Orchids and Waterlilies

Spring has finally sprung here in Kansas City. No more forty degree nights and 70 degree days. Its just breezy, perfectly tepid days. Yes. I never noticed Spring much back in Arkansas, though we definitely had it. I was so busy in school or working my first forty hour a week job to go outside and watch the seasons change. It was either cold or hot and it didn’t really matter either way at midnight while typing up a final paper or at 6am when I was being called in to work over time *shudders* but those days are behind me. And now my bedroom has a balcony on it! Outside our window we’re surrounded by lush greenery and all of the windows have been open since mid-March to let the sounds of chirping birds in.

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The first time I caught whiff of a warm breeze, I cast on for the Waterlily. I sweet little knit with a lace yoke and short sleeves to welcome warmer weather. I finished it up in about two or so weeks and I’ve worn in about five times already.

The Yarn

I used two skeins of Ella Rae Lace Merino in the colorway 125 (which I have deemed Raspberry Swirl). I’m grateful for Ella Rae’s generous yardage, I had just enough of the second skein left over to seam everything up and make repairs in the future. I love when that happens. It’s such a pain when you have half a skein left over or when you only need 20yds of another skein. So awkward. Ella Rae does it right.

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This yarn can be notorious for its skein to skein color variation. Even with yarns from the same dye lot. I had four of these skeins and you can certainly see a change in overall color hue from skein to skein. They’re all beautiful, but I had the luxury of picking the two skeins that were closest together in color. I decided against striping, but if you’re feeling a little unsure about any Ella Rae that you have, I would highly recommend striping it. The hue differences can be very drastic (as witnessed by several of my knitter friends who have frogged rather extensive stockinette works before…) Other than some naughty color consistency every once in a while, Ella Rae is one of my hands-down-favorite yarns to knit with. It has sheen, drape, and yardage for days. Probably the only merino yarn I would use for spring and summer knits.

The Pattern

So, I’m a little up in the air on this pattern. There are complaints on Ravelry about it being a bit confusing and I had to read it over a few times to understand. A lot of people were unclear about the divide for the sleeves. I think it was pretty self explanatory, but I can understand how the instructions were difficult to visualize. One thing I struggled with was the divide for the neck. While in hindsight, this seems obvious, the pattern doesn’t state that as you work the lace back and forth, decreasing along the edge for your v-neck, that each lace row will begin in different spots along the row to account for missing stitches and to keep all the lace in order. Depending on the row you begin on and your size, these spots will always be different. It was a bit of a challenge sometimes to correctly figure which stitch on the chart to start on. I wish the pattern had noted this so I could have had a heads up. Also, after I cast on my sleeves, I had the correct amount of stitches for my size, but a mysterious extra five stitches that were never knit into the lace. I won’t say its a pattern error (as this was mostly knit late at night)  but it’s something to watch out for.  Overall, the pattern is pretty straight forward, I just wish a few more notes were included along the way.

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The Knit

Alterations:

  • I knit this for finished size 36″ so I had two inches of positive ease.
  • I knit the body 15″ in length instead of the recommended 11.5. I have a fairly long torso and almost always make my tunics and shirts longer. Otherwise I’d be rocking belly shirts all the time.
  • I added some waist shaping for this. I have a fear of oversized box shaped things, I’m always nervous my shape will be consumed by all the excess fabric and it’ll look like I’m wearing a sack. A few decreases and increases make magic. I borrowed my shaping knitthehellout’s formula  “Around 6.5 inches begin decreasing 4 sts every 6 rows, 4 total times. Increase at the same rate at about 9.25 inches. Knit until piece measured 15.5 inches from the bottom until the armpit.”
  • I wanted a deeper v-neck. I began my v-neck after about 1.5″ of lace.
  • Saw many complaints of a sagging back neckline, so I followed the advice of several other knitters and decreased with p3tog across the entire back.

I had a lot of…issues while I was knitting this. It was just a rough two weeks (we all have ’em right?) I consistently derped up the lace section and had to rip back so many times. Instead of taking a break, I would just get angry and try again…at 1am, then make the same mistake…like I said, a bad two weeks. I think if I hadn’t been such a nut this would have been a much smoother knit. Either way, it only took two weeks, and all of the Ravelry forums and notes make this pattern and knit super easy to get through. A wardrobe staple for sure!

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Have you started your Spring knits yet or are you still finishing up cold weather knits? Have you jumped straight into summer knits? Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

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