I picked out Louet Merlin worsted for my yarn for a few reasons. 1. it was a recommended yarn for the pattern. 2. my LYS had it in stock 3. I had never worked with it before (merino! linen!)
And got gauge on US 8s. The photo above shows the swatch upside-down. I started with 7s, found the fabric and gauge was too tight for my liking, then switched to the 8s, and knit for a longer period of time. I liked this gauge a lot more, AND it was right on for the pattern. I took careful measurement of both sections, then handwashed my swatch, and let it dry over night. The next morning I measured it, and I was ready to cast on!
I started with my pockets:
I chose a lovely green with rusty-accents for my pocket linings - I love how it contrasts with the purplish color of my project yarn. This is leftover yarn from a Stephen West shawl I haven't yet blogged about, but finished at the end of March. So bad! (BTW, I found that I was off by 1 stitch when attaching the main color - I think it is a pattern error, as I have heard other people having the same problem.)
It wasn't until I had cast on and finished the bottom ribbed edge that I realized how much stockinette stitch I was going to be working through. Luckily I had just finished a lace shawl as a test knit/sample knit and was ready for some truly relaxing knitting.
I knit and I knit and I knit, then I put the pockets in. And I knit and I knit and I knit. I did decide to alter the neckline to a more v-neck shape since I think it is more flattering for those of us with big busts. I cast-off three stitches at the bottom of the neckline, then decreased at the neckline every-other row, 3 times, then switched to doing a decrease at the neckline every fourth row until I was at the recommended stitch count for the straps.
I loved using Julie's tutorial for the bias bind-off which gives a super clean edge, and used it for both the front and the straps. It is great seeing a designer put so much extra work into a pattern and a website to help make a finished project shine.
When I was done with the body and had sewn the shoulders together (I prefer to sew bound-off seams together for a much stronger shoulder. The seam actually provides architecture to help keep the straps from sagging.) I then moved on to sewing down the pockets. I inserted a DPN in a straight line through the purl bumps on the inside of the fabric so that I would a guideline, then whip-stitched my pockets firmly so that they are actually functional.
My finished project?
Pattern: Maude by Julie Weisenberger
Yarn: Louet Merlin Worsted, in color steel, 100g/156 yards. 4.5 skeins
Needles: US 8s
Mods: as listed above - v-neck.
For blocking I lightly spritzed the whole project with water, then using a clean, damp tea towel, I ironed the project with lots of steam and almost no weight on the fabric. Wrinkles disappeared and tension evened out remarkably.
Of course, now I have seen this version of another of Julie's patterns and I am in love. But I am on to another pattern with new yarn, so I MUST knit a few projects out of stash before I buy another new project.