Thursday, June 29, 2006

Voila, the Lotus Blossom Tank

Done, done, done!! These pics were taken at Stitch 'n Bitch tonight. Currently, I'm finishing up a mini version of the tank for my 17-month-old daughter with leftover yarn. Hopefully, I'll have enough yarn to finish the straps. I might have to use some taupe Patons Grace to do the edging. We'll see - I will be sure to post pics of her wearing her tank when it's finished! :)

Put a fork in me!

I am done! Well, I still need to wash & block this bugger and get DH to take a pic of me modelling (hah!) this thing, but the knitting is done.

Well, I hope I'm done. I did not enjoy picking up and knitting the finishings on the armholes and neckline. I simply had the worst time w/the SWTC Bamboo at this point. I hope the most egregious parts block out. If not, I'll have to go back and re-do them. Gah!

In any case, a quick recap of my tank - I knitted the size 39'' cause I measure 40." I got stitch gauge on size 7 (Boyes interchangeables) needles, but my row gauge was bigger (7.25 rows/in vs 9 rows/in stated in the pattern) in St st. Because of my larger row gauge, I only added 1.5" to the St st portion before splitting for the armholes and felt no need to add a 5th repeat of the alien heads.

Quick thoughts on this project - This was a fun pattern to knit. However, my enjoyment was tempered by the yarn itself. While I like the drape and feel of it, it still got tiring for my hands despite having more give than a 100% mercerized cotton yarn. It didn't bother me while I was doing the lace portion, but the knitting the St st portion got wearying. Oh, and yeah, splitty as heck. All of which is probably why I started losing steam and got really annoyed doing the armhole and neck finishing. I really hope the finish blocks out okay, 'cause I really don't want to go back and re-do them.

Now what do I do w/the 2 whole leftover skeins + the remainder of the 3rd?

Racing to the finish line!

I'm soooo close. I finished the straps yesterday & lightly ironed the whole tank in preparation for seaming. I noticed that the front edge was curling pretty badly, despite agressive ironing attempts. . . I went ahead and seamed the straps, and then hunted around for my IK (I'd been working from a photocopy with grainy pics) to check out the photo, wondering where I'd gone wrong. A ha! A glance at the photos sent me back to my directions. . . right before the front BO, the directions say something to the effect of "knit three rows, BO knitwise." Well, I knitted those three rows in STOCKINETTE, since the directions didn't specifically say to knit three rows in GARTER stitch. Gah!

Fortunately, it was an easy fix--unseam a bit at each strap edge, pull out the BO, rip two rows, knit two rows, BO knitwise. Phew!

Now I'm picking up armhole stitches. I'll keep you posted--so far, it fits beautifully! 3-4" negative ease. I did lengthen the stockinette portions on both the front & back, mainly because my swatch shrunk lengthwise when I washed it. . .


Mindless Knitting Specialist: First Lace Attempt

Hello! I just ordered my yarn, and I'm anxious to start the Lotus Tank. Though I've been knitting for four years, I've stuck with the basics, so I'm a bit nervous about the lace. Since I'm in a knitting rut, I figured I should challenge myself a bit more. So here I am! What do you think? Is this tank doable for a lace novice?

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Yardage question

I've been reading everybody's posts about increasing the number of lace pattern repeats and/or extending the length of the stockinette section, and will likely do the same. My question to all of you is: were you able to increase the length of the tank with the amount of yarn originally called for in the pattern, or was more yarn needed? If I am going to need more yarn, I want to make sure to get it before the store runs out of my color.

Haven't had a chance to get back to the tank yet, since I posted earlier about my missing stitch, but appreciated the supportive comments and suggestions, and will return to knitting shortly. Thanks!

Red Lotus

I decided on red for my Lotus Blossom because I love the colour, and I already had one random ball I bought the first time i came across it. I got 2 more from the same store (18 months later) and they are, predictably, different dye lots, but that appears to make no discernible difference at all, fortunately!

I did 6 repeats of the lace, but haven't lengthened the base part of the stocking stitch element - may prove to be rash,

now I read Jackie F's comments from yesterday.

this pic is a bit shakey because I was on a train - and as usual with lace it looks like boiled ass (see Rabbitch's descriptions of her lace...). I've finished the front, and am almost at the short rows for the back. Which is good, because I want to wear it for Woolfest on Saturday (may be blocking it the night before in the B&B, methinks!) NB the colour above is the best I could get even with white balance, but it is really deeper - more like this.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Lotus Blossom Tank - front finished

I chucked the tank I started using the SWTC Intensity, because I decided I'd rather use the variegated yarn for Heatwave. So here's my second try. After ordering some SWTC in cobalt, I cast on again, and have finally gotten to finishing the front.

I don't LOVE knitting with bamboo, because it feel so stiff to me, but I do really like the fabric it produces. Perhaps because it's so drapey, the garment seems to come out really big even if you get gauge on the swatch, so I'm knitting the smallest size, which seems absurdly small compared to my actual bust size. I did add some short rows to the front to make sure it was long enough that I don't flash people through the lace section. Otherwise, I'm continuing on and hoping for the best.

FYI: beware, the straps will pull up the front

My Lotus Blossom Tank is drying! I have a picture and details on my blog. I'll post a picture after it's dry and I'm wearing it...

While I'm here, I thought I'd mention something important for those who haven't completed the stockinette portion of the tank [BTW, this will make sense when reading, but you might not think of it while knitting]:

You might want to knit the stockinette section an inch longer. Most people are doing this anyway. But, even after customizing yours to make it long enough to cover the bust, you might want to add yet another inch. Why? The straps will pull up the front an inch after seaming. At least, that is to say, they did on mine. Thankfully, my tank still covers the bust, but with very little material to spare. This was an unexpected result considering I had already made my stockinette portion longer than the pattern indicated. So, if yours is only just covering the bottom part of the bust and you want to wear your tank sans camisole, you'll be risking exposing your bra if you don't make it longer. 'Thought I'd share - hope this helps!

Oh yeah - one more thing! The extra inch should be added while still knitting in the round. Adding any length after the armhole BO would disrupt the seaming.

Just getting started...ease?

Once I finish a stole/scarf from Mason Dixon, I'm going to cast on. I have some SWTC Oasis that I'm going to use, it swatches up about right (I'm having a hard time doing a circular swatch), and the SoySilk website says it can be subbed for Bamboo. I'm planning on adding a few inches to the length.

What kind of ease should I plan for? I'm hoping that I can get away with an inch or two of negative ease.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Feeling discouraged

I discovered on Saturday, on row 14 of my first go through the lace pattern, that a stitch is missing somewhere. I put the tank aside in discouragement and am not sure whether to frog it completely or laboriously knit backwards to find the missing stitch. I guess I wasn't paying close enough attention. Also, the smaller needle I own is an addi turbo, and I found it a bit slippery with the hemp yarn. Should I buy another bamboo needle? Decision, decisions.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Thar she grows!

I'm finally swatching, and things are going well. The unwashed swatch was dead on for the row count, but I had way too many stitches width-wise. Then I washed it, it's blocking upstairs -- and so much wider than it started out! Will re-measure once it's dry, but I think I'll be spot on (or close enough) for gauge. Bamboo really does bloom like you wouldn't believe.

One question, though: my bust is 33 1/2", the XS is 33 3/4. Should I be worried? After everyone's sizing issues, I'm a bit concerned.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

The Lotus, she has Blossomed!

Lotus Blossom Tank - finished!I'm delighted to say that I have officially finished my Lotus Blossom Tank. I'm fairly happy with the finished product!

I used just over three balls of Jaeger Trinity yarn in Glacier and it took me about a week after my one false start. I did have to wing it with the pattern, though. The bottom is the size medium or second size or whatever. When I finished the fifth repeat I tried it on and realized that the top was going to be too big if I didn't size it down to the smallest size. So during the bustline decrease extravaganza, I made enough decreases to get me down to the smallest size.

I probably could have gone down even a little smaller, but as is the top of the sweater is loose but not too loose. I definitely have to wear something underneath so I don't flash anyone when bending over. The bottom is a little swingy, which I like. It's really super comfortable and something I will definitely wear.

The thought is still in my head to knit it in black and substitute the lotus blossom lace for the skull lace over at Hello Yarn. I may end up going for it sooner or later. Of course, I'm at the tail end of spinning up three pounds of Finn top for my very first sweater made entirely of handspun yarn, which has me very excited and otherwise engaged!

[Crossposted to pesky'apostrophe]

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Vacation Project 101

I love seeing everyone's wip & fo! Thanks to all the good advice, I've added the 5th lace repeat, and plan to make the stockinette section a bit longer too. I haven't taken it off the needles, but width seems okay. Now that I'm onto straight ss, this project is ready to get on the plane with me this Saturday to visit family and friends in Ohio/Michigan. Does anyone have an opinion on yardage: it took 1 skein = 4 lace repeats of size small, so that leaves 1 skein for the fifth repeat and all the stockinette. Do you think I should pick up another skein before I go???

Tried Mine On

After finishing the front, I tried my LBT on and it fits - yay! My mods worked. So far, I've got the more A-line shape and longer length I wanted. Now, I just have to finish the back. I have about 5 inches until the shoulder shaping. I'm really excited about this tank! It's so different from anything else I've knitted this summer.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

New to the knitalong

I just started the LBT on Sunday, after a walk to my lys for supplies (I had a gift certificate burning a hole in my pocket). I am using Elsebeth Lavold's Hempathy, a blend of hemp, cotton, and modal. So far, it seems to be very easy on the hands. I'm past the most onerous part of any circular sweater, the casting on of hundreds of stitches, joining without twisting, and knitting into that first row. I'm now on Row 7 of my first trip through the lace pattern, using the chart. It looks great so far. I actually had to go down many needle sizes to get gauge, and I was relieved to read that others in this KAL had the same problem. Keep posting those pictures: they are inspirational.

Nearing the armhole BO...

Here's my progress on my 39" size LBT! I've got about an inch or so to go before binding off at the armholes. As you can see from the measuring tape across the front, it is ~34 inches. Having 5 inches less than the pattern's 39 doesn't worry me, especially since I made a 32" Green Gable (with 12 short rows) that fit my 37" bust just fine.

It's hard to see the lace pattern due to the flash. But, the picture I took without flash was too blurry.

Progess report and in translation

I tried on my LBT and while I'm content with the circumference (not too wide at all and it's nicely drapey), I was rather concerned it was shorter than I was expecting. However, I think I've decided I will lengthen the St st portion so the bust line will be where I want it and consequently address the lace length issue.

And out of curiosity, I asked a friend who speaks & reads both Cantonese & Mandarin to tranlate the Chinese LBT blog post, well the pic at least. It basically said it was the Lotus Blossom flower pattern in 100% cotton "thread" (probably yarn?) and she used 5 and 5.5 mm sized needles, but I'm sure everyone's already figured out the needle size part.

Edited to add: My friend also tells me the blog entry discusses how she felt about her accomplishment.

Bloomin' issues

Well... I *was* really excited that I finished the Lotus Blossom tank. The fabric is beautiful. The little alien heads/lotus blossoms are pretty. But it's just too darn short.

This look might go over well on the weekends but I really wanted to wear this cute little top to work. And while the layered look might be in style...

I'm just thinking not-so-much my style. It takes away from the cute shaping of the neckline and in my opinion looks a little dumb. Nother problem was where the lace began. I'm not exactly well endowed, but my little tykes could peek out at the bottom of the stockinette. If you've got a little more upstairs than I do (I think most women out there do) you may want to consider adding a bit more stockinette just for the sake of decency.

I don't think I knit it wrong. In fact, as I took a look again at the magazine I think it's a fairly short top on the models as well. I just don't own pants that come up to my belly button so I end up with the need for even longer shirts.

So... last night while watching Jimmy Neutron I frogged the top part back to the armpits and picked up the stockinette banner once more. I figure I'll add another 4 inches of stockinette to the top. The lace should start somewhere near my belly button and it'll give me the length I want.


I started this great tank on June 11th, but just found the KAL today. I could have used the emotional support during my gauging and lace-knitting (first time with lace patterns) but am thankful I found y'all now!
I am not using bamboo (my local yarn store is 60 miles away, and really small, and filled with nothing but eyelash yarn), instead using Filatura di Crosa Zara Merino from the stash...and I will run out. Yarn shortages in mind, I got gauge on a size 9 needle, which is making for a much looser and more open lacework. I am also incorporating one skein of grey into the green (waist, sleeves? Neckline?). I am at 1.5 inches of stockinette and I have about 200 yards of green left...
So I will be here, knitting, and holding my breath.
I love seeing everyone's photos, and it is comforting knowing y'all are out there!

Monday, June 19, 2006

otis loves bamboo!

If he likes it, I like it. He is after all the King of the castle and my constant knitting companion. You know how some people wish their dog could fetch, well I wish mine could knit!! He can fetch, sneeze, sit, walk on 2 legs, lay, stay,shake and almost roll over. But he can't knit............
This was taken several days ago and now resembles this.................
Not really loving the color, it's really green not turquiose! Really wishing I would have went with the gorgeous sky blue............Otis looks better in this color than I ever will..........

Half a lotus position

Half a lotus

I'm happy to report that I have just finished the fifth and final lotus blossom lace repeat. I haven't had the heart to take it off needles to give a try-on yet, but it [a size medium] appears to be fitting better than my first attempt [a size large].

More than ever, I wish I would have knitted this in brown, black, or white. I'm really liking it, and I probably won't get that much wear out of it because of the color.

Coincidentally, it occurs to me that this might be a good project to substitute Hello Yarn's skull lace pattern for the lotus blossom lace pattern. I have not tried out the pattern yet, but it's an interesting idea. Has anyone made this tank with a different lace pattern?

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Having trouble already!

Hi everyone! I'm joining a little late but I'm not wasting time in encountering problems! I did 9 rows of the pattern, realized I made a mistake, took my work off the needles (which I bought for the project and hate - but I digress) and thought I would slip it on since it looked HUGE. I was right. I'm making the second size (39" bust) but it was big, big, big. I'm hesitant to cast on again for the smallest size, though, because I actually have a 40.5" bust. What to do?

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Starting over

The lotus, she blossoms

I completed the fourth set of lotus blossom repeats, tried it on, and discovered that - despite my careful gauge swatching - something was seriously amiss. The sweater was so big that I could fit another person in it with me wearing it.

And so the frogging began.

On one hand, I felt wretched about it - I hate to frog. On the other hand, I messed up the first set of lotus blossom patterning so I didn't feel too awful about it.

So here I am knitting the medium size. I've just started my third set of lotus blossom repeats and all is well.

I've come to the realization that I am dazzled by color, which is a problem. I have a very simple wardrobe palette - brown, black, white, cream, and beige. When I buy clothes at a store, they are always in those colors. Yet when I knit a sweater or something, I always pick a real color for the yarn. Sure, it's pretty, but it's something that doesn't fit very well into my wardrobe. They say the first step is admitting you have a problem. Hopefully, going forward I will remember this little epiphany of mine and pick a more suitable color for my wardrobe.

Does anyone else do this? Ignore the reality of the situation and just pick colors that are unsuitable for you?

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Do I have everyone listed?

If you are reading this and you joined this KAL (I invited you via Blogger, you accepted, etc.), does your name appear on the list in the sidebar? And if you have a blog, did I link to your blog? Some of you created blogs after joining and I think I got everyone in this scenario updated. If not, please leave a comment or send me an email. Thanks!

On the subject of my Lotus Blossom Tank - um, I started mine last weekend and 5 rounds in, I discovered I twisted my stitches. I haven't touched it since. LOL! Actually, I've been trying to finish something else and I just seamed and wove in the ends, so that is done. I'll restart LBT soon.

Someone on has a gorgeous blue one

Saw this on flickr today. It's beautiful. Once of the tags says pima tencel, so I'm wondering if it's Cascade in #1694 or if it's a Classic Elite Premiere shade.

In the meantime, I'm still slowly progressing on my 3rd lace repeat. Crappy pics on my blog.

Hope all of you are well.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Finally started!

Hi all,

It took me a while to get signed up for the KAL, but hey, I'm fashionably late, right?

I CO late on Sunday night, and so far I'm about 13 rounds into the first pattern repeat. I'm taking a chance and making the smallest size, which will give about 3.5" of negative ease. I've knitted a few tanks in the past year, and each one has been a little loose, despite going for zero or a little bit of negative ease every time, so I figure that positive ease would be disastrous for me! Plus lace can be blocked so severely that I'm not worried about the lace section being snug.

I'm using Elann Sonata (DK mercerized cable cotton) in a lovely pink-coral shade called Rosato. I'm using the size 4, 28" from my Needlemaster, which is fine, though I would prefer bamboo a wee bit.

I'll try to share photos when I figure out how. . . and when I take photos!

Helen (a.k.a. "hellahelen")

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


If victory tastes sweet, what does defeat taste like?

Somewhere about Row 9 (around 11:00 P.M. last night) I made a mistake. I've spent the past three hours trying to figure out what it was, but no dice. No matter how much I want to resist, I'm going to have to F-R-O-G. Bummer.

My notes so far:
  • Love the pattern--the lace repeats are pretty easy to memorize (although I think I missed a couple of yarn overs while knitting so late at night).
  • The Frog Tree cotton/silk blend is very nice, smooth, and silky, but a little splitty, and too slippery for my Denise needles. I think I'll search for my bamboo circulars before I cast on with this yarn.
  • The recommended 24" circulars are too small. I'm knitting the smallest size, but my stitches still feel really cramped. The 29" length is probably much better.

Anyway, there it is. Hope you all are having better luck. I look forward to seeing photos of your progress.


I've made progress on Lotus Blossoms!

OK, I just want to give a quick shout out to the lovely lady who mentioned that the blossoms look like Alien Heads.

Yup, thanks. Now, where once I saw lovely Lotus Blossoms, now I see only creepy Aliens Heads.

Nope, no nightmares here! Nuh-unh. Not me, no siree bob! There wouldn't be any nightmares here about being eaten alive and sky lifted to a flying saucer for scary tests. Just us Lotus Blossoms....

So, thanks. :)

Oh, and I've posted some progress pics on my blog at

It's fun to see everyone's progress. Keep it up!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Just getting started

Hi All,

I just cast on for my LBT, and so far, so good. When I received my Summer '06 IK, I knew I wanted to make this project. However, it wasn't until I stopped into my (not so) LYS that I decided to make it sooner rather than later. The shop owner was wearing the LBT knit up in the SWTC "Parrot" variegated colorway, and it was BEAUTIFUL!! The drape on that yarn was perfect.

Unfortunately, she did not have any solid colors left, and I'm not a variegated kind of gal. I almost bought the yarn anyway because it looked so perfect knitted up. Instead of the SWTC Bamboo, I'm using the pima cotton/silk blend from Frog Tree. It is very lightweight and has a nice hand so far. I can't wait to see how the tank progresses in this yarn. I'll keep you all posted.


Switching to the XS after the bust: here's the plan...

I have written down a plan for how I will downsize my 39" size tank to the 33.75" size just above the bust. Since I'm petite, my shoulders are narrow in width and short in height measuring from the bust. Normally, I would probably wear the XS (33.75") and just make that size without any modifications. But, I haven't yet lost the 20-25 lb that I should. So, in the meantime I'm going to make some extra, evenly-spaced decreases on the front and back. These decreases fall after the largest part of my bust and after the armhole BO. To downsize, 28 sts need to be evenly decreased in total: 14 for the front and 14 for the back. All extra decreases are completed prior to the front neckline BO and the shoulder shaping on the back. In order to not take up too much space here, please read all further details on my blog post.

Has anyone noticed that the neckband is worked back and forth? Is this due to the curvature or length of the neckline? It must be easier (or necessary) to work back and forth, then connect each end in the front if that's what the pattern says. I wonder if it's possible to work the neckband in the round like the armholes? When I get to the point where I've picked up and knitted the neckline sts for the neckband, I guess I'll find out then!

Sizing Question - Please help!!

My yarn arrived, and I am starting my swatches. I will need to adjust the pattern for sizing, and I am wondering if anyone out there has had to go bigger? It is hard to tell from the dinky little schematic in IK just where exactly the measurements are taken, and when I was measured for what looked like the same points, it seems that I need to increase width, but not length so much. Any advice for dealing with the neckline? I am not sure what to do about adjusting the triangles on the back and the front so that they match up correctly.

Also, how lacy (sheer) is the bottom panel? It is hard to tell from the photos, but it seems from the WIPs posted that it is not too sheer. Can you see da belly?? I hope not!! ;)

Thanks for helping!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

LBT Experience

Thank you Betty for inviting me to join this KAL. I recently finished my LBT and just put up a post about my experience on my blog. After seeing everyone's lovely yarn choices I am tempted to make another one!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Like the Titanic

Lotus Blossom Tank begins!

The Jaeger Trinity I ordered for the Lotus Blossom Tank arrived yesterday and I immediately tore open the box and got started. I got through the first set of the repeat. It doesn't look like much right now - I'm hoping some good blocking will fix it and it's not just that I royally screwed it up already!

I'm not 100% crazy about the color - it looked bluer online. I'll still wear it, of course.

How is everyone finding the sizing? I'm making the Large - my bust size falls between the medium and the large and I'd rather have it be slightly too big than look super busty.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Popping In To Say Hi

I didn't know about this KAL until last week and Betty has graciously allowed me to join in the fun. I've been working on my Lotus Blossom for a while now and am about 2 inches into the stockinette part. It's such a lovely pattern and so fun to see how everyone else's is coming along. I can't wait to see all of them finished up.

Here's a quick shot of my work in progress. I hope to get it finished up this weekend as I'm pretty sure it will go quite fast.

See it at flickr

Thursday, June 08, 2006

LBT WIP and bamboo yarn question

Here's a pic of my 1st lace pattern repeat. Is this yarn going to get softer after more wear like linen and hemp? I'd love to know since I've never used bamboo yarn.

3/4 of my aliens have landed

Hi All -- I'm so glad I found you. I've finished 3 rows of the lace pattern and started slowing down a bit (i.e., another yarn, another pattern caught my eye ;~})... I'm counting on this KAL to be my inspiration to finish (quickly). My LBT is in purple. I got the yarn as a Mother's Day gift (if you send them to the right LYS store with the magazine and pattern circled, they come back with something you love!). I've never worked with bamboo before and was surprised at its crunchiness. I assume it will soften once washed and blocked. I'm making the smallest size because the last couple of things I made out of IK came out way too big... I haven't taken it off the needles yet to try it on, but maybe will do so after reading some of your comments. Otherwise, I'm loving the yarn and the pattern. I created a faux-chart for myself to speed the process along (no symbols, just abbreviations). I've thought about adding a 5th repeat but am not sure (1) I'll have enough yarn and (2) I'll have enough motivation. Fortunately, I like how 4 repeats look. Anyway, here it is so far.

Welcome to the Alien Head KAL!

My friends Julie and Rosemary over at the Craftborg Podcast plugged this KAL on their podcast this week. They said the lotus blossoms look like little alien heads. They might be right.

Go have a listen. It's within the first 5 minutes of the show so if you don't want to listen to whole thing, you could stop after they talk about the KAL.

What's a podcast? FREE digital talk radio. Better yet, what's a knitting podcast? Knitters talking about knitting. You don't need an iPod. It's mp3 format, so you can listen right on your computer.

A little annoyed

I'm slowly progressing and finally get to row 10 where I switch needle sizes and what do I find? A lovely little knot where they joined the yarn. I wasn't expecting to deal w/any joining issues 'til I got to the end of the skein.

So, anyone who's knitted w/this bamboo yarn have any suggestions on how to do a join, other than the usual weaving type method? I've never done a Russsian join, but I thought that works only if the yarn is plied as the one cotton example I saw on an online tutorial somewhere. Are there any other methods? A name would be fine 'cause then I could just google it up. TIA for any help!

Chart Added

I'm not sure if this was already mentioned but Interweave Knits added a chart for the lace part of the pattern on the corrections page of their website. There are no mistakes on the pattern, just a chart if you prefer the visual.

Someone in Blogland has an FO

Not a part of this KAL, but whatever.


Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Ready to cast on

Hi everyone!
I am excited to be a part of this knitalong. I have swatched and am ready to go. Admittedly, I did not swatch the lace or in the round but let's hope for the best. I am subbing with Elann's Sonata in Cape Cod Blue, a very economical choice suggested by Hellahelen over at Knitty, is she the same Helen on this KAL?
Looking forward to seeing everyone's progress,
Kerry aka hootsister

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Needle length?

Hi everyone,
I ran out and bought all the recommended ingredients for this pattern, but when I cast on I felt like 230 stitches was really cramped for this short a needle. I thought it looked small in the store too (the pattern says to use a size 5 24"), but the folks out at my LYS said it looked fine.

Then I read Michelle's post saying this is supposed to be knit on a 29"... are there two different versions of this pattern? Please tell me I didn't just spend 15 dollars on a needle I'll never use.

I did a test swatch and it was a bit bigger than it should have been, I'm currently deciding whether to go out and get a smaller needle or adjust the pattern for a smaller size. Except... I just realized I was planning to make this thing based on my bra size, except I'm a size C, so I might want to add a few inches for the boobs... which will mean, most likely, casting on 260 stitches. Hmm. Anyway, here's a picture of the uber-pretty yarn after many frustrated unravelings.

Monday, June 05, 2006

I'm Linda and blogless but I've always wanted to be part of a KAL and Betty said I can join without a Blog so here I am! I'm working my you really have to knit the lace, in the smaller needle as well as the Stockinette for gauge? If so I'm just wondering how one would translate the whole pattern into a back and forth swatch given that it is written in the round?

SWTC Bamboo Sahara

What do you think of this colourway? Do you think it looks too much like desert camouflage?

I have done a few rounds of the lotus blossom pattern, but I am worried about the colours now.

I know camo is 'in' at the moment but may be it's not 'age appropriate' for me, being nearly 50.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Excited to be here!

I thought I'd go ahead and create a post even though I haven't started yet. 'Just wanted to say hi and I'm excited to belong to this KAL! I ordered my yarn on sale this weekend and expect to get it by Wednesday. Thanks to reading a helpful post on the knitty board, I was able to buy my yarn @ $9.45/skein. I really was torn between the parrot, tequilla, cobalt blue, and turquoise! In the end I ordered the turqouise. If I like bamboo, I can always do another summer project in one of the other colors mentioned...

Have you read through the entire pattern? I'm glad to see the use of Japanese short rows - that's how I do mine anyway. As for sizing: I'm a 37" bust size, so I'll probably make the 39" size. However, if I find the yarn is any bit stretchy when swatching, I might switch to the 33.75" size and do 5 repeats of the lace pattern rather than 4. I've never knit with bamboo. If it acts in any way like cotton, I'll really be leaning towards the smaller size because everything I've knit in cotton this summer has negative ease and fits nicely. Besides, I could always insert short rows at the bust if necessary.

Can't wait to start!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

About Bamboo Yarn

I checked gauge as I was knitting my swatch. It appeared as if my knitting was getting tighter and tighter. It went from 6 spi to 6.5 spi. I was a full stitch tighter than the pattern gauge. Yet the fabric I was producing was very loose and holey. In my short experience as a knitter, 1 stitch looser or tighter usually means about 2 needle sizes. In this case, I would probably have to go up to Size 7 needles. I worried about what my fabric would look like. Probably not something I would like very much.

I decided I would wash, block and re-measure gauge before I decided on anything, but even this worried me. Usually, blocking tightens things up, right? Anyway, swatch has been blocked. I am at 6 spi. Pre-blocking - I was at 6.5 spi. And somehow the fabric looks tighter than pre-blocking. The yarn softened - which I already knew it would do. But did it bloom?

If my math is correct, I can knit at my current gauge and follow the 39" bust directions, and I will have a finished bust of just under 36" which is what I want. The in-between size problem has been resolved!

I am happy, but nervous. I am going to check gauge A LOT. Here I go - I'm casting on.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Waiting for, Trinity

I'm new to the KAL - my name is Mac and I blog regularly over at pesky'apostrophe. It's been all stash knitting all the time for me recently, and the Lotus Blossom Tank did actually get started using something from the stash: Alchemy Synchronicity. It swatched up at gauge and everything - alas, I knitted the first two lotus flower pattern sets, gave it a test fitting and realized you could fit two of me in it. Something went seriously awry.

So I hunted around the stash some more, came up empty handed, conceded that I didn't have enough silk or bamboo fiber to spin enough yarn for it...and promptly placed an order. WEBS is having a close out on Jaeger Trinity, so I ordered it in a pretty blue color called Glacier.

And now...the waiting.

Gauge woes; happy ending?

Hello fellow lotus knitters!

I've had quite a saga with this tank. I started knitting a few weeks ago using black Rowan 4ply cotton from the stash. Since this yarn is much lighter than the DK bamboo, I swatched like a good little girl, washed & blocked, and did lots of maths. The maths told me to cast on for the medium in order to get a slightly smaller than small (I have a 33" bust, prefer a fitted look, and know from experience to go for a fair amount of negative ease in tops, especially tanks, and especially cotton). I trusted the swatch and the maths (why would they lie?), proceeded to twist the cast-on row (doh!), and knit almost a full repeat before noticing. After tearing the needles out of the work in frustration, I measured the tank's start - well over 40"!!

So I started again, this time casting on 170 st to create an extra small. Currently I'm working on the back shoulders. I added an extra lace repeat, and lengthened the stockinette portion so that the line between lace & stockinette wouldn't bisect the boobies. I've tried the tank on obsessively, and she fits! Hope to have pictures up in the next week or so.

Good luck to everyone on knitting and fitting,

Lotus blossom beginning. V. girly

I've gotten one repeat of the lace pattern done, but I don't think I'm going to keep it. Reasoning thus:

blue, lavender, and aqua = + 1 girly point
lace = +1 girly point
cute shoulder detail (not shown) = +1 girly point.

I've exceeded my girly quota on this project! So I think I might stick to using this colorway (Intensity) for Heatwave after all. I've ordered some cobalt blue SWTC bamboo, and will start Lotus blossom again when it arrives.

No pictures yet...

...but I have the yarn. I'm usually a purples and blacks kind of person, but I bought the SWTC in intensity, a blue/purple/something else I can't quite identify mix. It's gorgeous, and I can't wait to get started!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Hi Everyone!

Here's my yarn and swatch for my very first official knitalong. Not sure if I should be excited or nervous, but what the heck. I bought all 5 cobalt skeins left when Article Pract (Oakland, CA) cleared their lot of SWTC Bamboo 2-3 months ago. It's a good thing too since I know I'll have to lengthen at least the top half of the tank for sure. Will be knitting the 39" size. Got gauge using #7 needles (Boyes interchangeable).

Crochet-Chick on the board

Swatch This!

The yarn is greener than I expected but I still like the color. I am obviously on the st st portion, and afer a few inches I'll go right into the lace pattern. The pattern calls for st st in the round and back and forth, depending on where you are in the pattern. I decided to swatch the st st back and forth, because in the pattern, the bust area is back and forth and that will either be my triumph or colossal failure in fit. When I get to the lace swatching, I'll do that in the round by carrying the yarn across the back of the swatch.