In February, I finished knitting my Venetian Audrey sweater for Emma. Since Emma was in Vancouver (and it wouldn’t fit me or Leah), I published a post with unmodelled shots. Emma is now back home for the summer, so I am happy to be able to bring you some modelled photos. (Lots of modelled pictures; this will be a photo-heavy post).
I blogged about this sweater quite a bit during both the planning and the knitting; you can find these posts here. I actually found it quite nerve-wracking to knit this without Emma around to try it on. As the sweater has a huge amount of negative ease built into it, and the ribbing makes it hard to measure properly, I spent many hours with a tape measure and a frown, trying to size it properly.
As you can see here, the fit is fabulous. I must admit, however, that when I sent it to Emma, I hadn’t yet blocked it. I wasn’t sure it needed it and didn’t want to make a mistake in the blocking; I really needed to see it on her before I could judge appropriately how much blocking it needed, if any. I was kind of annoyed that Emma didn’t send me any photos of her wearing it. When she came home and I complained, she pointed out that she thought it perhaps had need of a little tweaking. (Emma has very exacting tastes; on the other hand, she is invariably right about these things.) The sweater has really benefitted from a good block. I didn’t stretch the ribbing out at all, but I pinned the lace out, and added a good three inches to the sleeves and two to the body. (I knit the sleeves a few inches longer than the pattern called for, and then blocked them out even farther. If you plan to knit this pattern, don’t be afraid to build in lots of negative ease, and add lots of length.)
As readers of this blog may recall, I re-wrote the pattern for this sweater. First, the pattern as written is knit in pieces and seamed. Though I don’t normally mind this type of construction, it really didn’t seem to make sense for Audrey. So, I knit the pullover in the round, bottom-up; knitting the sleeves in the round on DPNs and then attaching them at the yoke, and knitting the yoke in one piece.
I also re-sized the pattern. This is because, as I have pointed out here many times before, Rowan patterns run big. If you think you are a size 12, you should knit your Rowan pattern in a size 8. Since Emma is already at the smallest size, I had to do quite a bit of math to get the sweater to fit.
Audrey has beautiful shaping details. The waist decreases, knit into the 2×2 ribbing, are gorgeous. They are very architectural, with columns of ribbing moving in and out across the canvas of the sweater.
The yoke and neckline are also beautifully shaped. The line of the neck is elegant, sweeping, striking. The lace is subtle; it is a garter stitch lace, which gives it a lot of texture. We blocked out the peaks of the lace pattern to give it an undulating edge.
Emma wears it here with jeans and heels, but it is easy to dress up or down. Last year, I wrote a post about my original Audrey in which I showed how easy it is to style it in different ways, and also how flattering it is to many different body types; you can find that post here.
I knit mine in Rowan Calmer, but the sweater is much more elegant knit in the Madelinetosh DK. The colour is very rich, and the ribbing controls the tendency to pool; I didn’t need to alternate skeins.
I am really happy with this one. I think the fit came out just right, I love the colour, the yarn is soft and warm, the style is sexy and classy, and it looks fabulous on Emma (even when caught on candid camera – hehe!).