I knit this sweater the first time in 2011, although I used a stich from Barbara Walker’s Treasury of Knitting Patterns rather than the one specified in the written pattern. I liked knitting the sweater, and I liked knitting with the Reynolds Utopia yarn, but the end result wasn’t very flattering. The yarn has too much body to drape nicely, but the pattern isn’t fitted enough to take advantage of the yarn’s sculptural properties. Whenever I wore it, I found myself tugging at the hem and lapels and feeling self-conscious.
Over the holiday break I ripped out some unsuccessful sweaters, and almost added Girl Friday #1 to the pile. But while the sweater doesn’t work for me, it’s still made well and might work for one of my friends. It’s in the clothing exchange pile, waiting for a new home. Making the decision to pass it on made me realize how much I liked the idea of the sweater, so I took the yarn from one of the sweaters that did get ripped out and set about on round two.
I picked yet another stitch from Treasury of Knitting Patterns, which turned out to be a simplified version of the stitch I used in GF #1, although I didn’t realize that until later.
I really love how #2 turned out. It’s hard to see in this picture, but the sleeve caps have a little puff to them that gives the sweater a Victorian vibe. I was lazy and didn’t try to stretch the kink out of the reclaimed yarn, but I actually like the end result. It looks vaguely like boucle yarn. I’ve enjoyed working with the Plymouth Encore for each of its prior incarnations, even if those sweaters didn’t turn out to be keepers. It’s got a nice drape and squish, and is smooth and soft to the touch. I like it so much, I’m going to knit a third Girl Friday (with pockets) to be my new house sweater.