Victory is Mine!
Now that's a fitted sweater! Try number two is finished, and it's what I envisioned it being all along.
A little front detail:
The hemline raises up at the front and back, then dips down toward the side seams, courtesy of the diagonal ribs.
And a close-up of the cable:
Pattern: Paulina, a free pattern from Berroco. This pattern was actually pretty good; the directions were clear, there didn't seem to be any errors. It was the little things that drove me crazy. The gauge was given in ribbing and in cable pattern, but not stockinette. I don't know about you, but I find measuring gauge in ribbing pretty much impossible. There was no schematic; it would have been nice to know how big the pieces should have been as I went along. This is partly me trying to blame the too-big sweater on the pattern, which is just wrong. I could have stopped at any point and measured, and figured it out if I thought about it. But let's face it, I'm clearly not very observant, and it would have been nice to have some blinking red warning lights or something.
Yarn & Needles: Filatura Lanarota Royal Linen, 50% cotton, 30% viscose, (rayon in the states) 20% linen. Color number 1, less than 8 skeins. It's a bit difficult to say how much yarn I actually used. I had 10 skeins, and I have 2 untouched skeins, plus many partials leftover. I did have 4 separate skeins attached at the same time for the shoulders, so I think I could have done it with or 7 if I economized. The yarn is a little bizarre; lots of tiny plies in beige and white, which looks like it would snag a lot, but didn't. It looks like kitchen twine coming off the skein, but softens up right away. I expected it to hurt my hands, but it didn't. Washing and drying made a huge difference in this yarn, smoothing out the stitches and softening the fabric considerably, giving it nice drape.
The first time around I used a size 6 needle, which gave me a nice drapey stockinette stitch. I knit ribbing a little looser than stockinette though, so I went down to a size 5 for the final go. This would have been too tight in stockinette, but it worked out beautifully in the end. I got enough structure that it doesn't stretch out of shape lengthwise, as cotton tends to do.
Mods: Every mod I made was because of the first failed attempt. The seams were bulky, so I worked in the round. It was too big, so I took out 16 stitches; four on each side of both cables. The front neck split was too high, so I dropped it by 10 rounds.
If I could do it over: Hey, I already did! That's exactly the way it should work. The first time was disastrous, but fixable. The second time is pretty much perfect.
I'm flying to L.A. for work later this week, which should provide plenty of knitting time. I hope to finish the Slipstitch Rib socks on the plane. And now that the Bob Dobbs is my only home project, it's flying off the needles. Of course, the knitting won't be the labor intensive part of this project; I'm already afraid of the miles of duplicate stitch that lay ahead.