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™‚

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! 😐

Bamboo eyelet cardigan begins

My Fair Cardi is now deemed to be a morning / midday project, since the black color of the yarn is not very work-friendly in the ambient light of evenings. As a result, its progress has slowed down. Looks like my sister has a bit of a wait ahead for her cardigan. Either that or I’ll have to use up a few vacation days. πŸ™‚

My evening project is now a cardigan that I’m making from yarn that I originally bought to make a top. Could yarn shortage be a problem? Nah! I’m using a large gauge, since I’d like the sweater to be airy without incorporating lace or eyelets.

Well, that’s not entirely true.Β I wanted a column of some pattern for the back of this cardigan. Bamboo eyelet was one of the earliest eyelet patterns I looked up, and I used that here. I modified the position of the eyeletsΒ to make them move around a bit. So essentially, though it doesn’t look like bamboo anymore, I’m still calling it bamboo eyelet cardigan.

Bamboo eyelet cardigan - progress

I’m mostly done knitting the back, and consequently, with the bamboo eyelet pattern too. The front and sleeves are plain stockinette, and since I consider that boring, I hope I finish the pieces soon. πŸ™‚

So it’s My Fair Cardi!

My next project is a sweater for my sis. We’d talked about what she’s looking for in it, and she’d said she wanted some eyelets in its bottom half, and a solid top half with some pattern. So naturally, I thought about the Feather and Fan pattern, since my fellow knitting/crochet blogger, Kat, had just talked about her Sage Remedy Top, and I thought the pattern there resembled it.

So I looked up the pattern to refresh my memory, and I found that what I’d always thought of as Feather and Fan pattern is actually the Old Shale pattern! Feather and Fan turns out to be a completely different pattern, and Sarah points out the differences in a recent post.

Sarah’s post also mentions projects that use Old Shale pattern, and I came upon My Fair Cardi. It’s a pretty simple design, and I’d thought of exactly that for the bottom half, so I showed it to my sis. She thought the cardigan looked good as is, with Old Shale in both halves. Even the shape of the neck was to her liking. Alright then, problem solved! I could just use this pattern.

The cardigan is a bottom-up raglan construction, and is knit in pieces — sleeves, front, and back — all the way, and the pieces are joined raglan-style in the very end. Um, when I’m knitting a bottom-up raglan cardigan, I like to knit the body as one piece, knit the sleeves, and join all the pieces at the armhole and knit them together. So that’s a slight deviation from the pattern for me — other than the usual deviations to account for changes in measurements to conform to my (or in this case, my sister’s) preferences.

So I knitted a swatch, and readied my excel worksheet to track my pattern deviations, and started on the project. Since Old Shale is mostly stockinette stitches, it’s knitting up fast, compared to my previous chock-full-of-tiny-cables project. Exciting times! πŸ˜‰

My Fair Cardi progress - sleeve

I’m knitting the sleeve flat, a departure from my previous raglan projects. I think I’m beginning to like the distinct seam it results in when the edges are joined, instead of the faux ‘purl column’ seam that I add when knitting sleeves in the round. (And there’s a picot edge! I like that edge.)