The yarn made this project fun to knit and a great finished product – at the recommendation of my LYS, I used Madelinetosh Tosh Merino superwash in color Betty Draper’s Blue. I bought five skeins and just barely got into the final skein – I hate it when that happens! But the yarn color, varigation, and soft, squishy texture made it enjoyable to work with, and soft and warm to wear. My LYS told me that it would be a good project for a superwash yarn, because even though I don’t plan on tossing it in the washer, the superwash will pill a lot less than regular merino wools. I didn’t know this, and it’ve very helpful advice, since I have a lot of problem with my handknits getting fuzzy and pilling almost right off the bat.
The pattern is Calvados – I knit on the recommended needle size of US 8s (with US 9s and 7s for some of the detail work). I knit size M (36/38) and followed the waist shaping details, but also added the optional 4 stitches to the bust line (which was a good thing!) Otherwise, I didn’t make any modifications, just knit the pattern and placed the buttons as written. It’s a long pattern with a lot of explanation, but not difficult to follow and the cabling gives just enough detail to keep it interesting (although I was pretty tired of knitting in the ribbed pattern by the time I finished all 8 inches of the collar!)
I worried that I was reading the directions wrong while knitting the sleeves, because it just didn’t make sense to increase them on an angle, and the pattern schematics show them as squared off (instead of increasing to full length on an angle). However, somehow once you seam them together and add the ribbing, they square off and look correct. I wish the schematics had reflected more exactly the shape of the final pieces, so that I would have understood better what size to block to, and how they should look before seaming.
Even though I like how it fits, I had to sew the opening closed along the button band – it just gapped and pulled on the buttons too much. Always a problem for me across the chest, especially with soft knitted items and buttonholes . . . however, it doesn’t change the appearance at all and it’s easy to pull on over my head, so I’m happy with the end result. I blocked each piece before I sewed them together – didn’t pull on them too hard, but enough to make sure the finished pieces would fit without stretching across the chest.
I think this pattern would also look really good in a sturdier, tweedy yarn – it would give it a little more shape and structure, although I like it loose and soft like it is in this yarn, too.