Some time ago, probably at least two years, Kemps wool shop were selling various Regia sock yarns very, very cheap (I think it was when Coats moved their production and distribution from the UK to Germany -- or something like that). I, of course, took advantage of this sale and bought eight balls of Regia Kaffe Fassett Design Line in one colour, as well as a couple of balls in another (those two were made into stripy socks for my mother).
I've looked at those eight balls from time to time, wondering what I could make them into, knowing that eight balls would be enough to make a sweater or cardigan, but not finding a pattern that grabbed me.
A month or so ago, I read a blog post by Kay Gardiner of Mason-Dixon knitting where she showed off (and quite rightly so, because it looks lovely on her) the version of the Relax sweater that she'd made. 'Ah-ha' I thought; 'I like this and I could make one from that stripy Regia yarn'. So, I bought the pattern and read it through and decided how I could make the yarn and pattern work together.
I didn't want my version to be as loose-fitting as the original, so did some scribbling on paper and some maths and even swatched before deciding on size Small, with 3.25mm needles, which should give me some positive ease, but not too much. And then I cast on, did the ribbing (which is folding back on itself, which I hope can be sorted out when it's blocked - but I'll worry about that when I've finished the knitting) and for the last week have been knit. knit, knitting, round and round and round.
I must be a glutton for punishment because this is what I did for my Puffin sweater. Lots and lots of stocking stitch. I joined the third of the 50g balls yesterday evening and think I've got about 40 rounds to do before I start the increases for the dolman-style sleeves. Mind you, each round is 302 stitches, so that's still a fair bit of knitting to go!
The pattern is written to knit flat, back and forth, but I decided to knit it in the round as far as I can to avoid seaming as I don't think it'll affect the way the sweater hangs (those words could, however, come back to haunt me!) and because the yarn's stripy, I've omitted the eyelet holes that run up the sides of the sweater as I think they'll be lost in the striping.
I'll also have to make other modifications because of my tension/gauge. Fortunately, the pattern has a very good schematic which gives lots of measurements, which makes working out the changes I'll need to make much more easy to do. Because I'm not a skinny-armed person, I already know that I'll have to knit the back and front yoke part longer than the pattern says because a sleeve circumference of 26cm where the body joins the sleeves will be too tight for me. That will lead to me having to work out how many stitches to pick up for the sleeves themselves, but that, again, can wait until I get to that point.
Here's a progress pic:
Despite the modifications, this is a very easy knit and I've been sitting down with my current book (Jamaica Inn) on my Nook, propped up on its deckchair and just knitting away without having to look at the knitting too much.
If I carry on at this rate, I'll have another new sweater by Christmas :)