Posted in Finished object, Knitting

Three summer top patterns, and what I did with them

I often see posts where people have combed through Ravelry and other websites for  patterns (free and otherwise) and then posted the links to them: voilà, a blog entry! And my brain said:

I Can Do That 2

But I want to put my own little twist on it, and feature patterns I’ve actually made. So I pulled out three favorite warm-weather projects and voilà, a blog entry!

© Schachenmayr

First up is this cute boatneck tank from Schachenmayr. Click here to go to the Ravelry pattern page.

The pattern calls for a 100% cotton sport-weight yarn. It’s knit from the bottom up and employs a unique double cast-on technique that lends a stabilizing heft and substance to the bottom edge.  The front and back pieces are identical and seamed along the sides and at the shoulders. That means there’s no front or back, and whichever way you put it on is the right way.

The lace pattern is charted only, so if you don’t read charts, you’ll have trouble. I should also mention that, although it was free, apparently Schachenmayr no longer supports this pattern and it can’t be found on their website. There are a couple of print magazines that published it (linked on the Ravelry page) if you are fortunate enough to locate one of them. Or if you are extraordinarily gifted with the Internet Archive, maybe you can find a cached page with the pattern.

100_4902 (2)
© Avantaknits

Anyway, here’s my version, finished in 2017. Click here to go to my Ravelry project page.

I knit this tank with 628 yards of a worsted weight cotton/acrylic blend that had a bit of lurex thrown in for sparkle. The larger yarn meant my gauge was different than the pattern gauge, requiring a little math to figure out the right size. Casting on for the small gave me the medium, and I began the armholes at row 120 instead of row 148.

I also knit 4 rows garter stitch at bottom edge before beginning the lace pattern, plus I used 4 rows garter stitch at the neck and armhole edges instead of stockinette. I didn’t turn over the arm and neck edges for a seamed edge.

I wear this tank a lot. It’s comfortable and cool, looks great with jeans, capris, or a floaty summer skirt, and it’s machine washable. To protect the lace from snags, it’s washed in a mesh bag. I usually lay it flat to dry so I can block the lace, although sometimes I hang it to dry, and then use a steam iron to open up the lace pattern.

LovePecan
© Karen Broz

Next up is the Love Pecan top by Karen Broz. Click here to go to the Ravelry page. You can download the free pattern from Karen’s blog, linked above. It’s available in English or Spanish.

This top is knit seamlessly from the top down. It’s designed for a 100% wool light fingering-weight yarn. The eyelet rows begin just under the bustline, so modesty is preserved. Those eyelet rows help keep the wearer cool despite the use of 100% wool, as does the looser-than-usual gauge for this weight of yarn.

Again, no difference between front and back, so no matter which way you put it on, you have the front in front and the back in back. That makes getting dressed easy, and heaven knows we need easy right now. Figuring out which way to put on one’s shirt takes brain power we might need for surviving the pandemic currently raging outside. Or maybe that’s just me.

100_5234
Tee shirt for me — ©Avantaknits

All right, here’s my 2020 version, with Covid hair and everything. Click here to go to my project page.

I knit size 1 (small) and used 740 yards of a fingering weight 70/30 wool/silk blend that had been sitting in stash for several years. I thought the colorway was perfect for this top.

After knitting 15 or so rows, I realized I hated the rolled neckline, so I ripped it all out and started over. Instead, using the same stitch count, I knit 2×2 ribbing for 8 rows, and then continued as written, mostly. A few further modifications: knit four rows in stockinette before starting ribbing on sleeves; offset every other eyelet row by two stitches so the eyelets didn’t stack up; added two extra eyelet rows at the bottom; knit two extra rows of stockinette after last eyelet row before starting ribbing at hem.

I love this top. I wear it a lot. In fact, I’m wearing it as I type this post. I wash it in a mesh bag in the machine on the gentlest cycle, using Woolite, and lay it flat to dry. (I should mention I have a front-load washing machine with no agitator. I wouldn’t dare put this top, or any other hand-knit item, in a machine with an agitator.)

© EweKnit Toronto

Finally, the Striped Tee from Eweknit Toronto. Click here to go to the Ravelry page.  You can purchase the pattern from the website linked above. Kits are also available if you like the pre-selected colors. Otherwise, choose your own and have fun with it! The pattern calls for a DK silk/merino blend.

(Another thing I should mention is I don’t get any kickback if you click these links. All the patterns linked here are patterns I made and loved, not patterns I’m getting paid to promote.)

Anyway, this is another top-down seamless tee, with a nifty wrap stitch detail at the hem and sleeve edges that gives just a bit of pizazz to an otherwise plain striped tee. The raglan sleeve makes a nice sharp corner when worked in the stripe pattern. There’s a small short row section near the hem on the back to help shape the top over the rump area.

Striped Top 1
© Avantaknits

Naturally, my 2020 version (this time with hair that had recently seen a stylist) has modifications. As usual, clicking here takes you to the project page.

The purpose of making this top was to use some single skeins of Rowan Cotton acquired several years ago through a subscription bonus, plus the remainder of some Mirasol T’ika that had been marinating in stash for, um, ten (!) years. So I didn’t follow the striped pattern of the original tee. Instead, because each skein was about the same yardage, I knit until each skein was gone (or I didn’t have enough left to finish a round), giving me stripes of equivalent width. The final skein of the T’ika was used to finish up the sleeves. I added a few extra rounds of stockinette on the sleeves before starting the edge pattern. I made the 39 1/2″ size, and used a total of 695 yards.

I love this top. It’s comfortable to wear, easy to wash (machine wash, lay flat to dry), a little heavy because it’s 100% cotton, but no matter. I pull it out to wear at least once every couple of weeks.

There you go: three summer tops and my personal experience with them. Now go try them for yourself.

Posted in Crochet, Finished object, Knitting

New blog entry, with actual yarn content!

With all the rehearsals going on over the last six months, you would be forgiven for thinking that I’d forgotten how to turn yarn into usable items, much less actually complete anything.

Ha!  I haven’t!

Okay, I didn’t get much accomplished in that time, but there were a couple of things.  First, this baby blanket for a colleague who was expecting his first child was started in November and finished in January.

Mike Blanket 3

Pattern: Taylor Baby Blanket (my original design)
Yarn: Bernat Pipsqueak, in four different colorways (see Ravelry project page for details), approx 275 yards total
Needles: Addi circs, size US 15
Size: Approx 36″ x 24″
Satisfaction with end product: It’s soft and squishy and perfect for a newborn. My colleague and his wife loved it, and that’s the most important thing.

Late last summer I made this tank top.

100_4902 (2)

Pattern: S7365 Damentop mit Ajourmuster by Schachenmayr Design Team (Thankfully, it was available in English)
Yarn: Cascade Yarns Sunseeker Multi in Candy Cane, approx 628 yards
Needles: Addi circulars, US 5 and US 3
Size: Medium (34″/36″)
Mods: Gauge with this yarn was a little wide and tall, so I cast on for the small to get a medium, and began the armholes at row 120 instead of row 148. Did 4 rows garter stitch at bottom edge before beginning lace pattern. Also 4 rows garter stitch at neck edge and armhole edge instead of stockinette. Did not turn over arm and neck edges for a hem. 2 inch shoulder seams instead of 2 cm as called for in the pattern.
Satisfaction with end product: Made for me, and I love it. It’s cool and comfortable and looks pretty good under a jacket, so I can even wear it to work.

You can see a few more pictures on the project page.

And finally, I made this hat in February:

IMG_20180223_082110.jpg

Pattern: #24 Cabled Pompom Hat by Annabelle Speer (from Vogue Knitting Holiday 2012)
Yarn: Schaefer Chris in Pomegranate, approx 215 yards (a now defunct yarn company; this was my last skein)
Needles: Addi circs, US 7
Mods: Smaller pompom due to lack of the appropriate size pompom maker, a situation that has now been remedied
Satisfaction with end product: This was a gift for a friend who helped out the production of Old Love by sending us authentic Tim Horton’s to-go cups from Canada to use in our coffee shop scene. A small detail that the audience probably never noticed, but we did. I think the hat turned out lovely, but more importantly, my friend did too. You can see a few more pics on the Ravelry project page.

Posted in Crochet, Knitting, Work in progress

WIP Wednesday, the rerun edition

A work in progress Wednesday report. Go on over to Tami’s blog and see how far everyone else has gotten. As for me, I don’t think I’ll ever finish anything again….

These two blankets need blocking.

As you can see, one of them is on the blocking wires and needs pinning. Maybe I’ll find some motivation after posting this blog entry and do that.

As for the rest…

The Moorish Mosaic Afghan lacks one more big motif, and then I’ll start on the small fill-in motifs.

(No, it’s not a new picture. Sue me.) This is the project that is consuming my evenings. I’ve been on a huge crochet kick recently, but I’m just about ready to drop the crochet hook and pick up the needles again.

Belle Epoque socks:

No progress here.

Windowpane Coat:

Ditto on the progress report.

Delphine Camisole:

Double ditto on progress.

Nothing to Wear to Work shrug:

Still needs blocking.

Pitiful, isn’t it?

Posted in Crochet, Knitting, Work in progress

Work in progress Wednesday

Hello, yeah, it’s been a while.  Not much, how ’bout you?

*shakes head*  Whoa.  70s moment.

It’s Wednesday, still, barely, but there’s still time to join in on the WWIP meme.  Sadly, most of the WIPs are the same as the last time I participated in this meme.  Sadder still, I’ve added to them. *hangs head in shame*

Let’s get the oldies out of the way first:
Belle Epoque 1
The Belle Epoque socks are in exactly the same state as they were last time.  Not a single new stitch has been added.  Ditto with the Windowpane coat:
Windowpane 1

And the Delphine tank:
Delphine 2

And the baby blanket:
Spare baby blanket 5

The Sweet Nothing shrug needs blocking:
Sweet Nothing 1
As does the other baby blanket which I failed to take a picture of before sitting down and writing this entry.  In the new stuff, there’s another afghan which has been taking up the majority of my time:

And then there’s this hat I’m designing on the fly because I had only two skeins (about 260 yards) of this fabulous bulky wool and couldn’t find a pattern to suit me:

 

Loose cables at a large gauge.  The hat should take up about 1 skein of the wool.  I’ll make a matching cowl with the other skein.

Posted in Crochet, Finished object

Poppies, poppies, poppies will make them sleep….

Finished last night….I call it my California Poppy:

Ring Around the Posie 2

Pattern: Ring Around the Posie by Tammy Hildebrand from Interweave Crochet Spring 2008.
Yarn: Bamboozle from Crystal Palace Yarns, color Ember Glow, 9 skeins.
Size:  45"
Satisfaction with end product:  LOVE LOVE LOVE!
MODS: Used size K hook because I couldn’t find the J. 11 motifs for side strips; 5 motifs for back center strip; 4 motifs for center front. The extra motifs on side and back strips added necessary length; using 4 motifs for the front gave the finished piece a deeper front neckline which is more flattering to my (ample) figure. Eliminated side gusset and used single crochet for seaming.

The neckline isn’t really crooked: Just before spouse snapped the pic, I had adjusted the straps on the cami under the shirt so they wouldn’t show and accidentally hiked the neck up a tad too much on one side.

I wore it to work today and loved every minute of it.

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Posted in Finished object, Knitting

Bamboozle top!

The stitch sampler top is finally done!

Project details
Size? Medium.
Yarn?  9 skeins of Crystal Palace Bamboozle in Ember Glow.
Satisfaction with end product?  Meh.

As I've mentioned before, when I first bought the yarn, I was unsure about the color. It seemed much more orange in person than in the LYS catalog. However, as this project proceeded, the color grew on me and became more and more beautiful.  The yarn itself is splitty as hell, and nearly drove me insane in the beginning.  Again, however, as I knitted along, I became accustomed to its idiosyncrasy and learned to like it for the gorgeous stitch definition and springy-ness.

I still love the color and like the yarn. I’m not so crazy about the top itself. In fact, I’m considering frogging it. The yarn was too costly to let this FO sit here, unworn.

Although the top fits well in general, it’s much too short. I’m not a tall person, but the medium size I made stops right at my natural waist. The funky “muscle shirt” sleeve combined with the boxy shape is not flattering on me at all. And the neckline is too high for my taste.  The top itself is fun to knit: a few rows of this, a few rows of that.

If I use this pattern again, I will definitely add more rows in the body; enough to make the basketweave section cover the bust area, with the double seed stitch for the underbust to natural waist, and triangle from waist to high hip. I’d also add some waist shaping to break up the boxiness, and possibly change the sleeves to cap sleeves, or even make them 3/4 length fitted sleeves. I’d lower the neckline as well.

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