Here it is: Aidez by Cirilia Rose. This is a really big moment in my knitting this year. I’ve done complicated cables before, but never this complicated while so much of my brain was on hiatus. In working on this, I made some choices, some of which may prove to be unwise.
The first decision was to knit the body in one piece. That was a no-brainer, straight-up, brilliant idea. I borrowed all of Allyson’s (of The sweatshop of Love) advice and her charts. I will never regret this.
The next decision was to use Brava bulky yarn because I felt wool couldn’t be justified in my budget at that time, but sale Brava could. This may prove unwise. It was certainly affordable, but it has a thick springiness to it that doesn’t allow for the drape I’d like. Also, this was a monumental knit. Doesn’t that deserve real wool? I’ve since read online that the location of Brava’s production has changed and many knitters don’t like the feel of the new version. I must have some from the older batch, because I feel no oiliness or scratchiness as I knit. It’s not wool, but it is the nicest 100% acrylic I’ve ever felt. There were also no knots in my skeins.
My last big decision involved letting go. When I got to the last bit of seaming, I realized the backs of my sleeves were sewn together at slightly different heights along the back of the body. The seams end up at the same place along the collar and there’s no strange puckers anywhere, so I think it’s just a quirk of picking up a little more here instead of a little more there. It didn’t affect the fit at all and no one I know will ever notice. (Do you see it, below?) Anyway, I decided to let it go. It was knit in Brava, right?
The details: Otherwise, it was all about following directions. I used size 7 bamboo needles and 7 skeins of Brava to knit the size small. It came out a bit larger due to gauge discrepancies, plus I knit it longer on purpose.
I taped all of my charts, including Allyson’s monster chart, into one giant sheet of paper. I found it much easier to have all the directions and my little row count hash marks in the same place. I find myself wanting to keep it for posterity, a little jewel for my children to stumble upon when I’m long gone. After finding it, they’ll realize I was secretly a genius all those years.
If I knit it again I’ll probably keep the stitches to both sides of the back collar live for a kitchener stitch. Also I’ll make sure everything along the back raglan line was even on both sides of the sweater. I think I’d like this in Wool of the Andes bulky too. There might be a bit more drape, which is nice in a bulky knit.
At the time of this posting there are 3689 finished Aidez sweaters at some stage of construction on Ravelry. That’s some kind of famous for a pattern. Cirilia has designed a lot of other things I love. My favorites include Australorp, Phinney, Shibuya, Espenson, and Hekla. Especially Hekla. But Aidez was my all time fave.
How do I feel about finally knitting this classic design? Accomplished. I have learned all of these techniques, and kept working on it through some chaotic times. I also had the ability to notice the thing that no one else will notice about my seaming in back and say “Who cares?” about it.
But will I ever do this one again? At first I thought, “No.” But once it was done blocking, I thought, “Well, maybe.” Then I saw Jennifer’s (the one whose bright turquoise Aidez first inspired me to knit this) photo on her blog. You have to click over and see it! It shows how Aidez sweaters can be addictive.
The truth is, yes, I’ll probably make another one in wool. Maybe by next Christmas. 🙂