Pattern: Ribbed Lace Bolero by Kelly of "10 feet high"
Yarn: Cascade 220, 100% Peruvian highland wool, Color #9469 "Hot Pink"
Needles: Knit Picks Options, US size 7 (4.5mm) and 9 (5.5mm), on 24" cord
I have never seamed up purl stitches before, but I think I did well - yay!
I used wool instead of a wool/cotton blend, and of course, I adjusted the pattern to suit my size, and I adjusted my needle size accordingly. I like knitting Cascade 220 with 4.5mm needles (for ribbing or stockinette stitch), and my stitches wouldn't fit on the 6.5mm needles when I switched to the lace pattern, so I used the the next smaller size that I owned, 5.5mm, for the lace.
This is a good fit but not a perfect fit. The pattern suggests that the length of the bolero should be the circumference of your upper arm; however, my bolero "sleeves" end near my shoulders, a wider spot than my upper arm. I seamed less of the edges together to give me more arm room. It's still a smidgen tight at the arms, but I'd rather too tight than too roomy and slouchy. I hope with washing that it will widen to fit.
The bolero fits like sleeve caps, which emphasize upper arms - not exactly what I wanted to do. I like cropped sweaters, boleros, shrugs and such because they HIDE my upper arm flub. Yep, my 10" circumference arms are FLUB. I better start workouting with my 3-pound weights. ;)
I think I could have knit this 1-2" less wide and blocked this to fit since the bolero is more than wide enough to fit shoulder to shoulder.
Pattern: This is a super easy pattern - probably not suitable for a first project but possibly a second project. I spotted no pattern errors, and it gives a detailed explanation how to adjust the pattern size if you are not mathematically inclined. The design is simple but ingenious because you knit a rectangle that is then sewn up to a bolero shape. The lace pattern looks fab but it's a mindless two-row repeat. By the end of my rectangle, I was thoroughly tired of it, but luckily, this was a very quick knit.
The Yarn: I always love Cascade 220 wool. It feels great to knit with, it's flexible but not too stretchy, and it's got a slight fuzzy halo just perfect for any wool. Best of all, I LOVE this color pink. Sadly, this project wasn't as big a stash buster as I had hoped. I used roughly 1.15 skeins, using the second skein only for the last 6 rows of ribbing, bind off, and seaming.
The Needles: This is the second time I've used the Options needles, and they feel wonderful to work with. They are light and maneuverable with a very flexible cord. Love 'em!
This is definitely a bolero meant to keep my shoulders warm on a cool summer's night. I wish I had finished this sooner because it's going to be packed away with my other summer clothes for the next few months - sad!