Pattern: Ingenue, from Custom Knits by Wendy Bernard

Size made: Small (33″)

Yarn used: Artfibers Ming in color 11, 915 yards. This is a fantastic yarn. It’s holding up pretty well so far, a little fuzzing on the surface, but not too much, and no pilling to speak of. I bought a tiny bit for a cowl before, fell in love with it, and eventually splurged on the yarn for this sweater.

I chose this color, black shot with iridescent tones of scarab green and shimmery burgundy, after admiring it greatly in Stitchywitch’s Open Waters wrap and gleek’s Flair. It is really beautiful–I couldn’t quite capture all the colors in my photos, but here is a closeup to give you a better idea:

And it is next-to-skin soft, of course, being a 50-50 silk-merino singles yarn, very evenly spun. Perhaps when I’ve knit up the sheeps and sheeps of yarn currently in my closet, I will buy some more and make another Ming sweater.

Needles used: US 8/5.0 mm nickel Options circulars

Date started: June 18, 2009

Date completed: July 12, 2009

Mods: None, as far as I remember (unless maybe length? But that hardly counts). I got this book out from the library, so I can’t cross-reference the pattern now.

Notes: I love the neckline on this pattern, and I feel like it looks good on just about everyone on Ravelry–there are plenty of great patterns in Custom Knits, but this was hands down my favorite.

It was a quick knit–it would have been much quicker, actually, if I had gotten enough yarn to start with. I bought a 715-yard cone of the yarn from Artfibers, thinking it would be enough for a worsted weight sweater with 3/4 length sleeves. However, the collar of this sweater, being 1) sort of huge and 2) a double thickness of hugeness (folded over and sewn down to the inside), takes up way more yarn than I would have thought, so I had to order another 200 yards of yarn, and was still sweating whether I would have enough yarn as I was finishing the sleeves–and the sweater’s still a little shorter than I’d like.

The second dyelot I got wasn’t a great match. The original cone of yarn was a much deeper and richer color–it reads as black, while the extra 200 yards were a softer color that reads more as dark gray. I tried to divide it up and alternate rows as I knit both sleeves at the same time, magic loop. I don’t know how much time I wasted untangling little tiny balls of snarled yarn from the sweater and the needle cables as a result of that decision. I swear I started with four little skeins of yarn and wound up with about 12 of them, all tied up in knots, once I was at elbow length.

Anyway, I think the trouble was worth it, since the dye lot transition is not too noticeable and the sleeves are the same length.

I wish the collar was larger and stood up more around the neck, like the book photos, but I think this might just be a function of ease… same size collar on a very skinny-necked model, maybe. I also wish the sweater was longer, but this was a function of running out of yarn and not being willing to pay shipping a third time to top off the yarn supply.

Anyway, I like it: it’s a comfy, soft pullover with a gorgeous neutral color and classic design. A useful wardrobe piece, if maybe not spectacular from a knitterly point of view–no show-off cables or lace, no weird Norah Gaughan-type shaping, just a basic top-down raglan with a few lovely design details. I’ve gotten many compliments on it already (well, from knitters, when walking through the yarn shop, but that still counts, right?)

Also, I went to Wisconsin Sheep and Wool with my knitting pals Liz and Liz and bought a book (Magnificent Mittens), a bit of yarn (not pictured), a bit of pygora fiber–I behaved myself, really, overall!–also went to a Ravelry meetup and got a few pictures of creatures. Mostly they came out blurry, but here is a video of a sheepdog herding trial, and some photos:

Baby lamb!

Enthusiastic goat!

Knitters at the end of a long and wool-filled day!

It was a lot of fun, and an ungodly amount of tempting fiber and yarn offered up for sale. The festival was the same weekend as Stitches Midwest, which was about an hour farther away, and since I’ve never been to Stitches, I was agonizing a little over which one to go to, but Selkie’s report about Stitches being disappointing put my mind at ease. Maybe next year they’ll schedule better and I can go to both, to compare and contrast for myself.

Next time: maybe some pictures of my next newest FO…