Heart Attack and Vine Sweater

Leaves and Vine

Pattern: Pull #460-T6-275 (Phildar has a way with words!) from Phildar Tendances, Hiver/Winter 2006/2007 [Ravelry]
Yarn: Suss Alpaca, 5 (6?) skeins
Needles: US 5, US 6 24" circular needles

Notes: Oh, Phildar. What is your obsession with knitting everything flat? Jessica. What is your obsession with knitting everything in the round? Look at this sweater: it's REVERSE STOCKINETTE. That means if you knit it in the round, you're going to be PURLING FOR 15 MILLION YEARS. Also, please note: there are compelling design reasons to design knitwear with seams, namely stability - if you want a piece to retain its shape and not stretch in weird ways, especially length-wise, flat is preferable. I read an article about this some months back and now I can't remember where I found it. But anyway, note to self: sometimes you take seaming-avoidance too damned far! I mean look at all those purl stitches:

Reverse Stockinette

I decided to knit the trunk of this sweater in the round for one reason: like Parikha, I had heard that seaming reverse stockinette was a nightmare and tried to minimize the amount I'd have to do in this pattern. Ultimately I did have to seam the sleeve caps, though, and guess what, it really wasn't that bad. Parikha recommended this visual guide; I used my trusty Knitters' Companion and bribed Virginia with dinner to hold my hand through the process.

Not bad for a beginner, eh?


I made a few other mods based on other Ravelers', e.g., Knit-Knat's collar modifications, to make the neckline a little less floppy. I also added a repeat of the leaf motif (I am so short, this is a new skill for me!) because I used a smaller-gauge yarn than called for and my row gauge was way smaller. I probably ripped this in various ways like twice because I felt I couldn't get the length right.

In the end, despite how long it took (I started it almost three years ago and finished in October 2010, gulp), I am way happy with this. It's one of the few handknits I've actually worn to work! And, of course, it went to Rhinebeck! Proof:

Rhinebeck 2010-5

. . . where it met Lolly, and Heather, and Jenna, and lots of other awesome superknitters. (photo courtesy of the incomparable Heather / addknitter - that's Lolly, Katy, and me!). Here are my Rhinebeck photos, I think I linked to those before.

This is the first entry in a backlog of FOs - stay tuned for more in the days ahead!

Posted by jess at February 26, 2011 6:26 PM | TrackBack

That sweater is stunning! It looks beautiful on you, and I love the photos. And I'm a sucker for a crema coloured sweater- just goes with absolutely everything.

Posted by: Julie at February 27, 2011 1:13 AM

Having seen this in real life. I can say that it is as gorgeous as the pictures say. Congrats on finishing it, it's a beautiful labor of love.

Posted by: Schrodinger at February 27, 2011 7:28 AM

This is gorgeous, and the end result looks seamless (ha)! You're inspiring me to finish my Demi sweater after 3 years...

Too bad you couldn't have knit it inside out in the round, and seamed from the inside.

Posted by: Marissa at February 27, 2011 11:11 AM

I think it is beautiful. Thank you for the input on seaming vs knitting in the round. I am a huge fan of knitting in the round but never really considered why there may be advantages to knit flat. Now I want to cast on for a lovely white sweater of my own!

Posted by: Knittripps at February 27, 2011 11:12 AM

As Marissa said above. What about knitting it inside out. I think I'd need a reason not to.

Posted by: Gillian at February 27, 2011 2:47 PM

@marissa & @gillian - i did consider making it inside-out, but didn't do it because i wasn't confident i'd be able to knit the leaf motif inside out without messing it up or having it look unsightly because it was done in purl.

actually after a while i really didn't mind the purling. the length of the sweater and converting for my gauge, frogging a couple of times to get there, gave me a much bigger headache than that!

Posted by: jess at February 27, 2011 6:15 PM

Looks great! Wish I can put this project in my to do queue but i think I have enough to last me past 2 lifetimes!

Posted by: emy@thehandiworks at February 27, 2011 11:10 PM

What a beautiful sweater, and very well done for a first!

Posted by: BodilE at February 28, 2011 5:52 AM

Nice sweater! I like this pattern a lot! Good work!

Posted by: Maryse at February 28, 2011 8:54 AM


Posted by: Sandra Park at February 28, 2011 9:36 AM

This is absolutely beautiful!! I had forgotten how much I love this pattern...

Posted by: sixoneseven at February 28, 2011 10:03 AM

Very classy and beautiful! Fits you perfectly

Posted by: grumperina at February 28, 2011 10:40 AM

The sweater is beautiful; it looks so nice on you. I'm also a sucker for knits in the round, but I'm about to seam up my CPH (a long time UFO). I'm hoping it goes well and that it fits better than the seamless sweaters I've knit.

Posted by: Jacey at February 28, 2011 11:25 AM

Well the irritation was well worth it because it just looks perfect on you and it is a 'wear to work with pride' garment for sure!

Love the glimmer of a glorious Rhinebeck weekend in October on this dreary last day of February!

Posted by: Heather at February 28, 2011 2:24 PM

where do you get the pattern????

Posted by: rachael at March 1, 2011 12:43 PM
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