Gentle curve

I’m making some progress on my Togue Pond for the TTTKALtogueThere were a couple of snags along the way, and I do mean snags. When I was lovingly unraveling and washing and winding the yarn from a previous project I left them in the huge skeins formed from before. I had connected my ends with Russian joins so I had large hanks to work with. The larger one tangled when I was trying to wind it and I had to painstakingly wind it by hand, untangling it as I went. My knitting time has many baby interruptions and this took me about three days to complete, so that slowed knitting progress. That’s why there is a giant ball in the picture above rather than a lovely ball-wound cake of yarn. I wasn’t about to rewind it. I just wanted to knit.

It felt so good to just have the needles in my hands again and whip through the stockinette. I’m making the size 48″ with a smaller gauge to get me to about 36.5″ in the bust. My gauge is 5 sts per inch. I have to add an extra decrease to get to the right bust size. I think I could have gone down one more size in the pattern to get what I want, but I didn’t math correctly the first time. Yes, mathing is a verb for me sometimes.

Also, there is a slight color variation in the skeins that were used and the newer unused skein which I didn’t notice until I joined the older skein. It shows slightly in the picture above but you have to look for it. I’m thinking the yarn must have bled some during the washes and it will all even out when I block this. I hardly wore the previous garment so it couldn’t be from sun bleaching or excessive washing. I’m just going to go with it since no one would notice but me.

I think I need to cast on something new as well! I asked Z if she would wear this tee and first she said no, but I asked if she would wear it if it was purple and she said yes. I shall start a purple Immie Tee soon!

Yarn, reclaimed

Guess what begins today? I’m very excited to participate in the Tops, Tees, and Tanks Knitalong (TTTKAL) put on by Shannon. I almost forgot it was happening since I’ve been behind on blog reading, but I saw stirrings about it on Instagram and started planning. This year I want to make a Togue Pond. It’s a simple tank with a bit of a hi-lo style. I don’t have Aran weight linen like the pattern calls for, but I did happen to have a top I’ve been dying to rip out to reclaim the yarn. I made a Curve Hem Top when I was pregnant with Zooey and I never liked it post-maternity. The yarn is Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece (80% cotton, 20% merino) in a worsted weight. It was knit at 5 sts per inch for that top and I’m just going to make a size 48″ in Togue Pond to get the 36″ at my gauge. I had a leftover ball so I could start today, but I needed to rip out the top and freshen the used yarn a bit. reclaim-5
First I wound it around my swift as I ripped it out. Then I tied up the hanks. reclaim-2I put them in some water with wool wash for a nice soak. reclaim-3And after an hour or so I pulled them out, rolled them up in a towel like I would with a finished knit, and I whacked the hanks against the bathtub to straighten them out a bit. They’re drying now. In the meantime, I cast on with the unused ball I had in my stash. reclaim-4I also have finished arm warmers to show soon. They’re blocked and just awaiting a photograph to do them justice. Getting some of my knitting mojo back!

 

Light as air

Need some spring/summer knitting inspiration? As the weather has been warming my mind drifted to a glorious little piece of linen that I had on the needles. I can’t believe I started this Linum Tee last July and didn’t finish it till now. I kept thinking I must have started it in late August and that explains my indifference come fall, but I had it on the needles for the majority of the summer. It just doesn’t make sense. linumI love the swoop at the top. I used Shibui Knits Linen in Fjord. I altered the gauge a bit and used size 3 needles. I used the numbers for the 48″ size and ended up closer to the 38″ size with my 26 sts over 4″ gauge. I was initially hoping to be able to wear this without an undershirt, but I doubt that will be possible regardless. I think the gauge ended up being better for this delicate chain-plied yarn. It seems like it could easily snag, so maybe a tighter gauge will keep it safer.

linum-3This was an enjoyable piece to knit. I think one of the reasons I may have put it down is that it was a knit that I would have to look at often to work on because I sometimes snagged the chain ply as I knit it. linum-4I added waist shaping. I decreased with mirrored ssk (left leaning) and k2tog (right leaning) decreases every other round. The pattern did not include waist shaping, but I thought it might be nice in such a flowy top. I only did them on the back. linum-2I did try this on and it fit over my preggo belly, but I thought dressmaker dummy pictures would be easier to get quickly. It gives me hope that I’ll be able to wear this post-pregnancy fairly quickly, and I can easily wear it over the soon-to-be-endless nursing tanks.

I was able to take these pictures mostly sitting down or moving little. I’m on bed rest till next Friday, rather than next Tuesday or Wednesday like I thought. I can do it. I can do it. I must keep telling myself that while trying not to focus on the beautiful weather or flowering spring trees I’m missing outside. Now I must go finish another warmer weather knit, a Vitamin D I started last September.

Fisherman’s rib on a blue wave

In the midst of a few secret and public projects, I forgot about my Linum Tee.  I’ve been so excited about fall knits like Coda and a secret sweater project I’ve been working on, that it completely slipped my mind that I have a fabulous lightweight linen top that is perfect for this unabating August.  linumSeymour is an expert project inspector. I’ve altered the gauge to be about 26 sts over 4 inches, hoping this will be a top that won’t require an undershirt for casual wear.  It will depend on how low that wave on the front of the fisherman’s rib dips when wearing it, of course.  I’m making the 48″ size, and it should end up around 37″.  That way I don’t have to think about altering numbers and I get the size I want.

I’m ready to do the short rows and neck bind off at this point.  It requires too much focus to be taken to work for breaks or meetings, so it will be an evening and weekend only project from now on.

linum-2Really, Seymour isn’t even a little impressed.

Top for a two year old

Top for a two year old

Z isn’t two until the 31st, but today I got the feeling that this top must be knit, so I cast it on.  I bought this Jo Sharp Soho Summer DK cotton yarn last summer at my LYS last summer deeply discounted, and I meant to do this sooner, but you know…time escapes me!  I almost forgot about the yarn completely until I had to rearrange my stash to stuff in some new acquisitions.  Then I saw it and I knew it had to be a top right now or it definitely wouldn’t be enough yarn for a larger size. What am I making?  A mini Gemini top.  mini geminiI cast on 88 stitches and worked back and forth.  I knew I would have to leave some kind of slit in the back that could be buttoned to make sure her noggin could fit through the space.  I used a size 4 needle and worked the lace pattern for 10 rows only.  After that I increased on all sections on the RS and only the body sections on the WS till I had 38 sts on each sleeve section.  Then I stopped increasing on the sleeve and increased on the body sections, from that point on the RS only.  I have 50 sts for the front and 50 for the back and 38 for each sleeve.  That puts the chest size around 22″.  I knit until the armhole depth was about 3.75″.  mini gemini-2So far this has been a super quick project.  I will likely mirror the one I made and leave the sleeves with a bare stockinette edge.  This is one of my favorite tops to wear, so I’m very excited for Z to have one too! 

Experimental curves

linum-2My Linum Tee is growing up and getting curves in new places.  This pattern doesn’t include waist shaping, so I’m experimenting a bit.  I decided to keep all the shaping on the back, and I decreased and increased in a somewhat dramatic hourglass.  It will be interesting to see how this fits when worn.  I decreased a total of 22 stitches, or about 3.5 inches in my altered gauge.  I’m knitting this project on a 3 in hopes of making it solid enough to wear without a layer underneath, so my gauge is closer to 26 sts over 4 inches.  linum-3The Shibui Linen seems easier to work with than the last time I knit with it.  Maybe I’m just getting used to the feel of it, but I find myself catching the individual strands of the chain ply much less than I did before.

I’m about to get to the interesting part…

Hello, 33.

Today is my 33rd birthday.  I have a new shirt to wear.  It’s a finished Waterlily out of Louet Gems Fingering in Terra Cotta.  I’m very pleased to have another warm weather top finished!  waterlily finishedI added waist shaping to this, decreasing 4 stitches a row about every 6 rows, then increasing back at the same rate.  I like customizing this to my shape, so if I’m working from the bottom up I start decreasing around 6-6.5 inches and begin increasing again around 9-10 inches, depending on the length of the garment.  waterlily finished-2This one is about 15.5″ from the armpit to the bottom of the garment.  I added about 4 extra inches.  I am fairly long waisted, and I like my tops to dip down an inch or so below the top of my pants.  waterlily finished-3I loved knitting this top.  The yarn was soft and bouncy, the color makes me happy, and this project accompanied me through quite a few things.  I worked on it during some Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy training, while watching The Fault in Our Stars, and while listening to The Silkworm and Shadow of Night.  It holds many memories. waterlily finished-4I love the finished item too.  It’s dressy enough to wear to work or on a date, or casual enough for anytime wear.

waterlily finished-5The lace was fun and addictive.  I took a few days break when I got to the front neck division because I had little time for focus at that juncture, and that part definitely required some focus.  I couldn’t get the number of stitches to match the pattern on the row for dividing stitches.  I was 2 short, but I ended up just dividing it evenly and forgetting about it.  At the point for the kitchener and neck edging, I wish I had used a smaller needle.  The neck edging is a little loose at the back of the neck, but I doubt I’ll notice it later.  I love this top.

One of my birthday presents this year was a Fitbit Flex (the blue armband in the second picture).  It’s a pedometer/sleep monitor/general motivator that’s inspiring me to move around and meet my fitness and nutrition goals with real time feedback.  I love it so far.  I also have some Eaden Yarns self-striping sock yarn coming in the mail soon… I love birthdays!

Happy Bastille Day for those that celebrate it!