After an interminable and blistering summer here in Southern France (as in many parts of the Northern Hemisphere), it seems blessed rain and colder weather are finally upon us. This is great timing for the release of MarionKnits‘ latest pullover, the aptly named Furnace!
I was honoured to be part of the testers for the English version of the design. I have long admired Marion’s sweater designs – her Straight to my Heart is also in my queue. Marion creates intricate pieces where every tiny detail has been thoughtfully pondered. You can see from the pictures here that this pullover packs many striking features – and I didn’t even include them all!
I hadn’t yet knit a design from Marion and I was impressed with the thoroughness and clarity of the instructions. You will definitely not feel like you are knitting a badly-translated version of a French pattern! Marion’s use of English is impeccable.
The pullover is knit in fingering weight and is knit seamlessly from the top down; it features a delicately rounded neckline, an intricate panel of cables running down both the front and back, and a line of texture at the sides. The original version also has ribbing winding down the sleeves, and a high-low hem.
With Marion’s kind permission I altered the design to suit my (slightly more sedate) style, stopping just above the high-low hem and omitting the ribbing at the sleeves – the reason for the latter being that I had been needing to alternate all three of my skeins throughout the design, and when it came to the sleeves I couldn’t face alternating 3 skeins AND handling the complex ribbing on this small circumference.
Sizing: The sizes go from a bust circumference of 77 cm to 136 cm (30″ to 53½”). I knit the second size up (87cm/34″) with zero ease, and I love the fit. I have mostly been knitting sweaters with a lot of positive ease this year, so this is a nice variation in my wardrobe.
The gauge is 25 stitches for 10 centimetres. I used just shy of 1,000 metres (just above 1,000 yards) – but the original version uses more yardage due to the longer hem at the back.
With the intricate cables and delicate shaping, this is no beginner’s project, nor was it a quick one – it was my major knitting project over the summer. But I love alternating easier, mindless projects with more striking and demanding ones. Knitting a sophisticated pattern is so gratifying and this is a unique piece in my wardrobe that I will wear with pride.
I am smitten with my pullover, not least because the yarn, The Uncommon Thread Uncommon Everyday in the ‘Pontus’ shade, was a gift from my friend Marianne; and knitting her generous gift filled my heart with joy. 💙 I absolutely adore this colour!
This test knit was a wholly enjoyable experience, with a more than generous deadline and wonderful communication with Marion. I really want to knit her Straight to my Heart now, and will be on the lookout for her future calls for test knitting.
Furnace is currently available as part of a kit through The Squirrel’s Yarns (Lisa is a lovely lovely yarn dyer in France), and will be available for individual purchase on Ravelry on 15 November, 2018.