Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Prairie Tunic: Finished!

Prairie Tunic is finished, just in time for the, um, cold weather. I'm just glad it's no longer languishing at the bottom of my knit bag. It's freeing to finish a knit. Here are some pics of the thing:
Now for the stats:
Pattern - Prairie Tunic by Veronik Avery
Source - Interweave Knits Spring 2006
Yarn - Jaeger Sienna 4-ply (prescribed yarn) in lilac
Amount of Yarn - 4.5 balls. Pattern called for 5.5 balls (I made a blend of sizes. See below)
Started - May 28, 2006 (wow, that's just sad it took me so long to finish)
Finished - August 27, 2006
Modifications - My tunic is a blend of two sizes to match my body. I started with the 39.5 inch size for the bottom, but decreased 10 extra times so the top would be 36.5 inches. I wish I had made the entire piece 36.5 as the bottom is too big. I kind of knew (famous last words), but kept going just because. I have a plan, though. The pattern instructs you to leave the bottom six inches on either side unseamed, but seaming is in my tunic's future to bring it in a bit. See?! Look how much it flares out!

Other mods - Um, so the triangle shaping is completely messed up. I might just be a bad knitter, but even WITH the errata, mine looked horrible. I took a picture, but forgot to load it. Maybe i'll update at some point. You'd all probably rather not see it, though. It's bad. What did I do? Dusted off my math skills and put some addition to good use. I basically just followed the decreasing instructions until there was an equal number of stitdches on either side of the lace panel. At that point, I only decreased on the right side. Easy and pie and now looks picture perfect. Well, at least a lot better.
I couldn't decide (and still haven't) what look I'm trying to pull off with this tunic. The scene above is much more my style, what I like to call the scrubby jeans look. The tunic works well for this. While comfort is on the top of my list, getting good use out of my clothes, especially ones I spent hours making, is just as high. To reach appropriate use, it has to work with my office's business casual dress code. Enter, look number two:

Throw a more appropriate black shirt on underneath, preferably one that does not expose bra straps and maybe a suit jacket for good measure and VOILA (thanks for the spelling lesson, Veronique!) we've got work appropriate. Extra wide belt also looks cute, but in this case I was pushing for it because I just got it.

Here's another shot with a better look at the stitch pattern.

Overall, I'm 75% pleased with this knit. I'm hoping the side seaming will bring that up to 95%, which I can't complain about. With the exception of the triangle decreases, the pattern was well written.


I'm still working on the Rock 'n Weave Socks and have started swatching for Hourglass. Cherry by Anna Bell as well as one of Amy Butler's Weekender Bags are on the horizon.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Vesper (Almost) Knee Socks!

Yay! A finished object. I can't even remember how long ago I started these socks it's been so long. I had to refer back to blog archives just to get an estimate.

I don't know why I thought I would have enough yarn to get all the way to my knee. I think logically, I knew, but some glimmer of hope (aka denial) kept pushing me along. With the help of
Veronique's advice to count stipes and my trusty office postal scale, I was able to determine when to stop on sock one and cast on for sock two. Even with this assistance, I was still worried as I neared the end. I actually had to splice yarn scraps from my cast on tail to have enough yarn for binding off! There were some ugly moments. I made it, though!
Pattern: A mix of
Wendy's Toe Up Socks, Diana's Knee Highs, and trial and error.
Yarn: Vesper Sock Yarn in Midnight Knitter
Yardage: 440 yards - ALL of it
Started: about May 13th
Completed: August 11
Notes: I'm 90% pleased with these socks. Next time I make knee socks, I'll... 1) have enough yarn, 2) start calf increases only a few inches above the ankle. Aside from those couple learning mistakes, I love the socks. The yarn is wicked soft and the colors are fantastic.
Look how much Miles likes them!


I've also been working on my other WIPs. I frogged Birch (it really had to be done) and started Birch v. 2. Here's the first repeat:

I'm only just started but am already much more confident about the finished product (which my mom will hopefully have soon). Seeing those little leaves form keeps me wanting more!