Thursday 6 May 2010

Back to Knitting

I am so excited about showing you my new knit. I didn't share it with you while I was knitting it, because I wanted to do a big "ta-Dah!" when it was done. And I am now done! Actually I sewed in my last end of yarn on Saturday afternoon so I was able to wear it with my new skirt on Saturday night for my birthday dinner. It wasn't blocked but I was happy enough with it to wear it out. I have now blocked it, and oh what a difference it has made. I wish I had taken before and after photos but I didn't think it would change that much.

This knit uses Louisa Harding Jasmine in Plume, which I bought at a bargain price , in November. I have just checked and the offer is still on at Stash Yarns. They have some more yummy colours that I am really tempted to get after the success of this knit.

I used the Siesta pattern by Carol Feller as my base. It was published (for free) in the Summer 2009 issue of Knotions Magazine. The Ravelry pattern page is here, if you are interested. I used this pattern as a starting point as I had never knit a top down raglan sweater before and knew I needed some guidance. I chose this pattern because I wanted a v-neck tee and I really liked the cables round the neck and the i-cord edging.

I knew that I didn't want to use the pattern as written, as I believed the reverse stocking stitch panel over my tummy would just draw attention to my bulges, especially as when my tummy swells up on a bad pain day, I would just look even more pregnant than the swelling normally does. I decided to follow pumpkinknits suggestion and simply carry the central cable down the front.

I also made the sleeves slightly longer as I don't think short capped sleeves look great on me. I also needed to lengthen the yoke part before dividing for the sleeves as I needed to account for my larger bust. The pattern recommends making the top with negative ease (smaller than your body) so it become figure hugging. I didn't want it to be too snug because I felt it would look better skimming my curves, especially with the silk content. Once I started messing with the stitch counts I basically abandoned the pattern and worked out the increases and decreases for myself so that the tee followed my shape rather than a standard one.

I am so pleased with the way the finished product looks, especially now it has been blocked.

I love the i-cord edging as I think it really gives a nice crisp line. This style does not want to be pulled about by ribbing or moss stitch at the edges to stop curling. I think this tee will be worn to death this summer, which is why I am tempted to buy some more of this lovely yarn. The silk and cotton combination is so light and cool to wear, and it drapes beautifully. It skims my curves which hides any lumps but enhances my overall shape. I am very pleased with this make and will definitely be trying more raglan tops, because they suit me more than I imagined they would.

I can also report that this top was knit continential style again, and it really does speed up my completion rate. The knit fabric is also becoming more even, though it may be some time before it becomes as neat as my English style knitting is. I highly recommend giving this style of knitting a go if you feel you have hit a wall, speedwise, with English style knitting.


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