Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Saved By The Hook

Remember my Lichen Shell? I got mad at it because it curled up at the bottom cast-on edge when I wore it. To be fair, it was just a plain long-tail cast-on there. No fancy anything to prevent it from curling. The pattern didn’t give any finish and the swatch was too small to curl. But I conquered that sucker! I repeated the same crochet finish that I gave the neck and armholes: a row of single crochet, followed by a row of reverse single crochet (aka crab stitch). And — TA-DA! — it worked. I am now very happy with my shell and I’m wearing it as I type.

I’ve learned that these type of sleeveless tops, particularly if there’s a cotton content (mine is 50% cotton) demand a negative ease to fit properly. Mine is only 1” smaller than my bust size but in this case, maybe because of the wool, it seems to be enough. You could go up to 3 or 4 inches though or even more for a completely ribbed top. Cotton stretches out enough to make it loose if you don’t make it tighter than you think you need to begin with. I also needed to ease the armholes and neckline in quite a bit with the crochet stitches to make it fit properly. I don’t think the pattern makes this at all clear. Since I have very narrow shoulders the armholes’ new snug fit curves over my shoulder bones smoothly with no gaps. The length comes a little more than an inch past my waist (what there is of it!) and on my pear-shaped body it has to stretch quite a bit if I don’t want it to ride up. If it sat right at my waist it wouldn’t do that but I don’t think that’s a good line for me, chopped off right in the middle. So where it comes is a good compromise.

Last evening we spent with the Stepping Stone mosaic project at our neighbour’s house. A bunch of the participants met to take the stones out of their moulds and clean the sand off. Then the Intrepid Vanessa pressure-washed them clean. Here’s our Darth Dragonfly before pressure washing but after cleaning:

And a bunch of the participants stones:

Aren’t they beautiful? Each one is quite wonderful and individual. Note the cool one in the front: yin/yang fish with a bird between like an Escher print. That one is Vanessa’s. And here she is in full washing gear:

Tonight it’s our turn to bring our pressure washer and help clean the second batch of stones. Hope my neck holds out. We still have to paint them with epoxy to protect them and deepen the colours. It’s been a really fun neighbourhood-bonding project. On Saturday we get to install ours on our public boulevard beside our house. More photos to come.

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