Saturday, 13 May 2017

Finished 'Luna' crochet sweater

In my crochet garments post last week I mentioned that I was working on a sweater from Dora Ohrenstein's Top-down crochet sweaters book. After a lot of work this week, I'm so delighted to be able to share it with you as a finished object.
As well as sharing the finished garment, I thought I would also give you a quick review of the yarn I used, share my modifications and some tips in case you want to make the sweater yourself.

Folded crochet sweater on top of 'Top-down crochet sweaters' book


I received Dora's book as a gift for Christmas and whilst it is crammed full of beautiful designs, the Luna sweater stood out for me. I liked the look of the unusual stitch pattern, the style, and I thought that the tonal yarn looked really lovely too. My birthday and Christmas are very close together which makes it tricky sometimes to think of what I might like as gifts from family. However last year was easy - the answer was yarn please, and so my parents very kindly bought me the yarn to make the Luna sweater.

Yarn choice

I've called this section yarn choice but actually, there wasn't any choice involved! I went straight for the recommended yarn which was a Knit Picks hand-painted fingering weight yarn; Stroll fingering in  Deep Waters Tonal.

Three skeins of tonal blue Knit Picks yarn


I hadn't used a Knit Picks yarn before and I was really impressed with it; it is a 75% superwash Merino, 25% nylon blend so it is beautifully soft to work with and wear, with great stitch definition. I think it would be a really good choice for someone with skin that is slightly sensitive.

I made the small size sweater which required just two skeins, but I bought three skeins just to be sure that I wasn't going to run out and as you'll read - I am so pleased that I bought that extra skein.


The pattern

As it is a paid-for pattern I won't say very much here but the sweater is constructed from the neckband down, with a circular style yoke.



The pattern is written clearly with advice on sizing, tips for yarn substitution and how best to finish the piece - although it's a top-down seamless construction, the use of the tall linked double trebles (US) means there is a little steam blocking and seaming required at the end. The fabric created by the stitch pattern is stretchy so no shaping is required which made the construction very straightforward.

I think this would be a good and accessible pattern for a garment-making beginner.

Modifications

The beauty of top-down garment construction is that you can try on the piece as you go and make any necessary modifications to either improve the fit or suit your preferences. I made two changes to the pattern;  I lengthened the body by two rows and the sleeves by six rows. As I was nearing the completion of the first sleeve I realised that the length wasn't quite right for me - I am nearly always cold and I knew that if I left the sleeves at the length set out in the pattern, I would either not wear the finished garment very often or be always wearing a cardigan over the top of it which seems a real shame when the yarn is so beautiful.

Ball of yarn and crochet sweater


The pattern is well-written and gives tips on modifications too, so it was incredibly easy to make the adjustments to get the best fit for me. However I could only do it because I'd bought that extra skein of yarn. In the end I used 22g of the third skein, so I still have enough left of the skein to make something else with the yarn that remains and I have a garment that I know I'll actually wear!

The process

The yarn is just gorgeous, I love how it works up with the stitch pattern and as I've mentioned, the pattern is great, but this garment has been such a slow project. After swatching, I eventually began working on it in February and it's taken until today, mid-May, to finish it. There are two reasons for this; the linked double trebles take a really long time to work because of the multiple steps involved in the construction of each stitch, and I unfortunately found that working that particular stitch made my wrist ache. As a result, this was a stop-start project whilst I gave my wrist a little break.

If you are going to make 'Luna' I would definitely recommend that you allow yourself a uninterrupted couple of hours to do the steam blocking, and seaming at the end. A little bit of quiet and concentration makes all the difference to the quality of the finished garment.

The finished garment

Now it's finished and blocked, I can say that I am absolutely delighted with my Luna sweater; it looks beautiful and fits perfectly.

Luna crochet sweater


Overall, I would definitely recommend this make and I wouldn't be surprised if I didn't make another one at some point in the future!

Now the search begins to find my next crochet garment project!
Hope you have a fun week of crafting x


6 comments:

  1. Your sweater looks fabulous!

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    1. Thank you so much Dawn, I really appreciate your kind words xx

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  2. Super write up Helen. It looks wonderful. You did a great job. It was wise to buy that extra skein and lengthen the sleeves!

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    1. Thank you so much Tamara for this and your kind words during the make - really much appreciated. Roll on September....! xx

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  3. Replies
    1. Thank you so much Linda and I have enough yarn left to make matching socks!! xxx

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