Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Hat Trick

Orangina is finished - just in time for those last (slightly cooler) days of summer! To celebrate with me click on the links to see a bevy of sites related to France's favorite beverage - my personal favorite is the last - don't mess with soccer players - he he he.
Now, onto the post project soliloquy. I learned a lot while working on this project. No surprise there, as it was my first full sized garment AND first lace project.

The good:
Swatched, blocked and calculated number of stitches to cast on to get a more fitted top.
Cast on with larger needles to prevent neckline from rolling.
Tried it on again and again to get just the right body length.
Blocked back and front to slightly different dimensions to get a flattering fit.
Shortened ribbing from "so right now" to "classic" (as a short person I'm not sure inches and inches of ribbing are really what I need, even if that look is all the rage).
Endless Summer Lara - not too splitty and comes in great colors.
Life lines - how do I love thee? Let me count the ways...

Next time:
A slightly larger swatch to get a better feel for the lace pattern.
Only needed to go up one needle size for cast on, not two (some larger yo's near the neckline resulted)
I never did resolve my difficulty with the ribbing looking just a bit different than I expected it to, despite trying 4 different combinations of wrapping stitches and twisting stitches. I think that the cotton just doesn't have enough spring to hide any fiddling with the stitch pattern. I might have had better results if I had been able to go down a needle size. However I discovered the hard way that with my Needlemaster set the plastic joints are LARGER in diameter than the smallest needles, which made the smallest needles useless of course because it is nearly impossible to get stitches made out of any non stretching fiber over the joint. Grrr.
However, I did avoid the dreaded gap between the knitted columns... I just switched it for a looser row of purls, which I think is at least less obvious.

And naturally, there had to be a skirt to match. :) I decided to forgo shorts this year and instead declared this the summer of skirts! I wanted something light and fresh to compliment the lacy top and I like how the eyelet pattern is almost an echo of the twining trellis of vines.

I traced a lovely wool skirt my mother gave me, so the pattern is pretty much "made up." It is fully lined and the waistband was formed just by folding/pressing/folding again and top- stitching. The only really ugly part is the invisible zipper I inset between the lining and the outer fabric. I should have practised (especially with a new machine) but when it comes to sewing I'm lazy I guess. I was able to make my other mistake a design feature - I didn't quite get enough yardage to keep bottom edge of the four panels on the fancy edge of the fabric, so one quarter of the skirt is "upside down." But I love the unexpected funkiness of that imperfection. Over all, the skirt came out nice and long and swishy. Other lazy crafters take note - eyelet skirts need not be hemmed!

I feel like I've blabbed on long enough, but here are a few pics of a bag I made for Senora Fuerte. My favorite detail on this bag is the flower I included on the inner pocket. The pretty little design elements in the pattern just beg to be pulled out and given the spotlight. It was all I could do not to buy myself yards and yards more of this fabric!

Finally, as promised, a pile of fiber loot. I am ashamed. Ashamed of my rampant participation in our consumer culture. I now understand the saying "an embarrassment of riches." And I didn't even photograph it all!
As you can see though, I fell down at the Knitpicks sale (Runway Knits, The Opinionated Knitter, Last Minute Knitted Gifts, 4 skeins of Gloss) The LYS (new IK), and the Flawful Fiber shop's grand opening (top). But that skein of sock yarn was courtesy of the generous ADD Knitter (thank you!) via her blog contest - so I don't have to feel guilty about that one right?
So much yarn... so little time.


Octopus Knits said...

Wow! Orangina looks great (from the back, at least), the skirt is lovely, the bag is wonderful, and the yarn, fiber, and books... fun!

Senora Fuerte said...

Oh nuts! I've been so behind the ball on photographing/blogging your kind gift that you've beaten me to it. The only reason is that the bag has had stuff in it since the day it arrived. I LOVE IT and I use it constantly, which means it just needs a little pressing before I take it's portrait (I want to represent it at it's best). Please accept my apology for not showing it off sooner, and I will be doing so in the next day or two. I really love it all! (I'm a bad bad gift getter. I'm so sorry.)