Thursday, January 05, 2006

I am Such a Slacker

Oh.....oh dear. I haven't updated in a month? At least I knew when I started this thing that there would be long periods of time between entries, but still, seeing the archive dates next to each other really makes it sink in.


In my defense, I spent the last month frantically making all sorts of things and, well, it's not as if anyone reads this anyway. Good. Now I feel better about being lazy in this one respect. I'd love to show you all the lovelies I made for people, but somewhere in the midst of the gifting scramble I had the brilliant idea to hold off on pictures until things had been received, and the pictures never actually got taken. Now I have to contact everyone who got handmade stuff and demand pictures of them or decide that I don't care that much about flaunting their gifts all over the internet.


Astoundingly, I managed to knit quite a bit for myself in the midst of all the madness. I finally figured out why the Corset Pullover pattern hated me and ultimately decided to attach the straps to it in the way I'd imagined raher than the way the pattern dictated.





I'm sorry, that's a horrible picture. >_<


Anyway, I absolutely loved the stitch details in this. The twisted rib has one of the most awesome textures ever, the columns of slipped stitches form a nice, neat border between things, and the plain stockinette side panels prevent added waistline chunkiness. I also loved the lace on the sleeves, even though it was eerily similar to the stitch pattern for the Adrienne Vittadini Eyelet Cable Jacket which has been put on indefinite hold (more about this later).





I haven't quite figured out a decent format for project details yet, so please bear with me.


Pattern
Corset Pullover. Written by Robin Melanson. Published in Interweave Knits Fall 2004.

Materials Used
4.5 skeins of Lion Brand Cotton in black on US 5 circular needles. The cotton is sort of heavy, but it works with the stitch pattern beautifully and didn't cost me a ridiculous amount of money. It also made seaming much easier than it usually is and was substantial enough to not make my hands cramp up while trying to hold onto it. If I could have afforded a silk/cotton blend I would have definitely gone that route, but I'm pleased with my cheap-o yarn selection.

Time
I honestly have no idea how long I spent on this. I've always had a lousy sense of time, but I get so wrapped up in knitting that it makes it impossible to keep track of any increment smaller than months. I suppose for this reason it's a good idea for me to post in here on a regular basis.

Modifications
I chose to make this in the Medium size, but added some extra decreases and increases both to make this large enough in the boobage area and to make a finished shape that followed my curves closely. The suggested length of not-quite-hitting-the-top-of-the-pants would have looked ridiculous on my elongated hourglass shape, so I added a good 4" to the overall length. Speaking of length, I would have liked the sleeves to be a bit shorter. Mine ended up longer than they were supposed to, so if I ever made this again I would space the decreases a bit closer together. I would also read the pattern thoroughly before even casting on; I didn't notice the "at the same time" instructions until I was well past the point where they applied and ended up frogging half the front as a result.
I noticed that a lot of people decided to leave off the cinch straps, but I have a fondness for hardware on clothing that cannot be dimished by lousy model photos and illogical strap placement. The d-rings combined with the lacyness and black make me think that this is what Lip Service knitwear would look like.




Well, that wasn't the only thing I was selfishly knitting. Having finished my gothy sweater I raided my stash for ideas and discovered the 13 skeins of black Cervinia Softer I'd gotten on sale from smileysyarns.com. Mohair is not something that lends itself to any old pattern, but fortunately I had one laying around that it was born to be used with.



At the moment I've gotten all of the knitting done with the exception of the neckline edging. That and seaming are all I have left. I actually wouldn't be nearly so far along on this if I hadn't had travel complications. Being stuck in an airport on standby for 4 hours means that I got to knit something like 9 hours total on Dec. 22nd. I finally gave it a rest when my right pinkie refused to stop aching, but continued to work on it at a leisurely pace for the entire week of my vacation until I ran out of yarn a few hours before my return flight. I finished the body of it last night and would be working on seaming right now if the ball of my thumb didn't ache and I wasn't drunk on Dayquil. Expect to see it done within the next week.


Also in progress is the uncomparably gorgeous Butterfly. I couldn't exactly afford the recommended kidsilk haze, but handpaintedyarn.com's lace weight wool was suggested as a more affordable substitute. I spent something like 2 hours just scrolling through the different colours and drooling. Having finally settled on 3, I reasoned that at $5.95 for more than enough yards to make the camisole version of Butterfly I could easily afford all 3. This of course means that I will be knitting at least 3 of this pattern, although most likely more. You see, I think this would be perfect for my mother and best friend and sister, even though they all live in the sweltering wasteland that is San Diego. I should perhaps use something not as warm for their versions, and they're all "autumns," so the 3 decidedly "winter" colours I got will apparently have to be used for.....er......me.



This is, by far, the most complicated pattern I have ever attempted. It's also the first lace knitting I've ever done, and even after the relative thinness of the Softer yarn this stuff feels like thread. Delicious purple wool thread, yes, but still !%#!&^# thread. Reportedly the frill is the worst part of the whole pattern, however, so once I've finished and grafted (*retch*) it into a circle this should go a lot faster. I've decided the make this first one pretty much exactly as the pattern intended, although I refuse to graft more than I absolutely have to, so the frill is being done in one long strip. Other than that I'll probably just make it a bit more roomy up top for the boobs, but if the lace is really stretchy I can probably leave it as is.



Oh, I also made some armwarmers a while back.





They are, to date, the most useful thing I've knit. I wear them almost every day at work as a defense against the bipolar climate control that interprets 70F as "alternately 50F and 90F." They're toasty enough to banish goosebumps but easy to slip off once the in-store temperature reaches its "sweltering inferno" setting. They're more or less based on the Hurry up Spring armwarmers from SnBN, albeit longer, black, and done in a smaller gauge. I used some random sport weight acrylic for them which, while not the softest or prettiest stuff in the world, is warm, durable, and washable.


Oh, I almost forgot to tell you about the Eyelet Cable Jacket! Right, so it's knit up, seamed together, and I've done one side of the ribbed neckband, only to discover that I've run out of yarn. Normally this would be no big deal. I'd go to the store, buy some more, and resume knitting. However, the yarn for this project lived a previous life as an ugly XL GAP sweater that I picked up in a thrift store to recycle. Because it was an XL I figured I'd have more than enough yarn to knit the size small jacket, but apparently I made an error in calculations somewhere. Now the only way this jacket is going to get done is if I miraculously manage to find another GAP sweater that was made with the same kind of yarn. Considering that I live out in the middle of nowhere and rarely have the opportunity to go thrifting, this is not likely to happen any time soon.

Damn you, recycled sweater.

3 comments:

Sarah said...

That's the first time I've seen the Corset Pullover and actually thought I would like to make it!

That mohair patterns in the Cleckheaton Studio Mohair book, right? I sent it to a couple of people a few months back but I don't think you were one of them (maybe you were, I can't remember!). I had a horrible experience with that book... Oh well.

Sarah
(real blog address: http://www.livejournal.com/community/craftysarah

merp said...

Your corset pullover is gorgeous! I really want to make one, but it looks hard--I've never made a sweater that complicated. And I got very confused reading the parts about attaching the straps, too. Figured it would become clear when the time came....did it?

But anyway you did a beautiful job--I love it!

Erica said...

Wow, you look HOT in the corset pullover! Makes me want to make one. I saw it in that cream and thought "that's cool" but in black, that's a different story!