Monday, December 11, 2006

Buttercup, at last.

I blame winter time. Plus bf has got all kinds of funny shifts at work, so it's hard to get some pictures taken. I had also run into serious finishing issues, but more on that later.
With buttons closed:
Buttercup1b
Sideview:
Buttercup4
Buttons open:
Buttercup2
Pattern: Buttercup by Kim Hargreaves, available from her website as a kit.
Yarn: 5 balls of Rowan Cotton 4ply in Ripple, knit with US 2 and US 1 needles.
Mods: Plenty.
This knit was an exercise in emotional detachement. So much went wrong, I won't bore you with the details, but I'll share a few things. Cotton lace patterns are stretchy! I'm glad I realized that early on, frogged, and cast on for the small size. The explanations for how to keep the lace pattern intact while doing armhole decreases are non-existent. I tried many times and resorted to sending Kim an email. Her mom replied the very next day (nice) with an explanation that was about 75% helpful. Once I got the gist of it, I was able to figure out the rest on my own. If you're making this and are having problems with the decreases, send me an email and I'll be happy to forward you my version. Trying to seam this was a nightmare. If I had listened to my inner knitter, I would have used two edge stitches before starting the lace pattern, instead of one. The seams looked terrible with either matress or backstitch because the lace pattern would never line up. I ended up using my sewing machine and the seams came out perfect. I did frog the sleeves and reknit them in the round (but they're tiny so it took me only an evening). Instead of knitting a separate tie, I picked up stitches on the bottom, knit a few rows garter stitch, then crocheted little loops for the buttons. Now it looks good whether I wear it open or closed with no funny ties dangling around. I'm happy with it, but I don't think I'll order another kit any time soon. Her designs are lovely, but it was a lot of money for a little shrug that could have been made a lot easier by adding a few more explanations to the pattern. The good side is that I learned a few lessons about what to put into a pattern and what to think of before I start a project.
There is so much stuff I've been working on these past weeks, bookbinding projects, jewelry, and more knitting. My Argyle vest is almost finished and hopefully I'll get some pictures of it next weekend! Bf is getting socks for Christmas again; I'm making a few sewn presents, but more on that next post. No, it's not going to be another month until then ;-)

53 comments:

yaiAnn said...

Troublecup has been conquered! Congratulations! She's absolutely beauuuutiful!

Maggie said...

I like the look and colour of Buttercup, but it sounds like at lot of work... You'll sure be proud wearing it!
Does your bf like handknit gifts? My bf will get his first handknit sweater this year, and I'm a bit scared he won't really like it... But I love handmade gifts, and I like to give them.
Have a great christmas time!

ysolda said...

It's beautiful. You're photography (or your boyfriend's) and modelling skills are excellent. Well done for persevering. I'd imagine that years spent as a Rowan designer don't exactly work wonders for explaining skills.

Pixiepurls said...

I have never gotten one of her kits, so sad to hear it was so hard to knit. I hope they take notice!

bradyphrenia said...

it looks beautiful and so worth all the trouble. hope you wear it often!

Marie said...

it's beautiful!

yahaira said...

I feel like there should be some prized involved beyond getting a cute shrug!

it fits you perfectly!

knittingphilistine said...

That's one sassy Buttercup! It's beautiful, congrats on your finish!

Zarah said...

It turned out great, which I guess it more a testament to your tenacity than a lovely pattern. But congrats- it's done!

Kara said...

despite all the drama i think that it turned out lovely. great job steph!

diana said...

What a wonderful shrug. Too bad about the pattern...

As always, lovely photos!

iSeL said...

Wowza! It looks beautiful and very sexy. Great job!
Love the pictures.

opportunityknits said...

I love it! You have a way of looking so cool and chic in your knitwear, I believe it's called style :)
I find that most patterns do not provide tips or clues for increasng or decreasing or seaming lace. You're a brave girl to put the cotton pieces through a sewing machine - but if it's the right tool for you, then it does the job!

Christine said...

Pretty sweater! Sorry to hear it was such a pain.

Elizabeth said...

It's beautiful - the color is perfect on you. Sounds like it was a pain in the butt. It's disappointing to hear that about KH's pattern - I love her designs too, but will think twice before ordering one of the kits.

Areli said...

Sounds like a lot of fuss and frustration, but it really turned out cute, and looks very nice both worn both open and buttoned.

lori z said...

its looks great - even if you encountered so many difficulties. good luck with your sewing presents!

Kelly said...

despite the project being in pain in the butt, it turned out really pretty! what a bummer that after spending all that money, you had to figure out the pattern on your own, though!

Veronique said...

Wow! This bolero looks so elegant!
It seems like KH is still writing patterns in the Rowan format. *sigh*

Siow Chin said...

Wow, what a knitterly adventure and I'm glad you had the upper hand in the end. You look fantastic in Buttercup!

jacqueline said...

oh wow! buttercup looks absolutely fantastic. i know this design has been one headache after another - but it came out so lovely in the end.

you'll be pleased to know that i am this --><-- close to recasting on for mine.

btw - i have made another kim hargreaves pattern and have another one sitting here...and the instructions look/were fine. the dodgy instructions were probably the exception rather than the rule.

claudine said...

Gorgeous!! Looks really lovely on you. Good on you for persevering. Gorgeous photos too, btw!

tiennie said...

That looks fantastic on you! Great job!

knitties said...

It sounds like you had some problems with this knit but your Buttercup turned out beautiful nonetheless!

Nora said...

My cousin started on this but ending up throwing it across the room in frustration (where it still remains). I'll email your post to her - maybe she'll be inspired to pick it up again.

I agree with the others - you did a great job, despite the odds. Buttercup looks stunning on you.

Terhi said...

Buttercup looks really lovely on you! Gorgeous photos, as always. :-)

kris said...

lovely, lovely, lovely! gorgeous colour and it looks fantastic on you.

vera said...

wow steph it is gorgeous! when i saw the first photo i seriously thought it was from a pattern book! i was so shocked to see it was you wearing your lastest knit. and what a beautiful colour too. well done! :0)x

valentina said...

You look fabby!
Hey, I was in Germany last week.

Dana said...

Was lange währt, wird endlich gut :-) Ich bewundere deine Ausdauer, nach 10% von dem, was du mit Buttercup erlebt hast, hätte ich das Strickzeug in die Ecke geworfen und fortan ignoriert. Aber es hat sich gelohnt: das kleine Teil, in dem so viel Mühe steckt, sieht wunderschön aus und passt und steht dir ebenso wunderbar. Du hast allen Grund, stolz auf dich zu sein!

Queen Frogger said...

That is lovely and such great photos too!

Stacey said...

That looks great - too bad the pattern was such a bust! Her stuff is expensive, and you would think the test knitters (if any) would have caught some of this stuff! At least it's done and looks great.

Elli said...

gorgeous! looks like it was worth all the trouble.

brooklyn tweed said...

i'm glad you finally made it through - you'd never guess there was all that drama. it looks great (i love the photos)

julia said...

Those pictures are great! Congratulations on winning over the pattern! I did one of Kim's Cotton Lace pattern (the Alice cardi from a Rowan magazine) and had to change soooo much, too. There were no explanations on how to keep the lace nice while decreasing etc either. I added a selvedge stitch from the beginning because I couldn't figure out how to sew this alright without. Plus I have huge sizing issues with those patterns (but that's just my body being too long for Rowan patterns in general).

Liz said...

Its beautiful! I was thinking about buying this pattern for the stitch pattern alone, however I now think its not worth it. But nevertheless, your buttercup is beautiful.

Gina said...

It is so lovely. I agree that Kim Hargreaves has wonderful patterns, but I do find that her patterns (from her Rowan days) tended to be a bit lax on full information.

The color is spectacular.

allegra918 said...

Despite all your problems, it looks great! Beautiful color!

Connie said...

Beautiful, Stephanie, despite the troubles. I love the color too. I hope you enjoy wearing it!

Stef said...

That sweater might as well have been designed for you-- it looks perfect on you in every photo. Thank goodness all of that effort was worth it. I especially like the button detail on the sleeves.

Kat with a K said...

It looks great!

seedless grape said...

It really looks stunning. The pictures are perfect. I love the color, the fit, everything. Congratulations to you for sticking with it! (But I'm sorry that the whole process was such a pain--it sounds like you are not the only one who had such problems. I'll think twice now before ordering a KH kit; thanks for sharing all the info.)

allison said...

gorgeous as usual... i love the colour and the photos. i'm sorry that the process was such a pain though.

Vanessa said...

Gorgeous photos Steph. Your bf really deserve a big thumbs up!!

Krawuggl said...

Buttercup ist sooo schön, und ich mag auch die Farbe, läßt sich sicher prima kombinieren. Das Jäckchen wär absolut perfekt für meine Sommerröcke, kurz und dünn und luftig und leicht, aber ehrlich gesagt wage ich jetzt doch nicht, es auch zu versuchen. Wenn schon eine supergute Strickerin wie du damit Probleme hat, was mach ich dann erst, ganz zum Schweigen vom Lochmuster selbst, wenn ich so nachdenke, hab ich das noch nie gestrickt glaub ich. Aber falls ich im Sommer doch ganz mutig werde, vielen vielen Dank für die vielen Tipps, vor allem den mit der Randmasche und Rundstricknadel, denn in Versuchung bin ich nach deinen Fotos ja doch. Supertoll gemacht!!!

joujouka said...

What a beautiful Buttercup and love the photos !!

uhoava gnu said...

That's really beautiful! And it looks great on you!

bekka said...

so gorgeous. it was worth all the work and worry. but after reading of your troubles, i'll forget about this as a potential project!

Carol said...

buttercup is beautiful on you! and amazing photography, as always. (hopefully the sun will make an appearance...someday soon...agh!)

maritza said...

YAY! You're back! Buttercup looks great! Wonderful job you did there. Beautiful photos, too.

sue said...

Just gorgeous, and it looks as though all your hard work was worth it.

Kirsten said...

Thanks for posting about your experiences knitting this sweater. I have been admiring this sweater on the Kim Hargreaves site for quite some time, but hadn't splurged and ordered the pattern yet. I like your version better without the ties in front. Absolutely beautiful!

Lee said...

Buttercup is sweet! Knitted beautifully1