The Facet Pullover just came out in the Spring/Summer 2014 issue of Twist Collective! Often my most recently released design becomes my new favorite, but I'm especially fond of the Facet Pullover because it's playful and unusual. And I really enjoyed the process of designing it and working out the challenges of that unique perforated yoke.
When I first submitted the idea for this pullover, I was thinking I would keep the open diamonds to the front and back only, placing groups of three between the raglan seams (hence the working name, "Three of Diamonds"). But when the editors at Twist Collective suggested placing the diamonds all around the yoke, I liked the idea a lot, so I agreed to change the shaping from raglan to a round yoke, so that decreases could be placed between the open areas.
With that attention-getting yoke, I knew that I wanted the rest of the pullover to be simple, so I used rolled edges for the hem and cuffs and just added gentle waist shaping. I used 3/4-length sleeves to take advantage of mild spring weather, and to show off wrist accessories. I did have to rip back the first couple of inches of the body, after I realized that there was enough color variation between skeins of the O-Wool Balance yarn that the transition from one skein to the next was very obvious. So I had to alternate skeins every few rounds (which is not unusual when using hand-painted yarn), which is why there is a visible striping effect (which I did not originally plan, but grew to like!).
Everything then went smoothly until the yoke, where I had to figure out how many stitches were needed for each size before starting the diamonds. This would normally be straightforward, but in this case, as soon as the first cable cross round is completed, the circumference of the yoke is decreased dramatically by all those crossed stitches, so I had to make sure I didn't start out with too few stitches, and end up with a too-tight yoke.
Then came the diamonds! Each section between the diamonds is worked flat, one at a time, with the cable crosses at the halfway point pulling the fabric sideways to create the diamond-shaped negative spaces. There are a lot of sections, but working them actually went faster than I expected (although I was still happy to join them and return to working in the round, once the diamonds were completed). I did end up incorporating the yoke decreases into the cabled sections, where they blended quite nicely into the lines of the cables (see below).
After that, my only design decision was how many decreases to add before binding off the stitches around the neck opening. I've found from past experience that going by a stitch gauge obtained from measuring a swatch lying on a flat surface will often yield a neck opening that is larger and looser than desired: the weight of the garment and the shape of the shoulders will tend to stretch the neckband stitches. So I used a "slightly stretched" gauge to calculate my expected neck circumference, decreased more than I originally thought would be necessary, and ended up with the neckline sitting just where I wanted. On the second try. (On the first try, the neckband was still too loose.)
I'm now thinking about wearing Facet when the sample is returned! I dislike strapless bras, but I dislike exposed bra straps even more. So I think I may baste a layer of flesh-colored batiste or other semi-sheer fabric to the wrong side of the yoke, so I don't have to wear Facet over another layer. Can't wait!
(First three photos courtesy of Twist Collective.)