slightly unravelled

Monday, May 29, 2006

Fun with Cables

I've started my first project with cables. When I made the first cable, my initial impression was: cute!
But then I realized what a pain it is to do so many of them! By the time I got to the second cable round, I was incentivized to learn to cable without a cable needle. Much faster.

I am making this tank top from a pattern in a Filatura Di Crosa ad in the Spring/Summer Vogue Knitting. It took me awhile to decide if the pattern had potential or not. Initially, I was distracted by the fact that the neck-line is so sparse that if the model were to twist a half-inch or so, I think her nipple would be exposed. Once I got past that (it took awhile), I was still having trouble because they are showing the top made with really ugly yarn, so it was hard to even see past that to the actual design of the top.

I decided to give it a chance, but it's going to need a lot of modifications. I was worried that adding bulk with cables all the way around my torso would be very unflattering. But my cables are turning out really flat (I'm using soysilk), so it might be okay.

I'm going to have to do a lot of experimentation with the top of it to make sure that I can wear it without having to rely on double-stick tape to make sure I stay covered! I am planning a couple of other changes too....the whole thing is pretty experimental, so it seems highly likely to end up as a complete loser. Oh well, I love knitting with the soysilk, so I'll just unravel and use it for something else...

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Slate Gray Tank

I made this cute tank top with Blue Sky cotton. It took just slightly over 2 skeins.

It was really simple to make, but it took me awhile because I kept changing my mind on what I wanted, so I ripped and re-knit several times. I was originally planning to make something very similar to Glampyre's tubular camisole. I realized I wanted ribbing at the bust though, kind of mimicking a wonderful tank top I have with smocking at the bust (it's been worn a lot and is on its last legs...that smocking really gets stretched out over time). This was originally going to be fitted at the bust with the ribbing, then very loose and flowy throughout the torso. It was a little too maternity-ish for me, though, so I decided to give it a fitted shape. And the last remaining feature I was going to incorporate from the tubular camisole -- the pattern of yarn overs -- was quickly discarded once I thought about it more and realized that I didn't want that at all. I put a little bit of ribbing at the bottom to keep it from rolling.

So here it is. I love the way it fits (I tried on as I went along), and it's very comfortable. The strap length seems perfect: not too tight, but no danger of the top slipping too low.

My only complaint is about the yarn. I love the Blue Sky cotton; it's very soft and comes in really pretty colors. But, it's too big of a yarn for a little summer tank top. I kind of knew this when I bought it, but I wanted to use organic cotton, and this is the only organic cotton I could find that comes in dyed colors (imagine how I would look in "oatmeal" -- ick!). The fabric would have a more appropriate drape with smaller yarn on smaller needles, but I'm still happy with this one for a first attempt.

I feel like having a picnic just to make the tank top happy. Maybe I should take it on a stroll in Central Park. Or Sunday brunch?

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The Prepster Band

I made this argyle headband over the weekend. I lifted the argyle chart from this wrist-cuff pattern. I used Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino (that stuff is soft!) and straight size 3 needles. I would have done it in the round but I didn't want to buy needles for this...I felt silly enough buying yarn for it.

The argyle was fun, and I was relieved that I was able to do it (I was a little worried that I would just be incapable). I'm really slow at it, though!

You can see the floats in this picture. I think my tension was variable, so they're not perfect, but they seem loose enough to accommodate the band's stretch.

Saturday, May 13, 2006


I've been working on the Artyarns diagonal tank. I'm almost finished with the front, and as I was knitting I was thinking about the fact that the back will be mostly the same as the front, and I'm not looking forward to knitting the same thing again. In fact, this pattern is particularly bad because the left and right are done separately, so really I have to do a bunch of stuff that I've already done twice for the front two more times for the back.

I was thinking about the fact that I dislike knitting the same thing more than once (doing the second sleeve on the hourglass made me miserable, I lost all my excitement after the first pattern repeat (of 10!) on the wavy scarf, and I can imagine that if I ever start knitting socks I will end up making a lot of singletons), but a lot of people seem to really like knitting the same thing over again. Other people often seem to finish projects and say "that was fun; I think I'll make another." I think for me the thrill is really figuring out the pattern and watching the design emerge from the series of stitches I'm doing. It's all about the magic of the individual stitches, which aren't much on their own, adding up to something really cool. This is especially true with the Artyarns tank because I was really amazed to see how those k1inc1s caused the whole thing to become a series of triangles. But once I've seen how a pattern works once, a lot of the fun is gone and the knitting seems a little like drudgery.

Ironically, as I was thinking about this, I kept noticing that the Artyarns tank looked too big. Then I realized that I'm about half-way through my yarn...but not yet half-way through the tank. For the size small, you're supposed to make the bottom edge 17 inches. And it was 17 inches at one point. I had measured it, but I'd been very careful not to stretch it because I didn't want the whole thing to be too small. But then I think adding the sides had the effect of stretching out the bottom a bit. It's now 19 inches. I don't want it to be too big, and I really don't want to run out of yarn. So I'm going to rip out a bunch until I get down to my original triangle so I can make it 17 inches when very lightly stretched.

Which means I get to knit most of it over again.

This is what it currently looks like, but soon there will be much less to it.

On a brighter note, here's a little peek at my first color stranding attempt: