I’m going with the smallest size in the 16 gauge. I’m speculating that the small - 32-34 (when the next size up is medium - 36-38) will work best in terms of my shoulder narrowness and my shortness. I’ve also gone with a needle size (US8) that gives me a pretty drapey - but structured - blocked fabric. I think it’ll stretch well in both directions…
On completing the project, I discovered that the neck is too wide for me as instructed (at 8 inches). I seamed mine closed by an additional 3 inches, using the seaming method suggested in the pattern (photo at the side). Were I to make this again, I’d likely bind off fewer stitches to make the neck opening smaller (maybe 11 stitches fewer). I also made the collar less droopy by seaming up the left side shoulder seam by an additional 2 inches. Given that I made the smallest size in the smallest gauge, I think we can say that the pattern fits large for size (admittedly, I am very narrow in the shoulders).
On the basis of making the swatch, I do not love the splitty nature of the Rowan Super Fine Merino Aran. It does feel lovely but those splits can be noticeable on the final fabric so I’ve got to be very careful. I don’t tend to enjoy babysitting my fabric so the jury’s out on whether I’ll ever knit with this stuff again, regardless of how much I like the outcome.
I can’t say I’m impressed by the pattern instructions. The design may be ingenious but what about schematics that make sense (with captions that describe what you’re looking at - in light of the fact that it’s such a tongue-twister to put it together)?
Ordinarily, I would have read the instructions carefully, before beginning, to ensure I understood all of the elements. This pattern is so overwritten and unnecessarily complicated that I gave up and just started knitting.
As a result, I mistook crochet cast on for provisional crochet cast on. Here’s hoping I can simply put those live stitches on a needle and bind them off right away.
Update:You can bind off after picking up the live stitches but remember, every other stitch has been wrapped so it produces a loop that doesn’t seem like a stitch. You have to pick those up as if they were regular live stitches. Go slowly to ensure you catch those stitches as you undo the crochet chain.
Let’s try and make this unusual constructions somewhat comprehensible:
You’re going to knit the wacky trapezoid.
You’re going to fold it longways in half, along the clefted edge so that it looks like half a trapezoid. The clefted long edge will be horizontal (the fold line edge), the other long edge is diagonal.
The horizontal fold-line edge is half open (the cleft part). That’s the neck. The closed half of that edge, when rotated, will form the right shoulder and, when seamed, will produce a kind of kimono sleeve. You can ignore it till the final stage.
The short edge, perpendicular to the neck edge (that open part on the horizontal fold), must be partly sewn to create the collar fall. The side that meets the neck edge will be left opened i.e. unseamed. The part that meets the diagonal edge of the folded work will be seamed half way to the top edge. This seamed part forms the left shoulder which, at this point, will likely be entirely unclear to you. Once you’ve sewn up @ half of that short edge (a quick 4 inches or so - depending on whether this will make it adequately narrow), forget about the neck and collar.
At that now seamed end of the short side - the part that touches the diagonal edge - you’ll pick up the stitches that will form the left shoulder piece (a short-row shaped “cape” for the shoulder - it’s not a sleeve). Those instructions are pretty clear just remember that, in this set up, you need only to pick up the stitches - don’t pick up and knit. Picking up the stitches is as simple as putting one leg of the stitch on the needle.
Once you finish knitting the left arm piece, it becomes apparent that, in order for the left arm piece to cover the left arm (and the shoulder seam to sit on the shoulder) the garment will have to be rotated and will therefore hang on the bias. The part that hangs down (front and back) to produce that triangle point that veers to the right is the @half of the diagonal edge of the original trapezoid, the half that hasn’t been used to produce the left arm piece.
Finally, you’ll produce the right kimono sleeve by seaming @ the middle third of the remaining edge - the long edge perpendicular to the horizontal fold line, opposite that short edge onto which you knitted the left arm piece.
PS: This garment is a yarn hog. I made the small (admittedly in the smallest gauge) and it took 118 yards more than the pattern calls for. That NEVER happens to me. I disagree with the designer that the left sleeve piece takes a relatively small amount of yarn. Mine took 175 yards - or 25 per cent of my overall yardage.
In the end, this is a garment I wear on occasion. It’s worth the investment I put in but I’d prefer it in a different colour, different yarn and made in seed stitch pattern. Maybe one day I’ll make this again but probably not soon.