Saturday, 28 September 2013

Hane !


Last time I took photos Hane was sleeveless. I knew I wanted to continue with the asymmetrical theme so made one sleeve with a full cup but was not keen either on the ruffle or the sleeveless option so got inspiration from one of Kim Hargreaves designs -Blithe in which she uses little crescent shape of a sleeve knitted side o side. I calculated a similar shape but knitted the lovely folded hem and continued upwards.

The neck is finished off with an applied icord- so delicate with that linen lace.. The fabric feels stiff even after blocking. I heard linen get softer with more washes so perhaps in time it'll soften.
Love the result and I intend to wear it as much as I can before it all be too chilly :)


Monday, 16 September 2013

Hane-my progress

Hane drew me in the moment I saw it . Such a unique ,unusual pattern. I just love the way it hangs on the model- the asymmetry, the drape of the extra fabric on the side, the fit, and the fact it was knitted with linen- a medium I wanted to try for quite some time. It was the end of summer when I've started and it all cooled down lately, so much so that this project  will be probably worn only next summer.

My yarn of choice was linen lace from artisan yarns that Loop, London stocks and to thicken it , I decided to pair it with habu stainless steel silk in dark navy  I had in stash. The stainless steel blue gives the fabric a shiny blue glimmer.

The yarns together refuse to submit to the gauge of 23 sts per 10 cm and I had to drop to 2mm knitting needles to achieve it. I had quite few false starts to the pattern which took couple of weeks to sort out and was very disheartening to say the least.
Looking at finished projects on ravelry , I've noticed the top bit (i.e. chest and shoulders) usually looked great , no matter what type of sleeve the knitters chose but the bottom ( hem up to waist) is where the garment could look frumpy. I suggest to take extra care to make sure the hem is neat and fitted with , otherwise you'll have too much of extra fabric and your garment will lack in elegance.
To achieve a neat folded hem , my advise is not to follow the pattern -you really have to make a provisional cast on and then knit the two live stitches together, one from the cast on and one from your needle. I used crochet provisional cast on and then purled the first row in my linen yarn- don't count this row in your row count, otherwise the two sides of your hem wont be even and the hem wont lay flat.

Folded hem photo-

*this is the actual colour as I see it.

Another tip that came from bitter experience- don't knit from centre ball. My linen yarn stuck together horribly and created knots .
I followed the pattern with all those multiple short rows and more than once had serious doubts about the fit. It just did not resemble anything I've ever knitted before.
I wet blocked it in warm soapy waters after finishing the body. The linen was somewhat resistant to me stretching it, but the drier it got , the more I could pull and stretch.

This is a photo of the blocking.

I aligned the top bit that are the armholes and then pulled the front hem down to be parallel to the bottom back hem, measure and make sure you've got the right dimensions of your hips and chest.

This is pinned together on my dummy- no sleeves or icord finishing touches yet.


I'm knitting a full sleeve on my left, just like the model but not sure if my short form can carry the ruffled feature so am trying something else. I'll get back as soon as I've done :)
Keep well !

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Mon petit gilet raye- A big yawn ..

This is one of those projects that started with a lot of enthusiasm but the steam has lost it's power and it is now hardly touched. I was coveting this one stripe version in which a circular needle being used at achieve the single stripes so at times you have to knit or purl two times, each times from different needle end. The yarn was bought in loop - I used a neutral cream , Madelintosh sock in antique lace for the stripes and the more luxurious- skein in 'barley ' for the bands - neck , button and sleeve long cuffs. The brown , light blue colour is achieved by using Casbah sock in Bronze' . I like the subtle effects of the single stripes but oh dear , what a bore.. I left this project so many times that my tension is not the most even and it is a bit too loose on me. Just two sleeves now so really must get on with it..sigh