Sunday, August 12, 2007

Long at last!

Margaret Tudor is assembled and done! She is a hefty beauty in many ways, gave me lots of grieves and frustrations, involved many seaming works, and took me so long. I don’t remember exactly when but I think I started on the project in 2003. And, it weighs 1.1kg. It was abandoned for more than two years before being picked up again last year. As I recall, my hands were not used to working with thin metal needles initially and I had severe pain in my fingers after the first panel was finished. Naturally, I was very reluctant to start the second panel and the project languished in my bag for quite long time. In any case, last summer, I realized that I need to finish those unfinished works before too late. Margaret Tudor was the last one on the list of unfinished works. Now, I can toss the list, at least for now.

The yarn used is Louet Gems Merino Opal in burgundy, about 4 ½ of half pound cones. I used size 1 Inox needles (2.25mm) throughout. I felt that the original garment is too boxy. It should not be close fitting, but closer fitting would be more flattering. Instructions for the smallest size were followed except for a few changes: Side body panels were narrowed by 6 stitches each with the armhole shaping intact. This change resulted in 24 stitches less in the body circumference and 12 stitches less in shoulder width. In order to compensate for the narrower shoulder width and to make sleeves longer than the original, one more rose and thistle motifs were added. Instead of using buttons to hold upper panels down, I used beads. All in all, I am quite satisfied with the finished garment. Oh, the reason why I did not use Scottish Fleet? Well, I did swatch with it to see if I can achieve the specified gauge, and I miserably failed. I just could not do it. I tried a couple of other yarns before I decided on Gems Merino Opal. This is my second project with this yarn and I just love it. Great stitch definitions and a nice color range. Here is me wearing it in summer weather! Quick, cannot stand more than a few minuties!

Margaret Tudor was my third project from Tudor Roses. The next one would be Elizabeth I with camel Dunedin. I am now working on adjusting the pattern as I hear and read that it is large and its neck opening is too wide.

I was very productive this weekend, and I’ve finished my second silk corset. I just love pure silk yarns and Ms. Modesitt’s corset pattern. I am definitely addicted to the smooth feel of silk yarns. Although I have not knitted this design with cotton yarns, I have a feeling that silk yarns provide smoother and closer fitting. The third one would have longer sleeves; maybe elbow length, with flounces.

And, me again.

Addendum: Since a good knitting friend of mine had asked, I am adding the seaming method I used for the record. I used a regular sewing thread and a needle so as not to add more bulk to the garment. I simply used whipped stitches to sew panels together, picking up a half stitch each along the seam line. Now, the exact location of the half stitches I picked. Facing wrong sides of panels with a thistle panel underneath a rose panel, let’s assume that we are seaming the right edge of the rose panel onto the thistle panel. The rose panel is placed right next to the edge of the knitted (as opposed to purled) section of the thistle panel, or the purled thistle section when viewed from right side. I picked the last half stitch of the knitted thistle section (viewed from wrong side), and the outer half stitch at the right edge of the rose panel. The resulting seams were strong enough but not bulky. One thing to note is that the stitches do not line up nicely like one would see when seaming side seams. Rose panels have smaller number of rows than the thistle panels due, of course, to difference in row gauges. So, it is essential to match the thistle and rose patterns with right side up and pin them together well so that you can flip them over without dislocating the patterns.


  1. May,
    Congratulations, it's very beautiful.
    What's the gauge on this sweater?

  2. Absolutely stunning, May! {Insert sound of wild applause} I think you are the only the second person I have ever known with the fortitude to finish that design. It's truly gorgeous and looks beautiful on you!

  3. Anonymous9:25 PM

    WOW!!!! Absolutely gorgeous :-) Stunning!!! wear it well

  4. No wonder it looks so good on you, the modifications were a briliant idea. I'd never have thought of Louet. And you finished off a UFO!

    Personally I am very happy to hear you started it in 2003!

  5. this is beautiful!
    and reading that you started it in 2003 makes me feel not so very bad about my own UFOs ;)

    i think like the second corset even better than the first one - it looks perfect on you!

  6. wow, May. The tudor is gorgeous and so are the corsets - really beautiful work on both - i can't believe how fast you did the second one! Maybe you're trying to get it in before Sept, when the cool air returns??

  7. Gorgeous job on both Mary Tudor and the corsett!

  8. Anonymous3:14 PM

    Congratulations - great job! I think this is the first Mary Tudor I've seen.

  9. May, I'm in awe, it's so gorgeous!
    I don't know that I'd have the patience to finish it. I love the corset too.
    Have you posted to the knitting thread on SG? I know everyone there will also be in absolute awe to see this gorgeous pullover complete.
    The construction on it is the most unusual, unique design I've ever come across.
    Big Congratulations!

  10. May, It's just beautiful! What a complex and lovely design. Great color and it looks so nice on you as well. That corset is quite fantastic too.

  11. may, your knitting is absolutely gorgeous!!!

  12. Oh May, both projects are just amazing!! Can't wait to see MT in person once it gets cold. Well done!!

  13. Wow! Those are both gorgeous! Margaret Tudor has always been one of my favorites.

  14. KarenE2:02 PM

    Dear May,

    Congratulations on finishing Maggie T. It looks really good on you. I ended up stitching down the centre points into position on the rose panels first, and then getting the seams pinned evenly from there. The pattern does repay the hard work though. I find that two layers of tightly-knit guernsey yarn is sufficient for most UK late autumn/winter days....

  15. What a beautiful sweater! I love the color and the intricate knitting.

    It looks great on you!

  16. Andrea, in MD7:02 PM

    May, that (MT) is incredible! Congratulations on a true accomplishment! Your corset is very pretty, too; I am falling prey to that same affinity for silk yarns.

  17. Love to see what knitters make. Lovely!!!

  18. Dear May,
    What amazes me is you're all around perfectionist with knitting and sewing (whatever you touches, it seems) and you coordinate your projects well. When I finish my WIPs and do any of these projects, I'll be sure to consult you.Thanks for raising the bar.

  19. Hi May,
    I just recently joined a Yahoo group that is a Knit Along for the Tudor Roses book by Alice Starmore. One of the members directed me to your blog because I'm making the same sweater as you did. I just wanted to say Wow! You did an awesome job. And beads instead of buttons is a fantastic idea.

    Take care,
    Linda Jo

  20. Anonymous1:52 AM

    May さん、こんにちは。
    I didn't know Alice Starmore wrote so many books. This is a great sweater. But so many pieces! I've been waiting for her Fair Isle Knitting republished.
    Did you happen to go to school in Nishinomiya?

  21. Lunachan,
    返事が随分遅くなってしまって、すみませんでした。残念ながら、西宮には行った事も無いと思います。 知っていらっしゃる方に似てましたでしょうか? スターモアさんの本がまた再版されると本当にありがたいのですが、あまり聞きませんね。残念です。