted a more fitted look in the garment. I had originally ordered this yarn for a Man Sweater, but the colour in real life was just too bright green to be Man-like. It is also not very me-like; I prefer more complex colours, and this yarn is almost a poisonously vivid bottle green. But then I thought a really striking sweater deserved an equally striking colour, and should probably be worn with obscenely striking accessories. We shall see!
I want to retain the feel of the garment suitably modified to my shape and tastes, so here are the changes I’m planning:
Length: cropped sweaters just don’t do it for me, so mine will be a regular mid-hip length.
Ease: The smallest size has 13” of ease, while the sample is photographed with 19” ease. Nineteen inches!! Not happening on my turf. I’m aiming for a modest 8” ease.
Gauge: The pattern uses worsted weight yarn, and I’m using DK weight. Instead of complicated and tedious gauge matching adjustments, I swatched the three main patterns, calculated their widths and then made up the additional ease with twisted 1×1 rib. The pattern does exactly the same to grade between sizes – the central panel remains the same and width differences are made with ribbing – so I knew I was on the right track to keeping the structure of the sweater the same.
Shaping: With so much ease there really is no need for bust shaping, and the original pattern is basically four rectangles sewn together. But I don’t like boat necks, so I’m going to add short rows along the sides of the front, locating turning points in the purl columns between stitch patterns, to keep the centre front low while raising the sides to match the back. I’ll also make the neck opening smaller – a simple matter of making the shoulder seam longer – to ensure the front neck remains curved instead of straight.
Knitting: There are about 11 million twisted stitches in this, so it’s going to be knit in the round. That is non-negotiable! I may even steek the arm openings.
Others: I’m considering several more refinements like tubular BO and CO, 3-needle-BO on the shoulders, etc, but most of these will be spur of the moment decisions while I knit.