I finally finished the Tilted Duster by Norah Gaughn this week. I have admired this pattern since I first bought the Fall 2007 Interweave Knits in St. Paul last August. I purchased the yarn (Berroco Peruvia in Avocado) in Denver in September, cast on for the project in December in East Lansing, and finished this week in Nashville. Whew!
The pattern is actually very straightforward and shouldn’t have taken me as long as it did, but I got sidetracked reading a book and the project was physically too large for me to take to the beach in Mexico, so progress halted a bit. I was sort of nervous about all the seaming – the sweater is knit in pieces and sewn together, but in the end it was not as bad as I anticipated, and I think I did a pretty good job for someone who isn’t all that experienced in sewing or seaming. The longest portion to knit was obviously the skirt, which got a little monotonous, but once I got halfway through, I picked up speed and finished in no time.
The yarn is beautiful. Very soft and warm. I love the color – but it was hard to choose as Peruvia comes in so many beautiful colors. The variegation in the greens makes for a really amazing finished product.
The pattern called for size 10 needles but after swatching, I opted to use 9’s to get correct gauge.
The trickiest part of the sweater was positioning the buttons. There are two buttons that you see on the right side of the right collar, but also two hidden underneath on the wrong side of the left collar. It took a bit of trial and error to get them in the right place.
From reading about the Tilted Duster online and others’ experiences making it, it seems that one of the biggest challenges is getting the two fronts to lie correctly and meet between the bust. Mine don’t meet perfectly, but I think they are fairly close. The trick for me was in the blocking – I think in order to get the right shape for this sweater, it should be blocked as it would be worn, rather than opened and laid flat (although it would probably dry faster this way). I think getting the fronts to meet would be hard to achieve otherwise. After blocking, I used an iron over a towel to steam out the creases on the sides of the skirt.
Unfortunately we move on to Florida next week so I’m not sure how much wear this sweater will get in the immediate future, but I have already worn it once this week, and I love it, so hopefully it will be a very useful cold weather piece.