Pattern: Vaila from Twist Collective Winter 08
Yarn: Malabrigo Merino in buscando azul, 5 skeins
Needles: US 8
Notes: Ah winter… the enemy of the knitblogger. I apologize for the lack of quality pictures here, but it gets dark at 5pm lately, long before my photographer makes it home!
Knitting Vaila nearly broke my spirit to knit, I have to tell you. I picked a pattern that had lots of purling, knitting in the round, knitting bottom up, lace… you name the thing I don’t like, it had it. I made a bunch of mistakes in the lace, but I don’t think you can tell – by the time I got to the yoke I just wanted to be finished, so I probably wasn’t careful enough.
The sleeves were tough. I tried knitting them inside out (loose gauge) and then tried purling them (enormous ladders.) Finally I knit them on the Bond knitting machine, which seems to have worked out fine. In the picture above you can see comparisons between the machine and hand knitting after blocking. The machine knitting is still alittle tighter looking and has a few vertical lines in it. It also feels a little stiffer than the body. You can’t tell a difference at all from the knit side though, so I would consider the experience a success.
I knit the sleeves shorter than the pattern called for, and they are still plenty long. I also knit the turtleneck far shorter than the pattern – I knit 35 rows instead of 78. I was concerned about looking like I didn’t have a neck. I’m happy with it the way it is.
After I finished, I realized I had forgotten to hold the body stitches to graft, so there was some fudging going on, as well as some unintended ease in the bust. I also did not do the special cast on, and I knit the ribbing on the same size needles as the body to avoid any flare at the widest part of the body. I also added shaping to the body, making it hourglass shaped rather than A shaped, again because I was concerned about it being flattering around the hips.
Overall I am pleased with the result, if not totally certain it was worth the aggravation. It fits well, and it is warm and soft. I’m not so much a pullover person, but occasionally it’s nice to knit one up. And I am very thankful for my new machine, without which I am quite certain this would have become an eternal UFO.