This Tulip sweater has been so long in the making. I originally wound the yarn in October 2019, cast on, couldn’t get my head into it, and put the project in the naughty corner.
In August of last year I decided to try again.
I don’t mind admitting that this Tulip sweater has tried my patience for most of the making. I’ve pulled back the yoke so many times I’ve lost count.
Mostly the problem was that I couldn’t count to 4. The raglan lace pattern is simple, but it appears I am too. I found the pattern to be well written and very easy to follow. However, following a year of pandemic and homeschooling, I am a bear of very little brain!
The only criticism I have of this pattern is that the sizing isn’t wildly inclusive. The smallest size is 37½, the largest is 53¼. This seems to be a conversation that isn’t going away any time soon. I’m trying really hard to only support designers that are size inclusive. I realise my privilege in being small fat, but really want to encourage designers to include all bodies. This pattern and the yarn was a beautiful and thoughtful gift from friends, so it would have been churlish and wasteful not to embrace it.
The second problem I encountered was that I’d cast on a size too large. Sizing is a real challenge for me. I never believe the size charts and always think something isn’t going to be big enough. As I lost 10kgs before Christmas, this is even more true than ever.
I tried this on when I got to the point of separating the sleeves and knitting the body. The size 2XL was clearly too big. I pulled it back, revisited the size chart and decided to make the L. The Tulip sweater was designed to be worn with 2 – 6 inches of ease at the bust. You can see from the photos which I clearly don’t have this amount of ease. I’m working on losing a further 20 kilos this year, so I’d like this to be wearable in the future as well as now.
Although the L really shouldn’t fit me at the moment, it clearly does, and, I think, looks very nice too!
The other change I made was to increase the number of rows between the increases on the body. I found that the amount of flare in my Confetti sweater was too great. So, instead of increasing every four rows, I increased every six and prefer this silhouette much more.
I decided on the Simple Version of the sweater as it’s much more versatile in my wardrobe. However, I’d very much like the feminine version in a luxe yarn for date night, which is looking more likely with every passing day (thank you Oxford AstraZenica and Pfizer).
The lace panel down the side of sweater is really deceptive. It looks tricky but is really very simple. And because it’s only done over 15 stitches at each side, this is a sweater you can knit on the sofa and watch a movie.
I love the understated elegance of the lace and faux cable on this sweater. This is a simple shape but the yarn and these details elevate it. The yarn helps do that too.
This is my first time using Fyberspates Vivacious 4 ply, and it’s been a joy. I knitted the colour-way Blueberry Imps and used 5 skeins of it with very little left at the end. There was an epic game of yarn chicken when it came to the sleeves, but I made it comfortably in the end.
Despite all the frogging of the yoke, the yarn still looks fresh. The Confetti sweater has been relegated to gardening duty after only 5 months. The Ulligan yarn is a fabulous idea for sustainability in yarn, but falls short in delivering a product with longevity.
Whilst the Confetti sweater now looks shabby, it’s still very cosy, so I’m embracing my inner Monty Don, and it will have life, just no the one I’d planned for it.
Back to the Fyberspates, and I’m hopeful for a very different outcome for this Tulip sweater. The Fyberspates website says it so well:
A robust high twist 100% Merino wool 4ply. This workhorse fingering weight yarn creates a warm but drapey fabric and makes cables pop out for glorious texture. Superb for sweaters and accessories.www.fyberspates.com
The drape of the fabric in this sweater is sublime. It was 4 Celsius when I took these photos, but not shivering. Stitch definition is beautiful. I’m also thrilled at how even the stitches are….this is not my strongest knitterly skill, but Vivacious is very forgiving.
I love the striations of colour and only had to alternate skeins for the final two.
I’m so tired of knits that don’t stand up to wear. I don’t want to sacrifice a luxurious feel for longevity, or have to wear scratchy yarns to make a sweater that will last. This yarn seems to be good on both counts.
Time will tell. As they also do a Vivacious DK, I have everything crossed.
But for now I’m a very happy knitter and would recommend this yarn unreservedly.
The pattern is beautiful and was lovely to knit, but the lack of sizing options is disappointing.