Monday, November 22, 2010

Subtropical Eastlake

Pattern: Eastlake by Norah Gaughan

Yarn: Prima Pima Cotton by Robin Turner Gourmet Fibers
100% cotton/ DK (11 wpi)
5 skeins (1100 yards) in Green

Needle size: US5

My fascination with and adoration of one Ms. Norah Gaughan continues.  I love her visual aesthetic and design.  She totally rocks.  OK, enough with the gushing...

Living in a subtropical climate, I'm always on the lookout for cotton yarns.  When I saw this deep emerald green in 100% cotton, I knew I'd found the perfect warm weather match for this sweater (originally designed for a merino/silk blend).

Before starting on the actual garment, I knit a couple rows of the leaf pattern.  I usually like to do this because it helps me learn/understand the pattern and in this case chart it for myself.  It also helps me make any modifications without the heartbreak of ripping out entire rows of knitting.

Leaf panel mods:
  • substituted M1p for yo (less holey)
  • substituted k3tog for dec 2 (just liked the way this looks better)
  • did not continue with the k1tbl for the leaf tips (after the k3tog)

Since I wanted to be able to wear the sweater commando if I so chose, I left out the eyelets across the chest and back.  And just to be consistent, I left them off the sleeves as well.

Rear view

The concern with substituting denser cotton for lofty wool is that the finished garments tend to be heavy and thus grow with wear.  Cotton sweaters can get downright droopy.  But the design elements in this sweater are such that they don't contribute to the weight of the sweater (unlike cables for instance) and even after a full day's wear, I'm happy to say that it did not grow in length.  In fact, these pictures were taken after wearing the garment for a full day.

As an added note, I think it helps that this is a seamed sweater as opposed to being knit in the round top down.  With cottons, I find that seams are ideal places to hide ends since cotton can't be spliced as invisibly as wool.  Plus shoulder seams contribute to a garments' strength in this gravity-susceptible area.  I know many out there hate seaming but it definitely has its place in knitted garments depending on what you're after.

Personally, I just wish there was a magical way to weave in ends.  I don't know anyone who likes doing that.


  1. yes you do! Me! Something about weaving it ends pleases me. I think it's the whole - final details are all taken care of - thing.

  2. Tracy, I am sending you all my unfinished garments...

    It is nice to finish something and finally get a chance to wear it. The other day, Yarn Widower said, "Wow - that looks like a real sweater!" He meant it as a compliment. I think.

  3. I like you works, espetially this one and the skirt. Mery Christmas!

  4. i love it.
    i have been wanting
    to make it