Saturday, July 18, 2009

Txting 1 2 3! Testing mobile blogging by text. I'm 80 percent done with summertime tunic!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Commuter Knitting the Summertime Tunic by Katie Himmelberg

Commuter knitting
Originally uploaded by k_purls2
Commuter knitting, every knitter needs one project you can take on the road. I've been knitting in the mornings on the train and have found, by trial and error which projects work best for me when commuting. Projects with simple, repetitive patterns (so I don't have to try and hold a book open or cart one back in forth in bag) work well. Smaller projects that can easily fit in a little sac that Ms. Williams made for me work too. Finally, I have to be able to complete at least two rounds in 10 minutes (I need to fill a since of accomplishment!). I worked on the fitted shrug on the train and this week, I decided to give Katie Himmelberg's Summertime Tunic a whirl. It is from Interweave's Summer 2007 edition. Summertime Tunic - Interweave
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I think it is cute and it is a simple stockinette all the way through. I'm able to knit this baby and talk on the phone or people see. Today I knitted in the back of the car while my husband and son sat in front. My son took this picture of me with my iPhone. I uploaded the picture to flickr from the phone and thought I would be clever and blog about it on the expressway during traffic, but it doesn't look like that functionality is available through flickr yet. If someone knows how let me know, I'm curious.

Anyway, back to the tunic. I'm knitting it with Sirdars' Baby Bamboo, It feels very soft and knits the color up wonderfully. However, I've been through 3 spools and each one there is some sort of defect with the yarn midway through where the fiber is knotted or split. Twice it caught me off guard and so I have a two little stubbles in my top.

The other issue is the sizing of the top, I'm a little worried about how it will fit and drape. I probably should have figured in some shaping, but we will see. The size jumps from 29 to 33. I added a few extra stitches to do a 31" bust fit figuring there was a lot of ease in the top as I looked at other finished projects.

Today, the tunic comes with me to a picnic, hope I don't knit BBQ sauce into it.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Fitted Shrug with Cap Sleeves from "Doublestitch, Designs for the Crochet Fashionista"

Originally uploaded by k_purls2
Alright y'all! I'm officially a crochet fashionista! I spent years crocheting blankets and slippers, this is my first garment. I'm pretty excited. Last year, my friend Rochonda bought me Erika and Monika Simmons' book "Doublestitch, Designs for the Crochet Fashionista." I think a have a pattern book fetish that rivals my yarn. I really do enjoy looking at the photographs, creativity and even the book layouts. They are inspiring. Anyhoo, I flipped through the book and I liked a lot of the stuff, but some of it had a little more "ista" than I had in my fashion. I wasn't brave enough yet. But a couple patterns made it to the "to do" list including the Fitted Shrug with Cap Sleeves. At the time, I was shrugged out, so it was the bottom of my list. But, a few weeks ago, I gave into the "maxi dress" craze and got a long tube dress from Old Navy. The dress needed a light shrug for the chilly evenings or air conditioned hang outs. I started combing through my patterns for something quick and voila! I stumbled back upon this. Now, because as I already mentioned, I've only mastered blankets and footies, I was a little nervous, but I read through the pattern and saw that it was a simple construction comprised of double-crochets and chains. (Always read your patterns first!) I was hooked!


The yarn is Malabrigo worsted in the magenta sapphire colorway. It took 1.25 skeins. That's the thing I hate about crochet, it uses more yarn than knitting, this is definitely a one skein knit project. The color is wonderful, I love it. The remainder of the yarn will be a scarf for the winter. I was on the fence about using the Malabrigo worsted for a summer piece but given the pattern stitch, I thought it would be open enough where it wouldn't feel out of season. These pictures were taken tonight in 78/80 degree weather and I was comfortable. Malabrigo feels very soft on, this is my second garment with this particular brand.

It took 4 days to complete, on the train which amounted to probably a three hour crochet if I did it straight at home, a perfect weekend project.

I crocheted the size 34-36. I measure 34." Though it fits comfy, to get the snug shrug fit of the book, I probably should have crocheted one size smaller and then added rows to the front panel as needed, which is easy enough since you can try on the piece during construction and edit as necessary. Also, my shrug flares out, which may be because I picked up more stitches than I should have for the final trim. I also did an additional 2 rows on the fronts to increase the width of the panels. I'm small chested but thought the panel needed a tad more. I felt like the shrug was slipping down and off to easily. I'm also a closet conservative so I could be playing it a little safe, while wearing a tube top dress! Oh, the contradictions. Summer love ya'll!