Just a word about Manos Serena, the yarn I’ve chosen. An unusual blend of two soft and luxurious fibres, baby alpaca and pima cotton, it’s truly exquisite and beautiful. Unfortunately it’s also quite eye-wateringly expensive – £10 for 50g! I had to grit my teeth a bit before I ordered it, although I was in no doubt it was the perfect yarn for this project.
It also has a tension that’s nothing remotely like the Sirdar Calico the original pattern was knitted in. I had to go down a needle size from 5mm to 4mm to get the pattern to look right, and it’s thinner anyway (more like a 4ply) which means I have about 50% more stitches! So I have to recalculate the pattern completely. That’s fine because I wanted to knit the back and fronts all in one piece anyway, so I’ve worked out the width of the original three pieces, added them all together, calculated how many stitches I need in the Manos and then rounded it down to a number that’s divisible by my pattern repeat to make it nice and easy (I also took a couple of repeats out to make it fit a size 8 more snugly instead of the 8-10 of the original). Of course, I’ll have to do a bit more maths once I get to decreasing for the neck, and the sleeve caps could be quite interesting, but hopefully it will all work out nice and logically – that’s if I’ve measured my tension right of course! If not – it could be a disaster!