The Haubergeon Blouse

After completing the forever sleeve(s) of the Haubergeon Sweater-based blouse that I was making for my mom, the body knitted up quickly. Blocking soon followed, and my mom has already worn it a few times now! (Mornings are finally a bit colder here…)

I can definitely say that I loved the knit, even if the tiny cables on the sleeves drove me a bit crazy. (But I’m already forgetting the difficulty of the cables – see, it was a great idea to tackle the sleeves first after splitting at the armhole! Plenty of time to recover while working on the body. πŸ˜› ) I like that even with my modifications to the original bottom-up instructions to make the project top-down, it doesn’t look too weird.

Haubergeon Blouse

There’s one thing that I really, really hope to take away from this project – and that’s not to use yarns of lighter weight for pullovers / no-button blouses, regardless of how much we like its color. I use the magic loop method on circular needles to knit in the round, and while it works fine for heavier yarn, the presence of ladders at the beginning of a new loop seems to be a given for lighter weight ones. I managed to tweak the stitches before and during blocking to get rid of the ladders, but their ghosts still linger… (I could buy a bunch of DPN’s instead, and try to get rid of the dread that I feel working with them.)

Another minor issue is that I used 2.75mm needles for this, and though I thought the stitches looked fine on my swatch, they don’t appear too tight now on the blouse. But maybe it’s just me, because my mom didn’t seem too bothered.

Current projects

As for this month, I haven’t started on another knitting project yet since I wanted to concentrate on the Linen and Threads Mystery SAL’s final section for the year. However, there’s not been much progress on the cross-stitching either, because design alterations! (Did you guess that? πŸ˜‰ ) This month’s section circles back to the January one, with a human surrounded by flora and fauna. There was too much empty space at the bottom of the current section due to the long dress that the person wore, and I ended up cutting the dress so I could trim down the space at the bottom to match the top of the project. And since I’d already hem-stitched the bottom border when I’d started the project, I undid and redid it along the new border.

I colored the chart, and now the cross stitch is limping along, but I’m in the mood for knitting again, and have started looking for brioche stitch projects. Does this mean I might not complete the cross stitch by year’s end? I don’t know, and I don’t mind if I don’t. πŸ™‚

That’s me so far this month. How are your projects coming along?

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The Forever Sleeve

I’ve been knitting a blouse for my mom, based on a pattern in a Knitting Traditions issue – the Haubergeon Sweater. This sweater has a plain body, with a lovely crisscrossing cable pattern on the sleeves that caught my mom’s eye.

The color that my mom prefers was not available in the suggested yarn weight, and we bought a thinner yarn. From my previous experience with mom, I’ve realized it’s better to knit top-down for her and keep making her try the project frequently. Since this sweater is knit bottom-up, I was going to have to change the knitting direction anyway, so adjusting stitch and row count for a different gauge shouldn’t be too problematic.

Once I read through the pattern and understood it, converting it was definitely not much of a hassle, taking into account the inevitable differences from turning a bottom-up pattern into a top-down one. (Especially the visual differences between increases and decreases.) What I didn’t expect was how long the project would go on – the cable pattern has crisscrosses in every row, and with the thinner yarn, it’s taking forever! I’ve now reached the armhole, and have continued with the sleeves, because I certainly don’t want to tackle the body first and end up having to come back to these cables. πŸ˜‰

Haubergeon Sweater - Sleeve

The looks-beautiful but takes-forever sleeve…
The picture is a bit blurry, but it accurately represents how I start seeing the sleeve after a few rows of knitting. πŸ™‚

Since November has brought with it a new section of the Linen and Threads Mystery Sampler SAL, I’m going to switch over to it while continuing to knit a row or two of the sleeves at a time.

Textured Blouse

Can you believe it, my mom’s blouse is ready! I think this is the quickest I’ve ever produced a garment. πŸ™‚

While the knit itself was pretty boring because (a) simple pattern and (b) this project occupied every free moment I had, I’m satisfied with how it turned out. The texture is just awesome!

Seed Stitch Textured Blouse

I used a slipped seed stitch variation for the body and sleeves, and garter stitch for all the borders. The slipped stitches give some denseness to the fabric, and I think that works well for the frogged yarn. The yarn obviously doesn’t feel the same as before, but it’s still soft and maintains a slight sheen, so that’s good.

The original seed stitch pattern is worked on the wrong side to avoid purling, but I changed it to right side since I was trying out combination knitting anyway. (I think I like combination knitting. I’ll probably use that in my next project as well.) So my 4-row pattern repeat is:

  1. [p1, sl1 wyib] to end of row. (RS)
  2. Purl.
  3. [sl1 wyib, p1] to end of row.
  4. Purl.

At the raglan seam, I used a (k1, p1, k1) on the RS and purls on the WS.

My mom has already worn it, and this time, I can tell she really likes it. Phew! (And hurrah! πŸ™‚ ) As for the design, however, I think the neck, again, needs to be even smaller for her next blouse — a tighter crew-neck, that is.

Seed Stitch Textured Blouse

I need a short break from the incessant knitting, and then, it’s time to finish those sleeves for my top!

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™‚