Red, and textured, and bitten all over.

My Kit Camisole #2 is finished!  kit-4I did the final edging and binding off last night and soaked it briefly, wrung it out in a towel, slapped it against my thighs to straighten it out, and let it dry until tonight.  I think I love it even more than the first one! kit2

This definitely has a few more mods than the first time I did it.  I used Louet Euroflax Sport in Sunset.  Since I used a heavier yarn (again), my gauge was off…more like 26 sts over 4 inches instead of 27.  It’s not a huge difference, but it does add more ease.  I cast on for the 38″ size and made mostly as specified until right before the linen stitch at the bust.  About 2 inches before that, I decided to add some additional decreases around the linen stitch column in the back.  I decreased an extra 6 stitches total.  Then after dividing for the front (I split the total evenly between front and back), I did armhole decreases until I reached the number for front of the 34″ size.

kitI think I could have decreased even slightly further, because I’m not crazy about the way the front gaps forward sometime, but it’s still a marked improvement over the last time.  As for the straps, the pattern instructs where you are supposed to mark on either side of the center stitch for seaming, and that is meant to be the innermost strap seam point.  I made that my outermost strap edge for seaming, moving the straps in further than the last time I made this top.  I think this move makes it much easier to keep my bra straps covered.  kit-5

As I was taking these pics I got A MILLION mosquito bites!  Argh!  I could see them swarming, but there was little I could do because I really wanted some good shots while there was still light.  You can see some bites if you look closely in the pics.  Note to self: apply liberal amounts of citronella spray next time.  My ankles and all exposed upper body flesh are screaming right now, but I got the shots.  kit-3

Happy Tuesday!

Gee whiz

Have you ever heard a nearly two-year-old child say, “Gee whiz?”  It’s fantastically adorable. I’ve been coaxing Z to say that lately and it makes me smile.

Gee whiz, that yarn is really bright.  kit-4My Kit Camisole has reached the section of linen stitch at the bust, so it seems like I’m making good progress.  The linen does wear on my hands, but since my knitting time has decreased drastically by working full time, my hands can handle working on this every day.  The yarn is Louet Euroflax in Sunset.  I am decreasing 6 extra stitches on this size 39″ version, about an inch and a half before the linen stitch at the bust.  I’d rather have a slightly more fitted bust this time.

kit-3The linen stitch is going to slooooowww me down, but I can always jump back to the Waterlily or back to my Truly Outrageously striped socks if I need a break with some bouncy wool.

Happy Tuesday!

Rerun knitting

There are some things you knit that you know you will knit again and again.  Kit Camisole might become one of those tops for me.  Last year I cast one on in June, after being inspired by Angela’s version, which I loved so much that I made in IDENTICAL yarn. This seems to be my go-to top as soon as the weather starts getting steamy.  It’s easy to wear, doesn’t cling to the body at all, and doesn’t need anything more than a bra underneath (or not even that if that’s your style).  I was recently riding my bike in last year’s version and there was something about the way it gently danced against my body in the wind that made me feel like I had to cast on another one right now.  I had enough discipline to finish my Driftwood Tee, but I got weak in the knees and fell sway to the powers of Louet Euroflax last Saturday when I saw this new color, Sunset, at my LYS.

KITOf course it’s another retina searing color that’s wickedly difficult to photograph.  I think it should be called “Screaming Coral.”  KIT-2I got past the full linen stitch edging yesterday afternoon and the next inch of mostly stockinette flew by.  That linen stitch in linen yarn is very very slow going, but the polished look is worth it. Plus, Euroflax is another one of those yarns that wears forever and ever, looking nice the whole time, with really easy care (washer and dryer–no problem) along the way.  I’m knitting this on a size 1, rather than the pattern’s prescribed size 3, because this gets me close to the gauge.  It’s still a bit bigger than the 39″ size, but not my much.  I love the way mine fits from last year, so I’m embracing the positive ease again and making this one identical.

My new job starts next week, so my knitting will definitely slow down.  I’m enjoying this binge while it lasts.

A summer top and cooler weather

Did you want to see a finished summer top? Oh, ok. Well here you go! My Kit Camisole is finished and I looooooooove it. It’s funny that the weather has been rainy and mid to low 70′s Fahrenheit lately. It’s altogether pleasant and makes me want to knit all the time.

finished kit-11I was a little worried about running out of yarn until I got to the straps and it became obvious I would be fine. I had 76 yards left of my Euroflax Sportweight in golden rod and it went straight into this baby dress. I did request more hand massages from my fella than usual while working on this top, but I am happy to report that my hand are intact and doing well after many hours with this inelastic yarn.

finished kitIn an earlier post, I reported that my gauge was a bit off and I might do extra decreases. Well, I kept measuring and I wasn’t consistently off, so I left my horizontal gauge alone, but did add more rows to make sure I had the correct length. I do find that measuring with my Addi gauge tool seems more accurate than using a tape measure. The pattern calls for a size 3 needle, but I used a 1 to get gauge since Euroflax is a little heavier than the prescribed yarn.

finished kit-10

Other than having a squirrely gauge, I knit the pattern as written. I enjoyed it very much. When switching from the linen stitch at the bottom band to just the center panel, I found that the instructions for the next row of linen st to use did not work for me. I just went with what looked right for the pattern. This happened again when I switched from center-back panel to full round of linen stitch again on the body. I ended up having to do the opposite of the suggested rounds each time. I made the 39″ size. It mostly covers my bra. Sometimes one of the straps peeks out of the back, but not enough to really bother me.

finished kit-4

I see myself wearing this as much as twice a week for the rest of the summer. Ah, linen. Now, perhaps a hemp top? I have 600 yards in my stash that are ready to be an object. And even though it’s super hot out, baby knits made with wool aren’t too hot to work with. I just saw this darling cardigan on Ravelry the other day, and it’s cute enough to make me want to try a steek!

I am working on the pattern for Z’s simple dress. We have many more adorable pictures of her, but I’m saving them for the post with the pattern release. I couldn’t resist including a couple of us together. I still have to think of a pattern name. Feel free to throw out suggestions in the comments!

Hello, 32nd year of life.

I’m 32 today. It’s been a great birthday so far. I got to have a date night with my lovely husband last night, and I’m about to go to brunch in a few minutes. Since brunch is my favorite kind of meal, that feels pretty spectacular.

As for my knitting…I’ve been working on Kit pretty diligently.

Kit camisole-2

I”m about an inch and a half to two inches into the front after the back bind off. You can see in the following pic that my linen stitch gets much neater when worked flat, rather than in the round.

Kit camisole-6Here’s a quick shot of the back:

Kit camisole-5I also want to show you a cute little fabric bucket I won from a Knitsofacto post. Thanks, Annie! The bucket comes from a site called Cozy Memories. I love the stitching. My beloved yarn bowl met its demise recently. I’m waiting to find the perfect one, but this little fabric bucket is pretty cute and useful in the meantime.

Kit camisole-3Today is also the last day to get 32% off my patterns by using the code Happy32. Hope you have a wonderful summer day!

 

 

Linen to love

Now that Nuvem is behind me, I can focus on my Kit Camisole. I finally got past the half-linen portion at the bottom and got to fly a little faster on the mostly stockinette portion during the holiday weekend at my parent’s house. When there are seven other adults around constantly focused on entertaining Z, it’s pretty easy to get some good knitting time.

Kit

The yarn is Euroflax Sportweight in golden rod. The stitch pattern is lovely. This is a project I wish I could be wearing right now, so that is providing some extra motivation. The linen is definitely a little slower to work with than wool yarns for me, since it’s completely inelastic, but it’s not as bad as I remembered in the past. Maybe my hands are getting stronger. They did just finish a mile of knitting in under a month. I still can’t marathon through with this project in the same way. After about 10 rounds I need something softer.

Kit-2

I’m not getting quite the correct gauge. I have close to the correct horizontal gauge with size 1 (2.5 mm) needles, but I’m getting more like 26 sts and 40 rows than the called for 27 sts and 36 rows in 4″. I’m spacing out the decreases just a little further to account for the difference row-wise, and I’m thinking I’ll stick a couple more decreased stitches in the mix. This is a tank with a lot of positive ease (4-8″ suggested), so I’m not quite as worried about the width, but I definitely want the length. I was unwilling to try to knit this on a US 0 (2 mm). The yarn I’m using is heavier than called for in the pattern, so some gauge oddity is to be expected.

I really hope I have enough yarn, because I have 810 yards, but my size (39″) technically calls for 840 yards. Since the 43″ size also calls for 840 yards (5 balls of Quince & Co. Sparrow at 168 yds a ball), I’m betting I’ll be fine.

Zooey is an expert at measuring gauge.

July 7-7

Anyone tried Addi’s new Sock Rockets? I always knit on US 0 (2mm) needles, but they have a 2.25 mm size that falls between US 0 and US 1. I might give that size a try for some of the thicker sock yarns like Colinette Jitterbug or Koigu. A US 1 (2.5 mm) needle just seems a little big for socks for me, but I’m a loose knitter.

Just a few days left on my birthday sale! Remember, use the code Happy32 to get 32% off any of my paid patterns.

Swatching in the round: A cheat.

Here is a post about swatching, if you’re into that kind of thing. I know we’re often impatient and want to jump to the actual garment, but hang on there, kitten. Don’t you want to make sure it will fit?

Did you know you’re stockinette swatches in the round can be quite different from those done flat? Sometime purl stitches are looser than your knit stitches, or tighter, or any combination of things. That means, if a pattern, like the Kit Camisole, instructs you to swatch in the round, a stockinette swatch that includes purled stitches isn’t going to be accurate.

Rather than cast on double the amount of stitches and using magic loop, you can cheat a little bit. You can cast on the number of stitches you would for your 4″ or bigger swatch. In this case, I cast on 35 because the gauge is 27 sts in 4″. I like to have a little extra at the sides to take the center measurement for greatest accuracy.

swatch in round Knit the first row. When you get to the end, push the piece back along the circular needle to the right side, as if you were making an i-cord. Move your strand of yarn from the left side of the piece back to the right side, making sure to leave enough of a strand that it’s not pulling in on the piece. Knit the next row. Continue in this fashion. You will have a swatch that uses only knit stitches, just like knitting in the round.

swatch in round-2

I can’t take full credit for this technique. I don’t remember the exact source, but I’m feeling like it was a tip from Ysolda, maybe in her wonderful book about altering sweater designs, Little Red in the City