Friday, March 11, 2011

O is for Olive

You know how it is when you see a pattern and you fall in love with it and you simply must knit it, even down to using the actual yarn specified in the pattern? Except the pattern is hard to come by (not sold at all in Australia) and ditto for the yarn. So you file it away but never forget about it, hoping that one day you'll manage to find both and stump up for the postage from overseas.

Well, the fates aligned for me on this one - you know it, Olive, I've posted about it before. Ms Funky found the pattern book in the US (hurrah #1). And then Pru destashed the exact yarn in the colour I would have chosen if I was buying it myself (hurrah #2). Which also provided me with the perfect opportunity to meet her in person so I could collect the yarn (hurrah #3!). So of course it was meant to be. (Fortunately for you all, at some point after I got my hot little hands on the pattern book, it became available as an individual download...)

And it has been perfect knitting for me - stocking stitch, in the round, with a little easy shaping and then some colour on the striped garter edges. Oh yeah, and a heap of research and maths before and during the process, as I had to modify the pattern to fit me (upsizing) and to add waist shaping and remove the blouson effect of the original - which is lovely on the willowy stick-thin model, but not so much on stumpy log-large me.
But it was all worth it, I think:
Details
Pattern: Olive by Helga Isager from Amimomo Knit Collection Autumn/Winter 2008 (and now individually). I don't know why exactly I fell in love with this, but I did. I suppose it was the simplicity of it as well as the gathering at neckline and the pouffy sleeves (I am a sucker for a slightly pouffed sleeve!) and the dash of colour provided by the stripes at each edge.
Yarn: Isager Strik Alpaca 2, a lovely fingering/4ply, 50/50 alpaca/merino, in a gorgeous blue/grey (011), approximately 4.5 skeins - the 50g skeins are a generous 250m each! And Noro Silk Garden Sock in S252 - a great colourway I must say - has black, grey, blues and a vivid lime green. I did have to butcher the Noro quite a bit - I cut out a lot of the black and grey, as well as the other colours, so that I'd get a variation of colours on each of the bands. Thank goodness it spit splices beautifully!
Sticks: 3mm KnitPicks Harmony Options for the garter bands, 4mm for the body and sleeves. The smaller needles are great for ensuring the garter doesn't ripple like it can with stocking stitch, and the larger needles make a beautiful drapey fabric.

Time: 1 October 2010 - 18 February 2011. Another of my pre-2011 projects bites the dust!

Modifications: I made extensive notes on my Rav project page, so you can have a looky there if you so desire! But I will say here that my modifications were helped immensely by the notes other Ravellers made on their own project pages for this pattern - so I encourage you all to add notes to your projects if you can - even if just about yarn substitution or needle size used - it really is very helpful and makes Ravelry an even better resource than it already is!
(one of the obvious modifications was to knit the garter bands flat and then close them with a button and crochet loop - no way am I doing garter stitch in the round unless I absolutely have to!)

I also couldn't have made such a good job of the fit if I hadn't done a big swatch and done the maths before I started knitting, and then keep measuring and trying it on as I knitted (a huge benefit of the seamless top down garment!). The maths alone wasn't enough, as I'd failed to include in my calculations various fit factors, so it was only by trying it on that I knew I'd (for example) reached my waist and so needed to stop decreasing, and start increasing!
I'm very happy with this project! I'm looking forward to some cooler weather now so I can wear it! I think the lightweight alpaca blend will be lovely for our climate - warm without being suffocating!

32 comments:

jp said...

Love the olive. Great colour

Sadie said...

stunning! such a great colour for you, and the pattern is really lovely in it's simplicity. I really like the self-striping garter bands, and of course, the slight pouff on the sleeve ;)

lovely work, Ms RoseRed

kgirl said...

arrgh! and "Sadie" is me, kgirl...

sorry!

drkknits said...

such a lovely design, and the yarn *swoon*. i think it will be getting rather a lot of wear this winter! the colour is perfect for you too. a gorgeous piece.

2paw said...

Olive suits you perfectly, your Maths must have been spot on. It is very flattering. No wonder you are so happy!!!

bellsknits.com said...

oh yes. Worth the wait to see this! Perfectly executed! I've loved hearing about olive as she's grown, watching you figure out mods and bringing it all together just the way you wanted it. I think the mods you've made suit you so well and really make it just perfect. The detail, the fit, the shape etc - well done. I do love me a fine gauge garment. Well done!

Donyale said...

Oh mrs rosered. Tis so lovely. Might even encourage me to start knitting again ;)

LynS said...

Perfect. Just perfect.

knitabulous said...

I've been watching this with interest too, hoping if it turned out for your it might turn out for me as well. As you know I've stashed the pattern yarn (in a group buy from the US) but I didn't know about the download!

I might add it's obvious you're shrinking, it's not just the flattering top.

LOVE it.

MadMad said...

Well done, Missy! It looks fabulous! Now I need to make one... (And yes, I totally agree - ravelry is da bomb, as they used to say, back in my day. What did we do before it came along?!)

mooncalf said...

It look amazing. I love this pattern too. I had no idea it was available individually now. I must check that out.

amy said...

Lovely! I've admired the pattern since you first posted about it. It looks great on you!

del said...

Oh.My. It is absolutely lovely on you!!! But now I'm mad at you because I must queue this right now, lol!

So glad you finished another WIP, yay for binding off!

Donna Lee said...

I think that's the beauty of a handmade garment. It fits you perfectly and looks great. It's so satisfying to take the time to do the math and make it work.

Nice!

Roxie said...

Bravo! Great color, great work, beautiful fit - overall a major success! Let us know how it wears. I've found alpacca pills a bit.

michele said...

you've done a beautiful job of making this pattern your own. i love the garter detail at the neckline and also the crochet button loop.

sapphireblue said...

That looks very comfortable without looking like it's just hanging there. Will read your modifications. Hmmm! May be something for my queue.

yoel said...

Lovely! Great mods--the fit is great!

Mereknits said...

I love it. It looks fantastic, you did an awesome job.
HAve a gret day,
Meredith

travellersyarn said...

Wow - it looks truly fabulous! Flattering like a wonderful expensive bought garment, but handmade so, a million times better. I love it.

1funkyknitwit said...

I LOVE - LOVE - LOVE this !!!!

You have done an amazing job from the colour, yarn choices and right down to the vintage button choices. Your mods are perfect and all beautifully executed. I too fell in love with this pattern when I first laid my eyes on it for all the same reasons as you did.

WELL DONE JANE !!! ...just perfect :D

Oh and it looks great on you too ! ...really truly :)

artificiallymythic said...

That is gorgeous! And it looks great on too! :)

Sarah said...

Gorgeous! Great work - don't you just love it when a plan comes together. Good point re Rav I'm bad at putting proper notes in - will do better :) All when I've stopped laughing about the log like stumpy comment - you crack me up - lovely curvy lady!

Lynne said...

It fits you beautifully - may you have many days to enjoy wearing it this coming winter (even though I dislike the cold intently).

Linda said...

That is gorgeous, I must queue it imediately! It really does look lovely on you, I love the way it fits.

Louise said...

Sweater turned out great. The mods that you made seem to have worked perfectly. Looks great on you!

Alwen said...

Oh, it's lovely, and very flattering! That's one of the things I love about knitting, being able to make things that really suit me.

Leonie said...

It's wonderful :-) You have done such a beautiful job of it. I so hope the weather does all the right things for you and you get lots of wear out of it.

catsmum said...

you clever little RR you :)

taio said...

superb

geekknitter said...

Such beautiful work. Great job on the pattern mods!

Ann said...

It's so gorgeous & looks perfect on you!