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!

 

TTTKAL #2

driftwood-3Driftwood Tee, my second TTTKAL project is finished!  This was a quick and easy knit.  I think I might have done a few too many rows on the eyelets, as I spaced out a bit on the number of rows, but I made the front and back match closely enough that I don’t mind or notice if it differs from the pattern.  driftwood-2This rolling of the garter stitch NEVER stops happening with the sleeves.  I don’t know if it would help to make it wider.  I think the most effective solution would be to pick up at the edge of the sleeves after the shoulders are seamed and make garter rows at that point.  This wasn’t on my radar when I wore this top to brunch yesterday, but as I was taking photos today it was on my mind constantly since I had to adjust it over and over.  I did a wet block for this top, so I didn’t think it would be a problem, but it continues to roll.

The yarn is Manos Serena in Boysenberry.  I used about 590 yards for the top.  I ended up knitting to 13.5 inches before increasing for the sleeve.  I did add some waist shaping, decreasing 8 total stitches on the front, and then again on the back, on either side of the 28 center stitches so the shaping wouldn’t interfere with the eyelets.  driftwoodI would consider making another one of these sometime, probably altering the sleeve edging. I think I will really enjoy wearing this top as work or casual attire.  driftwood-4

Thisclose

The TTTKAL finished yesterday and I was thisclose to finishing a second project for it, but I didn’t quite make it.  It looks like there is a poll on Shannon’s blog to extend the KAL, but for now here’s what I’ve got: driftwoodThis color is amazing and photographs quite differently in varying light conditions.  This morning there is the perfect amount of diffuse light from partly cloudy skies, so I feel like I got an accurate depiction.

driftwood-2I got to just barely start the shoulder shaping, and I’m a mere couple of inches from finishing, but I gave up at 10:30 last night knowing there was no way I’d get to finish and seam by midnight.  Plus, I do love sleep.

The top is called Driftwood Tee, and I’m actually using the yarn called for in the pattern, Manos Serena.  That’s a bit of a rarity for me.  This yarn is fabulously soft.  Even if I didn’t finish a second top for the TTTKAL, the experience was hugely motivating in terms of sticking to one project and avoiding delays on finishing. I’m hours away from having another summer top, and it’s one I could even wear to work.

Yesterday I learned how you can find out your Ravelry number.  I’m member number 60,936.  Pretty cool.  Check out that link to find your own.  Screen Shot 2014-05-29 at 8.02.53 AM

Always thinking ahead

louet terraI’ve had this yarn sitting around my living room for awhile now. It’s a score from the WEBS anniversary sale.  I plan on using it to make a Waterlily soon, since that could also translate into some possible summer work attire.  It’s Louet Gems fingering weight in Terra Cotta.

Even with plans (and assigned yarns) for Waterlily, and a Linum Tee, and a Cowl Shell, I have been thinking I should make myself another Kit Camisole.  I have been wearing the hell out of the one I made last summer, and it’s use of linen and positive ease seems like the key to keeping cool and being able to wear a hand knit.  The Linum Tee and my recently finished Saco Stripes also use linen in the form of Shibui Linen, but it’s hand wash.  For my Kit Camisole I used Louet Euroflax Sport and that yarn can be washed and dried and wears like iron.  It’s well worth the cost.  I just may have ordered some yarn to get one of those going… Because knitting will never be done.

Tomorrow is the last day of the TTTKAL.  It seems doubtful that I will finish my Driftwood Tee before the end of the day tomorrow, but I’ll give it a shot!

Halfway there!

I’m halfway through the Driftwood Tee that is my second TTTKAL project.  I’m loving working with this Manos Serena fiber.  I discovered I was a stitch short when I got to the shoulder shaping bind offs, and I have no idea where it went, but I continued forward and promptly put it out of my mind.  drift backI was happy to find that I had 14.4 grams leftover from the second ball, so I will only need 4 balls of this yarn for the top.  I’m not getting by on the skin of my teeth with crossed fingers for this project!  drift back-2

Drifting on a sea of purple

I started this project on Monday, as soon as I got my Saco Stripes top sewn together.  For my second TTKAL project I’m making a Driftwood Tee, by Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark.  I’ve been dying to use this Manos Serena yarn (color Boysenberry) for ages now.  It’s 60% alpaca and 40% cotton and it’s heavenly soft.

driftI love this color.  I love working with the deliciously soft yarn.  This top was appealing because I think it will also be appropriate for wearing to work at my upcoming position as a school-based counselor.  As a graduate assistant at the library, I could wear any of my hand knits with jeans, and that was fine workplace attire.  Now I will have to consider knitwear for work that can pair with skirts or nicer pants, so this top got to jump to the front of the queue with about 20 days to go until I start that job.

drift-4I’m making a couple of alterations, because sometimes I just can’t help myself.  First, this top would be waaaay to short for me.  I find many tops have about 12 inches or so between the armpit and the bottom edge, and this just doesn’t work for my freakishly long-waisted figure.  I need at least 14.5 inches before I feel comfortable, and I prefer more like 15.5, so that’s what I’m aiming for here.

Waist shaping is not included in this pattern, but that’s easy enough to add with a few measurements.  When I got to about 5.5 inches from the bottom, I marked off the center 28 sts and I mirrored ssk and k2tog decreases on either side of these markers.  I first held a tape measure up to my body with the 15.5 in mark at my armpit, and determined how many inches from the bottom I wanted my waist decreases to start based on my body’s curves, then noted where increases should start again (about 9″ for me).  Since this pattern has a design element on the side, moving the decreases to the center avoids making any other alterations to the pattern.  I also think that center decreases are rather flattering.

Cocktail(Dress) pics tomorrow!