A Tale of Two Camellias

Last year, around this time, I stumbled across Stefanie Japel’s gorgeous Camellia pattern. Man, is it pretty or what? My family was set to spend Christmas in Southern California and I thought this would be the perfect thing to wear to Christmas dinner. Stylish, easy to knit and as a bonus, might hide some of the post baby flab I was still sporting last year. So I dove into my stash for some knit picks Sierra I’d squirreled away, and after about 20 hours in the car on the way to SoCal, I had this…

camellia 1

You’re probably thinking “Oh pretty”, just like I did when I finished the seams. However, this model and I share very little in the way of body shape. The bodice fit great but the sleeves were too short and too stiff (can you say bat girl?), and the body was way too short. I wore it at Christmas then shoved it into the closet with my stash.

But I couldn’t get the pattern out of me head. Before Ravelry came into my life, I tried looking for other people who had knit it, I found a couple who had made it with KnitPicks Sierra, and were also disappointed. Then, while shopping at Elann, I came across a great deal on Schaenmeyer Princess. It’s a microfibre tape yarn, that I originally thought I’d use to make a Red Carpet Convertible to wear to a friend’s wedding. When the yarn arrived I saw that it was very airy (i.e. little holes throughout the tape) and way different in texture than I assumed it would be when I saw it online. It would have made an awful RCC. But it was just perfect for a lighter, drapey-er Camellia. So I knit it up.

winning camellia

SOOOOO much better. This time I made the sleeves and the body pieces longer. Maude doesn’t do the softer sleeves justice but she’s pretty lacking in the arm department. This is a sweater I will wear. The other one? A visit to the frog pond and a makeover via Mondo Cable should mean two red sweaters in rotation this fall.

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