I haven’t knitted a sweater all year and I’m feeling a serious itch. I’m in need of a nice, soft, squooshy covering that has enough going on that I won’t get bored knitting it, but not so much that it will take over my life. The majority of my knits so far this year have been cowls and shawls, so the pattern would also have to give enough lee-way for possibly wearing them in conjunction without turning me into a sweaty mess.
The result of my Ravelry search brought me to this little beauty: Paloma.
Bulky weight yarn: check.
Textured stitches: check.
Learn a new Technique: check.
Paloma is written by Thea Colman of Baby Cocktails. I’ve made another sweater by her called Baileys Irish Cream. Unfortunately, I wore it too much in the winter/spring of 2014 and it felted/pilled because I didn’t use a superwash yarn (totally my bad). The patterns she writes are very clear and technically accurate.
I’ve been wanting to try a bulky weight pattern for a while, so finding a bulky weight yarn seemed like it would be easy. Except not. I knew I wanted superwash and I knew I wanted something pretty. What I don’t ever want is expensive, heavy, or acrylic. Knitpicks Biggo ended up breaking the tie. This is a 50% superwash and 50% nylon fluffy mix. It has a little bit of a fuzzy halo, but nothing unreasonable, so far. At 100 grams a skein as well, it feels like a light and fluffy newborn kitten.
The color I’m going with the Iris Heather. And so far it’s living up to my expectations. The example Paloma is a solid pinky/peach color, which is fine, but with the texture I wanted something with a bit more depth and feel of luxury. I want a sweater that people really can’t find in the store, but still in style.
Comparing the item to the colors show on the knitpicks website, it is more on the grey side than the purple side. But the heather and nylon give it almost an iridescent glow which I absolutely love!
Pattern gauge is 3 stitches and 5 rows per 1″ in double seed stitch pattern on size 10.5 (6.5mm) needles. I measured slightly smaller than gauge using 10 (6.0mm) needles before wet blocking.
The pattern notes that gauge is very important especially when working with bulky weight yarns. Even the slightest bit too big and you’re going to end up with an over-sized garment. Luckly, I came in slightly under! Good enough.
As usual I will be making the smallest size possible: 36.5″ @ approx 900 yards. I still haven’t quite figured out if the 4″ of positive ease is a part of the pattern or if the model is wearing it that large on purpose. Either way 36.5″ is big on me to begin with. Biggo comes in 110 yard skeins. In addition to the one I purchased for testing, I need to buy 8 more.
Arm length – shorter arms = using less yarn! I will be shortening the arm length and maybe adding a thumb hole.
Shaping – The common theme I see from completed projects, even the example photographs, is that the backside arm hole is fluppy, baggy, and folds in a weird way. In all likelihood I think I will decrease one or two more stitches than called for at the arm hole area to 1 + give my shoulders more space and 2 + keep the back of the sweater from looking frumpy. Based on Thea’s notes though this may not be necessary. The look in the examples is with 4″ of positive ease where the smallest size gives only about 2-3″.