The only pattern by Vanessa Smith I have actually knitted is the Julissa pattern. I really loved knitting the Julissa and it fits so perfectly! There were a couple stumbles and bumps along the way, but I think those were more my fault than anything else. Again, I was knitting without my brain on… I am really going to have to stop doing that.
My first issue came with the raglan decrease, I blogged about it here. While I did have issues with the raglan decrease it is something that is fairly standard. I was just not connecting what the pattern said and what my hands were supposed to be doing. Nevertheless, I managed to figure it out!
The pattern in general reminded me of the style TFA patterns follow. It was clear, professional, with great quality photos.
The way the pattern is laid out is very logical; with clear boundary lines there is room for notes as well. I especially love this since I almost never follow exactly what a pattern says. I usually at LEAST change the needle size since my gauge never matches. I always have to go down one or two needle sizes to match the pattern, or use a finer yarn. I n this particular pattern I took full advantage of this space and noted the needle sizes I used and the specific yarn. I always think I will remember, but this is never the case.
I am very fond of organization and plain, yet elegant things. This is really evident in the patterns I am drawn to. This particular sweater is very plain except for a lace panel in the front and a plait down the arms. These details add enough to set off the flattering shape of the sweater without overpowering the design.
The sweater has a perfect shape for me; the waste shaping here is not exactly what I thought it would be. Most of the time waist shaping means you decrease in for the waist and go back out for the hips or bust, depending if your sweater is knit from the top down or the bottom up. Usually this creates a nice perfect, symmetrical hour glass shape. As most people will tell you, not everyone is a perfect hourglass… as much as we might wish. This sweater is knit from the top down and as you are increasing to make room for hips, the pattern calls for more stitches than we started with for the bust. It never really dawned on me to change these proportions, but I may not be as clever as Vanessa Smith. This small detail makes the fit even better. Now, I always alter my waist shaping to these dimensions.
Aside from my Fiddlehead Mittens, this is the most complemented garment I have made. I ended up taking away the waist shaping skills and I use them regularly, since I make so many sweaters. I am really looking forward to making more of Vanessa Smith’s patterns, I really enjoyed knitting the Julissa and hope I will get time to knit her other patterns as well!!