Monday, February 11, 2008

hello klara bird!

It stinks of inevitability. After bitching and moaning (here and here) about how ugly and unflattering the Klaralund pullover was going to be, I ending up loving it. I am still not crazy about the colors. They still remind me of bird doo. There is a greenish white in the color mix that does it I think. But rather than name this the Bird Doo Klaralund, I decided to name it, more prettily, Klara Bird.

I mentioned this in a previous post, but I want to emphasize my gratitude to Anna (Flyingneedle of Ravelry) for sharing her notes on the Klaralund she modified for lace weight yarn. Actually, this sweater is entirely a product of Ravelry. I was browsing projects that had been made with Knit Picks Shimmer to find knitters that had used it for a light weight Clapotis, because that is what I wanted to do with it. I found them, but then I saw Flyingneedle's version of Klaralund made of Shimmer.

This was the first time I had ever seen the Klaralund sweater at all. I was first attracted to how pretty it looked in Flyingneedle's version, but then I looked up other versions of Klaralund and, despite previous bitching and moaning, I thought it was cute and saw that it could be worn and look good on a variety of body types. The idea of using my Shimmer yarn for a sweater rather than a scarf stuck with me, so I ordered the Noro book in which Klaralund had been published.

I liked Anna's Klaralund better than the original version because I thought the variegation pattern of the yarn was more subtle in laceweight. This was partly a function of the finer gauge and partly because the yarn was held doubled, breaking up the stripey effect. I also liked the idea of less bulk. I used Anna's instructions in that I combined a #4 (US) needle with the doubled laceweight. My gauge was smaller than Anna's (6.5 st./in. rather than 5.5) but I liked the fabric it produced. To produce a 41" sweater (rather than Anna's 32") I was stuck with a lot of stitches. I also followed Anna's guidelines for waist shaping, which I think improved the sweater a lot.

Given my fine gauge and large measurements, Klara Bird was a tedious knit. But I really liked the fabric, its fineness and softness. When it came time to sew the pieces together (which, unlike many knitters I don't hate doing) it was like sewing woven fabric, especially since alpaca and silk are inelastic. Although I sewed it by hand, I could easily have used the sewing machine. Instead of the usual matress stitch, I used a back stitch with the right sides held together to produce a more conventional sewn seam that I pressed open. The finished product thus has the drape and flow of a blouse and the huggy softness of a sweater. I used 7 skeins of Shimmer or a whopping 3,080 yards.

My biggest concern about Klaralund was how it would look on my busty figure.
This photo angle shows off every last inch of my ta tas. However, at more natural standing angle, the sweater doesn't empahzise the bust line at all. In fact, it might minimize it.
So no worries. I might even make another one. Happy birthday Little Annie.

1 comment:

Ruth said...

Lovely work! It's a sad truth that the sweaters done on teeny needles are so often the most beautiful and most wearable of all, isn't it?