Sunday, March 27, 2016

Going North

This project took a while to be born. After my initial disappointments I remembered Veronik Avery's pattern Nord that I bought about 2 years ago, but then decided not to make.
I went to the Ravelry to research the finished garment made after this pattern and discovered that it was a big success among French knitters. Maybe because of its French name, who knows? They were mentioning La Poule, whose modifications they followed. I got really curious and after a while found La Poule's website and the page dedicated to Nord.
If you don't know French, here is the gist: she did no sleeves' shaping on front and back, just knit straight till the end, picked up stitches for sleeves around the armholes and knit in the round incorporating decreases as she went. La Poule looks absolutely adorable in this sweater (btw, she looks adorable in everything and on all pictures on her website, check it out, she also designs clothes!).
I don't think that designers are too happy when we, knitters, make modifications to their design. They are professional, after all, and they know what they are doing. I feel their pain, but modify we must nevertheless! Don't you agree?
Here is why I needed some modifications if I wanted to finish anything from this yarn before our departure from Florida.
First - the yarn. I used Sublime Organic Cotton dk that I bought 4 (!!!!!) years ago in Edinburgh while visiting my daughter. I grabbed the bag of this yarn and started looking for more, but, alas, that was the only one.

The yarn is soft, silky, with great stitch definition - it needed to be the main attraction of a pattern. Too many pizzas and details would distract from it. Therefore, I needed something very simple. Nord is an epitome of simplicity. What can be easier than garter stitch? And it is almost only garter stitch with just one central cable on the front. Before I forget, if you decide to make this pattern, start with the front part, and only then do the back and sleeves (the pattern starts with sleeves, for some reasons).
Cotton has a tendency to stretch. Garter stitch has a tendency to stretch A LOT. So my finished garment was supposed to be a couple of sizes bigger than the size that I end up making. That is why I picked the smallest size. Plus used smaller needles. Plus my gauge was a little bit different (you guessed it - smaller). When I was putting pieces together I was a little bit worried that I made it too small after all - but after washing and blocking the size seems to be just right.
Since my row gauge was smaller I had to lengthen the part between two cable crosses, otherwise the whole thing would have been too short.

I didn't make this sweater in the round like some other ravelers. I even have seems on the sleeves. Seems give shape to garments, hold it together, and stop it from stretching. That is why I didn't make the sleeves in the round. I need my garments to have shape, don't really like shapeless things. They make me look shapeless as well. As a middle aged woman who loves food and cooking I need to accentuate all the assets that I still have in my body not to hide them.

The other thing that bothered me in the pattern was this bulging piece on the front - it seems to add volume to the exact spot on my body I would like not to add volume to. Ever. That was my other big fear.

 You can see on these pictures the result of my endeavors. More - on Ravelry. The sweater is light, airy, and rather comfortable to wear. Since wearability is my major request to a garment, I am pleased with it after all.
 I am leaving Islamorada in a couple of days. Going North to Pennsylvania. Maybe that is why, unconsciously, I picked this particular pattern - in anticipation of our trip. Bon voyage!

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