Friday, September 7, 2007

Fifi for me-me & cats wrapped in Mystery!

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!

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Thanks so much, guys! I love it!

Bug and Moana have been keeping an eye (and several paws) on it for me...
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Shhh.... don't tell Moana, but I've been thinking about making her a body stocking out of it...


FIFI

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!)

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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!

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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.

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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):
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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.
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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:
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Is it safe to walk on? Moana tests it out...
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The wing portion of the stole:
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The "wrong" side of the wing (super cool bumpiness, Batman!):
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It makes a snazzy Moana tutu:
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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):
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That's all for now! Thanks for all your great comments, and have a great weekend!

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49 comments:

Stacey said...

Fifi is gorgeous! I love the colour & it looks like it fits you perfectly! Nice job!

lv2knit said...

I'm glad you liked the Calmer -- it's in my queue and the red is in my queue in Cascade 220!! So, I love the color, the yarn and the sweater. It would never look that good on this old bod, though!

Jeannie said...

Wow, Fifi is beautiful!! It looks great on you too.

Sarah said...

Fifi is perfect and looks fabulous on you - great fit.

handknit168 said...

Fifi is beautiful and looks great on you.

soknitpicky said...

Beautiful as always!! There is an errata link on her page--maybe you can submit what you found.

yarnsnob said...

agree with the others. its beautiful and perfect fit! Nice figure hun!!!
Bugs and maona up to their tricks again but I love them :)
Oh and Happy Birthday.

Tammy said...

Your Fifi is really the most lovely I've seen! Great job and great fit.

rockbridge said...

wow your fifi is gorgeous!! the fit is perfect and it's one of the most flattering knits i've seen in a long time!!

Bryony Ramsden said...

Wow! What a post! Fifi and the mystery stole both look beautiful (and Fifi suits you, particularly in that red).

You are very brave letting the cats walk on the stole though - Joe would shred it straight away just by looking at it ;)

del said...

Fifi looks amazing on you! What a perfect fit & I love the color. Great job.

The stole is so pretty. Can't wait to see the finished product.

jennsquared said...

Fifi is beautiful! And your MS3 is coming right along! I am still on Clue 4!!! ::sigh::

Kasia said...

Fifi looks great on you! Oh c'mon who cares for asymetry if it looks and feels good!
MS3 looks great and I love your kitties playing around it! They are both such a cuties!
How sweet of you nephew and niece to give you some sock yarn! I can't wait to see socks you will knit out of it!

Annie said...

Fifi is gorgeous! Beautifully done, despite those 'doh' moments. It looks great!!! I can't wait to see your mystery stole. The color of yarn looks like it is perfect for the pattern.

sulafaye said...

Wow, Fifi looks great!! And I love the yarn you're using for your MS3.

The_Add_Knitter said...

Calmer is a great yarn, I love it. And Fifi? Hubba hubba!!

fleegle said...

Fifi is adorable, and so beautifully knitted! And I love that Mystery stole--bumps and all.

Sarah said...

Fifi is beautiful! I love that red. And, as always, I love your feline models. :-)

Alice said...

Gorgeous! It looks amazing, and it's the perfect fit.

kmkat said...

You look great in Fifi! That's what it's all about, right, looking great in our handknits? Gorgeous color, beautiful pattern, exquisite fit. Well done, you!

knitties said...

Wow, your Fifi is gorgeous and looks great on you! That colour is fantastic :)

Yarn It said...

Your Fifi looks absolutely fabulous! I wish I loved mine as much. I have to tell you, that the pattern confused me also when taking off the sleeves. I had to do the same thing you did. Your mystery stole looks fantastic! Don't you love it?? Knitting the wing got boring to me though.

MonicaPDX said...

Amazingly beautiful Fifi, and you look even better. Again, I wish you did photography for a knit mag! Love the Bug and Maia pix. Are they in, "Aww, don't we look sweet?" mode or what? Did you bribe them? [g] (And ROFL, part of my verification word is "kit". Serendipity!)

The Crafty Weasel said...

WOW! Fifi is stunning! It looks absolutely gorgeous on you!!!!

Shannon said...

The Fifi is lovely, and the fit is perfect. Congrats!

Abby said...

Your Fifi turned out great. I really like the Calmer color you picked.

Bear Knits said...

Belated Happy Birthday! Fifi looks fabulous! Love that color.

SJ said...

Fifi looked nice in the shots you showed us before, but Wow! does it look spectacular on!

schrodinger said...

Wow!! Fifi looks wonderful, and you look fantastic in her - great job!

Anna said...

Your Fifi is stunning. What a great color and fit, it was worth all the trouble.
Mystery shawl is looking great too. I can`t wait to see it finished.

Oiyi said...

It looks great on you!

Rosina said...

Fifi looks great! Stylish as always :) I love the bumpy look of the "wrong" side of lace too... almost tempted not to block sometimes.

rachel iufer said...

you know, the knitter always notices the mistakes, everyone else will just be so impressed that you made your own garment that the LAST thing they'll notice is an asymmetrical purl stitches! fifi looks fabulous, and looks perfect on you! the color is delicious, and your kitties are so stinkin' cute too!

Knittymuggins said...

Your Fifi turned out amazing! Great job! And I love that color on you :)

wendy g said...

Fifi looks wonderful on you. What a good color and fit. Your MS3 is also beautiful and it looks like the "kitties" will be pleased that you are almost finished.
Have a good week.

Kirsten said...

Fifi looks fabulous on you!! What a beautiful project!

Stilaholic Nartian knits said...

Fifi is gorgeous on you! I would've never have seen that asymmetry either until you pointed it out. And you can truly call it a design element.

Amanda said...

Fifi is so beautiful! It so flattering-fantastic job!

Risa said...

They both look fabulous! Fifi is gorgeous, despite the assymmetry. I never would have noticed that either!

Lucy said...

Your Fifi top is just gorgeous! Congratulations and a belated Happy Birthday too - yummy sock yarn! Bug and Moana have a lot of fun with your knitting!! I spend half my time trying to keep Cressida away from mine!!!The rest of my cats are very blase about it these days! Beautiful work, beautiful kitties!

gay said...

i love the extra length you added to your fifi. i almost wish i had made mine a bit longer but i'm already over it. i love the color of course that's why i chose it for my fifi and i was wondering why more people didn't use the garnet. the calmer was great wasn't it! i never noticed any mistakes or asymetry and i'm not going to look either!

Nonnahs said...

Yay- Your Fifi is beautiful!

wildtomato said...

Moana told me that she would *love* a body stocking. Yes, she told me so herself.

Fifi is amazing! Nice job!

Liz said...

Fifi looks great on you.Nice colour, too. I LOVE the wrong side of your mystery stole!

Madge said...

I have to add my voice to the "lovely" comments...because Fifi is! It fits you like a dream. And is gorgeous. Well done!

May said...

Wow, Fifi is so nice!
and MS3 is beautiful. I really like the color, it works for the theme well I think.

Mel said...

Gift yarn! Yeah! Very nice. Just wait till friends and family start bestowing gift certificates on you from places like Kpixie.

Your Fifi is perfection and you also win the prize for best post-knit info. Your waist-sinching needle switch is a hit every time. I am stealing that technique on all my sweaters.

I can't wait to see Mona's Trekking unitard...don't forget to leave a hole for the tail.

lomester said...

WOW. i am so glad that you showed us pictures f you modeling fifi. It is so amazingly gorgeous on you.

Lovely

Jana said...

Fifi is gorgeous! That red color is beautiful!