Pattern: Milk Maiden from Brave New Knits
Yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca
We have this amazing gourmet cupcake restaurant in town (called Coastal Cupcakes if you ever make it to our area). While they have a set menu, they also have a rotating special every day that changes each month. Because today was the last chance to get my favorite -- oreo cheesecake, mmm -- I conned my friend Erica into going downtown with me. While we were munching by the riverfront I got her to snap some photos of the finally completed Jaded Milkmaid.
This is an excellent sweater, perfect for this time of year when our weather is bouncing from fifty to seventy-five and back again. I love the vintage style with the slightly puffy sleeves and the bordered neckline. Of course I'm destined to fall in love with anything that has a square neckline, I find it to be one of the most flattering styles on me. I had originally planned to not knit the leaves and just leave the neckline square, but it proved to be way too Renaissance-painting-milkmaid crossed with Hollywood-Jane-Austin-character. So leafy it is. I'm glad now that I knit the edging because it really does make the outfit.
The pattern is knit with about five inches of negative ease. I knit the medium, or 30.5". Teresa advises to knit a size that runs about five inches smaller than the wearer's chest circumference, which makes a lot of sense when you look at the pattern. The only problem I have is that even with all of this negative ease the top is still a little gapey. If I was going to modify anything I might look into knitting fewer stitches in the ribbing section, because there is plenty of give there. The sweater itself is nice and long so that if you can only find one pair of jeans on the way out the door on a Saturday morning and those jeans happen to be a little lower waisted than you'd like sitting with your back exposed is not a major concern (Hey, it's a valid concern. You, over there, you know what I'm talking about). The only downside is that when you stand back up you might get a bit of bunching in the back.
This was my first raglan ever. I was really nervous that I would not understand the directions when I got to the sleeves, but it all made perfect sense. The pattern directions were very clear and put everything into very simple terms that even I understood. I have to say, attaching sleeves this way is like magic. I don't know if I ever want to try anything else, it was just so cool.
So, overall rating? Five fraktoids out of five (I'm sorry, I've been dying to say "fraktoid" in a sentence for days). It's beautiful, fun to knit (even if I was uneasy about a whole sweater on US 3 & 4), and the end result is just lovely.