Sunday, March 16, 2008

Le Lapin Noir

Hop hop.

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Pattern: Le Lapin Noir
Yarn: a whack of angora I bought many ages ago from Cottage Craft Angora

Why I love this one:
and oh, how I do!
Despite numerous mistakes (and I've learned to live with the multitude of errors I incorporate into each and every knit!) I love the fit, I like the shape, and it's successfully fulfilled a search I have been undertaking to find the perfect argyle sweater for nigh on 2 years now.

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Unless you're looking for one, you probably wouldn't realize that practically every bloody argyle sweater in stores has a v neck. I wanted a scoop neck.

Also, I'm fairly picky when it comes to the colours I wear. Though, I will hazard anyone interested in knitting a very small-gauge sweater in black: not so good for maintaining good vision.

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I would have made 3/4 length sleeves (as is my way) but I ran out of black yarn. I think the short sleeves work alright, and are less incongruous than one would imagine on an angora sweater.

The yarn is amazingly dreamily soft. Just as soft (dare I say?) as the bellies of canaries. Highly recommended. Knit yourself an angora sweater.

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This sweater was inspired by retro patterns and the angora yarn itself. I'd never worked with it before, and wanted to see how it behaved.
I've worn it a few times, and have found it to be sturdier than I would have imagined. I feared it would stretch to frightening proportions as soon as I was moving around in it. This didn't happen at all.
I also feared it would pill horribly. This also hasn't happened (yet).
As I understand angora is (one of the) warmest fibres one can wrap around a body, I feared it might overheat me. I had no such problems.
As you can see, it creates a beautiful halo of bunny-goodness all around you.
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I didn't block it (shock and horror!). I wasn't sure how it would take to the water. I'm entirely pleased with the intarsia, though, and I don't know that it would benefit from a blocking anyhow.

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Le Lapin Noir
by
CanarySanctuary
http://canaryknits.blogspot.com

Spurred on by my inability to find a good argyle sweater, Le Lapin Noir was created with retro sweater-girl inspiration.
To make it a suitable warmer-weather knit, a light sock yarn could be substituted.

Needles:
2.5 mm straights
2.25 mm circs (at least 18” long)

Yarn:
Cottage Craft Angora 100% angora yarn
Approx. 90 metres/hank (discontinued)
http://www.cottagecraftangora.com/
Black 8 (9, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18) hanks
Pink 1 (2, 2, 3, 3, 4, 4) hanks
White 1 (1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 2) hanks

Gauge:
8 sts/ inch
10 rows/ inch

Sizes:
XS: 28”-30”
S: 32”-34”
M:36”-38”
L: 40”-42”
XL: 44”-46”
XXL: 48”-50”
XXXL: 52”-54”


Front

Using long-tail method and 2.5mm needles, cast on 92 (108, 124, 144, 160, 184, 200) sts.
Knit in 1x1 ribbing for 4 (4, 5, 5, 5, 6, 6) inches.
Decrease row: You will be decreasing 2 sts each side every time you do a decrease row.
K1, P2tog, K2tog, knit in rib across sts until 5 before the end of the row. Then Kl, P2tog, K2tog, P1.
*Continuing in rib, knit another 1 (1, 0.5, 0.5, 0.5, 0.75, 0.5) inches.
Work another decrease row as stated above.
Repeat from * 1 (1, 1, 3, 3, 4, 2) more times.
At this point you should have 80 (96, 112, 124, 140, 164, 184) sts.
Knit in rib until you have 6 (6, 7, 7, 7, 8, 8) inches from the cast on edge.
Stop working rib, and begin working the intarsia chart.
Begin at number 1 (1, 1, 10, 10, 14, 13) listed at bottom of intarsia chart. This will centre your argyle on the sweater.
Work the chart for 1 (1, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2) inches.
Increase row: You will be increasing 1 st each side every time you do an increase row.
(Work argyle pattern in to increases).
K1, increase 1, work across row until 2 sts before end, increase 1, knit last st.
*Work another 0.5 inches.
Work increase row.
Repeat from * 4 (1, 4, 8, 8, 8, 6) more times.
You should have 96 (102, 124, 144, 160, 184, 200) sts.
Now you will continue knitting the intarsia until piece measures 13 (13.5, 15.5, 15.5, 15.5, 16.5, 16.5) inches from the cast on edge.
Work across 27 (32, 42, 50, 56, 66, 74) sts, put middle 38 (38, 40, 44, 48, 52, 52) sts on a stitch holder, work across the remaining 27 (32, 42, 50, 56, 66, 74) sts.
Work 2 rows
Cast off for armholes: (please read ahead – you’ll be shaping the neck at the same time!)
Cast off 6 (6, 8, 8, 10, 12, 14) sts on each side of next 2 rows.
Decrease 1 st each side every RS row 4 (4, 6, 8, 8, 8, 8) times.
Neck Shaping: AT SAME TIME AS ARMHOLE SHAPING
Decrease 1 st each side of neck every RS row 12 times.
Work until arm holes measure 7 (7, 8.5, 9, 9.5, 10, 10.5) inches.
Put sts on holders.

Back

Work the back in the same manner as the front (excluding the intarsia chart) until neckline.
When piece measures 14.5 (14.5, 16.5, 16.5, 16.5, 17.5, 17.5) inches, put centre 38 (38, 40, 44, 48, 52, 52) sts on a stitch holder, and work the neckline the same as for the front.
Sew front and back together along sides, and graft/Kitchener stitch tops of front and back together.

Neckline

Using 2.25 mm circular needles, pick up stitches along neckline, including the ones you’ve placed on stitch holders.
Work in a 1x1 rib for 1.5 (1.5, 1.5, 1.5, 2, 2, 2) inches.
Cast off (be careful: don’t cast off loosely!)

Arms

Cast on 76 (76, 88, 96, 108, 116, 128) sts.
Work 1x1 rib for 1 (1, 1.5, 1.5, 2, 2, 2.5) inches.
Begin Sleeve Cap:
Cast off 8 (8, 9, 10, 12, 12, 14) sts at the beginning of next 2 rows.
Knit in rib for 4 rows.
Decrease 1 st each side every other row 5 (5, 7, 9, 10, 14, 15) times.
Decrease 1 st each side every 4th row 10 (10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10) times.
When sleeve cap measures 5.5 (5.5, 6, 7, 7.5, 8, 8.5) inches, decrease 1 st each side every row 5 (5, 7, 7, 10, 8, 9) times.
When sleeve cap is 6 (6, 6.5, 7.5, 8.5, 9, 9.5) inches from cast on edge, decrease 2 sts each side every other row 5 (5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 6) times.
When sleeve cap is 7 (7, 8.5, 9, 9.5, 10, 10.5) inches long, cast off.

Finishing

Sew sleeves onto body.
Weave in all ends.
Blocking the finished garment is optional (the original, knit in angora, was not blocked).

Tips

Intarsia can easily become a hassle of tangled ends. In order to keep sane, I wound and then cut off a few feet of each colour-section. This certainly did add to the number of ends I had to weave in come finishing time, but was slightly more manageable than large balls of yarn emanating from my work.

Think twice before you use black! (If only to maintain decent eyesight). You can’t imagine how frustrating it is to try and neatly sew up black knitted garments with tiny gauges!

Intarsia Chart
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Garment Schematic
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20 comments:

Mackenzie said...

Your design looks great! The angora looks soft enough to reach out and touch. You can rock the argyle much better than I ever could.

Jewelie said...

You're adorable and I love this pattern. The sweater looks great on you too! Nice job on the pattern. I may have to make myself one!

MeaganMonster said...

Found this from your link on Craftster.

Wow! that is totally amazing.
Thanks for posting the pattern - when I get a little bold I might have to try this!

I'd love to make one in black, white and aqua.

Kai said...

Excellent! It's beautiful! Thanks muchly. :)

hunnybunny said...

That is beautiful. You never cease to amaze me with your talent, it's also great that you took the time to make the pattern for all those sizes. Now I want one, but first I must learn to not fear the argyle.

Hilary said...

I LOVE this!!! It is going on my queue immediately. Fabulous job!

Susan said...

I saw this on ravelry Friday I think. The pattern wasn't up yet. YOu have reached Knitting Goddess status for sure, now!

Carol said...

That is absolutely gorgeous! I am floored by how pretty it is.

Farrah said...

Oh, wow. This is gorgeous and fits you like crazy. I just love that you made the sweater that you could never find in a store. Thanks SO much for the pattern!

Unraveling Sophia said...

This is like a borthday present! Thanks for the pattern - Its going on my list immediately!

RedThread said...

I LOVE it! I'm jumping into an agyle sweater, and yours is a great inspiration!

Em said...

What a great sweater! Tt looks soooo soft. Thanks for sharing the pattern!

ms. said...

I'm trying to decide what size to make. It looks as though we are about the same size - can you tell me which size the one you are modeling would be? THANKS! great sweater. :)

CanarySanctuary said...

Thanks so much everyone! All your comments are so encouraging.

Clare said...

Gorgeous! Thanks for the pattern!

Lilli said...

I love this sweater!! I also have been playing with argyle and having a heck of a time finding anything other than socks (of which I find NO enjoyment in knitting)!

Great job...I am inspired once again!

Ilix said...

Had to add in two cents, which is to say it looks awesome, and I wanted to chime in! Thank you so much for sharing the pattern!

Frida said...

I totaly feel in love with this one and other designs you have done. Thank you soooo much for sharing in Ravelry. I will totaly put this in line on "Things I HAVE to knit".
Once again thank youuuu soooo much.

qiviut-queen said...

This yarn is back !
We are making it again. I have it on the site and blog and will put up a link to this post ....if you dont mind !
you rocked that sweater.....have fun !

kf said...

What a beautiful sweater! So glad I found it on Ravelry. It's wonderful that you posted the pattern. I've been longing to try some angora that's for sale in my LYS and I just might. I think the short sleeves look better with that kind of cropped style than elbow length or 3/4 sleeves would. Thanks again!