Pattern: Neck Down Lace Pullover, designed by Cecily Glowik
Source: Alpaca Stories, pattern booklet from Classic Elite Yarns
Materials: Malabrigo Silky Merino in Redwood Bark; US 4 and US 6 Knitpicks needles
My modifications: I added about 1 inch of lace to the neckline instead of the 2 rows of garter stitch called for in the pattern.
This sweater represents a couple of firsts for me. This was the first time I completely unraveled a finished project, and reused the yarn for an entirely different pattern. I'm much happier with the Silky Merino now than I was after finishing the T-Shirt Sweater. Secondly, I'm finally learning to trust the gauge swatch process. I used to "knit to fit", even when I knew the gauge would relax with washing. This time I finished knitting something that was too small at first, which then fit after it was washed.
I have great admiration for Cecily Glowik MacDonald. This pattern was well written and fits incredibly well for a top-down pattern. I would love to knit another of her designs, and there are plenty to choose from among the 8 pages of designs you will find if you look her up on Ravelry. My favorite of the moment is her "Indigo Banded Cardigan", which graced the cover of the Fall 2009 Knitscene magazine.
I also love Malabrigo Silky Merino, despite the color pooling issues I ran into. You can see some dark stripes among the subtler areas of variegation in my sweater. If you care about that kind of thing, I would just recommend alternating skeins every couple of rows. I was too lazy to do that, and I did have to rip out and reknit a couple of areas to be satisfied. It was worth it. The silky merino is super soft, and light, yet warm.
I'm off to try and finish my Sunday Swing socks. Happy Knitting to you in 2010!