Back in the days of print patterns, I used to collect knitting books. I have original first editions of Alice Starmore books, including ones that have never gone back into print. I did not realize how expensive those Starmore books were until I traded one for a couple thousand yards of her iconic Scottish Fleet yarn. Anyway, in my knitting library I also had a couple of books by Jean Moss. I remember buying Sculptured Knits because I loved the cover:
This was back in 1999, and over the next few years I knitted (or rather, started) many patterns from the book, but never the Lautrec Bolero from the cover. Gaia was one of three projects I managed to start AND finish, and I loved it. I knitted it in a hand-spun undyed wool, and wore it for years before I decided I needed the yarn for something else.
About a month ago, as part of addressing the issue of overcrowding in my yarn cabinets, I found the Cable-Down Raglan by Stefanie Japel. I must have knitted the pullover about 10 years ago, but I have no clear memory of this sweater. Except for this one work, I can look at all my other projects and tell you about the pattern, the knitting process, the changes, and the yarn. l don’t know what happened . . . .
Pattern: Gaia, from Sculptured Knits: 48 Timely Designs Inspired by the Decorative Arts of the 20th Century.
Yarn: Unknown DK-weight tweedy merino wool yarn.
Modifications: I modified the pattern to knit seamlessly from top down, with the sleeves picked up from the top and caps shaped via short rows. The front bands were knitted on as I went, with regular short rows to make sure the bands didn’t flare. The original cardigan had a soft point collar, but I don’t like collars in general, so no collar here. The sleeves were supposed to be full-length, but since I did not have enough yarn, they became three-quarter. The bottom band is knitted from leftover kid mohair/silk yarn from another project; I like the contrast of colours and texture.
Thoughts: I love this version of Gaia! One thing I did that I did not do on the first Gaia is keep the small pockets set into the bottom band. I never understood the concept of teeny tiny non-functional pockets, but these days I think any pocket is a good pocket. I made these bigger than the pattern pockets, and they will in fact fit my mobile phone, credit card, and some change. Finally, about the Little Old Lady buttons: Mom, like Moms of her generation everywhere, left behind a big collection of buttons. These buttons came from her hoard, and I love them on this cardigan.