Big (Needle) Love

First off, thank you so much for your supportive comments on my selection of Briar Rose “Celebration” for the Honeybee Stole. Thankfully, we have a world of beauty at our fingertips when it comes to fiber choices.

I do have to admit that, for the past few days, I’ve been smitten with something that is partly not from nature. Rowan’s discontinued yarn, Polar, actually contains 10% acrylic. Maybe it sounds swanker in French: acrylique! No matter, because Polar feels like whipped buttah as it slips over my ebony size 11 US Holz and Stein circulars to create Fantine:

Fantine - Mandarin Collar

What you see pictured above is the beginning of the 3/4 sleeve Mandarin collar version. For us girls with the “girls”, there are notes on where to add short-row shaping for a better fit. While the big needles and the bulky yarn make for a welcome respite from size 1 US fingering weight socks or “pay attention to the chart” lace, I find that I have to fill in the gaps in the pattern instructions and schematics.

The lovely texture on the yoke was actually a happy accident of inconsistent pattern writing. I checked the company website and there are no errata posted for this pattern. I will have to take a page from my mother’s operating manual and write a letter – or in my case, send an email – with suggestions for improvement.

I know others have knit this sweater. What were your experiences?

23 comments to Big (Needle) Love

  • I just googled "fantine and errata." i got your lovely blog and will have to bookmark it. i'm 15 rows into it, think so highly of their patterns that i thought that i must be crazy. alas, the "p2k1" on the reverse clearly is not the stockinette pictured on the pattern. Froggy time!

  • jen

    i making up fantine in the scoop neck version with the called for yarn – but i like yours with the smaller stitches – are you changing the pattern to work with your size #11 needles? and the scoopneck version doesn’t have that pattern inconsistency – but it looks wonderful!

  • I love your sweater so far! It *is* nice to knit with large needles once in a while, isn’t it? The knitting just flies along.

  • Really beautiful! That color is fantastic too. A little acrylic can help hold softer fibers together and doesn’t really detract at all from that “buttah” feel.

  • Hello from the chronically behind!

    No, I’m not speaking of my posterior although it is sizable, as you now know first hand. I mean my posting and reading…

    Love the pics from the FF. Love the photographer more.


  • I was going to comment that I love the texture on the yoke….then I saw your write up. And I still love the texture on the yoke.
    Also, good to hear about the Polar. I’ve seen some good deals on eBay, but I hadn’t seen that yarn in person…so I was never sure about it , and I think the acrylique threw me off a bit.

  • Lovely! It’s great when pattern inconsistencies end up for the better.

  • oh i do love the yolk!
    and the color…………my favorite!

  • I haven’t knit this one, nor have I “girls,” but I have to tell you – that is stunning. Yowza.

  • Jen

    I love it! The color is just so pretty!

  • Damn, but you’re good 🙂
    That accidental lace is so pretty!
    If my knitting doesn’t look like the picture I’ll rip it out and try again until I get it right, or feel terribly hard-done-by if the pattern is in error. My word for today will be ‘Serendipitous’.

  • I checked out the link for Fantine and your’s is by far better. A mandarin collr sits away from the neck and as much as I love the look the collar always flops somewhere on me. It’s bad enough that I can’t always stand & sit up straight that the collar would do the same. Wish I had a mannequin like that, I’m searching for one with the muslin that is affordable. Great work, can’t wait to see in on you.

  • The yarn even looks soft – like whipped buttah – in the photo. Yummy.

    I’m with you on needing the occasional larger gauge quick project lately after doing so much fine or small gauge work. I just ordered a bunch of discontinued Jaeger yarn, including a couple sweaters’ worth of extra fine merino chunky. I look forward to some quick garments.

    Do post what you actually did for that yoke stitch. It turned out very nice, especially for a ‘mistake.’

  • How pretty! At least the error in the pattern led to a very pretty result. I love those buttons, too!

  • So darling! I can’t wait to see a modeled shot. We will get one. Right? We will right?

  • meg

    Oooh, that is *seriously* gorgeous. All that talk about ebony needles, too – you’re killing me :o). I think I’m going to buy that pattern, too.

  • I’m sorry, but what exactly is the “mistake” with the yolk? It looks really lovely to me as you knit it (publish your version).

    If the windows at the Ann Taylor “Loft” near me are any indication, your knitting is right on the money fashion wise

  • I love the yoke! I do. And the color is so delicate…. I definitely like that too. Mmmmm!

  • Oh my gosh. That is so lovely, errata or not. And I love your mannequin’s sense of style – her necklace is very pretty. 🙂

  • Absolutely stunning – the color is incredible. Plus, I always appreciate shaping for the “girls.” 🙂

  • I love that color, so pretty and I’m with Chirs, the yoke looks awesome.

  • Karen —
    Yeah, the pattern WOULD look good on a “yolk”!!!! I don’t think it would work on an EGG! My brain is not in gear — “YOKE”!!!!!

  • Karen —
    Accident or not, I really like the pattern on the yolk. This sweater will be lovely on you – and it IS nice to have something go fast for a change! Have a great Labor Dayweekend!