Saturday, October 26, 2013

Fall Projects

Harris pullover with pockets from Rowan Magazine #52.  This issue of Rowan Magazine has so many designs I love.  This project is the third one from it.  What I like about this pullover include pockets and single row stripes. 

However, knitting it turned out to be a challenge.  See the tangle on the photos below.  I find myself getting frustrated with the tangle after 10 rows or so.  This is going to be a slow project.  Hence, I had to come up with a simpler second project.

A lace pullover from Katia Magazine #52 is my simpler project.  I’ve had this project sitting in the bin next to my armchair for a while.  It is knitted with a cotton yarn: i.e. a summer project.  Nevertheless, it will be my simpler project. 

Instructions on Katia Magazines are a bit different from others: each row is charted as you face them.  Stockinet stitches are charted with blank cells for odd rows (knit) and with dashed cells for even rows (purl), while garter stitches are charted with blank cells on both odd and even rows.  In Japanese knitting books, stockinet and garter stitches are charted in completely opposite manner (all cells blank for stockinet).  Once you realize that, it is okay.  But not always.  For this particular design, Katia's charting method does not seem to work well.  I had to replace k2tog done on reverse row to p2tog or p2tog tbl.  I could discern these errors by inspecting the photograph.  I am knitting a sleeve first.

I learned a new cast on technique in this Katia project.  See the photo above.  The main lace stitches are knitted with 4.5 mm or 5.5 mm needles, while cast on stitches were done with 6.5 mm and with three strands of yarns held together.  I used 7 mm needles as I do not have 6.5 mm ones.  With this method, you can plunge into the lace pattern from row 1 and there is no curling. 

An extra project in preparation for #37 from Vogue Crochet Magazine from 2012, involving broomstick stitches.  Since I was not certain about how to do broomstick lace, I bought Doris Chan's Crochet Lace Innovations.  I love this book for three reasons: broomstick lace instructions and designs, hairpin lace instructions, and her foundation single crochet stitches.   I am working on Soolin belt from her book.  The bottom photo shows the foundation single crochet stitch.  It is much nicer and stable than chain stitches. 

That’s all.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Tunisian Crochet Lace Tunic

It is finally finished and I just love it.  Jojoland Melody is a light and beautiful yarn, and turned out to be just perfect for this tunic.  What a luck!  Can you tell how happy I am with the tunic?  I like the length of the bodice as well as the sleeves. 

 I deviated from the pattern and did the following:
Sleeves: Cast on 78 stitches (must be a multiple of 3) for 16 ½” long sleeves. Sleeves were knit sideway. The Tss and Tps edge was about 1” long. To knit 15” wide sleeves, 28 rows in pattern stitches were needed. On the 28th row, do Tss on return, and follow with 3 rows of Tps for the edging.  I left the remaining yarn on each sleeve, to be used later in assembly.  I used one ball per sleeve.
Front and Back Bodice: Cast on 117 stitches and knit 40 rows in pattern (19 ½”), reducing to 99 stitches over the 40 rows (reduce 3 stitches at each end every 10 rows starting at row 11, three times total, 18 stitches decreased). Place a marker at each side at 40th row for the sleeve placement. Knit 16 more rows (7 ½”). On the last row, do Tss on return followed by three rows of Tps for the edging.
Assembly: Seam bodice together with right sides together from the bottom edge to the marker. Seam bodice and sleeves together with right sides together, making sure the attached yarn of the sleeves will be at the cuff end. With the attached yarn on the sleeves, knit top edge finishing as instructed. With the same yarn, knit the sleeve cuff edging. Instead of buttons, I used chain stitches in zigzag pattern to close the top of the sleeves and shoulders.  I borrowed this method from Madonna pullover I knit this summer. 

More photos of close up and the on-the-table flat photos.

This was my first successful crochet project.  I think I will do more crochet in the future.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Striped tank top

My extreme striped tank top was finished last week.   It is already washed and dried and on my dress form. 

I like skinny shoulder seams.

Armhole shaping worked rather well.

Here is what I did to knit the tank top.
Front and Back a like: 
  • Cast on 107 stitches with Azure and knit 4 rows in garter stitches.  Switch to Imperial Purple and start the zigzag pattern.  When 4” completed from the hem, start side shaping at Row 33 of zigzag pattern: i.e. the fifth row at (A on the color sequence table): decrease one stitch at each end every 8 rows for four times, and increase one stitch at each end every 8 rows for four times.  Continue through Row 102 (Parchment).  Remember to switch zigzag pattern every 18 rows.
  • Armhole Shaping: On the first row at (B), start armhole shaping as follows.  Cast off 7 stitches at the beginning of Row 103 and 104.  Starting with Row 105, decrease 1 stitch at each end of every right side row for 14 times total (65 stitches remain).
  • Continue with the zigzag pattern through Row 150.  With Imperial Purple, knit in garter stitch for five rows, and cast off knit-wise loosely.  Cut off the yarn leaving about 8".
The front and the back pieces were connected by armhole edging only: pick up stitches along the front and then continue to pick up stitches from the back armhole in Azure (make sure to pick up stitches tightly) and cast off knit-wise.  I picked up seven cast off stitches and one stitch per row on the vertical section.  Using the yarn end in Imperial Purple, sew together the end stitches on the last row on the front and the last row on the back.  Clean up the yarn ends (which was a lot of work).

In all, I used about 200 grams or 600 yards of Allegoro yarns.  I love the result very much and would like to knit a dress version next summer.