Thursday, June 29, 2006
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?
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. . .
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
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!
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
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.
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.
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
Sunday, June 25, 2006
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
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
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???
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
It's hard to see the lace pattern due to the flash. But, the picture I took without flash was too blurry.
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.
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
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..........
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
Saturday, June 17, 2006
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
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.
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
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.
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 wordswitsnwool.blogspot.com.
It's fun to see everyone's progress. Keep it up!
Monday, June 12, 2006
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.
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!
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
Saturday, June 10, 2006
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
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
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.
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.
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!
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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,
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.
Thursday, June 01, 2006
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 knitty.com board
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.