Sunday, July 21, 2013

Summer Knitting

So far, my summer knitting has involved a lot of trial and error and struggling.

I challenged myself and picked up a new technique, Tunisian crochet. I was not that interested in simple Tunisian crochet, but I fell for gorgeous lace patterns. I am not working on it as much lately since the yarn I am using for the project is wool and I have issues working on wool in summer, especially during last week when the temperature hit 99F/37C!

So, I began an ivory pullover from last year’s Stacy Charles summer booklet. I finished knitting and assembling but I am not done with it. Why? The top bodice is constructed by two long pieces of pre-knitted tape, Celeste. I don’t think I did such a good job dealing with ends. I can live with the mess, however. What I cannot live with is the fact that the top edge of the lower bodice crosses my chest in a very awkward place. This is caused by the lower bodice being rather dense and heavy due to the stitch pattern and the pre-knitted tape is stretched too much above it. Fortunately, I have a piece of skin-colored knit fabric at hand. I am planning to sew a truncated tank top sort of thing to support the heavy lower bodice. We shall see.

Here are photos of the pullover.  The front and the back are exactly the same.  I know, I know, they should not be the same but among the knitting designs, it is quite common to see this symmetry between them.  I think we knitters tend to trust in the stretchy fabric to take care of differences between the front and the back, and I think it is okay to do so up to a point. 


The next challenge is to knit Nidden from Norah Gaughan booklet no. 8 with 13 skeins of now discontinued Berroco Denim Silk. First off, gauge is not right. I've knitted a cardigan with Denim Silk before using 4.5 mm needles and I love the resulting drapey fabric. I tried 3.75 mm needles per pattern instruction and did not like the stiff fabric. Besides, in my crude calculation, I do not have enough skeins. So, I went up to 4.5 mm needles.

Nidden is constructed in such a way that front pieces with the lace pattern continue beyond shoulders and meet at the center back. The design uses the stretchy nature of the knitted fabric to overcome curved and rounded shape at the shoulders and along the neckline. The gorgeous lace pattern takes up 61 stitches. Given that my gauge is 18 stitches per 4”, it means I will have 13.5” of upper back covered by the continuous front pieces while it ought to be about 10.5” for my size. Besides, I will run out of my yarns. The only way out is to reduce the width of the lace pattern although the lace design will be noticeably altered. I need to think about how to modify the lace design.

In the mean time, I started knitting the back piece. With the help of my manikin, I should be able to figure out how I ought to modify the front pieces.

You see, my summer knitting is nothing but easy.