Sunday 26 April 2009

Changed my mind - as usual!

I am soooo fickle! I can't help myself. I have all these grand plans about what I am going to start next, then something bright and shiny catches my eye, and the next thing I know, the queue has grown and something totally new has been cast on. In my defence, the new thing I have cast on, does have a very definite and useful purpose.

I have cast on Joan McGowan-Michael's Shapely Tank. This is a very simple tank top, that helps you modify it, depending on your bust size. This has been my problem with clothes for most of my life - if it fits on my bust its baggy everywhere else, if it fits everywhere else it pulls on the bust. Knitting was always supposed to help me with getting clothes that fit. This Shapely Tank pattern is the start of that process.

The Bacall bolero I just finished, looks great from the front, but you will notice I did not show off the back. This because it is VERY baggy. Clare, my lovely LYSO has helped me solve the problem of the baggy back, which is to add buttons to the front of the bolero, which will pull in the back at the bottom and hopefully make everything look intentional. I have bought the buttons and as soon as they are attached I will take more photos. So, though this problem has been corrected, I became very aware that I didn't want this to happen again. I did not want to spend time and money making something I love, that doesn't fit right, so I never wear it.

I decided that before I cast on the lovely Sirdar Peru, I would use up some of my stash and do the Shapely Tank. I certainly do not want to waste that lovely wool. I want to be able to add short row shaping to the nice gilet pattern I have, to ensure I have a perfect fit. The stash yarn I have used is, Sirdar Click with Wool.

Sorry its not a great photo, it was one of my early ones, taken before I understood about close ups of yarn. The yarn is not gorgeous, but it was very cheap and I bought LOTS of it. I have heard that it washes and wears well and blocks out really nicely, so I have hope that it will be useable when I have finished my tank.

The tank is designed to be a close fit, but I have decided to give it a 1" ease all over, because I intend to wear it over blouses. The yarn is quite heavy and can't be worn next to the skin. I also decided that as I was going to use this as an exercise is making a garment fit, I was going to go the whole hog. I decided to mess around with all the measurements to ensure it was the right length and fit. My waist is much smaller than the standard bust, waist, hips ratio allows for, so I had to up the decreases and increases in the pattern, but I decided that though I basically had to re-write the pattern it was worth doing.

Here is what I have so far.

I have to say, the yarn is knitting up slightly better than I had estimated, so hopefully, if the fit works, I will get some wear out of this garment. Here is a close up of the short row increases.

I'm quite proud of how neat they are! They are much neater than when I did my short row socks. Obviously my first try was on 4-ply so double knit should be much easier ( I always did try to run before I could walk).

I think that making this project next, really was the right decision to make, and wasn't just because it was nice and pretty. It was decided upon for a very valid reason, and I am sure that in the long run, I will be glad I did it.

In order to help myself in the future with designing knits, which you may notice I seem to have started to do, I have treated myself to Debbie Abrahams', Design Your Own Knits in 5 Easy Steps. I have been coveting this book for months now, and as it is my birthday this week, I decided to treat myself to it. I have only just started reading it, but it seems very interesting so far, and I am sure it will be a big help, in future design work I do.

In other knit news, I have finally finished another blanket square. I bet you thought I'd forgotten all about that blanket didn't you? Well I haven't. I have been filled with guilt for ignoring it, so I finally finished another square.

It was another tricky one, as intarsia is NOT my friend. I am very jealous of Susan Crowe's flowers. She has been going all out on her blanket and it shows. I need to up my square rate if I ever hope to get this thing finished by the end of the year. Maybe I'll do some nice plain squares for a week to just up my square rate.

In the meantime I continue with my socks. They are going well and I am on the gusset decreases. I am now starting to panic about how wide I should make the calves and what pattern I should put around the back. I keep trying the socks on and hoping inspriration will strike before I decrease them to the size of a small child's ankles. I'm sure something will come to me soon, it has to!


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