I finished my sweater! I actually finished it before christmas, but didn't get around to taking photos until now.
I first saw this sweater on Clmandco's blog. The original is actually an RTW sweater by Sessun that she (and I as a result) fell in love with and decided to reproduce... and she provided her pattern here (in french).
Left: The original inspiration - Right: Clmandco's self-made version
I was so impressed by her result that I decided it was going to be my next sweater.
The yarn is Laine Mohair et Soie by Phildar in "powder". It's 20% wool, 50% Mohair and 30% silk. I bought it on my trip to France last september.
The pattern was very straight forward, although I ended up making A LOT of changes. I first knitted 2 swatches but both came out with a higher number of sticthes and rows per 10cm (4in) square. I guess in that case you're supposed to use bigger needles and try again. Well, I didn't have bigger needles and didn't feel like making yet another swatch so I decided to recalculate the number of stitches based on my swatch and my measurements.
I made some fit adjustments as well: added 4 cm to the length below the waist, and made the top (above the chest) 2 cm shorter so that the armholes wouldn't be as low. I also made the bands at the bottom and wrists 6 cm instead of 10.
All this meant I had to recalculate pretty much everything: number of stitches to cast on, to decrease and increase, where to decrease and increase them, etc...I was still able to follow her chart for the front lace pattern, but somehow it looks like I ended up with a lot more repeats (probably cause I had more stitches for the same surface).
The sleeves are were it got really tricky. Because I had changed the height of the armholes (and therefore the circumference), I had to pretty much redraft the sleeve cap. I searched the web for some tips and found several very helpful tutorials/calculators:
This one to figure out where to do the increases when knitting the sleeve.
This one to calculate how many stitches to decrease when knitting the sleeve cap
and this one explaining where to do the decreases when knitting the sleeve cap in order to get the proper curves and match the armhole.
This was all pretty overwhelming at first, especially the last link, but once I'd read it a couple times, it made perfect sense and in the end, I managed to knit a proper sleeve cap.
Other tutorials that I used:
This one for setting in the sleeve before sewing, and this one on how to correctly pick up stitches to add the neck band at the end (the pattern has you knit the band seperately then sew it, but I preferred picking up stitches instead).
I started over a couple times, the back, the lace pattern, the first sleeve, but in the end, it was so worth it. I really love how this sweater turned out. The yarn is SOOO soft and I'm really happy with the final fit. It could be slightly tighter and the sleeves are a bit on the long side, but given all the calculations I had to make, I'm pretty happy with myself. This is definitely one of my favorite sweaters...ever.