Monday, November 27, 2006

Who are you callin' "simple"?

It was Thanksgiving morning. What was I thankful for? I was thankful that I was almost finished with my Simple Knitted Bodice. All I needed to do was let it dry after wet blocking it.

Look at that lace inset. So pretty! I used far less beaded yarn that the pattern called for, because I could only get one skein of it from Sarah's Yarns, and I was afraid I would run out. I only used it for the knit rows of the purl ridges, and it was still pretty close. I think I had maybe three or four yards left.

I did smaller bells on the arms, and the neckline's higher than the one in the pattern. For the neck shaping, I increased every seventh row instead of every ninth. I don't want to have to wear a camisole under it. Even with the neckline starting out that much higher, it still stretched to the point where it's barely appropriate for work. That nice curve at the waist is almost gone as well, again because it stretched with wear. I knew silk would do this, and now I know how much smaller I have to make the next one in order to preserve more of the pre-wear size and shape.

It wasn't drying fast enough, so I tried putting it in the warming drawer. A few minutes later, it occured to me that one of the advertised features of the Dacor warming drawer is that it preserves the moisture in your food while keeping it warm. I pulled the damp, warm sweater out of the drawer and went back to drying it the old-fashioned way, with lots and lots of towels.

Anyway, it did get dry by the time we left for my relatives' house, and I wore it with pride. There are no pictures of me in it, because I am the designated photographer at these events.

I'll have more details on it later.


Still no picture of me wearing it, but I figure that'll happen later. Here are the fun facts:

Simple Knitted Bodice

- Started some time in mid-October, finished at 12:35 p.m. on Thanksgiving day.
- Tilli Tomas Pure and Simple in burnt olive - a little less than four skeins
- Tilli Tomas Rock Star in burnt olive - almost one skein, marked 130 yards. No idea how much it actually was, but probably nowhere near 130 yards.
- I cast on between a small and a medium (158 stitches).
- I was pretty careful about trying this on as I knit, and I just knit until it looked like it'd fit, so I don't have a guess about how big the upper part is. It's a small in circumference, but maybe more like a medium in length.
- By the time I got to the lace on the body, I was closest to the small, so I knit the lace and the rest of the body according to the small instructions.
- At some point, I learned how to do lifted increases, and now I don't like the look of simple M1 increases. The hip shaping is done with left-leaning and right-leaning lifted increases.
- The swatch grew like crazy after washing. It was about 6.5 stitches per inch pre-wash, 5 stitches per inch post-wash. I knit with this in mind.

What'd I learn? A few things.
- The Tilli yarn is fantastic. There are probably less expensive yarns, and more consumer friendly ones as well, but man is this stuff nice. I didn't feel too bad about this purchase, as it helped Sarah's Yarns clear out their remaining stock.
- Should have knit more of an extra small. If it wasn't silk, the small would have been fine. Even after the wash, it fit the way I wanted it to. It relaxed after a day of wear, and it's still a good size, but I would have liked for it to be more snug.
- As many before have noted, the pattern knits up larger than it seems. I think what's not clear in the instructions is that there should be negative ease, not just 'close fit'.
- Pay attention to the lines running between the yarnovers in the lace. Even if you can't really tell what's going on with the rest of the lace, you can tell if it's gone off by a stitch or two by looking at those lines. If they're straight, you're good. Do it after every lace row of the pattern, and un-knit if you find you've screwed up. It will be noticeable, even if you try to fix it a couple of rows later. Ask me how I know. Better yet, don't ask me how I know. Just trust me.

I love this pattern, and now that I've already gone through it once, I think I can knit another version that will be even better.

And maybe get a picture of myself wearing it.


turtlegirl76 said...

Oh it turned out fabulously! I love the color! (You like you some green, eh?)

I need to knit another one of these, probably in a wool blend this time. And yeah, I'll do exactly as you did. Higher neck, negative ease, etc. I wish mine fit me better than it does, but I still like it!

knottygnome said...

it looks lovely. i especially like the sparklies.

hope to see a modeled photo soon!

Anonymous said...

It's lovely! Thanks for all your observations and hints. I'll keep them in mind when I make my own.

Knittypants said...

That is really pretty, I love the color especially with the sunshine streaming on it.

Jessica said...

This turned out beautifully! Great colors! You have to post pictures of you wearing it soon! :)

LadyLungDoc said...

It is beautiful.

Batty said...

That turned out lovely!

knottygnome said...

here's to vindication bout knitting pure silk: i've worn my sahara in hipknits silk a couple of times now and i swear it grows another inch widthwise and lengthwise every time i wear it!

is there any way to stop the stretching, besides just giving in and eating more to compensate?

just wondering if you've found a solution...