Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Hallelujah!

I finally finished that endless strip of twisted rib for my waistband of the tie back shell! Yay! I also picked up all the stitches to knit up the bottom half. I can't believe I'm actually excited to knit several inches of stockinette in the round... but anything is better than that waistband torture. Lol. My plan is to knit as per the instructions down until the turning ridge on the hem, then transfer the stitches to some scrap yarn and let it hang out there until I finish the rest of the top - that way I can adjust the length if I want it a little longer. (I tend to wear low-cut jeans, so I hate it when a top is too short and it shows my belly sticking out!) Incidentally, this is going to be my first time using a hem in my knitting. I'm a little nervous that it's going to look weird, but the sample looks very nice, so I'm going to trust the pattern.

BTW - picking up the stitches from that waistband for the bottom half wasn't so bad. I think I've finally got the hang of that particular skill. (Yay!) Of course, figuring out the correct ratio for picking them up was kind of a pain, and it turned out that each segment required a slightly different ratio - so I hope that won't cause any weird effects; I don't think it will. So far it looks okay.

OK - less blogging, more knitting!

p.s. I'm going on vacation this week which means a long plane ride to knit! Yay!

Friday, August 14, 2009

new project

Last week I started a new project - the tie back shell from the latest issue of Knit.1:

Darling, huh? The waist band ties in a bow in the back. You knit the waistband first, and then pick up stitches from it to knit the top and bottom of the shirt. It's a pretty smart design, but it means that for the past week I have been knitting an endless strip of twisted rib and I'm about ready to go nuts with it. I've already gone through one 120 yard skein and I'm only about 2/3 of the way through. Observe:


I can't believe I chose another project that involves picking up mass amounts of stitches, but I feel like after all I've been through in the past few months with the hexacomb cardigan and Delphine, I'm kind of an old pro at it.

The yarn I'm using is absolutely fabulous; Ella Rae Silkience -- 49% Cotton, 39% Modal, 12% Silk, 8% Rayon. So soft! (you all know me and my obsession with modal). The color is also a really pretty aqua - I don't think my photo does it justice. I got it from WEBS online on clearance in May with some of my graduation money. I only paid $2.49 a skein! Whoo hoo! With all the stress of finals and graduation this spring I went on a bit of a naughty yarn shopping spree, but I think I deserved to treat myself. Now that the bar is over I want to treat myself again, but unfortunately I don't have any more sweet graduation gift checks rolling in.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Progress Report: Rusted Root

To update since my last post on the matter- I did indeed frog my whole Rusted Root sweater and start over to fix the lace pattern (nearly 200 yards frogged!!) I added a few extra increases/rows before I separated the sleeves and the problem with the tight armholes is now much better. They are still pretty snug, but I didn't want to go too crazy because this puppy is cotton, so I know it will stretch itself out.

I've been working extra hard to catch up on this piece and I'm proud to announce that I'm at least 70% done now! Yay! See for yourself:


I think I'm going to add some hip shaping at this point so the sweater doesn't pull quite so snugly across my belly. I didn't do any really dramatic waist shaping, so I don't want to go too crazy with the hip shaping, but I need something in there or I'll feel self conscious and never wear this thing. Which would be a shame, because I think it's really cute!

p.s. Why am I suddenly leaning to one side in all my pictures? Posture, young lady!

Hooray!

My extreme blocking of Delphine worked! I can actually breathe in it! Sadly, it's still a little tight in the armholes. I'll definitely fix that in the next one. Now I need to find a cute ribbon and decide if I want to add buttons or not. Then I'll actually put on some makeup and take some nice photos.

In the meantime, here is a sneak preview:

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The blocking queen

I finally finished edging the neck and armholes of Delphine yesterday. It was such a bitch picking up all those stitches! Plus - on the armholes I had to single crochet around the whole thing and then pick up the stitches. Ick! Nevertheless, it looks very cute. I wonder why the pattern doesn't have you start off with a picot cast on, since all the edging is picot. If I had been a good little knitter and read ahead I could have realized that before I started knitting and made the adjustment.

Speaking of being a good little knitter, I should have frogged this damn thing the second I realized it was too tight across the belly! I've already blocked it twice throughout this process, hoping it will stretch without too much luck. Right now she is blocking again. I completely saturated her in water and wet blocked- I've got her stretched out as far as humanly possible - 15 inches. (Compare to the shaping the last time she was on the board). If this doesn't do it - I think I'm just going to have to lose 5 pounds. lol.

Despite all the aforementioned headaches my dear Delphine has given me, this is really a gorgeous top! I'm already thinking about knitting another one (perfect this time). I've got some glitzy yarn in my stash that I think would be darling...