A February Lady, of Course!
This is kind of an easy out since the February Lady sweater has no less than 5588 projects listed on Ravelry and is in 8911 queues. I'd still like to take the time to discuss this sweater and what makes it most popular for women of all sizes.
First of all, any pattern that does this:
to a full baby-belly, earns a free pass in my book. I know all pregnancies are different, but my babies all allowed me to wear regular clothes way into the gestation, but also forced me to wear maternity long after they had exited the uterus.
NonStopKnitter used Lion Brand Cotton-Ease in the Lake Colourway and size us8 needles. I like the idea of cotton for this sweater (I'm moving into a Louisiana summer here where the thought of wool gives me hives.) but I think the acrylic in this yarn keeps it lighter than pure cotton and doesn't let it get weighed down.
Next, Rosape used Cascade 220 and size us7 needles on her xs version.
The smaller gauge and fitted size keep this sweater from becoming too boxy, which is a complaint I got from Katjab on her version (below). 220 is a great yarn for anything that needs structure and shape, so it's perfect for a fitted Feb. Lady. In a larger size, however, a more drapy fabric might be necessary to keep the sweater from hugging the wrong curves or making a baby bump where none exists.
Katjab gave me this example of a sweater that does nothing for her figure. I agree that it does nothing for her figure (and you'll see why in my next post) but it is a good example of how this pattern, with the right yarn and fit, can be a beautiful camouflage for those lumps and bumps our babies leave us.
Katjab used Dream in Color Classy Merino and size us8 needles on this xs version. This illustrates how important yarn selection and gauge are to the finished product.
The February Lady Sweater can be knit up to either hide or enhance. In a more structured yarn and smaller gauge, the sweater will be a nice fitted cardigan. Add a little drape and bigger gauge, and the sweater floats away from the body and pretty buttons can draw the eye up towards the face. This sweater probably won't give you sexy in the way Corona can, but what it lacks in sex appeal, it makes up for in versatility.
What are your experiences with February Lady? Were you going for fitted or loose? Did you have more luck with Cotton or Wool? Did anyone try this in a Linen or Silk blend? Link us to your projects that either worked or fell flat.