I finished Isabella (Ravelry link) on Friday night, and it is just barely okay. I will wear it around the house, but do not think that it is very flattering. It is made out of 50% cashmere/50% merino from Colourmart, so that will probably ensure around the house wear. The view from the back is the best. It is even more “meh” from the front.
It does not have enough shaping, even though I changed to a smaller needle size for the waist area (a 3.5 mm needle). The pattern, from the Debbie Bliss book, Rialto, obviously looks very different on the model, and I should have realised that there was something wrong with the pattern when there was no mention of a closure. In the photos above, it is held closed with a kilt pin, and will need several hefty press studs to stay closed. It looks like nothing at all left open. I think that I will also need to stabilise the collar with crochet, as told by the Yarn Harlot.
The yarn is fantastic, but needed a very thorough washing to get rid of all the spinning oil. I put it in a very hot (water heater hot) sink with a fair squirt of dish washing liquid for half an hour, and then washed the vest in a machine gentle cycle (ie. more vigorous than the wool cycle) at 40 degrees Celsius, and put it in dryer for 10 minutes to get it to fluff up.
Pattern Isabella from Debbie Bliss Rialto, size large
Yarn Colourmart DK merino/cashmere Ocean Moon, about 400 grams
Needles Addi Turbos size 3.5, 4 and 4.5 mm and a pair of 5 mm bamboo needles
Alterations I slipped the first stitch of each row purl wise, and knitted the last stitch of every row. I changed to the 3.5 mm needles for the middle third of the torso in an attempt to introduce some waist shaping. Much more was required to fit my figure.
After this disappointment, I turned out the following hat yesterday and this morning. It is a “shop sample” for Yarn Workshop, and is also going to be used by my husband on the forthcoming trip to Europe. It is my own basic hat pattern, and I’ll write it up if anyone is interested. It uses Grafton , our yak/wool blend, and is designed to be small enough to be shoved in a pocket if the weather heats up. The pooling is due to my rather inexpert dyeing, but I’m telling myself that it looks like camouflage. My husband loves it, so I’m happy that it worked out. The yarn is very easy to work with, and knits up nicely on 3.5mm needles.