Same cherry-red sweater, post-blocking. Unfortunately, even in today's cloudy weather and more filtered daylight, I am still unable to reproduce the actual deep cherry red of the wool. You'll have to take my word for it, there is not a hint of grey or brown or dull red in this colorway. Think of a midpoint between cherry and scarlet red. That's what we have here.
I found the pattern in Debbie Bliss's How To Knit , a book that I bought so long ago that it has been reprinted with a different cover at least once since then. I made a number of changes to the pattern. First, I sized it up since it only went up to a size 6-8. Of course, Debbie Bliss's patterns for children are notoriously huge, and this one is no exception. I wanted a bigger size but a more fitted pullover than what the cute model appeared to be sporting in the one photograph I had to guide me.
This is where knitting software is quite handy. It gave me the basic numbers for my own gauge and, even better, provided me with a schematic, something that is sorely missing from Debbie Bliss's patterns, at least the older ones. I don't have more recent patterns from her so I am not sure where things stand now. All I know is that you need schematics in this uncertain world: going by on faith in instructions alone doesn't do much good unless you are knitting a rectangular scarf or shawl -- and even then, I have my doubts. I like a schematic because then I can start to tweak it.
As soon as I read the pattern, I knew I was going to knit it in the round to the armholes. Through trial and error, I guessed when to start the textured patternwork in relation to the armholes. The shoulders were joined with a 3-needle bind-off, and the sleeves were then picked up and knitted from the armholes.
Here's another place where a schematic would have been helpful. Debbie B., who is otherwise a terrific designer, has the knitter start the sleeves decreases (or should I say, stop the increases, since she and I went at it in reverse direction from one another) after the textured patterning. Again one can't tell a thing from the very cute photograph, but I worried about ending up with a sleeve shaped somewhere between kimono and leg-of-mutton. Instead, I figured out how many decreases would allow me to keep the textured stitch patterning intact and I sneaked those in wherever I could. That tiny bit of brainstorming was quite satisfying, but I think I'll add good book on guernseys to my collection soon, as I'd like to learn and knit more on the subject.
The wool is Jo Sharp Classic DK wool in a colorway called Cherry, bought at Stitches West several years ago. 9 skeins went into this pullover. All is well on the stash-busting front this Spring; I am warming up to dig further into past yarn acquisitions now, back to the early 2000's and perhaps even last century. Oh, to be able to bring new yarn home with no guilt and an intelligent plan! Some day, somewhere, I'll get there.
In the meantime, we'll always have red wool.