Monday, July 25, 2016

WIPs (A.K.A. Playing Catch Up: the June & July Edition)

It's been a while since I've done much knitting or the like, or so it feels, so I'm glad I finally have something to post. Let's start out with the good news: I'm knitting a lot out of my stash!

Warning: this is going to be pretty long.

Do I keep it or does it go?
Is there such a thing as too many flounces? I think I might be hitting that point.

Mokoshi is very well-written & easy to follow, so it's not the designer's fault mine turned out rather loose. I know the reason, at least: my gauge was way off, in addition to which my gauge swatch lied to me (it's actually surprising it fits at all and isn't two times as large as it is!), so even though I tried to compensate for it, I compensated incorrectly. Knowing what I do now, I would definitely make the smallest size next time, maybe even scaling it down one more size from there. That being said, I'm not sure whether it's supposed to be this loose or if it's because I chose the wrong size/used the wrong yarn & needle size combo (went down a needle size to accommodate the linen of the Louet Euroflax). I can live with the positive ease though.

extra positive ease?
See that middle back bit that's coming out where my hands are? That's all extra!

What I'm really not 100% sold on right now is the second flounce at the bottom. Am I pushing it a bit with this super voluminous detail? And should I compound what might be an egregious decision - keeping the second flounce - by following the pattern for the fluttery cap sleeves too? I'm overstating it a bit, because I actually like it a lot, and it's just that frills aren't too much in my wardrobe at all. So it's just a question of whether to remove the second layer or not, and whether to knit the flutter sleeves or make them long sleeves with one layer of light frill at the end, in the fashion of eritml.

Starry Starry Night
Vestigial, in colourway Starry Night - pretty fitting, no?

Socks! For me! Finally! Using that Eden Cottage Yarns BFL Sock that I purchased in England a while back! I've knit a pair of socks before, but they didn't really fit well and they felt pretty half-baked, to tell the truth, so I've stayed away from them till now. But no more! Apart from the slightly tight cast-on for the first sock, these fit me so well I want to wear them all the time, never mind that it's summer right now with humidexes upward of 40C some days. Truth be told, the BFL isn't as soft as I'm used to with my socks, being a bit prickly and all. I'm not sure whether that's because of the heat or if it's the fiber though. What I am positive about is that I will much appreciate these once winter rolls around.

I knit Vestigial, which is a free pattern and coincidentally offers only one size. I also could not spot where the gauge was listed in the pattern itself - I might just be blind though - so thank goodness they fit! I'm pretty smitten with the finished socks, so I'd say it was worth blindly following the pattern this time.

no picture!
No pictures of the finished Summer Bralette yet. There may never be.

I set about translating the Summer Bralette pattern from Swedish - thank you Google translate! - the day it came out, cast on the day after, and finished the day after that, only to realize it was waaaaaayyy too loose. Needless to say, I didn't do a gauge swatch in between any of those steps, and although there was a nagging suspicion that the size looked way too large, I figured I might as well finish it and see what to change the second time around. The first try came out with positive ease. Not what you want from this pattern! So I got rid of the 16cm of garter stitch at the beginning & end (reducing it to 4 rows each), changed to a provisional CO, cast on half the stitches for the straps (50sts instead of 100 - I tried 75sts the first time and it was still too much), then did a 3-needle BO to the provisionally CO sts.

I do want to make a note, in case anyone else is using Google translate. It actually does a pretty good job with translating the pattern, except for some misleading parts: where it says "purl", it actually means to "knit" (you want stockinette for the most part), and when it says to "have 16 stitches wormed"/"bind off 16 stitches", it actually means that 16 stitches have already been bound off, so don't bind off another 16!

Vintage Lace Gauge Swatch
Not very good depiction of the lace here either though.

I've also started on a vintage sweater pattern that has an allover lace pattern, which the photo depicting said sweater does not actually depict at all. You can vaguely make out there's lace, but you can't for the life of you tell what the lace pattern looks like. And now you do, though admittedly not much clearer. Knitting on 2.0mm needles for a 1x1 rib is a bit torturous though, and I'm not sure I would recommend it to anyone to follow the pattern blindly as I am, especially given the lack of clear gauge - by which I mean I have no idea what the finished garment size is supposed to be, though by my own gauge of 24 sts = 4" in pattern, the finished garment will have +14" ease on me. I'm kind of doing this in good fun to see where it'll take me, but I'd probably want to just recalculate everything and give myself maybe +6" ease total for this. On the upside, I am using the Spellbound Fiber laceweight merino that I got from an installment of Fiberista Club, so that's going to be knit completely from the stash. I might have to supplement it with colourblocked sleeves or maybe the lower 3/4 of the back can be yellow? We'll see how it goes.

Llama Lace Americo Original
Finally decided on what to knit with this Llama Lace!

I waffled a bit with choosing what to knit with this, from Rhaedr to Citron before finally settling on Divinity. I actually cast on for all three of these, and there's nothing wrong with any of the patterns, but it didn't really seem to match the yarn. The cables of Rhaedr looked like they'd be lost (besides which I messed up the cables pretty early on, so I simply didn't try a second time, knowing it wasn't going to be the pattern for this yarn). And while Citron is a tried & true, I wasn't sure the Americo Llama Lace was actually going to be soft enough for my neck, not to mention I noticed I was having some difficulties breathing easily while knitting with it. I'm assuming it's due to all the fibers coming loose from the yarn that I'm subsequently inhaling, but I didn't think putting that yarn anywhere near my face for long periods of time would be a good idea. So I searched high and low for a lacy clothing pattern that I could squeeze out of my 765 yards, and Divinity's been on my list for a while, so that was that.

The one on the right.

And I also knit myself a Hitofude cardigan, which has been in constant use since it came off my needles using the Julie Asselin Merletto (in Cove) I purchased during the Lettuce Knit closing sale. I still don't have any photos of the cardigan itself, which is almost ridiculous, but seeing as it's been on me more often than not, let's excuse the lack of actual photos. Very well written, and I love the construction! Only two ends to weave in, as long as you only used one skein: the CO and the BO.

Now the slightly more painful bits:

nips & tucks left and right
Nips & tucks, here and there, left and right.

This has been in this state for about a month or two now. I had grand plans to wear this to the Team Up reception - I didn't make it in time due to some issues with the sewing - and now I have no particular motivation to finish it apart from having it done and out of the way, now. I also cut off a couple of inches from the original pattern, but realized that the hem is way wider than I thought, and looks better wide, so I'm going to have to undo the hem and sew an extra piece on that turns in as the hem. The collar also didn't work out at all, so that plan flew out the window pretty quick, in addition to which the lack of shaping, combined with the cotton fabric I'm using, don't work well together, giving me what looks to be a baby bump. So I've had to add vertical bust & back darts to fix that problem. Maybe if I were using something super smooth or slinky it wouldn't be as much of an issue?

in pieces
Seamwork Hayden shirt... still in pieces. Crinkled after months of sitting under itself.

... So this is supposed to be Hayden. I'm 98.2% sure (+/- 1.8%) that it's too small for me. It might be a perfect fit if I could ever get it over my head and shove my arms through, but I'd never get it off again. I cut out size 36, which measurements should fit me perfectly. The realization of which got me so down I still haven't sewn it together. In addition to which I belatedly searched up reviews of the pattern and noticed a couple of negative reviews mentioning size & fit issues, so it's probably, sadly, a bust. There's still only one way to find out though. But that would mean I'd have to actually sew it up and face reality to see what I can do to fix it - uhh... cut a larger size? - and that doesn't really appeal to me currently. Now I understand why my very capable friend, Haley, who learned how to knit in an incredibly short frame of time and delved right into lace & cables after some encouragement, felt like dropped stitches and other knitting mishaps like accidental increases or decreases were such big hurdles. I assured her they aren't, at all, so maybe I should just administer the same medicine to myself: suck it up and truck through!

On that same note, I searched up reviews on the Moji pants while I was at it, because those were what I really wanted to make, and found negative reviews concerning the lack of ease in those, too! Now, I can't actually razz on Seamwork patterns just yet since I haven't technically sewn anything from it, but I'm already getting bad vibes because of the reviews, so I've temporarily cancelled my subscription. It's probably for the best, considering how much - how little - sewing I actually do.

Primrose? More like butter!

I've been working on a project inside the confines of my mind that plays with recipe weight ratios and thinking about weaving my interpretation of several recipes up. The yarn is here. I finally got the right shade of yellow for the butter (the first round of yellow might do for Meyer lemons, but it's not butter as far as butter goes in Canada, from what I know). And I have absolutely no excuse to not have even calculated exactly how to warp this up. In fact, by my own timeline, I should have already finished a couple of scarves and started applying for exhibitions and marketplace stalls by this point! Alas.

It appears as though knitting is still my game, with sewing and weaving falling far far behind just now (and spinning having fallen off the radar altogether), which is quite unfortunate, but at least I'm knitting.

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