I had no intention of knitting another garment after finishing the two cardigans, but then I came across this one in a blog and it caught my imagination. I had noted Stephen West at the Vogue Knitting Show in Chicago two years ago with the thought that his kind of knitting was not for me, but now I thought differently.
I immediately had the yarn in mind - the Noro Kirara that I bought half price in the Peter Jones sale a few weeks earlier. Mostly you find Noro yarns at 25 or 30 or 33% off now - I have not bothered to work out the exact percentage - so this seemed a good deal and I bought twelve skeins. It consists of a mixture of fibres, mostly wool with cotton, silk and angora. Since it was already in skeins it was easy to wash before I started knitting, and it did make the yarn feel even nicer.
Stephen's pattern is written to one size, and you adjust the size by the tension and thickness of yarn. Noro Kirara worked out at 20 st to 10 cm on size 4mm needles, and I thought it would make the sweater smaller but still roomy for me.
The pattern was easy to follow. I made a few adjustments. I raised the lower armhole to make the sweater more comfortable to wear, and at the lower hem I did the short rows in stocking stitch instead of garter stitch which seemed too thick. I did fewer short rows as well because I tried to get a straight hem, and I finished with a band of garterstitch to make it longer.
This time I did not try to match the colour sequences in the yarn at all - except for the sleeves where I chose skeins that match the respective parts of the body. I am disappointed in the colours. It was impossible to see them in the skeins. There are natural shades - brown, moss green, natural - that don't seem to match the more garish colours at all. That there are garish shades is my own fault for choosing this yarn. I liked knitting the pattern, but not the yarn very much. Is this my infatuation with Noro over?
I am pleased with the sweater, especially the way the short rows of the yoke hug your shoulders. I would have liked it roomier. I would have liked the collar slouchier. I look at pictures of other people's versions on Ravelry and wish I had chosen a yarn with more subdued colours. I thought I could finish it quickly, but even so it took me two and a half months. The fact that the weather was too warm for me to wear it did slow me down.
Pattern: Enchanted Mesa by Stephen West
Yarn: Noro Kirara - wool 51%, cotton 29%, silk 10% and angora 10%, 400 gr
Tension: 20 sts to 10 cms on 4 mm needles
10 August to 25 October 2014