Saturday, May 30, 2009

Unfurling



Fern
Pattern: Fern, by Ann Shayne. From Mason-Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines
Size: I knitted the size small, but blocked it to the dimensions of the size large. I did this on purpose as alpaca relaxes a lot in water, and I wanted the finished fabric to be quite drapey.
Yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine, 50% wool, 20% alpaca, 30% nylon. Colours 1277, 1279, 1275, 1284, 1294, from Village Yarns, Cumberland, BC. Fiddlehead embroidery was done in Kauni Effektgarn 8/2, 100% wool, colour EK from Fun Knits yarn shop, Quadra Island BC.
Needle: 2.75mm and 3mm Addi Turbo circular, and Susan Bates steel circular
Tension: 32 sts and 32 rows over 10 cm (I blocked it hard to add length)
Cast on: February 10, 2009
Finished: May 27, 2009
Modifications: Used four buttons instead of the eight shown. Substituted yarn, including using a brown and a purple instead of two unavailable greens.
Notes: The fiddleheads were extremely -- well, fiddly. The designer's instructions for this part of the process were limited: "Chain-stitch fiddleheads at the hem of the coat as shown in the picture." A template would have been nice, but I managed to free-hand them well enough. It was trial and error - I ripped out about seven of them all told, and redid them - they looked wonky the first time around.

Click photos for a much better view.

There are meant to be buttons all down the length of the coat. The sample in the book has eight, and it looks wonderful (although in the book photos, all the buttons below the chest are undone to allow the lower 2/3 of the sweater to open up). I did try using eight buttons, but found in the end that simply using four at the top looked much sweeter.

The buttons are not identical. There are two of one style, and two of another. This ups the cuteness factor considerably.





Here is a view of the sleeve, set in with the stripes matching up. Don't think this didn't take careful sewing and clever easing - it really, really did. Thank T-Fal for upright-steaming irons.



You can't get an idea of the beautiful drape of this fabric from pictures, but here you can see it a little bit. It's light, smooth, and almost silky-feeling.




The coat is very long on my model - she is a year younger than Ruby.


Her mum was there for this photoshoot, and for a minute it was looking like I wasn't getting this sweater back. I said "You can't afford it".

Actually I said "I can teach you how to knit if you like."




Again with the matchy stripes on the sleeve seams.



Thanks to the darling little girl for modelling, and to her wonderful mum for giving me the sweater back.

And thanks to my Uncles Joe and Dave for commissioning this garment - it was a beautiful thing to create - maybe my favourite knitted item ever. It really kicked my butt at times, and in the watches of the night I often wondered if I'd ever finish, or if I'd end up hanging myself with my circular needle out of frustration...but I made it to the end and I'm glad I did.

22 comments:

dropstitchknitter said...

It's just beautiful!

Jo said...

Shan, that is so beautiful! I love the shot at her hip where you can see the ferns.

Mary Lou said...

Nice work! It is adorable (so is the model!)

bethro said...

FANTASTIC.

Gwen said...

Shannon, this is so gorgeous. You have a gift! I am amazed at your talent. How lucky I am to have you as a sister! mwah! mwah! Love you.

Dave Hingsburger said...

Well we are just thrilled ... and, oddly, only yesterday we were in the grocery store and they had fiddleheads and I said to Joe, 'I wonder how the sweater is coming along.' We're gonna call you later today to thank you personally and arrange to get our mitts on the sweater!

kate said...

It's so purty. And a great model.

Cynthia said...

Oh, Shan, that is just wonderful! Love all the careful details (thanks for showing us) and the overall feel of it. Did I say it is really, really beautiful?

Anonymous said...

Such an adorable sweater and lil model to. I just had fiddelheads in a pasta the other day and i must say they are much more desired in your sweater its a beautifull design. Ruby was almost speachless when i showed her the pic's ALMOST she is like her dad .. hard to keep quiet. Ruby will wear the pains your hands put into this with pride.
Thanks, Rubys dad

lizbon said...

Oh lord that is effing beautiful. (I am censoring my natural language since it is a child's garment)

Tabatha said...

Oh, Shannon, that is absolutely beautiful. I have to copy Gwen and say, YOU HAVE A GIFT! I am in awe of your talent.

lykkefanten said...

It is really really really really beautiful! I can understand why the mother had a hard time giving it back... and I really hope she takes you up on that offer! ;)

Geek Knitter said...

Such talent!

Annalea said...

Oh, Shan. Lovely. Just lovely.

Have you sent this to Kay yet? I think she'd get a big kick out of seeing it.

Have a great week!

Night Owl said...

Precious :) both the sweater and the girl :) awwwwww

Jadekitty said...

I love it! The fiddle heads are beautiful.. Speaking of them, I bought some to cook :)

mel said...

Oh Shan, that is just beautiful (and what a beautiful little girl - Ruby will look every bit as lovely, I'm sure!) How in the world did you get those stripes to match so well, all throughout? Perfect. It will be an heirloom!

Anonymous said...

How perfectly beautiful! Well done.
- Beth

Wendy said...

I can't believe I let it go....

Kristine said...

Wow. clearly, I'm behind the times, but I'm so impressed. And I have to have this for Lucy, which annoys me, because I don't really really adore the MD books like everyone else does...but I have to have this. I just have to.

Ssejors said...

I AM SPEECHLESS! HONESTLY! My dream is to one day, be able to knit half as well as you my dear! You are inspirational and amazing.

Rachel said...

A little late to the party, but it was a treat to come back online to catch up and see this amazing sweater finished! Shan, it's beautiful...it's perfect. You did an incredible job!