My Simply Marilyn Obsession
I came across Simply Marilyn a couple of months ago and immediately saved it. I hadn't done a sweater yet or any cable work so figured it was out of my league. I was obsessed with this sweater, even though it doesn't fit the model at all. I pictured myself at a ball in a pretty pale pink chunky sweater and white tulle skirt, with my hair pulled into a soft, slightly messy twist.
In reality, I haven't been to a formal since Barrister's Ball (a.k.a. Law Prom) my first year of law school 7 years ago (crap, I'm getting old). And I'd be laughed out of Lexington if I wore this get up anyway.
That didn't stop me. Off I went to my LYS's Super Bowl sale (where you got to pick a slip of paper with your discount from a basket from either the Patriots or the Eagles. Being a big sports fan but not giving a hoot about either team, I chose the Patriots for the obvious reason, their quarterback is a hottie).
I'm sure you'll agree, this tangent is worthless without pictures
The pattern called for 8 skeins of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Chunky. While this is super soft and luxurious, the price tag was a lot more than I wanted to pay for this sweater whose sizing I was unsure about (more later). I ended up with Plymouth Encore Chunky. I'd really prefer to use all natural fibers for sweaters but Encore isn't bad, and the Chunky was pretty soft. With regular Encore, I can get Cascade 220 or Lamb's Pride Worsted for a dollar or two more for similar yardage but my LYS didn't have a good, reasonably priced all wool substitute for Encore Chunky and I wanted to get started on it immediately! They didn't have a light pink either so I settled for red.
I was unsure about sizing because it fit so oddly on the model in the photo. The 40 inch chest size of the small was going to hang off of me. I have big boobs but small shoulders and a small waist (big butt and thighs too, a true hourglass shape). I did some math and cast on. Oops, I didn't account for cables taking up more stitches. Ripped it out. In the end, I used the difference of 4 stitches cast on between the pattern's 40 and 42.5 inch chests and cast on. After 2 rows, I hit the first cable. The only other cable I'd done was a couple of repeats on a swatch of a braided cable, not of this horseshoe thing. The cable was easy! The most difficult part was once you got up to the shaping, remembering that you have to keep in pattern as well as bind off and decrease for shaping in the same row. This probably isn't difficult for most people but I tend to have a one track mind.
For the sleeves, I cast on 4 fewer stitches, which was fine.
Once I got all the pieces done, it was time to do the big collar. I ended up with about 16 fewer stitches because of my various sizing decreases. I was pretty confident that the other pieces would fit okay but a little ansty about this being too small since it worked out to be about 5 inches smaller than the original. I didn't want the cowl to be huge and floppy. In the end, it worked out well.
It fits great, and I love this even more than the other two sweaters I've made! I really like the yarn too. It's soft and washability is a plus. I'd use it again in heartbeat.
And here she is, Marilyn! (this photo looks more cropped than it really is)
Look, I even got props in my friend Juls' Blog! GET YOUR BRAG ON
Juls is the only person I know who likes knitting and lipgloss as much as I do. She is a Cal grad who holds a healthy hatred toward the Stanford Cardinal. Given my similar hatred of another group of Cardinals, the Louisville ones, I have much respect for this.
On the needles:
Clapotis (in Koigu, colorway #213 which is shades of pink -shocking-, coral, purple, and blue. To match my Koigu hat from Yarn Girls' Guide)
Tempting (in Lion Cotton-Ease in black. Boring but washable and more summery than Cashmerino. I'm not in a huge rush to finish this. Since I'm making it in the cotton, I won't wear it here until April or May)