Sunday, October 6, 2013

Butterfly Dreams Pullover

The 2012 Stitches South conference unveiled a design concept for a dolman pullover that caught my attention. The top has a front and back panel that you can knit or crochet (I chose to knit), but those panels have other design ideas for this fiber rebel. You could freeform the panel using a rectangle template and you could even weave those panels...change up stitch patterns and do a 3 yarn slip stitch pattern...oh the ideas! The beauty of this pullover is full of possibilities.

Then came the sleeves...only Myra Wood, the designer of this pattern, would create a sleeve using basic shawl construction with a creative twist. Knitting the sleeves became an adventure, not in a bad way, but in one of those ways where you're following the directions to a 't' and then you say !"Aha"! 'that's how it works!'

Butterfly Dreams is a published pattern in Knitter's Magazine K107 Summer 2012 (XRX Publishing). This pattern was easy to follow and steps very clear. The skill level indicates that it is for an experienced knitter but I suppose if you don't crochet, it may be a little more of a challenge. I never considered myself to be an experienced knitter....heck, I've never knitted a cardigan before!....but as long as I have instructions that are well written, I can pretty much grasp the process.

Then there is the fun part of the color symmetry. If you decide to knit/crochet this top for color symmetry, buy plenty extra yarn so you can achieve this. Myra does indicate in the pattern if you're trying to do this where you'll need to change yarns. You may find yourself pulling yarn out of a skein to get the color sequence. It is not necessary to buy a gradient yarn for this top to be beautiful. You can knit the panels in a gradient yarn and knit the sleeves in a semi-solid or vise versa. Or you can stash bust and crochet your granny squares that way. You can also add beads...this is what I love about this pattern!

My top is knitted in Cascade Casablanca in 'Rainbow', this is a light worsted yarn and the pattern calls for DK weight yarn. ALWAYS SWATCH to get your correct gauge. It would be insane to knit a garment with great yarn only to create an ill fitted garment BECAUSE YOU DIDN'T KNIT A SWATCH BEFORE STARTING YOUR PROJECT. Believe me, if you do swatch, the knitting experience is much more enjoyable in the end. I will probably knit this again using DK weight rayon yarn from Blue Heron Yarns and again, I will swatch before knitting because I want the peace of mind knowing that I will hit the right measurements for a finished garment. Another important thing you need to do is block your pieces before assembling them. That way the garment is laying right before you assemble and pick up and knit the ribbing. It's much more difficult to pick up and knit the bottom for the ribbing when your pieces are all wonky. Steam blocking is quick and a inexpensive garment steamer, it will change your life.

If you want to see more about this pattern, you can visit this link: Myra Wood's Butterfly Dreams