The Mountains Are Calling

The Mountains Are Calling

Picture heavy post! Knitting photos near the bottom!

Last week Jonathan and I went on our one year anniversary trip! We decided to take advantage of our anniversary’s proximity to Labor Day and delay our trip until September. Thursday night, after work, we jumped in the car and drove west as long as we could (three hours!) That made the remaining six hours to Boulder, Colorado much more enjoyable. We’d heard a lot of people mention how boring the drive from KC to Boulder was; I’m not sure what they were talking about though.

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I find windmills facinating

We loved the entire drive! It was amazing to see all of the farm land, cattle, and windmills going on and on for miles. The most delightful part of the drive was undoubtedly the sunflowers. Kansas is the sunflower state, after all. We had to take advantage of the fields of flowers along the interstate.

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Is it illegal to stop on the interstate like this? 

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Of course, the interstate sunflowers had nothing on the flowers alongside the “Welcome to Colorado” sign. This was one of the most breathtaking views of our entire trip, and we’d only just arrived!

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While we were driving, I pulled out my unfinished NaKniSweMo from last year. I figured that the mountains in fall would be a great opportunity to wear the sweater for the first time! I managed to finish steeking the sweater before hitting the road, and the entire drive up was spent weaving in ends, knitting on a border, and sewing on buttons. Phew.

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On the second day of our trip, we decided to do a day hike up the FlatIrons to the Royal Arch. What was supposed to be a two hour morning hike turned into a four hour, five and a half mile, strenuous hike at extreme elevation (my sweet husband didn’t check the map). It was the most physically challenging thing I’ve ever done before, but Jon and I stuck it out together! We took hundreds of photos and drank two liters of water while going up, up, up. Near the end, I started to wonder if the view at the top could possibly be worth the pain, but we pushed on anyways!

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So close to the top!

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Top of the arch, I’m sitting inside of it. Yes, those are knitting needles in my hand. 

Sadly, by the time we made it to the top of the mountain, storm clouds were rolling in, we were starving, and the sun was setting. We had no time for photos so we rushed down (which was surprisingly more emotionally trying than going up) and finished off our night with a fancy dinner and lots of drinks.

The next day, we decided to drive back up the trail and do some laid back sightseeing. I was pretty exhausted, but the pictures were so so worth it. I present my Oranje sweater!

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The Knitimg_2538

This was my first ever fair isle project. I go big, right? This yummy sweater is knit on a US6 with sport weight yarn. I used Debbie Bliss’ Fine Donegal which is technically a fingering weight yarn. However, the single ply wool is rather heavy and I managed to hit the same gauge on the sweater as if I’d used a true sport weight. img_2537

I’ll be upfront, this sweater has some of flaws to it. The armpits have little give to them, so when I lift my arms, the whole sweater comes with me. And seeing as this was my first time working fair isle, the yoke is a tad snug. I’m re-blocking the sweater and am going to re-seam the armpits again in hopes of having a bit more give. I think this will ultimately be a success. I have faith since the first time I blocked the sweater (before steeking which I highly recommend) it went from frumpy to fabulous. The collar could also probably stand to be blocked a little higher as well. img_2536

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I really love the brown button border of this sweater, but honestly, it’s a little finicky. It takes a day and a half for me to button this up proper, and the mass of buttons leads to gapping (though this could possibly be remedied with blocking). The fair isle often doesn’t line up if my buttons are askew-as you can see in the photo above. A part of me wishes I’d been patient and waited to get home to put in a zipper, but I wanted this to be done so so badly! And I love the brown highlights too much to not have them.

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Tucking my floats

Overall, I adore this sweater. The flaws in it are small fish compared to the amount of effort and time I put into this. I learned a lot while knitting this, like how to “tuck my floats” on the yoke so that there’s not a mass of loose strands inside the sweater waiting to be snagged. I did my first steek (you can check out the video here on my instagram) and I learned how to do a proper steek column so that you aren’t terrified while cutting!!! After hiking up a mountain, I feel safe in saying that this is an epic sweater that is worthy of the Dutch knitting traditions Ann Weaver based the design on. I would totes heard sheep while wearing this sweater, up a mountain even.

I’m so glad that I decided at the last minute to finish it on the car ride to Boulder. This will be a wardrobe stable for my first winter in KC. For me, this represents a new benchmark in my knitting. I learned so much while making this. I was so careful to get gauge and make size adjustments as needed so my effort wouldn’t be wasted. This makes my old work feel like child’s play, and I think I’ve finally kicked down the door to “a knitted wardrobe” instead of just lacey accessories, sorry Darling Emma. I’m ready to take my knitting to the next level. I still have a painful amount to learn (like seriously how to get more ease into these armpits). But I’m happy to learn from my mistakes and enjoy the journey, but right now, I’m just gonna wear my sweater and feel baller.

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Yes, It IS your grandmother’s knitting.

Camino Bubbles- Fire and Ice

I have a lace addiction. Truly. I believe most of my stash is made up of lace and fingering weight yarn. I have a sweater’s worth or two of worsted weight yarn, but if you close your eyes and take a random draw from my stash you’ll most likely pull out a 500yd skein of kettle dyed lace. I can’t help it. It’s so rewarding to knit an entire shawl or sweater out of one skein of yarn. And the way light shines through lace? Mm, to die for.

img_5308After finishing my commission, I was really excited to cast on for a “quick knit”. Though, after that sweater, anything could be considered quick. The Camino Bubbles by Kieran Foley is only 89 stitches wide though, so it seemed very inviting. This was a glorious knit and the drop stitch bubbles were addicting!

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The Yarn

I used two skeins of Jilly Lace: Dream in Color. I’m completely sold on this brand. This will be the fourth project I’ve knit using their yarns. The blue is ‘Blue Fish’ and the brilliant orange is ‘Great Pumpkin’. The skeins are 880yds each and 100% merino wool. Yum. There’s actually enough yardage on these skeins to knit two Camino Bubbles! The yarn is a touch sticky/grabby because it’s single ply, however, the bubble stitches were easy to drop. The colors of this yarn are so vivid and saturated that I was terrified they would bleed (especially the blue) from even wet blocking. The yarn claims to be machine washable though, so I went ahead and soaked this shawl and pinned it down. There was no bleeding and I didn’t notice any color leaking while it was in the sink. Nevertheless, I don’t think this shawl will ever be thrown in the washing machine, dab clean only!

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The Pattern

Oh, Keiran Foley, what a beautiful mind you have…I’m constantly amazed by how he uses dropped stitches and lace to create amazing shapes in negative space. If you haven’t already, check out his website and blog it is very drool worthy. Camino Bubbles is a very simple charted pattern. It includes written instructions, but I truly think it would be harder to knit this if you only follow the written instructions. The chart is much easier to use. You have one set up chart(A), chart B is repeated as many times as you want, then a finishing chart(C). That’s all!IMG_2361

The Knit

I was delighted to find that after doing a few repeats of chart B, I didn’t need the pattern anymore. It was very easy to see where dropped stitches needed to go and the only thing I really needed to keep track of was how many rows I did on each repeat.I carried this shawl around with me everywhere and whipped it out if I ever had a minute or two to knit. I could stop in the middle of a drop stitch row and pick it back up an hour later and know exactly where I was! The pattern is very repetitive and self explanatory, which I love. Dropping the stitches was so fun. There was a primal satisfaction in finishing the last chart repeat and pausing to pull and stretch the shawl, watching as the yarn unraveled to reveal a perfect bubble. I goofed a few times and dropped the wrong stitches or one stitch too many, nothing my handy dandy crochet hook couldn’t fix. I would absolutely recommend “popping” the bubbles as you go, to make sure that you don’t have any stray dropped stitches.
As far as alteration go, I  knit this shawl longer than the pattern sample. I believe the sample had 7 repeats of chart B, I did 9.5 for a post-blocking size of 72″ long. I think it goes without saying that this is a must block project. It’s all scrunched up and awkward after casting off. I blocked this to two times it’s size after casting off and the length of the shawl took up my entire balcony. After drying, it settled to a very comfortable size. I love shawls that are at least 60″ wide. I feel like 72″ is just enough extra length to really work with the shawl style wise. The pattern also has an option for a 130st wide shawl.

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This is an A+ pattern, and I highly recommend it! It’s a brilliant use of dropped stitches and the shawl is very dynamic in lace weight. A perfect summer shawl that I will absolutely make again. Also, “Finding Nemo” colors 😉

Fall is fast approaching (see the dead leaves in the background?) and I’m eager to cast on for fall knits. Despite a few more weeks of heat, I’m already in an autumn mindset. I can smell pumpkin and chilly nights on the wind and my fingers are itching for wool and textured oversized sweaters. Have you cast on for fall yet? Or are you hoping to complete one more summer knit? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time, knit on!

 

P.S I have a new guest in my home…

Orchids and Waterlilies

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!

 

 

Miller’s Daughter

Well, we are well into the New Year and life is already (or rather still is) pretty chaotic. We’ve jumped head first into moving to Kansas City for Jon’s new job and he’s been commuting back and forth for the past few weeks! In the meantime, I’ve been boxing up our life and saying goodbye to friends. Since Christmas, life has been non stop. I did manage to finish all of my Christmas gifts, but I still have a few commissions on the table before I can settle back into personal knitting.

This one time I made everyone Christmas gifts

I say that as if I haven’t been doing personal knitting. Of course I have. My Oranje sweater is slowly ticking along and, if you follow my Instagram, you’ve seen that I’ve been pretty devotedly knitting on Melanie Berg’s Miller’s Daughter shawl. Well, obsessed would be a better word. I finished it in about a week of feverish knitting.

  
I bought the yarn right before leaving to Florida for a work conference with Jon. I was bound to have tons of free time and I just had to bring it with me. I carried it around with me all the time and had a #knittinginpublic frenzy. 

Goodbye #beachside !!! Thank you for the awesome sunny day

The Knit:

Have you guys noticed the garter stripes and lace fad? Its hot stuff right now and everyone at my LYS has jumped on board. Everyone’s been bringing in Lilli Pillis, and Quicksilvers and I had to get in on it. I actually cast on for a Lilli Pilli a while back but fell out of love with in pretty quickly. Then I set eyes on Dream in Color Smooshy and new I needed a shawl out of it. I ultimately  picked the Miller’s Daughter because of the crescent shape; it seemed like a more diverse wear.

The Yarn

In love with dream in color smooshy. I smell a shawl...#knittingaddict #knittersofinstagram #knitting_inspiration

Dream in Color  is, hands down, one of the finest yarns I’ve ever knit with. We’ve got it coming out our ears at our LYS (Worsted weight Classy with Casshmere, lace weight Jilly, fingering weight Jilly, and fingering weight Smooshy). While the others are great, my Entrelac Socks  are out of Jilly, the Smooshy Cashmere takes the cake. The blend of cashmere, merino, and nylon gives the yarn an amazing luster and squish (or should I say smoosh?) that the others just don’t have. The colors are to die for. I used Crying Dove and Lucky Stone for my stripe and the glorious Mermaid Shoes for my lace. Lucky Stone was actually discontinued right after I bought it, so I feel pretty lucky. The blue is a mystery yarn, but I’m pretty sure it’s  Nuble

  
My only complaint? With only 400yds to work with at $30 a skein, most people who aren’t completely insane care about their budgets probably wouldn’t buy large quantities of this. I would have needed 6 skeins of this to knit the shawl for full size, and, even for me, that’s a little much for a shawl. It called for an edit to the pattern

The Pattern

This pattern calls for 1,273 yards of lace weight in two main colors with a few stripes of scrap yarn for contrast. I fell in love with my three color combination of Dream in Color fingering though, so those instructions were pretty much out the window. Instead, I knit this on a US6 and pulled in a third color for my lace section. With only 1,200 yards to work with, I wasn’t going to be able to do all of lace and stripe repeats. The pattern calls for a total of ten repeat sections:

4 repeats of stripes, 2 lace, 6 stripes, 2 lace, 6 stripes, 2 lace, 6 stripes, 2 lace, 6 stripes, 4 lace

Working on a larger needle and yarn, it wouldn’t be hard to get my shawl to the same length with less yarn, but I would have had significantly less lace sections. So, with a little math I figured that this would be the best variation of the pattern:

4 repeats of stripes, 2 lace, 6 stripes, 2.5 lace, 6 stripes, 3 lace

  
My shawl is the same length as the original and I didn’t have to shirk on my lace.
This is easily a new favorite, I’ve been wearing it every day since all my other knits are packed away. It is such a comfort to have during all this transition. We’re officially moved out of our old apartment and while Jon works up in Kansas I’m shacked up with his parents. The countdown to move has gotten very real and the stress levels are on high. Most of my yarn is in Kansas City, but I’ve been carrying around a few skeins, Dream in Color no less, for happy feelings. I’ve never been a “enjoy the journey” type of person,  but the yarn helps. Yarn always helps!

 

 

Socky Comfort

Life is good tonight. I’m sitting here with a plate of leftover snacks from another successful knitting ministry meeting. Tonight’s focus was community building and fellowship. Less of a Bible study lesson than I would like, but there was much laughter and getting to know one another, which is incredibly important when forming a small group. Sharing the Gospel doesn’t do much good when people feel too awkward to speak or share personal stories. Interpersonal relationships among believers build bridges to a relationship to God; I’m slowly but surely learning this.

Another happy knitting ministry meeting 🙂 #knittersofinstagram #youthministry

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In my attempts to build comfort and community in my small living room apartment, I try and make everyone feel like they’re at home. I made an Italian sausage and potato soup for everyone to have and eat out of tea cups (because I don’t own that many bowls) and I encourage my friends to bring snacks.

Soup in a teacup before bed, because I am a lady after all

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I put out a platter of tea options and knitting magazines and everyone crowds around my tiny little coffee table to learn to knit. It’s the bee’s knees. Tonight, I also opened up my knitting trunk and someone pulled out my recently finished entrelac socks!

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I’ll go ahead and offer up a disclaimer right now that this sock pattern had no mistakes and was very clearly written. When I knit them I was just drunk demented distracted a lot and really struggled to get these done. I started them all the way back in December. I used Rowan Fine Art and Dream in Color Jilly Lace. I got a few repeats beyond the heel on the right sock before…I honestly don’t know. I’m not really sure why I put these down. I don’t recall making anything instead of them. I just stopped.

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I picked them back up in the beginning of October (do they count for Socktober?!?!?) and instead of finishing the right sock, decided to cast on and do the left one. All fine and good, until I went to the right one, got half way done, then discovered a gaping hole in the toe and my attention was drawn to how ugly the work I’d done back in December seemed. Yeah, that’s right, I called my work ugly. The truth hurts. The heel was an atrocity and the hole in the toe was so large, it didn’t even merit being duplicate stitched closed. Maybe languishing in a project bag at the bottom of my basket for ten months made the little sock disheveled, maybe it was jacked up when I knit it. Either way, after glaring at it for thirty minutes I decided it had to be frogged.

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Then I made the toe longer than the toe on the left sock….I can’t even. I really don’t know how I managed that. They both fit very well, but one toe has about an extra inch on it before starting the entrelac. As a result, the right sock only has four contrast color repeats instead of five. But listen, baby, whose ever going to see these toes/be mean enough the point out the disparity? I knit on and finished these up last week.

I went tassel free because, like most people on Ravelry who’ve made these socks, I can’t imagine them being at all practical. I work with small children and I have a cat, no tassels needed. As one of my fellow knitters said ” it’s a bit much of much”. Even without the adorable tassels, these socks are much loved and shall be worn constantly. Uneven toes and all.

Uneven toes and such #ohwell #knitting #knittersofinstagram

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NaBloPoMo November 2015

NaKniSweMo is still going strong. So far I’ve knit about five inches and am ready to start the waist decrease and increases. I’m completely in love with this sweater and the yarn is delicious. It’s a dream to work with. Its hard to capture in photos, but the blue has flecks of yellow in it that just tickle me pink. I already love the folded in hem. Right now, this sweater seems very mint-chocolate to me. Mouth watering- and I don’t even like that flavor.

How goes your NaKniSweMo sweater? What was the last project you made crazy mistakes on?

YAW

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Sigh…yarn lust is a terrible beast. It keeps me up at night. When it gets really bad I dream about the yarn I want. When I visit the yarn shop, I touch the same yarn over and over, with puppy dog eyes. Its really tragic.

Jon and I agreed that my stash of yarn has become insane, and that I need to severely cut back on my yarn buying and get my stash busting life together. I’ve been incredibly good, diligently knitting away at my stash. But the beast must be fed, and I can only be good for so long.

Enter Herriot Heathers DK. Peruvian Baby Alpaca. Green. *drool*

I’ve been staring at this yarn on the shelf for well over a year, and I’d like to believe it was waiting for me. While other knitters pillaged our Herriot section (we have lace now!)  not one seemed interested in the beautiful pile of green at the bottom of the stack. Then my LYS needed someone to work some last minute hours and they’d pay in yarn. Guess what I brought home?

#willworkforyarn is real. Helped out at the shop and gladly accepted some Juniper Moon Herriot #lovelocal

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I’ve been wanting a casual pullover for a while now. I only have two, a plush white mohair one and a Teeney Park entrelac sweater . I love them, but they aren’t something you just throw on and run out the house with. Norah Gaughn’s Yaw is exactly what I wanted. I love the oversized fit and long sleeves, the lace detail over the shoulders, the way the boat neck rests right on the edge of the shoulders. *Dreamy eyes*. The alpaca has the perfect amount of drape for this sweater and the heather green gives the lace a very nice texture.

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I was so excited to knit this sweater that I knocked it out in about two weeks. I even brought it on a hiking trip to Devil’s Den. This Herriot is a dream to knit with, and I look forward to getting more…sorry Jon.

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Pattern Notes:
I think this pattern had a few technical errors for my size; I noticed the numbers would be consistently off by a few stitches and the center panel was skewed. I go over that on my ravelry page here . They’re minor errors and easily fixed with a few ktogs and m1s. The biggest problem people seemed to have while making this was that it was too tight and did not drape. I’m not really sure why that was an issue though, the pattern calls for 6″ of positive ease. I knit my size on gauge had had no issues.

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I’m very happy to finally have a casual pullover and I foresee this being worn a lot this season.

 NaBloPoMo November 2015
It’s November which means NaKniSweMo and NaBloPoMo have begun! I have a lot of knitting plans this month and am excited to try and blog about it daily. I don’t have many expectations about what I’ll get done, though. I just want to enjoy the ride. Today I cast on for the Orangje cardigan out of Debbie Bliss Fine Donegal. So far I’m in love, wonder if I can keep up the momentum?

Cast on for#nakniswemo and #nablopomo2015 Orangje fair isle cardigan by Amy Weaver!

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Is anyone else attempting NaKniSweMo or NaBloPoMo or any other variation? What sweater are you trying to crank out?

July What? Anthea Top

July What? Anthea Top

What day is it? The 5th, right? This post is totally happening in a timely manner and this tank top was knit two months ago last week. I’m great at blogging. Shush.

This July I felt especially festive and was determined to cook and dress for the occasion. Italian herb bread, bacon and asparagus quiche, cornmeal and plantain pancakes…but this is a knitting blog; who cares about cooking from scratch and pretty loaves of bread I forgot to take pictures of? I was much more successful at recording my July 4th get up.

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That’s right. Somewhere between four hours of cooking and beer and fireworks, I managed to rock some serious red, white, and blue. Many thanks to Despina Tsiara‘s Anthea tank top. I know everyone got quite the chuckle over how festive I looked, but I wore my knit with pride and fearlessly walked through a farm in snow white shoes and fluttery red shorts without bug spray on. I love my country.

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The Knit:
Does life get much better than tank tops, DK weight yarn, and a US 8? I think not. Wait, it does get better. This lovely little thing took only two skeins of Madeline Tosh DK (Bloomsbury color way). That’s right, just two. Bow down to the magic of DK weight. I made the smallest size which would fit a 32″-34″ and called for exactly 400yds. Tosh Dk has a generous 225yds on it. My LYS doesn’t currently sell any Madeline Tosh but we have one little cubby full of lonely freebies from bulk yarn orders and the Left Behinds from yarn orders many moons ago. I had my eye on these two robin’s egg blue skeins for a while and kept wondering what I’d do with only a little over 400yds of DK weight. You can’t really make much of anything out of that clothing wise, at least not in one color. Oh, so I thought. After weeks of prowling through Ravelry, I found this design. It’s a perfect stash buster!

The Pattern:

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I have very little to say about this pattern, which in my book is always a good thing. It’s well written, easy to understand, and very straight forward. The lace is so easy there isn’t even a chart for it, mm, knitting junk food. This is knit in the round and bottom up. I recommend a cable cast on so the shaping at the bottom really pops. I promise the shirt doesn’t roll up like that on its own, I was fiddling with it. It hugs the hips very nicely and the lace gives the bottom a sweet rolling hills look at the bottom. The lace pattern can be done as many times as desired. I went with the pattern picture and completed four full repeats.

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I’ll admit to being a little doubtful about how the bust would turn out. When the lace detailing is done you switch to US4 and knit an applied I-cord all the way around. Then you knit with the most basic of short row shaping until the bust is as large as you like. That’s really it. All of the shaping happens once you thread your ribbon through the series of yos you made while shaping and pull it taught. I’d finished the tank and had a rectangle, a beautiful rectangle, but only a rectangle. I didn’t believe it would look good or that a ribbon would perform bust shaping magic. Lets go ahead and add that to the list of the many things I’m wrong about. 20140709-130609-47169612.jpg

Gosh, I like being wrong. Though, I usually make an effort to have my ribbon tied much more nicely so it’s straight and you can’t see the knot. I dunno, when the cameras on of course I would retie it without paying any attention, then ask for a close up. That’s just who I am. Still cute though. Right?

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Right.

This top is finished off with an applied I-cord cast off and then you knit up some 6st I-cord straps. You can sew them on however you’d like but I found that putting them directly in front of my armpits gave the bust a little extra pop in shaping and added stability. My only real notes of caution for this knit?

1. Please try on as you go through the bust. Don’t play the guessing game. I tried this on several times and I pulled yarn through different areas on the bust and tied it around my neck to see how it would look. The bust and straps are not independent of each other! Combined, they give you all of your shaping, so if you have to try this top on 7 times and put temporary straps on over and over again, do it. You’ll be so grateful that you did.

2. Think about the yarn you pick. Several people on Ravelry complained that the shirt stretched out a significant amount before they even had a chance to wear it. Bamboo is a no no. The lace and spaghetti straps make this top plenty breathable. Your shoulders, back, and bits of tummy are out (because undershirts are stupid). Don’t be afraid of wool just because it’s a summer top.

3. Don’t rely on the lace to stretch. Though the lace pattern gives the bottom of the shirt a lot of give, this a form fitting, hip hugging tank. Go ahead and knit as many repeats as you need until the lace rests on those hips; I don’t think it’d be nice to have this top constantly rolling up on you. I really like that I can run and jump around in this without constantly having to pull it down. I recommend at least four repeats  and don’t be stingy with your bust. Just take the time to make it right the first time, and you’ll never look back.

Oh, and tie your ribbon with care. Or else you’ll look like a derp.

Derp to the max.

Derp to the max.

 

I’d say this 4th was an all around success. I dressed for the holiday, cooked lots of yummies, and even got some great shots of fireworks. Summer is just getting started, and there are so many more tops to make. Until then, I leave you with fireworks and all those lovely bug bites on your legs.

Happy knitting 🙂

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