First, I forgot to mention in my last post that I received a gift of yarn for my birthday -- my family and friends have largely not caught on to the idea yet, so it was pretty exciting! I'm told that my young niece and nephew (accompanied by their mother, of course!) had a great time exploring their LYS, and they chose this lovely sock yarn just for me!
Thanks so much, guys! I love it!
Bug and Moana have been keeping an eye (and several paws) on it for me...
Shhh.... don't tell Moana, but I've been thinking about making her a body stocking out of it...
Ok, so I promised to have some modeled photos of Fifi for you. (These were taken at night under "warm" lighting, so if you're wondering, no I haven't gotten a tan!)
Fifi (French Girl Knits)
Rowan Calmer, "Garnet" (175 yards per ball), almost 4 balls
US 4 and 5 (3.5 and 3.75 mm) circular needles and dpns
US D (3.25 mm) crochet hook
Overall, this was a great knit, and I'm really happy with the results. (And I'm glad I got to use the Calmer -- what a great yarn!) However, I did experience a few moments of confusion with the pattern and even, at one point (actually, um, when I was already finished), complete, dumb-struck horror.
I wanted to knit more or less the smallest size, but my gauge was off a bit, so I used the instructions for the second (33.5") size instead.
My main point of confusion was when the instructions seemed to direct me to use what I had thought were the body stitches as the sleeve stitches. After some internal debate (geez, I thought the front and back were wider than the sleeves... this doesn't sound right), I went ahead and did what I thought the pattern wanted me to do, separated the sleeves and knit a bit on the body. Then I tried it on. And it looked funny to me. The neck opening looked too narrow and rolled pretty badly along both front and back, and the sleeves were suddently huge. I ripped back and switched to the lesser number of stitches (71) for each sleeve and the greater number (81) for front and back -- much better!
Modifications: I switched to smaller needles (US 4) after 5 repeats of the 8 round "Lower Bodice" pattern to cinch in the waist a bit. I switched back to US 5's after 2 repeats. I lengthened Fifi quite a bit by knitting 11 total repeats. For the sleeves: I used the instructions for the smallest size for the decrease round and only worked one additional round on each sleeve before the final K1,P1 rib round and rib bind off. Additionally, I single crocheted around the neckline to minimize rolling.
The "dumb-struck horror" I mention above occurred after I was completely finished, I tried it on (as I'd done repeatedly throughout the knitting process) and experienced a shock to notice (for the first time!) that the region of purl stitches on one side of each center cable was one third as wide as the column on the other side, both front and back. How I didn't notice this asymmetry before is beyond me...
If you can't see it in my other photos, here's a close-up of the asymmetry (after blocking):
I hadn't previously noticed any asymmetry in the finished Fifi's I'd seen on the web, but then I started re-looking at other people's photos and realized that this asymmetry was present in all Fifi's. Clearly, it couldn't have bugged me much, since I hadn't noticed before.
During knitting, my increases (especially the Kinc's) had resulted in some obscenely loose stitches, so I went through and redistributed the slack in the diagonal "rib" of the cental panels to make things look nicer. As I did this, I tried to loosen the stitches in the narrow P2 column, and tighten the stitches in the wide P2 column. Blocking helped both issues somewhat, but didn't completely "fix" either.
I love Fifi anyway!
MYSTERY STOLE 3
Bug and Moana have been trying to help me finish up my Mystery Stole.
As you can see, all that chart reading and placing of beads has tuckered them out.
I'm now working the final clue! Here are a few photos of it for your entertainment.
Draped over the couch:
Is it safe to walk on? Moana tests it out...
The wing portion of the stole:
The "wrong" side of the wing (super cool bumpiness, Batman!):
It makes a snazzy Moana tutu:
Bug wants to know when it'll be finished, so he can wear it properly (without those pesky metal needles getting stuck between his teeth):
That's all for now! Thanks for all your great comments, and have a great weekend!