Sunday, July 17, 2005

prosperous plum tank pattern

The pattern is up!

So far it's only in one size, but I will try to resize it soon. Please let me know if you see any glaring errors! (Or even not-so-glaring ones...)

Thursday, July 14, 2005

prosperous plum tank

prosperous plum tank - front prosperous plum tank - back

pattern: my own!
yarn: 2 skeins Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece (80% pima cotton, 20% merino wool / 215 yds per 100g ball) in Prosperous Plum
needles: Denises size 8
gauge: 19 sts x 27 rows / 4"
date finished: July 12, 2005

Check it out, the first real thing I've designed myself! The lovely yarn for this was given to me by my SP, and I still have another skein leftover - destined for a one skein wonder perhaps? I really really love this yarn. It's very easy to work with, has great stitch definition, blocks well, and showed no signs of wear even after sections of it were frogged and re-knit no less than 5 times. It's also nice and soft - not in a cushy, cuddly way, but it feels very smooth against my skin.

Lessons learned from my first design experience:
  1. Keep very very good detailed notes! And write down what you're doing as soon as you do it, because you will forget what you've done, even 5 minutes later.
  2. Swatch obsessively.
  3. close fitting = lots of negative ease
  4. Sometimes tedium and fiddliness can be totally worth it. (Check out that picot hem!)
  5. Don't be afraid to frog, whether you're frogging the whole thing (happened once) or just a section (happened many, many times).
  6. Lifelines are a beautiful, beautiful thing.

And the best thing about designing something for myself? It fits perfectly!

prosperous plum tank prosperous plum tank

Hee, like my model pose? :) I tried to get a picture of the back as well, but my mom decided that the skin on my upper back was breaking out too much so she cropped it in such a way that you can't really see how it fits. Ah well, I guess these pictures will do for now - at least I got someone else to take them this time, no more spotty blurry mirror pics!

I'll probably post the pattern for this soon, depending on whether there is any interest and how long it takes me to write it up. I'm also not sure if I'll try to resize it or just post it in my size for now. Decisions, decisions.

Monday, July 11, 2005


It's done, it's done, the purple cotton monster is done! And it is perfect! And it is... blocking.

Will post pics once it's dry. :D So excited!

Saturday, July 09, 2005


The formula for a night like the one I'm having:

1. knit
2. frog
3. repeat ad nauseum

I finally got my tank up to the point I was at before I frogged the whole thing last time, tried it on, and it fit perfectly. So I threaded a lifeline in (very important) and continued with my plan for the fronts, which involved splitting in the middle to create a v-neck and then decreasing on both sides to reduce the number of stitches. But I have this big stupid cable pattern running up the middle that I didn't want to disturb, and now it's causing me alll sorts of problems. First I tried decreasing evenly on both sides, but then it bagged at the armholes. Next I tried decreasing once on the inside edge for every 2 decreases on the outside edge - same problem. Tried reversing it - one decrease on the outside for every 2 on the inside - and guess what, SAME FREAKING PROBLEM.

This last time, it finally occurred to me that I only had to rip back one side at a time. Of course I'll have to rip the other one back at some point too, but at least I can try a new decrease formula on the side I ripped and then compare it to the previous incarnation. I am just scared that the stupid cable is messing up the way the front falls just enough that I'll have to use short rows. Scary thought! I've used short rows on socks before, but to incorporate them into my own design? Not a pleasant thought! I'm going to try just one more decrease pattern, and if that doesn't work maybe I'll attempt the short rows... that can wait until tomorrow though. No point in freaking out before I sleep on it.

And here I thought knitting was supposed to relieve stress, not cause more...

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

road trip pictures

Just a quick update, if you want to see the pictures from my cross-country trip they are here. I took a lot more at Tierra Wools and also I took pics of the yarn I bought, but I'm going to upload those to flickr tomorrow... all my friends and family have the link to the road trip pictures and I didn't want to bore them with pictures of yarn. :P But those will come soon!

Knitting-wise, my tanktop is coming along very nicely the second time around. I just finished the last waist increase, now I have to knit another inch or two before I can bind off a lot of the stitches and split the front. Progress, yay! I also knit myself a little swatch to practice crochet, because as much as I hate to admit it I think the edges of my straps will look much nicer with a crochet finish and oh boy do I suck at crochet.

Earlier today I went to the very first LYS I ever stepped foot into. At the time, the saleswoman was fairly rude to me and I hadn't gone back since. But today, I was right next door at the drugstore, and I had a sudden urge to buy small addi turbos to try knitting socks on 2 circulars (after knitting another round or 2 of my sock this morning on dpns and remembering how annoying they are). So I went in, and the people working there were nicer to me, though still not super friendly. But I certainly don't expect super friendliness everywhere I go! They ended up not having any addis smaller than a size 4, they had some small Susan Bates quicksilver circulars but I took a look and the join didn't seem very smooth so I passed.

But the yarn selection - it was great! I don't think I've ever seen a store with as wide a range in price and quality. They had Lion Brand, Bernat, and Patons... and then Rowan, Colinette, and Debbie Bliss... lots of Berocco... a little Noro... and really just about everything in between! I even saw my first real Koigu, which I came *thisclose* to buying, but I decided not to when they didn't have the needles I wanted. I've got to say, I'm glad I wandered in there despite my first experience in the store, because it does seem like a good place to visit more often. (Like I need more yarn right now! Ha!)