Pattern: Radicchio by Giovanna Vacchi. A top-down with some basic, lace work in the yoke.
Yarn: Cestari, Heather Collection 75% cotton, 25% wool. Knits to 20 sts over 4 inches. Called Knitting Worsted by we Canadians, but the US label refers to the yarn as DK weight. I have long wanted to try a cotton/wool combo yarn. I suspect it will offer the best of both worlds. The coolness of cotton for a summer's day, but the memory of wool to prevent stretch and sag.
Needles: 4.5 mm for body and 3.75 mm for trims.
Objective: I wanted a neutral-coloured, summer sweater with long sleeves. I have a couple of short- sleeved summer cardis and one with 3/4 sleeves. Fine for hot days but for cooler evenings, I wanted a colour that would go with anything and have full length sleeves.
What I Did: To begin, I started the top-down knit and did exactly as the pattern suggested for the yoke portion. Radicchio knits the button-band trims at the same time as the sweater body. The trims were vertically-appearing ribs. In my mind they were too bulky, not snug enough and just plain not pretty. Check out some of the projects on ravelry to see what I mean.
On my second attempt, I subtracted a few stitches from the overall numbers given and knit just the sweater minus the trims. Those I added after completing the sweater and that gave me the same circumference as prescribed in the pattern.
Once I finished the yoke pattern, I tossed the official pattern and took out my new Need a Circular Yoke? book. From it, I used the numbers for total stitch count before the great divide, the bust darts and also waist and hip shaping. That shaping was done as the book suggests, on either side of the added underarm stitches. This separates the increase/decrease lines by several stitches. In my mind, they look better this way - they do not pull on each other as some side-by-side shapers do.
In addition, I added a couple of Dowager Hump short rows into the back. If I were to knit this again though, I would add a few stitches between lace patterns across the back. Mine looks stretched much more tightly across the back than at the front.
" For me, with a 38 inch bust ..."
That was as far as I got because this sweet, little old lady interrupted to exclaim
" 38 inches? Must be all in your back!"
Radicchio proves she was right.
Radicchio fits eactly as I planned. Not too much fabric under the arms, defined bust, waist and hip areas and it is a perfect length. But there is one issue. Having purchased only 4 skeins of yarn at 250 yards per skein, I had to get the sweater out of that 1,000 yards. I knew it would be tight and in fact I finished with a mere 5 grams of yarn to spare.
But, the sleeves are a bit short of perfect.
But of course I can't do that until I get my needles back. Because - I. Forgot. My. Knitting. Bag.