Sunday, August 9, 2009

Nadine is finished!

I've finished Nadine from French Girl Knits, and I love it! The yarn is Tahki Yarns Sierra, a silk/linen/nylon blend. When I first saw this pattern, I liked the overall look, but not the tunic length, and it looked like it required a lot of fiddly assembly work. After studying it more closely, I decided that this pattern can be highly customized for fit. As long as you know your own gauge, are comfortable with short row shaping, and study the schematic, you can make this fit any way you want. My gauge was a little finer at 15 stitches/4" and I wanted to shorten it by 5 inches.

Here's a summary of my size adjustments (omitting the gory details like number of stitches, which are specific for my fit)
- knitted 4.5 repeats for the lace panels, which establishes the length. I knit the pattern symmetrically.
- shortened and narrowed the lace insert short rows
- shortened the hip increase short rows
- lengthened the back bust short row increase rows.
- added a little bit of short row shaping for the front bust
- I made the back extension piece 7" wide instead of 9" -- 9" would have made the back way too wide the the sweater would fall off my shoulders.

The biggest technical difference was using the 3-needle bind off instead of grafting the lace panels. I discussed more of that in the last post. I also used slip stitch edging for the top edges, and a single crochet row for the bottom. I got lazy and did not want to pick up and knit stitches for the bottom.

I got a little frustrated with the assembly and finishing, which is rare for me because I like finishing work. I learned a technical lesson from this -- if I'm going to be sewing, picking up stitches, or adding a finishing edge, don't slip the first stitch of each row. The pattern calls for slipping the first stitch of each row on the lace panels, which looks nice if they will be standing alone. However, if I'm going to be adding more stitching, having the full number of stitches makes it easier and might look nicer because you get more options as to where to put new stitches. I should mention that I was not concerned with making the sweater reversible, which is a design feature, but is much more troublesome to accomplish.

A note on the yarn -- it's very soft, but feels like soft string. I'm not sure that I liked knitting with it, but the end result is very comfy. The yarn does tend to break when you do seaming and pull on it over and over -- it's fine for just knitting or crocheting.


Jess P. said...

Beautiful! Thanks for all the helpful customizing tips.

Mr Puffy's Knitting Blog: said...

That is just too pretty for words! Lovely and feminine and flowing. Enjoy :)

knitseashore said...

Nadine is really stunning; the French Girl Knits patterns are so feminine and flattering. Will you be making other patterns out of the book? I love all that you have knitted so far!

betty said...

Hi knitseashore -- you know, I'm not sure if I will be knitting any more sweaters from the book. I really like Delphine, but I might have sizing issues with it because it has a wide repeated pattern. I queued up Sophia, but I'm waiting to see other finished objects before I decide. I'm knitting from an improvised pattern right now, which I will post about later when there is a little more to show.

yoel said...

Gorgeous! Thanks for your mods. The patterns in the book are so lovely but it's hard to work out how they will work out with different gauge.