Sally Melville claims you can’t make just one L’enveloppe, and I have to agree – I’ll be making another one of these in another color! What do you think? It’s not really a sweater, because it only has one sleeve and doesn’t come all the way to the waist. But it’s not really a shawl, because it has a neck opening and one sleeve. It’s just this warm yarn-y thing.
I know these photos aren’t great, but it turns out that this deep eggplant purple is really hard to photograph, especially in winter with all the light bouncing off the snow. I’m on the shady side of the house in the afternoon, but still have only a few photos where you can see the stitch definition. I did an unusual amount of swatching for this project (5 swatches!), especially since it is written for a generous FOUR different gauges (13, 14, 15, and 16 st/4”). Because the sweater I made with the first half of this handspun yarn was knit on a US 5 and I knew I wanted something with more drape, I started with a US 6. Then I did a 7. Then I tried holding this yarn and some Silky Wool left over from S1’s sweater together with a 9. Then an 8. Finally I settled on the handspun alone on a US 9. The only problem was that my gauge was 14.5 st/4”, not 14 or 15.
Once again, I turned to my old friend, Math, to solve this conundrum. I wanted a size M but ended up following the directions for size S worked in the 16 st/4” gauge. The numbers seemed to be what I was looking for, and it worked out pretty well. The L’enveloppe could be a wee bit more snug, but it’s not crazy big.
In some ways, this project reminds me of Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Baby Surprise Jacket. You knit this odd shape: Then you sew a seam that creates the neck opening. Next, you pick up stitches to make the cape-like cup that covers the left shoulder and knit those downward. And finally, you sew one more little seam that makes the single armhole. Then you have to figure out how to put it on! It’s like wearable origami.The pattern comes with instructions to make this in garter or seed stitch. I chose the garter to start with but my next one will be seed. I also think making a more neutral-colored version would be useful. This is the yarn I originally spun for SPAKAL 2012. I made the Leaflet sweater and had lots left over. I used all my leftovers here, but I also unraveled the button band from Leaflet. I realized I wasn’t really wearing it because it doesn’t fit right in the waist. I was happy to cannibalize from something I don’t wear for something I hopefully will. I still need to finish unraveling the rest of the sweater.
My finished L’enveloppe weighs 356 grams. I estimate that at 562 yards. Most of it was easy, mindless garter stitch worked over the winter break while traveling.