Sunday, November 25, 2007

Deep-V Sweater

When I first flipped through Erica Knight's Classic Knits I was more impressed by the beautiful styling and photos than the actual projects, they seemed almost too simple. But over the next few months I kept coming back to that book and started to fall in love with the projects in it, especially the Deep-V sweater. I've had a bag of Debbie Bliss' Cathay in my stash, which is the suggested yarn. All that stockinette didn't put me off, I wanted some mindless knitting for a change. Well, that pattern turned out be an absolute joy to knit. Cathay, despite being a bit splitty at first try, is wonderfully soft; it reminded me of melting vanilla ice cream. After a nice steam, any uneven knitting transformed into an even, drapey fabric.
Deep-V Sweater1
Deep-V Sweater2
and check out the lovely decreases:
Deep-V Sweater detail
Pattern: Deep-V Sweater, from Classic Knits by Erica Knight, second size
Yarn: 11 balls of Debbie Bliss Cathay
Needles: US 5 (3.75mm)
Mods: I used a tubular cast-on and knit in the round instead of separate pieces. If I were to knit this sweater again however, I'd knit it in pieces and seam it up (yes, me, the I-wanna-turning-everything into-seamless knitter). Why? Because you end up weaving in lose ends within the knitted fabric, and no matter how careful I was, you can see a slight indentation on the other side. When you have such a smooth fabric, seams provide a place to weave in your ends and keep the rest of the fabric looking perfect. Lesson learned. Sometimes, seams are good (argh).
The only thing I would change is to make the sweater a size bigger. It fits great, it's just that when I started, I wanted something more fitted, something I could wear to the office and look professional. Now that I'm freelancing from home, I crave the casual lounge-around look that enticed me to the sweater in the first place. I guess I could always frog it....;-) Yeah, no way!
I see more Classic knits projects in my future, the kelly cardi and maybe the slouchy socks, but right now, there is more stockinette going on, and a little bit of cabling. I'm making the Jana Tunic from Rowan Studio 3. There are no sleeves so this should be a quick knit.

I've added some more details of my mods to Flicca, you can find them here.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Peaches on my head

One of my cousins still has every little piece of craft from her childhood. This is a good thing for me, because between being slightly o/c about getting rid of stuff, having moved a lot and having a bad memory in general, trips back in time to my childhood tend to yield murky pictures. On my recent visit to Germany my brain got a refresher when she brought out a box filled with stuff from our childhood. As kids we loved clubs, and in our years playing together must have formed a dozen or so, all either about animals or TV shows or even hats. Yes, hats. Berets, to be more exact. I had a black one, my cousin's was red, and we were the club of the Basques ( in German, a beret is called a Baskenmuetze). Looking at our manifesto and handdrawn passports, this club seemed to have been a spy club (don't remember who we were spying on), and my code name was Britta (which was my favourite name at the time, stemming I believe from some kid's book about a girl named Britta and her pony, Silver. Oh, the memories, they're coming back..)
So, this is a pretty long intro to be telling you that I still love berets and have been excited about so many of them popping up in blogland. But hey, I usually don't tell you much, so here you go. This is the second Kim Hargreaves kit I made, Peaches, from her 'Summer Breeze' collection. Described as a "slouchy crochet beret" it was anything but on my first attempt, though I can't really fault Kim for that. Everyone's head is a different size, and mine must be huge, since the first version of the beret perched on top like a deflated muffin. Easy to fix, I just ripped back to the increase rows, added two more of those, one more regular and one more decrease row. I'm still not sure if it's ok the way it is, I may wash it and stretch it a little, to get it more relaxed and not so flowery looking.
Pattern: Peaches kit, from Kim Hargreaves' Summer Breeze collection.
Yarn: 2 skeins of Rowan handknit cotton in 'thunder'.
Mods: Added more rows to make the beret bigger.