Through Thick and Thin

Finally, I got to finish my stripey top, block it, and click a picture of it!

Through Thick and Thin Top

Through Thick and Thin Top

I completed knitting the top last week, and though Nako Comfort Stretch yarn doesn’t really need much blocking, I’d wanted to block the neckline to see if it would fix the distortion of the yellow stripe near the neck join. And our heating iron broke just in time! (I need to steam block since this is not wool.) I got to the blocking only after the weekend ended.

The yellow stripe is not really fixed from the blocking — but it does look better than it did before blocking. Or is it just that I’ve gotten used to it? I couldn’t find the time to click photos earlier in the week, but I wore it to work already, and… I got no compliments, because it “looked store-bought, not handmade.” I guess that’s a compliment? πŸ™‚

I’d thought earlier that I’ll need to knit jogless stripes for the sleeves, but I ended the sleeves soon after the armhole because that suited the top, and no jogless technique was needed. Maybe in a different project!

I’d also tried adding a little heart on the chest using duplicate stitch, but it didn’t look very good, so of course I removed it.

A small but helpful thing that I do these days (as I did for this top too) is weaving in ends as I go. It makes a huge difference for me — my brain is done with sweater projects when the body is done, and even knitting sleeves is an effort of will, so I absolutely hate weaving in ends after I’m ‘officially’ done with the project. Tackling it then and there makes it so much easier! (Now, if only I tackle other things in my life then and there… πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜› )

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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™‚

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™‚

Triangles in the works

My first multicolor project (which I mentioned while talking about a different sweater) is still going on. Not the multicolor part — no, I finished that. Here’s how it looks…

Triangles top - front

I got the idea for the triangles when I saw a character in a TV series wearing a top that had a lot of triangles in it. And the only way I would get tiny triangles was if I knit using a fingering weight yarn. I did quick tests with some larger-weight yarns and didn’t like how they looked. The fingering weight yarn is silky, and as a result, my stitches don’t sit evenly, but I’m not too worried about that. Instead, I’m actually pretty stoked about the eye-catching stripes of triangles!

Anyway, that picture was of the front. I’m now knitting the back, and it’s not even multicolor, and that’s the part that’s pretty slow-moving. It’s made me swear that my next fingering weight yarn project (if ever there’s one) will be a lacy one. Something quick.

I’m knitting a few rows of this every day most days, and inching closer to completion. Kinda reminds me of the song Waves by Mr. Probz — “Wave after wave, wave after wave… I’m slowly drifting…” For this project — “Row after row, row after row… I’m slowly knitting…

Striped phone cover

… with flowers!

Striped phone cover

This is a pretty old project of mine —Β  a phone cover made using leftover yarn from other projects. (After all, isn’t that what phone cover projects use — leftover yarn? Mine always have…)

For the body, I knit in the round for the required length, alternating blue and pink rows. At the top, I created holes by repeating *yo, k2tog*, then bound off in the next row. I then sewed up the bottom. For the pull cords, I made two 3-strand braids, each about four times the width of the cover. I looped the cords from opposite ends, weaving them between the yarn-over holes, and finally knotted together the ends of each cord.

The cover still seemed too plain, so I crocheted two flowers that I secured tightly on the cover. Ta da! ❀