Thanks so much for the lovely comments on my ai-dyed sweater, people! It’s so nice to know someone appreciates my crafty fun and my ramblings about same. You’ve seen all this before but I realised that I hadn’t done a formal post about the sweater so now that it’s completely finished, here ya go:
Begun: June 21, 2011
Completed: July 30, 2011
Yarn: slub rayon weaving yarn from the stash, white, used doubled. About 250g
Needles: Addi Lace 24” circulars, 5mm. Denise interchangeables, 4.5 and 5mm, Clover Takumi dpns, 5mm.
Comments: I swatched but I still wasn’t sure about the gauge so just plunged right in! I figured lengths could be modified if necessary. I made the body slightly longer (maybe an inch?) and the collar/fronts to just over 6” and otherwise followed the pattern for a medium. It was perfect!
The reason for so many needles was the difficulty I had with the sleeves. I tried 5 dpns but they were too heavy to be comfortable. Then I tried 2 circulars with the Denise (larger size on the leading edge, smaller on the trailing) but they left ladders and were fiddly. So I went back to 4 dpns which was better.
Of course I was not about to leave the sweater white so I dyed it in my first-ever batch of Japanese indigo, 3 dips. Now it’s a lovely sky blue. For some reason the cuffs blocked out to bell shapes even though they were knitted straight down. Curious. I’m very happy with how this sweater came out. Light and slinky and kind of elegant. Also it was a great use for the weaving yarn I’ve had kicking around for at least a decade.
And as if I haven’t shared enough silly photos of me, here’s the scoop on my finished tunic dress:
Fabric: cotton single-knit jersey, 60” wide, 2 metres, originally lavender-purple, scrunch-dyed in Procion MX (plum, green, black).
Notions: Gutermann sewing thread, deep burgundy-violet. Serger thread, dark grey.
Comments: A SM is still quite large! It took most of the width of the fabric as well as the length to cut the two pieces out. The darts were totally in the wrong place so I lowered them. Did an inch or so FBA too and raised the armholes and neckline. Added a ½” to the back armhole and shaved ¼” off the front. Tilted the shoulder seams (perhaps a little too far?) but they still need the shoulder point to come forward ½”. Also to really hide my bra straps properly, the shoulders should be wider and the neckline should be narrower. It will be fine over a t-shirt though and I found one with tight short sleeves that will fit into the armholes.
I did a doubled narrow hem on the armhole and neckline openings as well as the squared-off bottom edge. Nearly singed my fingers with the steam iron! I wasn’t super-happy with the bust darts when I was done so I tapered the points another ½” toward the apex. Guess I shouldn’t have listened to the Interweave Stitch directions for sewing them and just done them the way I usually do? Or maybe it was trying to put darts in a knit? (It’s supposed to be for a woven such as linen or lightweight dupioni.) I added doubled ties to the corners but it looks awful tied right at butt level. The curve would need to come up about 3” or so to look good! So the ties are decorative only. This pattern still has a few issues…
Otherwise I like the tunic quite a lot. It’s a little funky but not over-the-top. Also a black one would be handy, no?
And lastly, here’s the finished shawl fresh from its blocking:
Black Rock Shawl
Begun: June 9, 2011
Completed: July 29, 2011
Yarn: JaggerSpun Zephyr wool-silk, 2/18, Ebony (black), 250g/1000m cone. Used 55g (605 yds).
Needles: Addi Lace 24” circulars, 4mm.
Comments: This one gave me a hard time like I just knew it would! First I made mistakes in the lace edging necessitating frogging partway a couple of times. The Rock Island lace pattern went ok but then I dropped a stitch several inches down in the plain top section. Fixed that with difficulty and finally finished the thing but noticed the central double decrease went wonky somewhere in the middle of the plain top section. Plus there was a stitch missing somewhere. Dropped down and picked back up the centre decrease section but never did find the lost stitch. If you look closely at the centre top there’s a glitch! But that will be around my neck so nobody will ever notice.
Troubles aside, this is a lovely shawl and the pattern is carefully written and well worth the US$6 to Brooklyn Tweed.
So now what’s next on the list? I’ve had a spate of Startitis due to having had nothing on the needles for a day or two. Oh No! First I started a new pair of plain socks for T-Man out of this Confetti sock yarn that I dyed last August:
It’s only been marinating in the stash for a year! Some of T’s socks are getting a little thin so I thought it was time to start replenishing the supply before they all wear out. I’m calling these the Segue Socks because the colours shift from grey-blue at the top to burgundy to brown due to the particular dye technique used.
Looking forward to colder weather again (yikes!) I also started the Cabled Feather Cowl, a free pattern by Cindy Craig. I’m using a skein of Kertzer On Your Toes bamboo/nylon sock yarn in – you guessed it – black. Seems I’m a sucker for knitting black things this summer! I went up a needle size to 5mm since it looked better with this yarn and I didn’t like how the photos of others’ cowls looked a bit “pinched”. I like them floppier. So far I’m one repeat in of the 8 feather-and-fan-plus-cable pattern and it’s looking good.
More anon. Gotta get out to the garden and schlep some fish fertiliser around. We’re finally having some summer and I don’t want to miss it!