So, I interrupted my regularly scheduled knitting (Breckon, you are who I am thinking of) to make a black sweater I can wear in the spring and summer. I chose Bonne Marie Burns' Abria sweater, because I have enjoyed knitting her patterns in the past, and it's similar to Miriam, but not the same.
I think it's going to be just the thing.
It's made of Juniper Moon Farm Zooey yarn, a linen/cotton blend. As you can see, it's kind of a thick and thin yarn. I think it's nice to have some texture in this simple design, although it may not be the optimal way to show off the lace detail. Also, it came in black, which turned out not to be so easy to find in a dk yarn that blended cotton with silk or linen. I hoped the linen would enhance the drape and body of the cotton yarn, and it seems fine. Also, it's not too warm. Really, though I might appreciate those sleeves after dark or when I'm somewhere with too cool air conditioning, what I really wanted was the look a cardigan can give to finish an outfit. Warm wasn't wanted.
The construction of this sweater was really fun. It was the first time I have knitted a sweater from the top down. First, I knit the back of the neckband, then picked up stitches for the back and sleeves. Then, stitches are picked up for the front. There are short rows and some nice shaping. I made it as written, except to add some rows of length at the end -- two extra 8-row repeats of the short row shaping, without the decreases (though I did the decreases as written up to that point). I don't know if my row gauge was off, or if my torso is long, but when I tried on the sweater before the ribbing, it wasn't long enough. So, I got to see for myself one of the advantages of knitting from the top down. I also used one size smaller needle for the bottom ribbing, and two sizes smaller for the sleeve ribbing.
Initially, I used the same size as the rest of the sweater for the sleeve ribbing, as directed. I think I was afraid after the slightly too-tight sleeves of Miriam (which do stretch on wearing, by the way). But the sleeves on this sweater are fairly generous, and cotton and linen are inelastic. So, the first time I wore the sweater, the sleeves stretched unattractively at the elbows. It was but the work of a couple of TV viewings to unravel and reknit them, and totally worth it. Here's the "before" picture of the sleeves:
- Chic Knits Abria, knit to size 38
- Juniper Moon Farms Zooey, 60% cotton, 40% linen, 284 yards in 100 grams, color 10 (Anise) 3 skeins (from Webs)
- size 4 (US) needles for the body, size 3 for the bottom ribbing, and size 2 for sleeve ribbing
- knit as written except for two extra repeats without decreasing of the front (wrap) shaping rows, and using smaller needles for ribbing.
- On Ravelry here