A bit of lace

talavera-4I’m so pleased to be finished with this project, and I got it to come out just the way I wanted. While Talavera was beautiful just as it was written, I made a few modifications to suit my needs. I love the original neckline, but I wanted it to be more open for summer wear. I also wanted a bit more of a sleeve and some extra body length. The yarn is Louet Gems Fingering in Teal and I used barely over 3 hanks of it. talavera-2This pattern is well written and the lace is very enjoyable to knit. The repeat becomes natural after a few times. It wasn’t something I didn’t have to look at well enough to read, but it did become rhythmic and natural, and had rest rows (a solid knit or purl row) between the active rows.

It took me awhile to decide on the neckline. I hemmed and hawed and eventually decided that I would replicate the neckline from Waterlily since that worked well with lace. I began the neckline decreases after the third repeat of the lace pattern on the sleeve. I think a slightly deeper neckline would have also suited me. I could have started the neck after the second repeat as well, but I like the way it turned out nonetheless.

talaveraI wanted the sleeves to be a bit wider, so instead of following instructions for sleeve increases, I decided to just cast on enough extra stitches for an extra lace repeat when it was time to add sleeve stitches. My sleeves ended up with 33 stitches across after I followed the neck decreases. I really like the way this part came out.

As for length, I did 13 repeats of the lace pattern before dividing for front and back. After blocking (oh, magical blocking!) this came out to be a 15.5″ length. I think even one repeat longer would have been fine, but this is a nice length to work with a variety of clothing items. talavera-3Best of all, for this photo shoot, Zooey was a fantastic helper. She was a stand in when I needed to focus the shot, and she worked the remote for me for most of the time so I could avoid the remote in hand pictures I often end up with when I take photos alone.

I’m thrilled to have this piece finished! I’ve already cast on a new top for myself, and I’ll post more about that soon!

Excuse the wrinkles

This top has been finished and blocked for some time now, but it’s been hard to find the time to get some photographs. It’s been a hectic week with a sick and cranky 1 yr old. These could be better, but I’m trying to let go of perfectionistic tendencies, so here’s today’s result. notched hemI made a few modifications to the Notched Hem Top pattern. I made the back about an inch and a half longer than the front. There is plenty of sloping after the back short rows, so I don’t know if I would repeat that action if I make another. I also started with the 40″ size at the bottom and reduced to the 37″ size by adding in extra decreases. notched hem-2The yarn is Juniper Moon Farm in Zooey. The color is Sloop. This is a wonderfully soft yarn. notched hem-4I made the neckline deeper and wider than the pattern specified. I didn’t take notes. I just winged it as I went along, and I like how it turned out. I wanted a bit more open neck to keep things cooler since this is such a long piece. notched hem-3One side of the front and of the back is looser. I think this is due to the nature of the slipped stitch on the knit sides vs. the purl sides. If I could do it over I would use an edge stitch that makes both sides a bit firmer for consistency. It doesn’t really bother me, but it’s a detail I’d pay attention to next time.

Now I will wear the heck out of it! I’ve finally decided how I will do the neckline of Talavera, so that’s getting some much needed love. I also needed another Whispers and deemed it the perfect project for the Hazel Knits Artisan Sock in Saffron, so that will be in the works soon as well!

Steady on

I know this is a knitting blog, and I almost never get political, but it feels like I couldn’t write a post in the wake of the tragedy in Orlando without saying something. There are families shattered by unspeakable horror due to ridiculous gun violence right now. There is no reason one human being needs an assault weapon that can end the lives of 50 others in minutes. It’s 2016. We as human beings can come up with a better way to live that doesn’t involve guns being readily accessible. I have hope that we can come to grips with this as a society and better ourselves, but that doesn’t take away the present pain of the friends and families of those that were slaughtered. My thoughts and prayers for peace are with them. Please send them thoughts of peace and love if you feel so inclined. No one should have to face such horror and my heart goes out to you, Orlando. notchedThe Notched Hem Tank is still living on my needles. It feels like I’m making very little progress on any one project because I keep jumping around from project to project with little concentrated focus on only one. I’m working on a baby/kid design that’s been taking a good deal of mental energy and revising to get just what I want. For that project I designed then knit an entire piece then decided it needed to be a bit different. So I started from scratch. And then ripped. And then ripped again. So this Notched Hem is lucky it’s gotten attention at all, but I really want to wear it, so I’m hoping to finish it up this week. I’m on the upper back and will likely make some slight revisions to the front, starting the neckline at a lower point to keep this a cooler summer item.

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Too few hours in the day

I’m moving slowly on this TTTKAL project. The knit along is supposed to end on the 27th and I’m woefully behind. The weekends have been packed with fun family time that doesn’t allow for knitting, and some of my evening downtime is spent trying to get Fitbit steps like a madwoman to fight more sternly with the post-baby pudge that’s so very settled on my bones at this minute. talavera-4The pattern is Talavera and it’s lovely. I’m going a bit off the cuff after the armholes. I ignored (by accident) an increase that was there and elected to just cast on enough stitches on each side for one lace repeat to give this a bit more of a sleeve. I’m also considering scrapping the funnel neck in favor of something that will be slightly more open and hot-weather friendly. It’s a work in progress. Luckily the back and front are mirrored right now so I can turn this into either the front or back if inspiration strikes and I suddenly need a deep scoop neck. talavera-3The temperatures here are climbing, then falling, then climbing again. I guess I’m in no real rush to finish this, but I like to have projects to write about so I’ll probably get distracted by something else again soon. talavera-5What about turning this into a halter top?

Just kidding.

Ah, knit alongs

I love knit alongs. They come with a feeling of community and connection to people far away. They inspire me to stay on track and complete a project in a timely fashion. And best of all, they give me a lot of knitting inspiration! Check out some of this gorgeousness on Instagram for the Tops, Tanks, & Tees Knit Along. I’ve participated in this knit along for the past couple of years and it’s a fun way to jump start spring and summer knitting. In 2014 I managed to do two projects! talaveraThis year I settled on Talavera by Amanda B. Collins. It’s a lovely pattern from Pom Pom’s summer 2015 issue. Even though it’s so last year, I just felt compelled to make it.

talavera-2I’m using Louet Gems Fingering in Teal. The top is not worn as shown above. I’m knitting from the bottom up, but I wanted a way to show off the lace, and pushing the top any further down on the dress form would have required some frantic work getting the lace back on the needles.

The pattern is great. The lace is fun to do and is almost easy enough to do while drinking wine at knit night. I did give up doing just that yesterday, and switched to a mostly stockinette top that I shall describe in more detail in another post. I’ve had to back track a few times when I was particularly distracted and chatty, so it’s good to have back up projects.

So far this is going quickly. I started it on Tuesday night and I should be able to finish in plenty of time for the knit along deadline (May 27th). Anyone else knitting along? What are you making?

That August heat

That August heat

The heat and humidity keep creeping up and up lately. I had good intentions to keep focus on Carpino for SSKAL15, and I was doing well. I’m a few more increase rows away from separating the sleeves. But even fingering weight wool was too much the past few days. I had some Knit Picks Cotlin in Surf that was set aside for possible dishcloths or a hand towel, but suddenly it seemed much more important to cast on yet another Gemini (my fourth) to have some cotton and linen in my hands instead of wool. geminiOddly enough, my first Gemini began in nearly the exact same way during the exact same time of year. I guess I have some pretty strong patterns. The yarn for my first Gemini was slated to be cotton napkins, but I decided I had enough and it was pretty enough for a top instead. I started that one on August 8 two years ago. This one I started on August 6. A little freaky, eh?

This time I didn’t have enough stashed so I just ordered a few more skeins. It might not be the same dye lot, but I’m counting on the consistency that will likely come from this being a big company with probably pretty standard dyeing. If it’s not similar enough I guess I can stripe some skeins. I might make 3/4 length sleeves like Jane Richmond’s example to make this more of a transitional piece. I guess I’ll see how hot it is when I get closer to the finish!

Immie!

Immie!

immie tee-4I’m pretty sure Z and I both adore this tee. It’s an Immie Tee by Carrie Bostick Hoge. I made a lot of changes to the pattern. I knit it top down so I could use all of the yarn, leaving just under 4 grams left. The yarn is Super Sock in Orchid by Pigeonroof Studios. It is vibrant and soft and I can’t wait to use her yarns again. immie tee-7I’m very much in love with this design and the intriguing and gorgeous lace pattern. Since I worked this top-down the lace is upside-down from the original pattern, but I love it both ways. immie tee-5The chest is 21″. I added increases on the sides to make it more like a tunic. The increases are about every 1.25″ under each arm and I did them 6 times, making the bottom about 4″ larger than the chest. The length is 12″ under the armpit. I’m always hoping a garment can fit the following year. immie tee-2On the arms I did some short rows and added a little ruffle by doubling the stitches on that section. At first I thought it might make the top way too girly, but when it was done I really liked the effect. immie tee-3Z was happy to wear the top, but I couldn’t get her in bottoms. She was happy to wear an apron, so I considered that a compromise. We have been discussing the word “compromise” lately in our house as Z learns more and more about how to try to convince us of things. With Z I pretty much get photos whenever I can, so pantless photos with a milk mustache work just fine for me. Toddlers are MOVERS. immie tee-6There is an adult version of the tee and I would love to make it for myself someday.