Friday, May 16, 2008

Res Originalis: Safire

Nope, not sapphire (though I did choose the yarn for its resemblance to my birth stone), but Safire. After SAFIRE, the Submillimeter And Far InfraRed Experiment. Though having nothing to do with the submillimeter and infrared, this sweater was my own designing from the top down (dorky enough sentence? :) ).

Pattern: Safire, my own.
Yarn: Tess Yarns Superwash Merino, one honkin' skein of deep sapphire blue (560 yards)
Needles: US 6 and 7 32" circulars

Notes: Oh how I love how little planning it takes to knit something from the top down. The only measuring and calculating I did was at the very beginning to decide how many stitches to cast on (54 -- 2 for each front, 10 for each sleeve, and 30 for the back), then from there it was all making decisions solely based on how well it fit. The only increases made were at the raglan lines until I put the sleeve stitches on holders, at which point I began increasing one stitch at each end (the edges of the collar) every other row until the two fronts met. I began the ribbing a couple of rows later, just under my bust. The collar is of the short row variety -- after picking up stitches around the collar, I worked the 2x2 rib to 10 stitches before the end of the other side, wrapped and turned, ribbed to 10 stitches before the end of the other side, w&t'ed, ribbed to 10 stitches before the previous w&t, etc. etc. until I was about to run out of yarn, at which point I worked two rows normally to pick up the wraps, and bound off. I may attempt to write a multi-sized pattern for practice, but I always say that and then I get lazy.

The yarn was absolutely delightful to work with. It was squishy and soft and gave off the most pleasant and delightful scent. Strangely enough, it turned my bamboo needles blue, but none ever came off on my hands, and there was very little color-bleeding when I gave the sweater its blocking bath.

I'm happy with the sweater itself, but I'm finding that raglans fit me strangely, with funny bunching in the armpits. I may try some strategic blocking, but I'm really enamored of the variegated sapphire (SAFIRE) blue, and in this case, color trumps fit and it has already seen much wear.


Teresa said...

Wow, that's terrific! What a beautiful design and colour. I wish I could wear a sapphire blue like that :)
I've had yarn that's discoloured my needles without coming off on my hands. I'm still scoobied about how that happened.

I too love the top-down raglan. So adaptable!
I wonder why it's bunching for you (I think it doesn't affect the niceness of the top, though). With me, it's usually too tight (and I think that's because I get impatient and join for the body too early). Perhaps your arms holes are larger than you need them to be? Sorry, I'm not the best at giving knit-suggestions!

Mr Puffy's Knitting Blog: said...

VERY NICE indeed! You ought to publish this design. I'm currently working on a blue bolero with similar V neck shaping (how weird is that?) but from the bottom up and, frankly, your design from the top down is much better and I think the V neck shaping is really well done. Most boleros you see lack that kind of style element. It fits you perfectly - nobody but you would notice that extra room around the arms - which is actually nice because you have more options as to what you can wear it with.

Team Knit said...

Okay, I'm in love with top down sweaters, and I'm convinced that the mini cardi is a brilliant wardrobe staple. Your Safire looks incredible!

AS for your underarm bunching- you say that it's with all raglans? I'm wondering if it could be fixed by knitting the sleeves flat, and then seaming them, taking in the seam a bit under the arm. It's a bit of a cheat, but would work!

- Julie

Philigry said...

love, love this. beautiful!

Mr Puffy's Knitting Blog: said...

Hi. I tagged you on my blog but play along only if you want to.