Pattern: Francis Revisted by Beth Silverstein (free pattern link to Ravelry)
Yarn: Wool/Alpaca/Silk blend cone
Source: School Products, NYC
Needles: Size US 7 and US 9
[All photos of Francis here]
I started this sweater on November 2nd for the NaKniSweMo knitalong, and I bound off only eleven days later. Such a quick and simple knit! the thing that took the longest? washing and blocking her. I soaked the sweater to soften up the wool and laid her out on the blocking board. I left to go to Atlanta for a few days, and when I got back last night, she was *still* wet. Luckily, by the end of the fourth day, she was dry enough for a little photoshoot! Voila!
The yarn was from a large cone that I bought in New York City last April. There was a sign on the table that designated the cones as a wool/alpaca/silk blend, but I think it was pretty heavy on the wool, and maybe even absent of silk. The washing and blocking brought out a little fuzzy halo, which made me wonder if it had a little mohair in it too. The cone itself was not labeled with fibers or yardage, and since it was sold in bulk I guess there is no way to really know! Either way, it was a nice yarn, and I still have about 500 yards – maybe more - for a colorwork project. No shortage of patterns to chose from on that front!
The pattern was such an enjoyable knit that I am already thinking of all sorts of variations and options for future Francises. After I finish up a few presents and my current WIP (I decided on the Bloom vest and I am already a few inches in!) I may very well start another version of this, slightly altering the gauge to suit some nice blue alpaca blend I have in the stash. There were a few minor things that I changed in the pattern. I chose to do a kfb increase rather than the m1 increase that the pattern called for… the m1 left a small hole. I could have gone and tidied it up afterward, but I preferred the look of the other. If you decide to knit this, you can decide which look you want. When I got to the cowl collar, I contemplated making a regular turtleneck instead of the oversized neck. In the end I chose the cowl, and I like it on this particular piece, but this is definitely a sweater that can be modified in the neckline – easy to “turtleneck-ify” as well as “funnel-ify” or even “crew-ify”. You could play around with textures (seed, ribbing, etc.) to create the look you want. I chose to make my sleeves 3/4-length, but it would also look great with full sleeves. I did not do as many increases as the pattern specified as I didn’t want too much of a bell sleeve. (Bell sleeves have gotten me in to trouble more than once… especially in the kitchen) Changing from the stockinette to seed on the cuff, I did one single increase for an ever-so-slight bell effect.
I totally recommend this pattern; it is perfect for beginners as well as more experienced knitters who want a basic form to elaborate and embellish. And it is SO quick! Great for stashbusting as it uses a relatively small amount of yarn for a sweater because it is knit on larger gauge needles.
Plus, it comes just in time for the chilly winter temperatures! The deep cowl is cozy and warm, and the texture of the stockinette and seed stitch really works well together.
I have some pretty photos to show you of my Atlanta excursion… we managed to have a lovely time even though it rained and the skies were gray. Stay tuned!
…do I look older than when you last saw me? I celebrated my birthday last Saturday