Guilloche Pullover Checks All the Boxes

It may have taken some time to finish due to life changes, but tell me it wasn’t worth it. Guilloche has everything I require for a perfect winter sweater:

  • Allover cabled texture- check!
  • Extra long sleeves and ribbing- check!
  • The foldover, thick collar with the perfect amount of neck shaping- check!
  • And, of course, tweedy worsted yarn in a favorite color. So many checks.

This pullover has a mood to it. Actually, lots of Ailbíona’s patterns do. I feel like they appeal to my vintage/ thrift side, recalling something I once wore or always wanted to wear in my twenties, but couldn’t find in a shop. This particular sweater looks a little like a fast-fashion sweater I once had that was poorly made and didn’t fit well. I can’t convey how satisfying it is to own an allover honeycomb style cabled sweater like this finally and to know I made it for a custom fit. The neckline was particularly satisfying.

Details: I used US needle sizes 5 and 6, I think for this. It was knit during the time of spotty project note-keeping, so that’s just a guess. The yarn is Wool of the Andes Tweed in Lost Lake Heather from Knit Picks.

Wool of the Andes is always going to be a favorite for me. Maybe if I lived in a colder climate and really wore my sweaters out, I’d have more complaints about all the yarns. I’d have a pile of disappointing knits and a list of brands I prefer. As it is, my knits stay pristine for years and I have no reason to nitpick a yarn that is decidedly more affordable than so many others. Also, tweed.

I began this pattern, using Ailbíona’s directions for needle-less cables, just to really get the process lodged in my head for easy future retrieval, but somewhere along the way I abandoned that and went back to my old, new knitter method: pinching the stitch to be cabled and holding it out of the way while I knit the next stitch as normal then knitting the cabled stitch from my fingers. It doesn’t sound easier, but it moves faster for me. Was I knitting a six-stitch cable, I might rethink this technique.

I knit the body from the bottom up then moved to the sleeves. However, as I added length to them, I realized I wanted an extra inch on the body, too. This has nothing to do with the pattern’s finished sizing, just a quirk of mine. So after knitting the sleeves, I took the body off of waste yarn and added one pattern repeat, making sure all the parts finished at the same point in the pattern. The rest was super easy.

Anyway, this sweater had me a bit worried as the unblocked ribbing really began to cinch in while I worked on the body. I had blocked a nice-sized swatch before starting, but this still freaked me out a little. So, I blocked the body before adding the sleeves to check. It was all good, but it does block out dramatically. My pre-blocking gauge was 26 stitches 27 rows per 4″, and after it was 19 stitches and 26 rows! I had confidence after blocking. It was exactly one lazy cat wide.

I’m going to talk about a few of her patterns I’d love to make. These are different than the ones I showed you in Episode 61. Let me set the stage like this:

Imagine walking into a thrift store and finding all the styles you loved as a young woman but couldn’t afford at the time. Now you can afford them, it is sustainable shopping, and, to your amazement, they are exactly your size. That is what browsing her pattern page is like for me.

So now I’m going to take you on a little stroll down memory lane: The stripes of the Inver henley and LLF so make me think of cool clothes from the 90s that I loved. (I’m not meaning this 90s, but this 90s.) I used to borrow my brother’s henleys all the time.

Harvest Season Blouse has the shape of a top I would’ve seen worn with wide-leg pants in a Tweeds Catalog, and then I’d have dog-eared the page.

Turntable, a fingering-weight turtleneck that has a space-dyed look. I had a jersey tee shirt that had a similar shape until it got all stretched out and I finally outgrew it. I love the idea of knitting a version of this in a favorite fingering weight yarn.

TULC (The Ultimate Lazy Cardigan) looks SO much like a cropped button front cardigan I wore with a pleated re-sale skirt, a la Twin Peaks’ Donna, in high school. Add some Mary Janes and knee socks and you have built a time machine.

The And Ardor Dress is the exact shape of a velvet dress my husband bought for me when we were dating, with the addition of the ruffle.

It’s not like I live for the past. But my past wasn’t terrible and I like reliving the exuberance of my youth. Ask my husband, I jump out from hiding places to scare him all the time. Anything that reminds me of those early days when I sort of formed a personal style, brings me a little joy. I don’t really have to explain this to someone who is reading my knitting blog- you get it. Ailbíona’s design style hits me right in my nostalgia-drenched heart and I could make every single design. Every one.

This was my second knit to work on for Sleevetember with the Laura and Allyson Party. Every time I write that I doubt that I’m saying it right. Is it a possessive “Laura and Allyson’s” or just “Laura and Allyson Party?” I don’t know but I always think of when old people say, ” I’m going shopping at Walmarts’s” or “We’re eating at The Luby.”

Like my bazillion photos? More on this knit on Ravelry,

on youtube Episodes 52: Sneaky Extra, 59: Some Sleeves and Some Sleeveless, 60: Murder of Crows, and mostly on 61: Guilloche Pullover.

and on Flickr, because…nostalgia.

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