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A Shapely Winter Pullover March 9, 2009

Posted by merp in FOs, Knitting.

(I haven’t forgotten about my furmiliation project – I’ve even made some horns! – but life has been layering on the intensity lately on all fronts. At least I’m finally getting around to posting this project – two weeks late.)


Pattern: Alexandra Ballerina Top, from Fitted Knits, by Stefanie Japel

Yarn: Rowan RYC Soft Tweed (56% wool, 20% rayon, 14% nylon, 10% silk), in “bark”
Needles: #10.5
Time to finish: Less than 5 weeks (which is fast for me) 
Motivation: You would not believe how cold it was in January.  I was down to wearing one or two heavy sweaters in rotation.  So I cast on the heaviest yarn I had in my stash.  
Feeling: Love


Love the Soft Tweed – soft, drapey, warm, easy to knit, interesting to look at.  And love simple elegance of the signature cable of this sweater.


Especially love the cable detail on the sleeves.  Which, inexplicably, is not shown in the photos in the book.  

I made only a very few modifications:  I lengthened the sleeves to full-length (they are only wrist-length in the pattern, which I think looks awkward, though that would have kept them out of my food better).   Or rather, I did not shorten them for my short arms, and they came out just where I wanted them.

I changed the neckline slightly to be not as wide and boatnecky and a little deeper – partly so it wouldn’t slide off my shoulders (you can see I couldn’t have made it much wider), partly because I like the shape of a slightly deeper neckline, partly to give more room for my non-dainty upper arms in the spacing of the raglan increases.


And of course I tailored the shaping to my own shape.  The design here is quite simple and elegant, too – no shaping on the front, relying on the cables to pull it in; only a pair of decreases and increases on the back.  


But, following the example of a couple of knitters on ravelry, I started the decreases some distance apart and moved them in towards each other and then moved the increases outwards, to make an hourglass shape instead of pairing them in a straight line down the back.  Love the result.  I’m pretty sure I added extra increases on the sides as well, but that’s just me and my particular pearish needs. 


I also changed all the garter stitch at the neckline, cuffs and hem to seed stitch.  I do love a seed stitch hem.  In the pattern, the background for the cables was also garter stitch, but I thought that would make it too busy, and also tend to pull up the front (since garter stitch has a smaller row gauge than stockinette), so I switched it to reverse stockinette.  Very happy with that choice, too. 

This is by far the best fitting sweater I have made so far.  And I’m trying to get as much wear as I can out of it before it gets too warm – we’ve already hit 70 degrees once or twice!

Meanwhile, I’ve return to the stalled Gathered Pullover.  And there’s been some sock action, as well.



1. Curly Sue - March 10, 2009

Very beautiful. I love that color, and it fits you perfectly.

2. amanda - March 10, 2009

Looks wonderful! I especially like the sleeve detail and slight flare to them. Nice!!

3. Mom - March 10, 2009

Beautiful! I love the sleeves, too.

4. Amy - March 10, 2009

I really like your shaping on the back – it looks great on you. I’ve made a couple of Stefanie’s fitted knits and have found that a bit of customization in the right places makes such a difference.

Nice to have good pics of the cable detail as well! It’s lovely.

5. Emilee - March 12, 2009

I love the shaping. It looks perfect on you.

6. Mickey - March 21, 2009

Beautiful shaping! I’ll have to re-read that part (and ask you for directions to the Rav thread) when I get around to my next top.

7. meanlouise.com » Blog Archive » Alexandra Ballerina Top - March 23, 2009

[…] giving me fits yesterday and some of you asked for photos. Not really much to photograph yet, but here’s a link to post by Tanya about a completed ballet top, complete with great pictures. I hope mine comes out that half that […]

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