Pattern: Tuxedo top by Theresa Schabes, Interweave Knits Summer 2007
Yarn: Berroco Naturlin, 5.5 skeins in Cinnamon
Needles: US 2, size E crochet hook
Mods: I left off the ruffle around the lace panel because I like things a little more tailored. Otherwise knit to pattern specifications for the 32″ size.
I’m finally feeling a little better (but still with laryngitis) but the cold has given me a new sweater! I’m so glad that I decided to knit this! I had initially liked the design in the magazine, but I didn’t like the color and I think perhaps the sample was a little big on the model. I saw the yarn when it came out this spring and immediately fell in love with the cinnamon color… but what to knit with it? Naturlin is a blend of linen and rayon, making for a knit that feels like linen but isn’t nearly as hard on your hands. It contained occasional vegetable matter and was pretty splitty, but nonetheless I loved this yarn and would recommend it highly.
The pattern was well written and for the most part clear. There was a lot of finishing. You knit the lace straps separately and then seam them on, and then go around everything with crocheted edging. This resulted in a lot of ends to weave in, but it was worth it! One of my favorite parts is the place where the lace straps meet the body – you join them using a crochet stitch on the outside for a decorative effect. The lace pattern was a little annoying (I hate doing p2tog in the back loop) and I wish it had been charted, but it turned out ok. This yarn is not recommended for lace because of the splitting.
I had some tension problems while knitting the back until I figured out that I was pausing in the middle of rows. I had to consciously tighten the yarn when I started knitting again. I haven’t had that problem before, and I blame it on the yarn, which had zero elasticity. As a result the back of the sweater is 1″ wider than the front, but you can’t tell. The yarn softened up considerably after being blocked, and is very light and drapey. Unfortunately, due to the rayon content, it is hand wash only, but I can live with that since I can’t bear to machine wash my handknits anyway.
The fit is very flattering, somewhat surprisingly. I was worried about the swinginess, but it’s not too much at all. I did not add any length to this, which was a good decision – any longer and it would have hit at my widest part and been less flattering. I would recommend this knit to anyway – I have yet to see an FO that isn’t beautiful! Don’t be intimidated by the small gauge (25 st/4in.) It’s inspired me to start swatching for more of the small gauge projects in my queue!