I started Licorice Whip (for me!) in a fit of needing a large mindless knit. Raglans in the round of the top-down variety? Perfect and mindless — you knit round and round, increasing, put the sleeve stitches on waste yarn and eventually you have a completed sweater. Perfect!

licorice whip, take two
take two

I like the pattern, and I think I like how it looks in this yarn (Malabrigo/Handpaintedyarns.com Bulky 6 Ply in Pearl Ten, on US9 Knit Picks Options). I was concerned about working a pattern in this yarn, but I wanted a little bit of visual interest, so I am pleased.

It hasn’t been completely mindless as I did have to mess with the numbers for the size I’m making (L, 44″). The way the pattern specifies the cast-on numbers, you end up with the center lace panel not centered. I need symmetry!

For all of the sizes other than XXXS and XXS, the numbers appear to need to be adjusted for the front and back to an odd number since the front stitch pattern is 11 stitches wide. If you don’t adjust them to an odd number, the lace panel will be off-center and I don’t think that was intended to be a design element of this pattern.

For the L size, the pattern specifies to CO 60 stitches and split it up as 20, 10, 20, 10. Then you end up knitting 6 stitches, starting a 11 stitch pattern, and ending that section (what is the front piece of the raglan) with 3 stitches. This makes the center lace panel off center by 1.5 stitches – which is significant at this gauge.

So I ripped back and adjusted: I CO 62 stitches and split it up: 21, 10, 21, 10. I knit 5 stitches, started the 11-stitch center panel, knit 5 stitches. This way the center lace pattern is centered on the front of the sweater. Similar changes could be made for all of the sizes that have issues.

The malabrigo is absolutely lovely to work with. It’s so soft, only a touch splitty, and I am so happy with the purple with grey-brown undertones (I thought it was REALLY UGLY when I first received it – not anymore). Yum.

14 Comments so far

  1. stacey on November 17th, 2006

    Thanks for the info! I have that sweater on my to make list and will make a note on the pattern. That is a great color – lots of interest!

  2. Deneen on November 17th, 2006

    The colors are beautiful-isn’t that funny how sometimes I get yarn in a color or colorway that just looks so-so, but then you create something with it and it comes out so much better then you could have imagined.

  3. Kristina on November 17th, 2006

    I had never seen that sweater before, but it is now on my wish list. I think it is going to look great in that color!

  4. knittingphilistine on November 17th, 2006

    SO CUTE!! I couldn’t decide between starting this one, Demi, and Forecast next, and well, I already had the yarn for Demi and then couldn’t let Ashley go at it alone…but now…you don’t want to knit that old Licorice Whip all by your lonesome, do you…DO YOU? ;o)

  5. Dipsy D. on November 18th, 2006

    What a very gorgeous project this is, but obviously not just as mindless as you first thought it’d be ;) Thanks so much for all the info on your adjustments – this sweater is on my “Have to knit” list as well and once I get around to trying my hands at it, your tips will come in very handy!

  6. gleek on November 18th, 2006

    that’s such a deep and lovely color. i love this pattern! it’s got a lot of interest to it.

  7. Ashley on November 19th, 2006

    I emailed the designer about the numbers too, because whichever size I was knitting back when I was knitting this in the summer was off too, and she said that it WAS intentional, because of something that had to happen later in the pattern. But I adjusted anyway, because it was driving me crazy that it wasn’t centered, and it was perfectly fine.

  8. Ann on November 20th, 2006

    Beautiful yarn! It really is lush n plush. That’s going to be a beautiful sweater!

  9. Holly Jo on November 20th, 2006

    Malabrigo – yummy. The colorway you have looks so nice. Hooray for people who like symmetry. :)

  10. MJ on November 20th, 2006

    I’ve read about Malabrigo from quite a few blogs–it sounds really wonderful. And I think the hint of brown gives your purpley-ness a hint of subtle, quite nice. I hope your knit comes out the way you want it!

  11. Kirsten on November 22nd, 2006

    The sweater looks great in that yarn! Just the right amount of detail for that level of soft variegation!
    Thanks for the heads up on adjusting the numbers to center the front lace panel.

  12. JulieFrick on November 23rd, 2006

    Ah! Thanks for pointing me to that pattern. Love it!

  13. Amy on November 27th, 2006

    Your Licorice Whip looks great in Malabrigo! I just finished the same pattern in EcoWool. It is nice to have a mindless knit sometimes.

  14. [...] I modified the numbers in the Blue Alvarez pattern because it would have resulted in an off-center lace panel (I posted the details about that here). I also didn’t follow the pattern much at all beyond that, aside from following the stitch pattern for the lace on the sleeves and center. [...]