Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Love Number Sweater

Another knit project finished! Poorly timed with summer approaching, but it's chilly today and I'm wearing it, so that's nice!

This is Lily Kate France's The Love Number Sweater (Lily Kate Makes on Instagram). I was immediately drawn to the cool texture on this circular yoked sweater when I stumbled upon it scrolling through Ravelry. It has a bit of an '80s vibe, especially the balloon sleeves, and I kind of like that! 

The Love Number Sweater is worked seamlessly from the top down with a circular yoke construction. The neck, sleeves and hem are a twisted rib with garter stitch edgings. The sleeves balloon out and gather in at the cuff. 

There are two options for the body: a straight version with gently gathered hem, and a version with waist shaping in addition to the gathered hem. I opted for the straight version.

I love the interesting textured stitch on the yoke- it looks complicated, but it's actually very simple. It almost has a knotted effect, but it's all just knits and purls and some extra wraps! I took the first few passes very slowly, but it sped way up once I got in the groove. 

I knit a size 6, designed for a 48-50 inch bust. I probably could have/should have gone down a size, in retrospect. The pattern goes up to a 60-62 inch bust.

The yarn is Knit Picks Upcycle Alpaca Worsted, a 33% alpaca, 34% wool, 33% acrylic blend, made with leftover yarn from the spinning cycle, blended into new yarn. I bought it during Knit Picks' big November sale. It's very lightweight and thin for a worsted weight- maybe closer to a DK?

I chose the grass colorway, a vibrant green heather with flecks of yellow and blue. It's super soft and drapey, and has little fuzzy bits from the alpaca.

I went with needle size US 6 - 4.0 mm, and 3.5 mm for the ribbing. The pattern suggested needle size of 4.5mm and 5mm, but acknowledged that the sweater is knitted to a fairly dense gauge for worsted weight yarn and some people may need to go down a needle size. 

The pattern also stated "if the fabric is too loose / drapey, the yoke textured pattern is likely to grow considerably in length making the body and sleeves overly long." This definitely happened to me a bit, especially after wet blocking. The armpits are a bit lower than I was striving for- this may be a combination of yarn choice and size choice!

But the wet blocking did help with some waviness I had at the hem and I think the decorative yoke stitches look nicer after blocking. 

Despite my best efforts, I had some issues with holes at the armpits. But I just kinda sewed them up from the inside after the fact (using this method) and no one is the wiser. 

I really love this sweater! It was fun to make, a bit of a challenge (but not too much!) and it turned out really pretty. I love the face-framing yoke in particular.

I learned some lessons 1about blocking and yarn choice, and although it's not perfect, none of my issues are dealbreakers.