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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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! 😐

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.)

The Phoenix (My do-over pullover)

My pullover has risen again from its own ashes, and is now a beautiful sweater that I’m waiting for colder temperatures to wear! I absolutely adore this pullover! ❀

The Phoenix (my do-over pullover)

The Phoenix (my do-over pullover)

Of course, I did wear it to model it… Phew! The weather’s definitely way too hot for all this stuff. (Look at the glare from the sun seeping through the curtains!) I think I was fidgeting and the picture’s a bit blurry, but it’ll have to do.

The Phoenix pullover

So right now, the pullover’s neatly folded up, and is awaiting a ‘proper’ inauguration. Sleep well until winter, my pretty! πŸ™‚ (Did you know that’s called aestivation? The equivalent of hibernation, only, this happens in summer.)

Blood and Ash top

The two-tone top is done! I used up the entire skien of the gray yarn, right down to a tie-cord accessory πŸ˜‰ at the neck. I still have almost one skein of the red left, though. I’ll have to think of a project for it.

Blood and Ash top

Blood and Ash top

I’d mentioned earlier that I’d made a ribbed raglan for this top, and I continued with stockinette stitches for the body and sleeves. I used tight 1×1 cables for the edgings instead of simple eyelets that I’d thought of before, and it suits the rest of the top, I must say!

Blood and Ash top

I’m happy with the length of the top and the sleeves. (Phew! Glad the gray lasted — in the end, I was knitting from both ends of the skien and alternating between the sleeve rows.) I like the ease in the top as well. The cord at the neck is still too wiggly, but one more stretching treatment will hopefully fix it. The only problem I have is that it’s still super-hot weather here, and I want it to cool down fast so I can wear this one!

Two-tone top

Remember when I talked about my novice self strutting off and buying insufficient amount of yarn for stranded knitting? Yeah, in the same shopping spree, I’d also bought another insufficient set — 3 red and 1 gray skeins of the same yarn that I used for my horizontal cables sweater.

Before I bought the yarn, I’d given some thought to the placement of the stranded knitting areas, but now, I knew that working on stranded knitting would result in a short jacket at most. And the placement I’d thought of won’t do for a short jacket. So instead of stranded knitting, I decided to knit a two-tone raglan top / sweater with the yarn.

Since the top would just be stockinette stitches, I decided to add some ribbing along the raglan shaping, and finish all edges with some simple, discreet eyelets. (Weird combination, I know, but that’s me! πŸ˜› ) This is how the raglan ribbing looks for the red body and gray sleeve —

Blood-and-Ash two tone top

The yarn is worsted weight, which means the progress is so much faster on this! I’m going to name it the Blood and Ash top. πŸ™‚ These colors do make a good combination, don’t they?

Vanilla and Liquorice Cardigan

The Vanilla and Liquorice cardigan is now finished, and is lying in my mom’s closet. It was already done a couple of weeks ago, but I was too lazy to click pictures of it. I eventually ended up presenting the cardigan to my mom on her birthday. (My sister thought that was very calculating of me, but I assure you, there was nothing calculating about it. πŸ˜‰ )

Vanilla and Liquorice cardigan

Vanilla and Liquorice cardigan

I mentioned in my previous post that the neck was really not in a great shape for the ribbing. To maintain the shape of the neck, I had to eventually make some increases at two places on each side of the body while knitting the ribbing. I still don’t really like how it turned out, but my mom thinks it’s salvaged well enough — she really didn’t like me undoing the yoke. So for now, it’s fine since she’s fine! πŸ™‚ For future projects, I think I’ll need to adjust the yoke cast-on stitches to not contain more than 1 stitch for the neck — that should prevent this quandary.

Vanilla and Liquorice cardigan

As for more projects, I’m knitting shawls these days, because sometimes sweaters are just too warm, and shawls certainly finish faster than sweaters. πŸ™‚