Monday, November 30, 2015

Brooklyn Tweed Seacoast Sweater by Joji Locatelli

So, I knit this sweater in the span of 3-4 weeks in early October.  It is the lovely Seacoast design by Joji Locatelli for Broolyn Tweed.  I knit it, in part, to join in the Joji knit along on Ravelry.  So, I've had this sweater finished for over a month, and my kiddo took the photos last week.  Now when do I decide to upload the photos and post them to the knit along thread?  Why that very last day for entry, of course!... when Ravelry hasn't been up and working all day.

Oh well.  That's what I get for my typical procrastination.
I followed the pattern exactly except for lengthening the sleeves for my monkey arms.  I have an entire skein of yarn left over and am toying with the idea of knitting on to the ribbing at the bottom for a real tunic length.  That's the beauty of a top-down construction. 
 The yarn is Malabrigo Merino Worsted in the Ravelry Red color.  I hemmed and hawed between Malabrigo Merino Worsted (non-superwash) and Rios (superwash).  In the end, I went with the classic non-superwash.  I purchased it online and didn't realize it is a single-ply, though. It seams sturdy enough knitted up, but it has a slight velcro-like tendency whenever it comes in contact with dog hair, and we have lots of dog hair around here.
 Yes, I am wearing velvet leggings as pants.  What of it?  A sweater this comfy kind of demands it.  It will work equally well with boring jeans, I'm sure.
 I'm really happy with the fit and style of this sweater.  It was a simple, quick sweater to knit, but the neckline is really unique and flattering.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Leitmotif Cardigan Interweave Knits Fall 2010

I have had this sweater finished for months.  I knit it over the summer.  The pattern is the Leitmotif Cardigan from Interweave Knits Fall 2010.  The yarn is O-Wool Balance, a 50% wool/50% cotton worsted.
 This is a great cardigan for our warm climate.  The lacy section breathes and the shorter sleeves are comfortable.  This is a great throw-on piece for the air conditioning.  The only thing that bugs me is the front band rolls a lot more than in the pattern photos.  Right after I block it or steam it, they lay flat, but not for very long.
 I guess this looks a bit questionable with shorts since the cardi is longer than my shorts hem.  Oh well.  It looks great with skinny jeans, but it was a warm day!

I omitted the closure on this cardigan thinking I could always add one later.  It stays on my shoulders nicely, though, so I feel no need.  These sleeves are knit by picking up stitches around the armhole and knitting short rows for the cap.  I'd like to use this technique again but will pay more attention to the stitch counts since these came out a little wider than I would prefer.
Overall, this isn't my best sweater in terms of fit and details, but I do wear it quite often, so it's a win.  I do see more cotton/wool blend yarns in my future!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

McCalls 7186 Draped Jersey Dress

Hello!  I hope you had a great Halloween.  It's not really my favorite holiday, but my boys really enjoyed themselves, and we're one step closer to Thanksgiving and Christmas!

I want to share a recent creation, McCalls 7186, which is a great, flattering pattern.  (My hair is a mess in these photos.  I blame the wind.)
 There are basically two versions of this dress in the pattern - both have gathers at the shoulders and a wrap-style bodice.  One view also has gathers at the waist while the other does not.  I used the waist gathers and think they are super flattering.  There are also various sleeve options.  I went with long sleeves, because I have maybe one other long-sleeved dress in my closet, and I had enough fabric, so why not?

Here is the line drawing:

 My fabric is a lightweight rayon knit from Pennie Fabrics in Sarasota.  I really like the not-quite-animal print.  It's a little more wild than I am usually drawn to, but I think the earth tones calm it down a bit.  I received many compliments on this dress today.
 I have one caution if you make this pattern.  This view with the waist gathers has two separate front pieces - one for the upper layer and one for the under layer.  When cutting out the fabric, you need to place one pattern piece print-side-up and the other print-side-down.  I'm not sure if this was some kind of mistake in printing or what, but I'm glad I thought through how the pieces would go together before blindly cutting or I would have had a one-shouldered dress.

One change I made to the pattern was to make the skirt roomier.  I knew this lightweight knit could get super va va voom with a form-fitting skirt, so mine is cut more A-line.  I also need to wear a slip under this dress to feel comfortable with the single layer of knit on the back.
 Close-up of the draping detail.  I needed to do a bit of adjusting of the drape at the side seam, but I knew that was likely and used long basting stitches on the side seams at first.
 Here you can see how the draped neckline becomes the back collar. I like this detail.
 I love this type of neckline.
I am really happy with this dress and think I will probably make another at some point.  It would also be a really cute top or tunic.  We'll see what fabric wants to be another version..