Project Inspiration - Durumi
The Durumi sweater from Issue 24 of Pom Pom Quarterly immediately caught my eye when the magazine came out. It's modern and fun but still suitable for a "mature" woman.
I made my Durumi in fingering weight yarn -- HFS Merino Twist Non Superwash in Bluebird and Oatmeal and a wee bit of Marting's Lab Bouncy Merino in Ash -- and did short sleeves. Being a "mature" woman I usually find anything heavier than DK weight keeps me a little too warm most of the year and short sleeves mean I can stretch the wearing time even further.
Using size 3US and 4US needles, my gauge was, of course, a bit different than the pattern so I ended up using the size 4 instructions to reach a finished bust size of approximately 40" which allows for a couple inches of positive ease.
The pattern is fairly straight forward and easy enough for an adventurous beginner to tackle. The two most challenging parts, (and they really aren't that challenging), are the collar and the few rounds of colourwork. If you're not familiar with this type of collar construction don't fret...it's really simple! The pattern instructs to sew down the collar as finishing work, however I simply joined the last round of the collar with the first round by knitting together. If you use that method just be careful to join stitch from the last round with stitch one from the first round, etc., or you will end up with a twisting collar.
I also did my own thing with the contrast on the sleeve cuffs and bottom edge as I wanted a more subtle look, but anything goes!
For the short sleeves I knit 20 rounds, did a decrease round, and then knit 12 more rounds before changing to smaller needles. I then did the rib and binding off as per pattern.
You may notice in the photo that the bottom of the body is slightly darker than the upper body. I was trying to squeeze as many projects as I could out of one dye lot but ended up having to use one skein from another dye lot so I incorporated that as a design element by using the slightly darker skein at the bottom of the body for a subtle gradient effect. I alternated about 12 rows of dye lot 1 with dye lot 2 before going completely into dye lot 2. The gradient looks darker in the photos than in real life.
All in all an enjoyable project resulting in a comfortable casual sweater that will see lots of use!