When I bought the yarn for my mother-in-law's Nutkin tunic, I also ordered eight skeins of this natural colored alpaca wool blend for myself. It is Berroco Ultra Alpaca. I had intended to make another Nutkin for myself, since I had given my original one to my Mom, but after knitting two of them, I felt the need for a change. I followed the stitch count for the upper chest of a XS Nutkin, but then started doing my own thing. I remembered the gathered stitch pattern that I used on two Olearia cardigans for the little babe and I decided to try a variation of that. When I got to the bottom hem, I wasn't sure if I wanted pockets in a garter stitch band like on the Nutkin, but decided against it so I just did a couple rows of garter. The project was feeling like a full on squishy sweater instead of a tunic, so I decided on long sleeves. For the neck, I had really wanted this to be a cowl neck sweater so that I could have the soft and squishy alpaca around my neck. After picking up the neck stitches, I did about five inches of straight stitch, but it just wasn't draping right. I then added another three inches hoping that added length was just what it needed, but no, a cowl wasn't meant to be. The neckline is too square and close to the neck. So I frogged out all of that, cast on and did a couple rows of garter stitch. It just wasn't working. So I frogged THAT, plus a couple more rows, and decided to try one section of the gathered stitch pattern. Bingo!
When pressed to make a comment about it, my husband said, "I wouldn't pick it out for you." I suspect he thinks it is too frumpy in the middle, but I like the pattern. As with everything I make for myself, I have been wearing it non-stop since I finished it. The 50/50 wool/alpaca blend is super warm. The sleeves are in between 3/4 and full, not for any reason other than that I got tired of knitting with double pointed needles. I put a lot of hours into knitting AND frogging this mash-up of a Nutkin/Olearia/Katie experiment and I am happy with the results. And the best part is that it only took five skeins, so I have three left for my next project!