There's nothing like a string of warm days to make me really crave a warm merino jacket.
Pattern: 96-3 Short jacket knitted from side to side in Alpaca, another free pattern from DROPS Design
Yarn: Karabella Aurora 8, Anthracite colorway, 9 balls, US 6 needle
Mods: I made some ill-considered mods to the sleeve that while not disastrous, I would not recommend other knitters do. I'll add detailed discussion in my Rav notes for future knitters of this pattern.
I'm trying to decide if I'm disappointed with this garment, or if I am just being too hard on myself. It's not as if I've knit a total failure of a sweater; it's a striking design, and I've already gotten lots of compliments on it. It resembles a commercially-made sweater, in a good way, in that it is sophisticated and simple. It was a simple knit as well. It got a little big and unwieldy at the end, like all knit-in-one-piece garments, but the pattern isn't challenging to make at all.
It's just not how I envisioned it. I imagined something a little swingier, a little drapier.
Do you all suffer from this, when your actual sweater doesn't live up to the fantasy sweater?
While I really enjoyed knitting with the Karabella, it wasn't the best choice of yarn for this project. Knitting with the yarn is like buttah, so smooth and silky. It makes a beautiful fabric with incredible spring and body. Combine this with a 2x2 rib pattern and we have the perfect storm of fiber memory here. I have to vigorously steam block it every time I wear it because no matter how many times I wet-block this thing, it shrinks! The length shortens a bit, it becomes a little snug in the arms and the sleeve shrink up a little.
The solutions were many. I could have used a larger needle, of course, but I was concerned about wear in a 100% merino sweater. I am hopeful that as I wear the sweater it will droop a bit more; some comments on Ravelry have suggested that the yarn will lose some of its vaunted springiness.
But I'm left feeling frustrated that I struggle with pairing yarns with projects. I have difficulty extrapolating the behavior of a yarn from a swatch, and often don't anticipate what I really want from the fabric of a garment before I select a yarn. Once again, I have a nicely knit, wearable sweater in a beautiful yarn, just not the right beautiful yarn.