Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Lucy in Venezia

Once I won eight balls of ribbon yarn in wonderful light mint green shade on Ebay. It is a bulky ribbon yarn called Filati Bertagna Venezia and has about 99 yards per ball. Eight of them did not seem enough and I went back to Ebay, but I could never win them again. It was about five years ago and they cost me less than $15!

What could I knit with 800 yards of yarn? I had no idea initially and the yarn sat there for a few years. Then Rowan 37 came out and I saw Lucy. It is a cardigan with overlapped front bodice pieces which are buttoned up at the top section only. It has a wide lace border on the body and the sleeves are entirely knit in lace pattern: a very cute cardigan suitable for cold office in summer. Although it is not knitted with a thin ribbon yarn, it requires a bulky weight yarn and the quantity was sufficient. I was going to knit it up right away. Instead, it sat a few more years until now.

As always, I put my fall/winter projects away in late spring. I pulled out my summer projects out of their hiding place and saw the ribbon yarn, its color being still wonderfully fresh and beautiful to my eyes, and I remembered what I was going to knit with it. After completing last year’s UFOs, I immediately cast on Lucy, thinking I have enough yarn and the weight is perfect. Well, it was almost perfect, but with a few big surprises. The lace pattern gauge was about the same, but the stockinet stitch required so much lower stitch and row counts. This is good news for someone who once worried about not having enough yarn. Revised the pattern according to my gauge and started knitting the back. I used up almost 3 balls, three out of eight. I had two front pieces and two long sleeves to knit with the remaining five balls!

What I did next was to cut where ever it was possible. Front pieces cannot be overlapped so much, just enough to button them up. Also, I can lower the front neck line. Sleeves could get shorter. With all these cut backs, I made it. It turned out a bit different from the Rowan version, but it is cute enough to me. I love the red button against this pale mint color. I had this button for a while, but again, I had only one of them. It was shaky in the middle of the process, but it turned out all so nicely in the end.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Nearly never finished

I actually finished this tank top last weekend, but I could have had it totally frogged. Reason? See the little lump next to a shoulder strap? That's how much leftover yarn I have, maybe four or five yards. I got so nervous about the yarn amount that I knitted like a crazy person with needles towards the end. Somehow my intuition was working ever so perfectly unbeknownst to me, and my decision to make the top section shorter did save the project: I skipped six rows from the front and 8 from the back.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Where is my time?

I cannot believe it is been a month since I posted on Green Manon! Where did my time go? June seems to go by so quickly since DDs started to go to their elementary school. Not that I did not have time to knit, but I certainly did not have time to relax and think. I knit here and there throughout the day, and that adds up especially with a small summer garment.

This is a summer cardigan I began knitting last summer. It was almost forgotten in one of my many knitting bags. Since I had stopped knitting in the middle of a front bodice and did not make any notes on where it was that I stopped, I had to figure that out first. This should teach me a lesson. Once I managed to decipher my handwritten notes, it was rather smooth sailing. The only trouble is the yarn. It is a cotton and nylon blend from Elann.com. I love the color, but I am not that crazy about the feel of the fabric. It is rather rough to touch. What’s worse is that it is really hard to ‘read’ stitches. The pattern on the other hand is just gorgeous. It is from Bergère de France no. 123. I thought that the booklet was out of print, but I recently learned from Ravelry that it can be ordered from their website with reference number 19409 under Commande tab. In any case, I just adore little eyelet rows between different lace patterns and along the front and neck edges. They are quite functional as well as decorative. The pattern has six rows total with all the rows knitted in garter stitches. The eyelet stitches are knitted on the fourth row, facing the wrong side of the fabric, with yarn over and k2tog repeated. Definitely nice little detail to be used again and again.