Dangerous, part III

Read the background and check out the first two projects here, and the next two here.

Yesterday I said that winter accessories are the only handknit items which I reliably wear. It’s absolutely true. I can be even more blunt – if it’s not a scarf or a hat, it’s probably sitting somewhere in a closet, waiting for its glory day… which will never come.

And sweaters? Well, we know how I feel about those! Forget it!

Which brings me to:

5 and 6. Ropes and Picots Cardigan (IK Winter 2008) and Braided Pullover (IK Fall 2008)


As always, I’m full of contradictions ;).

The Ropes and Picots Cardigan falls into the “tried and true” category for me. Take a look – does it remind you of anything? Cardigan with ribbing details along the shoulders, front opening, and on the sleeves… hmmm… been there, done that! It’s like the long-lost cousin of my Brilliant Retro, don’t you think?

I love my Brilliant Retro. I loved knitting it, and I love wearing it, even if it doesn’t happen too often. The Retro fits as brilliantly (haha!) today as it did the day I finished it, despite my various ups and downs with weight. The yarn (Classic Silk) is a dream to wear – soft, stretchy, beautifully tweedy, gorgeous color.

When I saw the Ropes and Picots Cardigan, I could instantly picture it in my wardrobe, just as it is. The wider neckline, the slightly loose and boxy shape, the strategically-placed hidden snaps which would keep the cardigan closed in all the right places. I would probably make it a lot longer, so it would hit at mid-hip, but that’s about it. Seeing the Knitting Daily galleries only reassured me – it looks great on everyone!

This also helped the instant connection – it’s Classic Silk in kiwi. It’s the yarn I used to knit the Brilliant Retro, in the same kind of tweedy green as IK’s Ropes and Picots, which is the same sweater as the Brilliant Retro. And I have a sweater’s worth in my stash. Do you see what I mean? It all just clicked.

The only missing component – the gauges of the recommended Rowan Scottish Tweed DK and my Classic Silk (worsted weight) are different. But when has that stopped me before?

There was nothing instant about the Braided Pullover, to be honest with you. I actually didn’t see this sweater until very recently – the issue was released during our move, which is a huge blur to this day. Plus a brown sweater – always under the radar for me (I am not a fan, which is perhaps an understatement).

So I first noted it when surfing the Knitting Daily galleries – I thought it looked great on everyone! (This is in contrast to the model in the magazine who was basically swimming in it – not at all convincing.) The only thing is that the shoulders are too wide, in my opinion, so the seam scoots down the arm on just about all the Knitting Daily models. In that particular design, that’s a cinch to fix. (Plus I think the left sleeve cap could be set-in a bit more neatly. Yeah, I look at all of them in this much detail ;))

What I like about it: (1) very pretty framing of the neck, with ribbing on one side and gentle cabling on the other, (2) asymmetry in the design which results in a flattering rather than a haphazard look, (3) it’s longer in length, (4) it’s cabled, but not so much that it adds bulk to the garment and to the wearer. Just a very pretty, creative design. Maybe not an instant superstar like Ropes and Picots, but I’m drawn to it.

The question is, since when do I entertain notions of sweater-knitting?!? Srsly. What gives?


28 thoughts on “Dangerous, part III

  1. Mary K. in Rockport

    Ropes and Picots DID look nice on everyone, surprisingly. I noticed that, too. Knitting a sweater for oneself is so risky.

  2. knithoundbrooklyn

    There’s nothing wrong with getting back on the sweater bandwagon to update the wardrobe, and both of these are really nice, wearable designs. You won’t tire of them after one season.

  3. Erica

    thank you so much for linking to those galleries, I never knew about them! i prefer the braided pullover, but i think ropes and picots might be better for you…

  4. Kathy

    Wow. I think the Knitting Daily Galleries are the best. Where else can you see the same exact sweater on different body types? Sweaters that I would think were eh, seem so much better seeing them on a real person with a real chest!

    Maybe it’s the weather, I’m feeling sweatery myself lately!

  5. Erin

    Yeah, both of those sweaters made me swoon, too. So far, the largest sweater that I’ve knit is for my 4-yo, and it isn’t even done yet. (It will be for Christmas, though, I swear.) What I want to cast on for immediately, though, is Durrow–a sweater for my 6 foot tall husband. Check out the projects on Ravelry. http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/durrow Yeah, I’m a little crazy.

  6. Holly

    I can see you in the Ropes and Picots Cardigan especially in that beautiful green. I did not like either sweater until I viewed the gallery and them it was love at second sight. I love the IK Galleries that allow you to see the sweater on normal people with different body types vs. a rail thin model who may have had the sweater “adjusted” for the photo shoot.

  7. Cabbage

    You are totally right about the shoulders being too wide, wow. I think that the sleeve is not only set-in a bit sloppily but that it is also too big for the armscye (I think that’s the right word?).

  8. Kelly

    I know the sweater feeling. Swore I’d never knit a sweater, have one of your “Not a sweater knitter” buttons on my blog….what am I doing? Knitting my daughter a sweater for Xmas….sheesh!

  9. Agnes

    I like the Rope and Picot Cardigan a lot too … actually, that one and the man’s sweater are the only patterns I like from the winter IK.

  10. terhi

    I’m still waiting for my magazine, but I really like that Ropes and Picots too. I think we are shaped pretty similarly, so it’s always interesting to see what you decide to knit. 🙂

  11. Desiree

    If I had to choose one (or some, maybe) project(s) for you to knit:

    Go with the lace *and* go with the cardigan.

    So far, those would make the most *interesting* blog reads (back from the dead?)–socks/hats have been done before!


  12. lorent

    The Ropes and Picot cardigan was the only sweater in this IK that I liked and would knit. And I had the same revelation that you did about the Braided Pullover. I wrote it off after seeing it in the magazine, but I saw it again this week in the Galleries and added it to my Ravelry queue. The more I see the Ropes and Picot cardy, the higher up the list it moves. Just have to finish Madli’s shawl, first…

  13. Laura Sue

    Opposite of you I love to knit sweaters and brown sweaters make me swoon. Yes, the braided pullover is a wonderful sweater and on my list. I even have the yarn for it. Thanks so much for the info about the shoulder seam. Details like that escape me, then I knit and wonder why I don’t like the sweater! Your blog helps me be a better knitter. P.S. Thank you for not wailing on IK like so many seem to be doing nowadays.

  14. dana

    sometimes a sweater just jumps up and down in front of you, demanding to be knitted. if the jumping up and down doesn’t stop, then you should knit it. but i wouldn’t discount the seasonal pull that sweaters can have on a person. do you want the sweater because it is cold? or because you want the sweater?

  15. Amy

    You live in an area where a sweater or two is a useful thing. I recently saw the Knitting Daily galleries, too – and noticed how nice the Braided Pullover looked. It really looks nice on someone who is “curvier” — so I think it will look **fantastic** on you! The construction looks like it will be interesting enough without being too complicated or time-consuming. Looks like a win-win to me.

  16. Wanda

    I like both of the sweaters. I think you would be happy with either one of them. And yay for seeing sweaters as a possible knitting option again here. You are always able to change your mind, definitely.

  17. jacqueline

    I think if you want to knit a sweater – go for it. If not – don’t! Life’s way too short to make rules and then not at least entertain breaking them.

    If I know you, once you take the plunge and throw a sweater on the needles it will turn out gorgeous whether or not you end up wearing it.

  18. betzig

    I’m totally with you on the Ropes & Picots Cardigan. I like to maintain the illusion that I will knit sweaters but they usually wind up forgotten in a corner. Despite the more flattering pictures on real people, I don’t think the Braided Pullover is as much of a staple-type garment. But you are a brilliant knitter and I’m sure if you decide to pursue it, it will look fabulous.

  19. Anna

    I’m glad you pointed out the KD galleries. I had dismissed quite a few of the sweaters in the current issue of IK because the pictures were awful. The styling and pose decisions in many of them were dreadful, really. Ropes and Picots looks like a big box because of how the model is standing. The layering of shirts hanging below the hem of the topmost garment may be fashionable, but it just looked sloppy in this issue.

    Granted, I bought yarn today for the Manchester jacket even though I thought the model was swimming in it. For some reason I immediately saw it as having great potential with proper fitting. And a different color. And probably snaps for closures instead of functional buttons. It was a missed opportunity for the magazine, too – a garment like that could have easily been used as a jumping-off point for how to alter a garment to fit the wearer right.

  20. Knittripps

    I really liked the look of the Braided Pullover when I first saw it in the magazine. That being said, between the two sweater choices I say start the Ropes and Picots Cardigan. It is similar to a sweater you know and love and you already have the yarn. Sounds like a slam dunk to me!

  21. Martita

    I love the Ropes and Picots, thanks for pointing that out to me! I made the Braided Pullover and the first thing I noticed, too, was how unbelievably ill-fitting it was on the model. I shortened it, added waist shaping–reducing about 8″ at the waist–and a short-row bust. I also knit the smallest sleeve size as the one for my size was absurdly large. What I didn’t do, and wish I had: after finishing the bust, drop down to the smallest size for the shoulders. The shoulders are indeed too wide and drop off mine. Also, the sleeve cap needs some adjustment as you noted or it is a little puffy. Other than that it is attractive, flattering–esp in the waist, unlike on that model!– and comfortable. Too bad my boss got foam insulation on it the first time I wore it 🙁

    Oh, plus it’s a quick knit!

  22. Amy

    Right after the galleries went up for the Braided Pullover, I ordered yarn for that. Now if I can just finish my x-mas knitting so that I can get started…

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