Some Progress, and a Restart

The Progress — Through Thick and Thin

I completed the front of my stripey top, and joined the two pieces too. So technically, it’s now wearable. πŸ˜‰ I can’t wait to complete the sleeves so I can actually wear it.

Through Thick and Thin - body

This is the easiest project ever when it comes to seaming the sides. No pins, no markers required — just align the stripes from the two pieces while seaming, and voila, before you know it, there’s an almost seamless-looking join! πŸ˜€

But… However well this project is going, I’m going to put it aside for a while so I can redo another project.

The Restart — A Textured Blouse

Remember the wavy cabled cardigan that I knit for my mom? Though she was happy with it, quite a few things differed from her expectations, apparently. Throughout the project, I’d made adjustments here and there to fit her not-always-clear requirements, but her final list now comprises a smaller neck and a shorter body. Sigh! It’s so not fun seeing her in a sweater that doesn’t quite fit her needs. So I offered to redo it — with the same yarn, since she likes the feel and color of it.

This time, however, I’m knitting a raglan-style top-down blouse so (a) there’s less fiddling around with pieces, and smaller chance of playing yarn chicken, and (b) my mom can evaluate the size of the neck and the length of the body as early as possible. Also, I’m not using the earlier wavy pattern — it takes ages to work the frequently occurring tiny cables. I made some swatches of other stitches and patterns, and my mom liked a variation of the slip stitch. The stitch does look different here because of the gauge and the top-down knit; but my mom considers it suitable for her blouse. (I hope she doesn’t change her mind about it later.)

Slip/Seed Stitch Squared Blouse

I’ll work exclusively on this project until it’s done. It’s already cold here due to incessant rains, and winter is coming not far behind; it’d be so gratifying if my mom gets to use this blouse for the purpose she’d intended — to get through chilly mornings without wearing a full-fledged sweater.

Oh, by the way, I’ve been knitting continental, but with this project, I’m trying out combination knitting! It’s keeping me on my toes, and I like it so far. It reminds me of the time I learned to knit — I used to purl the ‘wrong’ way, and it was indeed wrong, because I would end up twisting those stitches and wondering why the row was so tight. πŸ™‚

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Through Thick and Thin; The Difficult Yarn

Uh oh, the neck seemed to be coming along nicely, but when I join the left and right segments, the stripe at the join distorts. My sis and I remember owning a striped top a long time ago that distorted similarly, but I’m not really keen to have it remain distorted like this.

Through Thick and Thin top - neck stripe distortion
Is the tension at the edges of the neck too tight, making the fabric scrunch up at the join? I’ve tried to keep the edges as loose as I possibly can without the slack propagating to adjacent stitches. Is there some trick or tip that can straighten it right now, or will it get fixed when blocked? I hope it becomes undistorted. And if it doesn’t despite my best efforts, well, then I’ll just wear it anyway! πŸ˜›

Through Thick and Thin top - ribbing
Meanwhile, this is how the junction of stockinette and ribbing looks with TECHknitter’s tip. The knit stitches have consistently appeared pretty seamless, and the texture doesn’t do a visible ‘step up’ at the ribbing, so that officially makes this tip a staple in all my ribbing transitions! πŸ™‚

The difficult yarn :-)
As for a design for my sister’s cardigan, I’ve tried samples of a few vertical striping ideas that I had, and none seem to look that good. The color of this yarn is just gorgeous, but it doesn’t seem to lend itself well to stripey looks. πŸ™‚ My usual sources of inspiration, Ravelry and Pinterest, don’t have much that we liked either. If I don’t come up with a viable design soon, we’ll probably change our preference to something else. Wish me luck!

Through Thick and Thin – progress

I’m almost done with the back portion of the top, and will finish it with a k3p2 ribbing. I’ve been using TECHknitter’s tip for a more uniform, less distorted fabric at the transition from stockinette to ribbing. And I must say it works great! Ah, the magic of slipped stitches! πŸ™‚ I’m looking forward to seeing how the transition looks on this top.

Through Thick and Thin top -- progress

Speaking of slipped stitches, I decided to knit this top as separate front and back parts since I didn’t want to deal with jogless stripes. But I guess I’ll end up dealing with them when I knit the sleeves, since I’m gonna knit them in the round. They’ll be pretty short below the armhole, and I’m really not interested in knitting them flat and sewing the seams.

I love the colors in this one, and like the appearance of the pattern on the reverse side too, and I wish I knew of some good ways of joining seams and weaving in ends so this could be a reversible top! Knitting it the Raglan way would avoid seams, of course, but there seems to be no escaping the weaving in of yarn ends. πŸ™‚ (Also, Raglan is fine for sweaters, but for tops, I like the more fitted shape of non-Raglan construction.)

I’m in the stripey mood right now, and for a sweater that I’m planning to make for my sis, I’m thinking vertical stripes! πŸ™‚ My sister is okay with this. (Hurrah!) I’ve still not figured out much of the details yet, and I’m hoping the design will come to me soon. If it ends up being stripes, I also need to find some compatible yarn that would be a good color match — we’d bought just the main color back then.

Through Thick and Thin

It’s on the needles! The stripey top that I decided to work on is now underway. I’ve decided to name all my projects hoping that it’ll make me more attached to them, and they don’t end up getting abandoned or frogged. Let’s see if I stay with this one Through Thick and Thin. πŸ˜›

Through Thick and Thin Top

I’m knitting this top as an alternating duo of 1-row and 3-row yellow stripes on a violet background. No fancy stitches here, just plain stockinette, since I want the stripes to be the highlight of this garment. I’d thought of a classic pattern with only the thicker stripes in there, but I quite like how the thinner ones make the pattern look less busy / jarring. (I get that feeling with stripes sometimes.) Does that make the pattern contemporary? πŸ˜‰

As I mentioned in a previous post, I love knitting with the stretchy Nako Comfort Stretch yarn — it totally works for light garments like tees and tops — and I already admire how the stitches look. It’s gonna take me a while to finish this project since this yarn is sock weight, but I’m sure it’ll remain interesting till the end. Hope you’re all ready for monotonous updates with more and more stripes. πŸ˜› (I’ll have to come up with something else interesting for these updates…)

My only complaint (if it can be called that) is that there’s no use for bright, blingy stitch markers in this project since it doesn’t involve convoluted patterns! πŸ˜› I think I’ll just pop one or two in there nevertheless, just for the fun of sliding around tiny shiny things. πŸ™‚

Guess who’s ready to swatch?

Ready for a new project

My knitting mojo’s back! (That break wasn’t very long, was it? πŸ˜› ) I’ll not go back to the bamboo eyelet cardigan, but I’ll not frog it either — it’s folded up for now, and its fate remains undecided.

I’m all ready for a new project, though. I’d liked working with Nako Comfort Stretch sock-weight yarn on a shawl earlier, so I’d bought some more of it for a top, which IΒ  think will be the project I’ll take up. I’ll knit a swatch tonight, and then it’ll be designing time! All I know right now is that I want the top to be stripey; I have a smaller quantity of the same yarn in a different color for the stripes. It’ll be fun figuring this one out. πŸ™‚

Potential froggings and possible breaks

Bamboo eyelet cardigan - progressUntil a couple of weeks ago, my bamboo eyelet cardigan was coming along nicely, when suddenly, I started to not really like how it was shaping up. I don’t have a reason for why I don’t like it — I just don’t. I don’t feel like continuing to work on it, but I don’t feel like frogging it either. I do appreciate the effort I put in to make sure the left and right front pieces mirror each other.

I thought giving it a break and working on something else might help, but I haven’t felt like working on anything yarn-related. I’ve been trying out jewelry stuff, though. Maybe it’s not the cardigan, maybe it’s just that I’m not in the mood for yarny things, and need a break from knitting.

So for now, I’m gonna just throw this project into my UFO basket (only figuratively… I don’t really have a UFO basket) and decide its fate later, when this phase of mine is over.

My Fair Cardi

Yes! I do love how this cardigan turned out. Black outfit, wavy eyelets and little buttons — what’s not to like? πŸ˜‰

My Fair Cardi - back

And I think it’s awesome how the simple Old Shale pattern makes for this wavy, beautiful look. I’ve always liked this pattern (though I used to call it Feather and Fan pattern, like a lot of people do) and now, I like it more. πŸ™‚ I’d wanted to incorporate Old Shale into a different project before I started working on this one. I still want to use it in the other project, maybe I’ll think of a different way.

My Fair Cardi - Old Shale pattern

Back to this project, though. When I think raglan, I always think top-to-bottom construction, but in this bottom-to-top project, it was easier to fix the holes that invariably form at the armhole — the ones at the joins / splits of body and sleeves. The fixer stitches always look weird to me in top-to-bottom sweaters, and they were much better here. Or maybe it’s because it’s black. πŸ˜‰ I should try a bottom-to-top project with a lighter color to see if this experience repeats.

Overall, the general fit, the edgings, and the buttonholes all turned out fine, but as with all my projects, there’s always that something that doesn’t exactly match the expectations of the intended recipient. πŸ™‚ In this case, it’s the neck, which turned out larger than what my sister was hoping for.

If she didn’t want the sweater, I’d be too happy to snatch it away from her (though it won’t fit me exactly the same.) But turns out she does want it! 😐