Friday, October 14, 2011

Knitting: getting there.

Eeee! My sweater on Ravelry just got two hearts! One from someone in Germany that I don't even know! The other from a woman I met in knitting circle in New Zealand. I ought to have gone more, those women were so nice to Steph and I.

I'm working on a sweater I started in August, when I was in DC. I went to Looped Yarn Works, picked a pattern out of a book and a bunch of yarn to go with it. It's probably the most I've spent on yarn for one project, but it's also probably the biggest project I've undertaken! Aside from the Baby Blanket That Never Made It. But, you know, that one never made it. Quite unfortunately, the sales associate at Looped Yarn Works didn't suggest a yarn gauge quite anywhere near what the pattern I had picked out suggested. I had this suspicion, but I thought I would try it anyways, and even picked up two different needle sizes. The needles are the only think I have some buyers remorse over, because I have the cords and a few needles from the Knitpicks interchangeable set and I should just buy tips, but I was on vacation!

I ended up making a different pattern in the book, Fitted Knits by Stefanie Japel. I have mixed feelings on my much the title describes the patterns in the book. Some are fitted due to simply a lot of ribbing, while some really aren't fitted at all (the Crisp Rectangle Tunic Top is in fact a RECTANGLE, and the Cozy V Neck Pullover is a great classic masculine sort of sweater: you know, boxy and unfeminine..). The pattern I first saw from the book (on the internet) was the Cropped Cardigan with Leaf Ties. I liked the pattern because I liked cropped cardigans and I love leaves (more on that later). But would I call this pattern fitted? This pattern, that is shown dangling off the torso of a reasonably non-rectangular model? It doesn't look unflattering, it simply doesn't stand as a pattern meant to emphasize custom fit.

In the author photo, Stefanie Japel is not even wearing a fitted garment. Perhaps that should tip you off.

I still like the book, though, personally- a lot of it falls in line fine with my fashion aesthetic. I will probably be making that Cropped Cardigan with Leaf Ties, if I can figure out how to make it look like I didn't knit a top that was fitted in the sleeves and way to loose in the front.

I am working on the garment that made the cover page, Textured Tunic with Side Buttons. I might not have started it if the book included good pictures of what those side buttons actually look like. Ravelry to the rescue! I am only knitting small side slits.
This is my progress so far, minus about 4 inches on that sleeve in progress because I was increasing like a madwoman and had to rip it all back:

Prettier in person, and on a person, I promise.
 You can see here how I really like a flared sleeve... But I didn't plan very well how much I wanted the sleeve to flare. I am starting to think it is TOO MUCH FLARE. I am not tickled by the prospect of ripping out both sleeves, however. In addition, I didn't like the given texture of the Textured Tunic, and experimented with many other stitch patterns. I found nothing that worked!! It is another challenge all together to convert a stitch pattern to being worked in the round. Maybe someday, but I just wanted this sweater done, and besides, it's my first sweater. I should probably keep it simple.
So, I am justifying my dramatic sleeve choice with the reasoning that I lost the textured band that kept it interesting, so I ought to have SOME part of the sweater's construction be unusual.
I am liking the top-down-raglan style of making a sweater. I may make this again with the textured band as a short sleeve sweater. I'm not sure on short sleeves because I'm afraid the band part would be too "HEY LOOK AT MY CHEST" and yet I would try to make sure it hit directly above and below my chest, because I'm not particularly busty and I don't want an oddly placed band to make me look flatter.
Anyways, I'm making good time with properly timed increases on the second sleeve, and I will be ripping back the bottom and knitting it longer. This may be more difficult because I'm working with a set amount of yarn but I like the idea of small side slits, so I don't know how much I can actually increase the bottom length by. I think I am going to rip, save the ripped yarn in a separate ball, and knit until I run out of yarn- the separated ball representing exactly how much yarn the current side-slit and garter-band hem takes up.

Then I got kind of excited about taking pictures of my knitting, and this "digital macro" function I have on my new-to-me camera. My sweater probably looks way more appealing in close-up:

mmm, Malabrigo.
Of course then I stared taking pictures of anything I thought looked good when I held it up to my face really closely:
not-so-lush Acrylic of indeterminate origin.

 This is a sweet little leaf whose pattern I made up on the spot, and I describe it on my Ravelry page.
It's probably going to be sent to my botanist friend because I never figured out what I wanted to do with a little leaf, and I can whip up another in a few minutes. Unlike its inspiration, this leaf will not biodegrade, which is why I generally try to stay away from plastic yarn like acrylic.

I also have a lot of weird close ups of my thumb, couldn't help it.
I'm kind of hoping she tucks it into some actual plant in the herbarium she works at and see how long it takes anyone to notice. Kind of like this:: "A museum curator with a sense of humor, spotted at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History."

Oh boy! It was grey all morning and then poured for about half an hour. Just now the sun burst out! 

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