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. ๐Ÿ˜› ) 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? ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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

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Something New…

Lately, I’ve been a bit bored with my usual pursuits, and I ended up trying a couple of new creative outlets. Gel printing was one, and the other – weaving.

I experimented with a cardboard sheet, some reclaimed yarn from a UFO, and a tapestry needle. I cut notches into the cardboard to use as slots for warping the yarn. I wanted to see if I’d like the repetitive back and forth action of weaving.

It wasn’t bad, though it might have been a tad too repetitive. I’m guessing that was because I had no pattern or design to follow.

Something New - Weaving

I love the cheerful colors!

I made two striped placemat-like rectangles, the first with taut warp threads and a little less squishing of the weft thread, and the second with less tension in the warp threads plus more squished weft. The second one turned out just a big longer, if you haven’t guessed yet. ๐Ÿ™‚ It was fuller but also less neater. I like the weaving feel of the first attempt better, but I’m not sure if the warp was too tight. Hope that in time, I’ll learn what the right tension is.

Speaking of tension, beginner weavers need to be cautious about not working the weft too tightly. Tight weft causes the warp threads to get pulled towards the center, and the rectangle ends up with a narrower center compared to the edges. I was pleased to see that I had managed mostly constant width in the rectangles – not bad for a first attempt.

I made and fixed my first mistake too – I missed a warp thread and had to undo a couple of rows of weft to fix it. I miss knit-fixes that involve undoing only a column (or two) of stitches! ๐Ÿ˜› But now I wonder if I could have just left the mistake as is, and it would eventually have gotten hidden.

Something New - Weaving

Can you tell the first attempt from the second? ๐Ÿ™‚

I could retain these rectangles as placemats, or combine them with one or two more to make a table runner. Regardless of which route I’ll go, I thought a single-crochet border for each rectangle wouldn’t hurt.

I’m trying out a third rectangle. I’d like to use a pattern for it but I’m not sure if it’d work well, because the weft threads are too widely spaced apart. (After all, notches on these cardboard sheets can only be so close together.)

I’ve not decided yet if I like weaving, but I’m definitely going to try some more “crude” creations before I start wondering if investing in a loom will help me decide better. ๐Ÿ˜‰ What do you think – some basic tapestry after the third placemat/runner rectangle?

Tasseling Borders

I took yet another break from knitting — but only for a few days — during which my mom and I made tasseled fringes for some of our saris. We have a wedding to attend in a couple of months, and we really need to start finalizing apparels and accessories. I’m sure you know how fast time flies when you think you have lots of it, and before you know it, there’s just a week left and you haven’t done anything! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Tassels on Saris

These tassels don’t really take a long time to make, but I ended up spreading my work over a few evenings as usual. ๐Ÿ™‚ I made two-tiered tassels, the second tier created by using a half each from two adjacent tassels in the first tier. While I was chugging along on one sari, my mom finished her single tier tassels on two saris!

Aren’t the saris just gorgeous?

Textured shawl inspiration

Textured Shawl

I knit this shawl inspired by the notes jotted down in the Textured Shawl pattern by Orlane Designs. I think this was the first shawl that I ever knit (but it remained on the needles for a long while.) The notes vary the number of pattern rows, whereas I kept it constant, and I introduced two plain stockinette rows after every two pattern rows. Also, my shawl has a seed stitch border.

This shawl made me realize that triangular shawls aren’t my favorite. ๐Ÿ™‚ Not because they result in way too many stitches per row as the project progresses — it’s because they grow too long without getting wide enough. I’ve tried the common method of doubling the increases on the edges (i.e. increase every row on edges, but only every right-side row at the center) but I didn’t really like the slightly curved shape that the edge takes on.ย Kristen Hanley Cardozo mentions quite a few methods of shawl-shaping in her Craftsy post, but being the experiment-crazy person that I am, I’ve now started on a shawl that is mostly triangular-shawl-like in its increases, but I’ll work a lot of short rows in so it gets wider without growing long enough to reach my knees. It uses the fingering weight yarn that I mentioned earlier, so it’s going to be a long while before it’s done. Wish me luck! ๐Ÿ™‚

Eyelet-patterned raglan cardigan – finished!

The cardigan is finally done! For the edges, I finally ended up using a regular 1×1 ribbing. (Nothing like the ol’ ribbing for sweaters…) It went pretty slow because I was busy with other stuff, and then I had to wait for my sister to model it — she was busy with other stuff. She is, by the way, happy with how it looks and wears. Phew! [Wipes sweat off brow.] We finally got some time today to click pictures of the cardigan. Here it is —

Eyelet Cardigan

Eyelet Cardigan

While I was knitting the ribbing, I got to thinking more about the cast-off (bind-off.) For this cardigan, I simply cast off in pattern, i.e. continue with the 1×1 rib pattern while slipping the previous stitch off the right needle. It’s easy that way for top-down sweaters because all borders are knit towards the outside from the middle of the fabric. Whether it is the body and the sleeves — where one just switches to the ribbing after the last main row, or at the neck and the front — where one picks up stitches and makes the ribbing, the bind-off is the last row for all parts of top-down sweaters. Not so for bottom up ones knit in parts — there, the body and sleeves have borders whose bottommost rows are the cast-on rows, but for the neck and front, the bottommost row is the bind-off row. And that means that the cast-on stitch needs to match the bind-off stitch. So it’s research time, since I’m going to make my next cardigan in a bottom-up fashion.

The next step that I want to take is to write pattern instructions. Not for this cardigan — it has some increases that are non-uniform and need careful counting, and since patterns need to be written for various sizes, it’s more than I can handle. Next time I think of a relatively easier pattern, I’ll give instructions-writing a go!