Monday, June 18, 2007

"I Was for the Belle Époque!"

Knitting away on the Edwardian-inspired Shaped Lace Tee, I kept thinking of Diana Vreeland's wrongheaded take on Emma Pankhurst.


75% of what Diana Vreeland said in her lifetime was tommyrot but oh, the way she said it!

Here's the Shaped Lace Tee all blocked and ready to be seamed.
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There are two simple lace patterns.
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I recommend basting the sleeves in before seaming. There's the tiniest bit of fullness to gather in at the cap. The neckline gets a row of single crochet for a finish.
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And here's my daughter wearing the finished sweater knit for her in the 33.5" size:
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Pattern: Shaped Lace Tee from Knitting Lingerie Style by Joan McGowan-Michael. The pattern was clearly-written and simple, although the finished sweater gives big bang for the small effort.
Yarn: White Lies' Joy 100% merino in Shell Pink, 4 1/2 skeins. Beautiful yarn, whisper soft to the touch.
Needles: 7 and 5 (for waist-shaping)

The design, the yarn, and the fit all came together to make this one very happy knit.

And now I must away. I've got a copyedited manuscript that needs my undivided attention. I'll see you back here in a bit.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

In Which I Rock His Socks

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What I wanted:
- to understand why the hell anyone would knit socks
- to see if I could pull off a pair that fit
- to knit something for my husband's Father's Day gift

What I really, really wanted:
- to buy a skein of Blue Moon Fiber Arts' Socks That Rock

What I did:
- Socks That Rock Superwash Merino, Lightweight
- Colorway: G-Rocks
- Needles: four #2 dpns
- Looked at an old Coats and Clark booklet for their "Teen Socks" pattern, looked at a sock that belongs to Tom
- Went with cast-on of 60 stitches, 7" of k2, p2 ribbing followed by 2" stockinette, then the heel

What I got:

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Check the heel:
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I call that sock rockage. Sock knitters, I get it now.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Shaped Lace

After the heavy cabled sweater, I wanted lace. I rummaged through my stash and found ...
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White Lies Joy (100% merino, DK weight), color: Shell Pink.

I had bought it for a second Cherry Bomb tank. As much as I love Cherry Bomb with its short-row bust shaping, that's a whole lot of stockinette. Nope, I wanted lace. Nothing to tire my eyes after 10 minutes of knitting but lace, nonetheless

The Shaped Lace Tee in Joan McGowan-Michael's sumptuous new Knitting Lingerie Style is just the ticket. The tee - square neck, cap sleeves - has a border of vine lace; the body is faggoting. It is close-fitting.
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This is the back with the waist shaping visible. To achieve the shaping, you knit even but switch from #7s to #5s.

So lovely. So soft. So pink.

The book has lovely lacey thing after lovely lacey thing. The day I knit a bra, though ...

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Cable Pullover

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Who hasn't fallen in love with the colors of Black Water Abbey yarn? I agonized over the color choice, stalled between Bluestack and Pink Heather. I bought - finally - 10 skeins in Pink Heather, 220 yards each, not having any Aran experience, not having a project in mind. Le coeur a ses raisons que la raison ne connaît pas, comme disait Pascal. The heart wants what it wants.

No pattern was good enough for my Black Water Abbey yarn (read "easy" for "good"). Ones that came even close had drop shoulders. Drop shoulders are for the tall and dramatic. Anything less and they look sloppy. I also wanted to work on straight needles because I think seams help define a garment. Said another way: seams look good.

Actually, shoulders are especially key here. The sweater was to be for my oldest daughter. Thomasina is a high-school varsity swimmer with strong shoulders. (Her ice-skating sister, Cleo, is kindly modeling it for us, hence the fit discrepancy. Thomasina is taking the ACT this morning. Cleo is more interested in a Gryffindor item from Charmed Knits.)


No drop shoulders. Easy. Aran-ish. Seams. I had this wool for months! Being a J on the Meyers-Briggs personality inventory, I need closure. I need to make the decision, implement it, move on.

And I was stalled.

Then I found Louisa Harding's Classic Knits with a whole Aran section and each sweater more lovely than the next. Not a drop shoulder in the whole lot!

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The particulars:
Pattern: Cable Pullover from Modern Classics by Louisa Harding.
Modification: I made the collar 2" high instead of 4". The wool has a crisp hand and is too scratchy for a turtleneck that goes any higher.
Yarn: Black Water Abbey in Pink Heather, about 800 yards
Needles: 7 and 8
Size: Bust 34"

Ten skeins of Black Water Abbey I bought. This sweater used 3 1/2. I'm thinking Louisa Harding's Textured Heart Sweater is next.