This post is a little tardy and not entirely enthusiastic. I finished Jilly at least a week ago and have already worn her. I designed this sweater based on a store-bought model that I really liked. I first knit this in 2007, using yarn that was too soft and drapey for the design. The current version is much better. The one from the store had a stitch gauge (even though it was machine made) of 4.5 stitches per inch, so my quest was for a yarn that looked good at this gauge. The first yarn I used (Cascade Pima Silk) magnified the irregularities that are inevitable in plain stockinette. The current yarn, my first foray into all synthetic, looks smoother. The yarn is Berroco Comfort, a 50-50 blend of acrylic and nylon meant to mimic cotton. And it does this very well. It is very soft, and has the body of cotton without the weight. I haven't washed it yet, but I assume it will machine wash and dry well.
The new Jilly came out pretty well and has color- matching Dilly socks. I corrected a fit problem with the sleeves thanks to Maggie Righetti's short row sleeve which is knit down directly from the armscye. The neckline is an area that I still need to master. The neck is OK, but a bit wider than I'd like. Because the design is so plain I tried to make design features of the waist decreases and side slits, which are self-faced. After wearing the sweater once, I think I am going to make the slits smaller.
So why the lack of enthusiasm? The sweater fits well, feels good, and has the simplicity I like. I essentially achieved what I set out to do in recreating my store-bought favorite. The problem is, this sweater is no longer my favorite. The original is about three years old now and maybe no longer in style. Right now I don't want a trim, short, tailored sweater. No matter though. It's certainly classic enough to wear, and I will. I'm hoping to post the pattern at some point.
Meanwhile, Elinor of Exercise Before Knitting, a fellow Midwesterner, has posted an amazing sleeve/armscye calculator on her blog. I still like Maggie Righetti, but you should definitely look at Elinor's chart. It produced a perfect sleeve for her latest sweater design.