Friday, June 12, 2020

It's my own creation!

For a long time I felt like not writing for this blog. Somehow writing about knitting projects and problems that I encountered while making them seemed rather silly and shallow in this situation. Yet, since I kept knitting nevertheless, at some point I got a couple of finished knits and a couple of almost finished ones, and was afraid of forgetting all the details about making them if I waited any longer.
So here you go.
In May I made this cardigan (I call it Creamy Oats)…
… and this t-shirt (Blush on Ravelry).

Both were totally improvised by me. For the cardigan I developed the lace/cable pattern myself (deeply inspired by Brunello Cucinelli’s summer cardigans) and for the t-shirt I used Kim Hargreaves’ stitch pattern for Gabriela from her old book Whisper.
I already explained the process behind the creation of the cardigan. The yarn that I was using – ColourMart Noil Silk – evens up and gets much softer after washing in hot water. For this reason I wanted to wash all the parts together when they were finished.
When the back and both fronts were done, I stitched them together at the shoulders (look at my handiwork, I am so proud of how it turned out!),
picked up stitches along the armholes, and knit both sleeves top down, spacing decreases evenly and finishing the cuffs with a tubular cast off.
Three things slowed my progress: 1) my first attempt at a sleeve was too roomy for my taste, was unraveled, and I had to recalculate the numbers for sleeves; 2) knitting lace with this yarn was hurting my hands and wrists and I had to take frequent breaks; 3) finishing the border ribbing took forever (again, I used a tubular cast off).
When the cardigan finally was finished and washed, I had to construct a special podium (sort of) to block it, since it was huge and took up lots of space.
In spite of all the difficulties, I kept my eyes on the ultimate outcome and persevered. And I am glad that I did. This cardigan turned out exactly the way I imagined it. It is very soft, a bit oversized, and can be worn in Florida all year round. It makes a great cover-up in the evenings and even protects against mosquitoes:) It will be definitely worn a lot here.
My second improvised project was a cropped t-shirt.
I had four balls of this discontinued Shibui linen in my stash that I bought during a crazy shopping spree in a yarn store several years ago because it was on sale. At first I was thinking of making a shawl or scarf from it but then, I don’t use linen scarves that much plus it would’ve taken me ages to finish it. However, when I unearthed this yarn a month ago, I was surprised at how trendy its color was and decided to make a swatch using two threads of yarn together. This way I could knit with bigger needles and my work would go much faster. But, at the same time, I would have twice as little yarn. And I didn’t have a lot of it to begin with, just 900 meters (983 yards).
At first I tried the same lace/cable pattern that I used for the cardigan. No luck – there were too many holes and I definitely wouldn’t have been able to wear this t-shirt without much underneath. Then I remembered Kim Hargreaves’ old book Whisper with summer patterns. Many of them have lace AND cables and could work for me. I ended up using the stitch pattern for Gabriela (a long sleeved cardigan).
With no pattern and very little yarn at my disposal, I took a cropped t-shirt from my wardrobe and decided to replicate its measurements as much as possible.
Of course, I couldn’t copy my ready-made t-shirt entirely – my knitted version had to be even shorter with a V-neck on front and back.
I used an I-cord finishing at the sleeves since I was pretty sure there wouldn’t be any yarn for the ribbing left but I couldn’t get away with it on the neckline (even though I tried). The upper parts would not stay in place and were sliding from my shoulders which didn’t make the garment wearable or practical. I picked up the stitches around the neckline, made several rows of 1x1 ribbing, and then finished with a tubular cast off.
This t-shirt – Blush - is great even though it is shorter than I initially planned. I think it can be worn with just a bras underneath (this is how I am wearing it on the pictures) but you may disagree.
Working lace with this yarn seriously damaged my wrists and I couldn’t knit at all for a while. No worries, I read several books instead – I am on Josephine Tey binge right now, if anyone is interested.
And I watched Making the Cut on Amazon with Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn.
I love the shows about fashion and watch them all. Actually, my main enjoyment comes from watching them with my husband who really truly doesn’t care about fashion at all and makes the funniest and most interesting comments ever (his main interest are the sources of inspiration and artistic creativity, even though lately, after many years of watching this type of shows, he started commenting on the overall appearances as well). The designer that I liked the most and that I thought should’ve won the whole competition was Esther Perbandt from Germany (spoiler alert! – she didn’t win). After watching the show I felt like I needed to show my support of her work and design somehow so I found Esther’s website and promptly ordered from it. The wait wasn’t too long and voila!
I got my t-shirt and jewelry with a postcard signed by Esther. When she is as famous as Cardin, I’ll sell it for a million or so at an auction… or maybe not.
By the way, I am wearing Esther's necklace on this photo from her collection Hungry for Life. Sparkly!
After getting some rest, I got back to my knitting. There is a project that I started probably in March (right, I know, it was in a different century). Initially it was supposed to be Dreich by Kim Hargreaves. However, when I was finishing the back, the armholes looked ginormous, and I couldn’t see myself (or anyone else) wearing it. The thing was done on tiny needles with fingering yarn, and one row would take 5 minutes to finish. It was a pity that Dreich didn’t work for me, but I decided to find some other pattern with similar numbers and make it instead. My final choice was Kalin from Myth. It was supposed to be my TV knitting project, but I don’t watch much TV now, so the project was put on back burner yet not abandoned. The rows are long and the progress is slow but I am already on a second sleeve. Pretty soon my variation of Kalin will be finished, washed, blocked, and photographed.
My second project ended up also being a Kim Hargreaves’ pattern, this time from Rowan Denim book. Together with Shibui linen in clay I bought 6 balls of Shibui linen in flaxen (told you, it was a crazy shopping spree!). I tried to make something from this yarn 5 (!!!) times already with no success (kudos to the yarn though which is holding up well after these numerous tries). Now, for my 6th attempt I chose this pattern, heavily modified for my particular needs. We’ll see what happens…

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