A little bit of this and, a little bit of that, makes a little bit of me.

Aquitaine Pullover is a wonderful and well-written pattern despite my gauge challenge, no fault of the designer!!! If you have the requisite skills, you’ll be okay to knit this lacy top. If not, it could be a fun way to learn them!The solid heather plum really shows off the design. Since I rarely buy or knit chunky yarn, there were inevitably modifications to make it work for me. It justifies several exclamation points!!!

December 6, 2009
BIND OFF: December 8, 2009 (Approximately 10 hours in knitting and finishing time.)
PATTERN: Aquitaine Pullover by Debbie Newton from Interweave Knits Winter 2009 Edition
MATERIAL: 832 yards, weighed 373 grams/3.73 skeins, of Patons Classic Wool in Plum Heather (77307) ($4.00/skein)
NEEDLES: 3.25mm, 3.5mm, 3.75mm, 4.0mm, and 5.0mm Addi Turbo Circulars
Neck to cuff 18″; armhole to cuff 15″; 11″ cuff; 34″ Chest; 32″ waist; 36″ hem; 21″ shoulder to hem
1. Substitute chunky yard with worsted-weight yarn
2. Italian tubular cast on in 5.5mm needles and downsized to 5.0m circular needles after 1″ 1×1 ribbing.
3. Switched to 4.75mm needles after body piece measures to 3″ from cast-on.
4. First waist decrease after 8 pattern-repeats (7″ from cast-on instead of 2.5″.) Second waist decrease after 12 pattern-repeats (8″ from cast-on.) Continued decrease until 150 stitches remained on needles…measured 18″ from cast on.
5. Knit sleeves 2-at-a-time, in magic-loop method to 16″ (instead of 17″) in 4.25mm circular needles.
6. Misread pattern and skipped Row 1 on yoke. Left it as is. Had to pick up 4 stitches on front body to work in lace pattern. NOTE: To repositioning stitches, all I need to pay attention to is making sure the 4-stitch cable on either side is centered (with 6 stitches on either side put on holders per pattern.)
7. First mod for neck shaping didn’t pan out–too small to pull through the head. With even 138 stitches left on neckline decrease per BODY pattern, the neck is way way too loose for my comfort. It may be fine for summer days, not suitable now when we are in single-digit weather. I much prefer neck that would stay on my shoulder. Switched needles to 3.5mm and decrease half the stitches to 101 (1/2 the stitches on my needles–body and two sleeves,) knit 3 rows of stockinette to add more height to yoke piece–I imagine shortage was due to yarn and needle size substitution. Then, decreased 21 more stitches in 1×1 rib pattern, continued ribbing for another 4 rows. 8. Tubular bind off. 9. Steam block with iron opens up the snugged neckline/yoke, and lacework for a comfortable fit I desired.
COMMENT: Very mindless knit…all in a few hours’ work. I’d have done the waist-decreasing mirrored. Once set-up row is in place, knitting is a breeze/flowing smoothly. Construction of the lace yoke pullover is pretty unique. It’s knit from bottom up…in-a-round…with faux cable seams…to the bust line (in my case.) Sleeves’ knit in-a-round, 2-at-a-time, magic loop method, again carrying faux cable seams up both sides on the front, and no shaping in chest/bust/shoulder. Despite some reservations, I shortened both body and sleeve lengths. It’s doable with some blocking…I’ll definitely leave it alone when I knit the next one. The sweater body was a little shorter than I planned, the tubular cast on wasn’t a right fit for this project as it’s too drapery (curling.) Except for Kitchener-grafting minimal stitches of arm and sleeve gussets, this is practically seamless. I must say this is not a feat for the faint of heart if you are going to modify the neckline as I did.

Patons Classic Wool knits in a very even, satisfying manner. The colors are just lovely, but be warned, it bleeds madly. The wool itself is very soft, despite not being merino. I recommend it to anyone who wants to knit worsted. It’s much cheaper than Cascade 220 when I can use the 40% OFF discount coupons.

Back to my praise of the pattern. This was a very fun, mindless knit. You get to use a few techniques, including grafting (noted above,) lace knitting, circular knitting, down and bottom up construction, etc. I particularly like the faux cabling and bell-shaped lace cuffs. The textural effect in the body and sleeves complements the rest of the design perfectly. It’s a very thoughtful detail. The work moves quickly, as you can see, and the result is stunning. You’re left with a lovely, unique piece that is extremely wearable. That’s a lot to ask from a single knit. Thanks for another terrific, errata-free super fast, easy, very pleasing knit, Deborah Newton!

I can’t believe it is December already…so many Christmas gifts to finish, as usual been put off too long, and now I am way behind. Oh well, knitting will continue on.

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!


Comments on: "Sweet Meihua Minimalist aka Aquitaine Pullover" (5)

  1. …as far as mindless knits go!
    If this beautiful pullower is the result, let us all concentrate on mindless knits! Beautiful color, a purple thing is going on, the time is right for wearing it, the lace collar and sleeve ends make it look so precious and delicate – again a thing of beauty made by your hands.

  2. I loved this pattern when I saw it in the mag, and you have knit it beautifully. Really don't think this would qualify as a mindless knit, I think I would have to concentrate really hard to knit this!! You have done a great job!

  3. Beautiful knit!!! I'm freezing just looking at the snow in the background though, we had a recordbreaking 85 here yesterday!! You could hardly breath the humidity was so high!! Enjoy that gorgeous sweater and stay warm!! Vicky

  4. Hi Sarah
    lovely job. I agree with you about the neck on this sweater and plan to knit it with a higher neckline as well. I'm a bit confused about how you did your modifications-could you clarify? When did you switch to the 3.5mm needles and decrease to 101 stitches & knit 3 rows stockinette? I assume it was prior to starting the yoke pattern-but I thought I'd check with you, since you kindly (and beautifully) did the work already!
    Thank you in advance, and enjoy your Christmas!

  5. Anonymous said:

    I have just started this pattern. I have needed to decrease the needle size even with the thinner wool. I am using Misty Alpaca. I had the same problem where my my measurement from the CO to the end of the 14 row of pattern measured 3 inches instead of 2 and 1/4. Since my ribbing measured 3/4 inch I am wondering if it is a mistake in the pattern. Since I am on the tall size and a bit busty, I have left it as it is and am monitoring the overall length as i go along to see how their figures compare with mine, and adjust accordingly. It is a fairly simple and fun knit. However, the decreases drive me a bit crazy trying to count the stitches.

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