Friday, October 26, 2012

Red Queen fair isle pullover: finished!

Happy Friday! Thank you for your comments on being "back". I'm still trying to catch up on life after the last several weeks. :)

As promised, I have photos to share of my latest knitted sweater. I actually started this last November if you can believe it. For some reason I only worked on this one in fits and spurts, with the final spurt being to finish it up to wear to Rhinebeck last weekend. My flight was Friday and I was setting in the sleeves Thursday night after packing. Of course, it was in the mid-60s all weekend but I wore it anyway!


The pattern is Red Queen (Ravelry link) by Lorraine Condotta. Lorraine does amazing fair isle patterns (she's also the designer of my Scare Isle beret). You can see the original is a traditional boxy style Shetland pullover:

{Copyright © Lorraine Condotta}

But I gave it a more vintage shape. I do this so often I swear I need a name for it. Maybe I "vintaged" it?


I knit this in the smallest size and changed the armhole shaping and the sleeve shape. The body was knit in the round with the armholes and neckline steeked, and the sleeves were knit together separated by steeks, then cut apart, sewn and set in. I find stranded knitting more enjoyable over a larger diameter so I like that method for sleeves.

I also added buttons across one shoulder. That modification was a happy accident. As I was furiously trying to get in a bit of knitting before my extended work project that led up to Rhinebeck, I miscalculated my neckline shaping and couldn't get me head through. Whoops. So I added a button band across one shoulder and used three small vintage buttons to close it up.

I love it!



 I just love the mix of the traditional fair isle patterns with the little crowns!


The yarn is Brooklyn Tweed LOFT, a relatively loosely-spun fingering weight. I don't generally find that yarn needs a learning curve, but this one did for sure. I already knew from Ravelry that it had a reputation of being fragile—yank too hard and it will break. This is true (though it's easy to spit splice it back). If you're a tight knitter you might have a hard time knitting with it. I also had to knit it on much smaller needles than I'd normally knit fingering weight on to get the same gauge: 2.5mm vs. 3-3.25mm.

It knits up to be a warm and dense fabric when stranded, but very lightweight and comfy! And the colors are way more gorgeous in person... difficult to capture that in photos (the lighting was really giving me troubles which didn't help).



I'm really thrilled with how this pullover came out once I finally devoted myself to finishing it almost a year after starting it! And I think it really shows you don't have to shy away from modern patterns even if your style is more retro. A few little tweaks here and there and you can make it work for you. I love vintage knitting patterns but I also love working with modern patterns and supporting knitwear designers, too!


 Hope you have a great weekend!

57 comments:

  1. Lovely! the colours and the pattern are amazing. I would love to know how you changed the sleeves to give them the current shape.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! It's actually fairly easy and didn't require TOO much planning. I could do an entire post on it but here's the basics: A normal sleeve cap needs to fit into an armsyce with a slight amount of positive ease. To do stranded sleeves, I personally like the pattern to line up across the body onto the sleeves (the particular part of the design doesn't line up at the seam, but it gives you an unbroken horizontal line which I like). So what I do is BO the same amount of stitches at the beginning of the sleeve cap as I do for the armhole on the body of the sweater (in this case I think it was 9 sts). Then I figure out how wide I want the sleeve cap to be at the top. I went with 3", so I figure out how many stitches that is with my gauge. Then I figure out how many stitches I have to decrease away to get there. Then I plot out the decreases over the *same number of rows* as I used from the armhole to the shoulder shaping on the body. That's the key part to get the sleeves to line up. You naturally end up with a bit of excess ease at the top of the armhole, which I gather to a slight puff. This method would require a lot more math if you wanted perfectly smooth set-in sleeves instead of the little puff sleeve, though!

      That's the short answer. ;)

      Delete
    2. Thank you for your explanation!

      Delete
  2. Dude... this is BEAUTIFUL! Everything about it, from the colors to the design to the sleeves to the way it fits you (!!), love love love. You are totally my knitting inspiration goddess. I bow at your feet :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Just gorgeous. As ever, your fairisle skills are stunning.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is so gorgeous and I love the neckline button details. I recently bought "A Stitch in Time" vol 2. By the way, thank you for your helpful email. I pretty much made up my mind to buy it after that. Hopefully, I will begin one of the pullovers. I hope to one day work my way up to something as beautiful and complicated as this.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Fantastic! The shoulders are amazing.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Just stunning, Tasha! Also, I love your trick of doing the two sleeves together - genius!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I would love to be able to have this much skill as a knitter! Also I'm now going to start using 'vintaged' in my everyday vocabulary.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh my goodness!! This is absolutely gorgeous, I love the colors you used and I'm so jealous of your skill! (I just don't have patience for it!)

    xo
    Alex

    ReplyDelete
  9. Amazing! You are a knitting genius! Love the neckline buttons.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Wowza!! The shoulders! Beyond perfect. I envy those skills... And patience... I can't finish more than accessories;)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Your hairstyle seems different. i like it! Combined with the sweater it's a very flattering look. I think the blue buttons area nice addition as well.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Just stunning! I really love your knitting. It always amazes me when you turn out another beautiful creation. I love it paired with your snazzy trousers, too. :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Nice work! That pattern is amazing and I love the 40's shape you gave your shirt. I wish I had the skills... :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. It's terrific! I really love how you changed the shape and "vintagized" it.

    ReplyDelete
  15. That is just gorgeous. Lovely work and it suits you beautifully.xx

    ReplyDelete
  16. Holy guackers this is INCREDIBLE! I love the shoulder button neckline and the way you have adapted the pattern is simply flawless. I wish I had the patience to knit something like this!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Amazing, amazing, amazing. You are an extremely talented lady. Have you ever thought about designing your own knitting patterns?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Rachel! I've thought about it and was planning to design a sweater last year that never materialized, but there's a lot more that goes into designing lots of sizes than just something for yourself. I'm not sure I'd ever want to do it in earnest. :)

      Delete
  18. wow! I love the shape you've given it!

    ReplyDelete
  19. That is gorgeous! I really need to get my act together and keep developing my knitting!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Tasha since I'm knitting challenged, I actually stumbled upon a slew of hand knit sweaters on Ebay. I'm going to start posting them soon, they come with a great story too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That sounds great, I'll look for your awesome finds! Yay for the good score!

      Delete
  21. Show-stoppingly marvelous job on this sweater! You and the sweater are so, so pretty!!!

    I love that you nipped it in quite a bit and also that you turned vintage into a verb. I've done that before, too, to describe making something much more vintage appropriate then it was originally intended.


    Have an awesome weekend and countdown to Halloween!
    ♥ Jessica

    ReplyDelete
  22. WOW! I can't believe you knitted that! I am in awe. It's very cute.
    Nice work. :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. Thank you for introducing me to Spit Splicing - I hate having to weave in ends and this will take care of that! Excellent job on the sweater. It's so flattering!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Stunning knitting. Truly heirloom quality work.
    Thanks for the ravelry link also.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I think instead of "vintaging" it or tweaking it, you should invent your own phrase - "so then I GUM GOLLIED it". Inspiring work!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love that, I did indeed "gum golly" it! lol

      Delete
  26. That is beautiful! I think you should do another knit-along about how to "vintage" up regular knitting patterns! I'd definitely join :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmmm I will have to think about that, might not be a bad idea! Thanks for the idea Katie!

      Delete
  27. You are an amazing knitter ! the colours match so nice, and the shape is gorgeous too !

    ReplyDelete
  28. Wow, really beautiful. I "vintage" things too, just more flattering for curves that way :) You are so talented, inspires me to pick up my latest project again!

    xoxo
    Solanah

    ReplyDelete
  29. You love it??? *I* LOVE IT!!!! Its beautiful!!! Well bloody done!! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  30. Beautiful! And I like you version of it ,uh better than the original. You are so talented!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Looks really gooood and really vintage! Love the shape and the buttons. You vintaged it, right! :)

    ReplyDelete
  32. This is stunning and a great fit. I wouldn't have looked twice at the original pattern, but I love this! I especially like the button closure on the shoulder. Great job!!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Wow, you must have great patience, this looks so complicated! Love how you gave it your own take with the vintage shape - looks awesome!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Thank you all so SO much! ♥

    ReplyDelete
  35. wow! i'm so impressed. especially that you adjust a pattern to be more vintage! i have tons of vintage knitting patterns (i collect) and i'd love to be able to adjust the sizing but I couldn't even knit them as they are. it blows my mind that you could knit that. that any person could knit that.

    ReplyDelete
  36. WOW. That looks so fantastic. I'm needing a good new all-over fairisle in my life and you have given me extra oomph! Love this, thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  37. I love the vintage shaping you did with it - it makes it such an incredible piece!! Of course, the colors and crowns are completely marvelous paired with those blue buttons - I think you are just brilliant :)

    ReplyDelete
  38. I've only just recently found your blog and I have to say this is AMAZING. Not just to knit this but to adapt the fit and make it look soooo much better in the process. Wow. That there is some amazing knitting talent. I only hope that my knitting (only just acquired as a hobby) even gets half this impressive!

    ReplyDelete
  39. this pullover turned out to be so gorgeous. love it.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Oh, Tasha, I LOVE it. The colors, the fit, it's absolutely beautiful work!

    ReplyDelete
  41. ABSOLUTELY stunning! Well done!!! p.s. glad to hear Scotland is still on!! woot! Woot!

    ReplyDelete
  42. Thanks so much for this post! I was wondering how Brooklyn Tweed would work with Fair Isle knitting.

    ReplyDelete

I love your comments, they make my day! :)

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...