I ordered this yarn from Pandia’s Jewels just as soon as I was off my last yarn fast. Seriously. I mean, it wasn’t completely grotesque, I waited a week. But I’d had my eye on it for several months. The color is called “Apple’s rubbish. I hate apples.” It is named in honor of the Doctor’s regeneration into Eleven. Being a Doctor Who fan, I had to have it. Doctor Who + pink = Forever. I chose the Delight base because it was dk, which would be a great match to the Praline Pullover by Emma Welford.
I don’t normally go for the look of reverse stockinette. It always looked kind of backwards and unfinished to me. But I’d been having a look around Ravelry and kind of fell in love with some reverse stockinette sweaters. The Praline Pullover made me look at reverse stockinette differently. I saw it as pretty and kind of like a blurred watercolor for variegated yarn. Seeing the pink rose on the cover photo for the pattern made me think Apples would be a perfect fit.
To start, I alternated between two balls of yarn every round, carrying up the back. I wanted to make sure I would get the bits of green scattered throughout the fabric instead of pooling too much. I must say, I started the project about six times because I wasn’t satisfied with how the yarn was laying when I started knitting. When I had finally gotten things placed the way I wanted, after several frogs and restarts, the yarn was still pretty resilient. It hadn’t started to pill or lose its ply. It held together very nicely. Good job, yarn.
Working on the pattern, it was the first time I’d done a bottom-up sweater and set-in sleeves in-the-round. Both are techniques I’ve wanted to try for a long time because I used to be afraid of seaming. I used to think sweaters in-the-round were the only way to go because they don’t involve any seaming–well, minimal sewing work, with the added benefit of faster results. Then I found my happy place with seaming and I’ve been pretty content ever since.
I don’t know why I’d been afraid to try this technique because it’s pretty easy and looks GREAT. Okay, taking a step out from my happy little knitting world where I’ve been knitting since the turn of the century, and looking at things objectively, there was a lot to remember during the sleeve portion. There was double decreasing to form the underarm and sleeve, then only some decreasing to form the sleeve and leave the front while simultaneously decreasing the lace front panel to form a scoop neck. The beauty part of reverse stockinette is that the direction of the decrease doesn’t matter because it won’t be seen. Throughout the entire yoke I kept thinking, I’m at a very interesting part of this sweater. For real. The pattern was constantly changing, and it knit up pretty fast considering it is dk weight. It’s a great challenge and totally worth the reward.
When it was all knit up I still had to sew the underarm and the top of the shoulder. The underarm was easy since it matched up stitch-for-stitch. I had my doubts about the shoulder seam, though. It didn’t seem to me that the eight top stitches would match the three inches of adjoining fabric. I had to try it on with only the shoulder seams sewn up so I could see for myself, how it would match up. Remembering my Seaming 101, I counted up the two bars to pick up for every knit stitch, and it matched to the shoulder seam. It matched like a well-planned, and well-knit pattern should. With all my confidence, I sewed the top of the shoulder and moved onto the Kitchener stitch to seam the underarm. I don’t have a lot of practice with that particular stitch but I can follow the stitch line and make it match, which is, essentially, the point.
Looking at written instructions for the Kitchener stitch, I wonder why anyone would ever dare continue such a torturous task. Seeing someone perform the task makes it look like tangible magic resulting in an invisible join; no lumps, no nubs, just smooth and beautiful fabric. I get it. It’s intoxicating. And it makes a seamless garment truly seamless. I didn’t have too much trouble performing my task but upon final inspection, I saw I had Kitchenered one underarm on the wrong side, and I had joined one top shoulder seam on the wrong side. Luckily, I hadn’t snipped any ends, but I had woven them in. I briefly thought about leaving the shoulder seam the way it was but before I knew what was happening, I was taking out the seam and resetting my stitches for a three-needle bind-off on the correct side.
It took three weeks to complete this sweater, which is pretty good, I think. I still don’t have the buttons attached because I don’t have buttons, so I stuck some circular needles through the button tab to give an idea of the overall look. Unfortunately, the side ribbing is too high for my natural waist. Should I have gone up a size? Maybe. I have an extra skein so it’s entirely possible. Should I have done some customizing with the shaping? Probably. It doesn’t matter. I’m still happy with my results. I still have a sweater in the happiest pink motif I’ve seen in a long time. I love my new Happy Pink Sweater.