Monday, March 31, 2008

Giselle, ma belle...

Is it still March? Yep, just barely! I actually had this one finished a couple of weeks ago, and I've already worn it several times, but I only just got around to taking the pictures today.

I made it in size small (the first numbers in parentheses), using 8 skeins of Debbie Bliss Pure Silk in purple and 1 ball of Katia Gatsby in gold for the trim.

I am very happy with the fit and, despite the miles of stockinette hell, it was actually a pretty fun project. I particularly liked how the sleeve flares were shaped.

My Finished Bella Paquita

Hi all. I wasn't sure I'd get this done in time, but here it is!

Apologies for the truly awful photo - it's pouring rain here today, and I am swamped with work. I'll post better shots and details soon, but I wanted to get something up.

Best of luck to all the other last-minute finishers!

Keylimegirl's Bella Paquita Finished!

My Bella is done! And, I love it. It's probably my favorite thing I have ever knitted. Getting there, though, was kind of a process, and after I cast on I got so frustrated with charts and sizing that I may have accidentally knit 4 hats, a bag, an entire cardigan, and most of a Tubey while I was supposed to be making this. But, it's all done,and I'm in love. I didn't end up steeking it, as the silk/wool yarn drapes so nicely that I like the way it looks in the back with all the lace there, so all I did was tack it down in 5 places so that it would lie properly.

*Posted for keylimegirl by knittymuggins due to blogger issues

Thursday, March 27, 2008

In the nick of time!

I finished Giselle last night just in the nick of time as I had hand surgery today!  


Pattern: Giselle from Stitch Diva, cropped version, Size Small
Yarn: Handmaiden Double Sea Silk in Periwinkle--3 skeins
Handmaiden Sea Silk in Mahogany--1 skein (for crochet edging)
Ribbon: Hanna Silk Satin hand dyed in French Roast--3 yards
Needles: Addi turbo size 6, Crochet hook size E
Began Feb./ Finished March 27

I love this pattern but I'm disappointed that it didn't come in smaller sizes. The smallest is a 34 which is my actual bust measurement. This design needs to have negative ease. The back view shows that the sweater doesn't quite hug the body the way it should. In retrospect, I should have tightened it up when I put the crochet edging on. I was also a little rusty with my crochet skills. It's been years. There was a graph type thing with the stitch pattern which was somewhat unclear. I didn't get it quite right up the front and around the neck, but I figured it out for the rest! Overall, I'm pleased with the results and I'm sure I will wear it.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Flickr Group Updates!

** updated March 24, 2008**

We are trying to gather an extensive collection of all our KAL photos. If you participated in any of the KAL's, please show off your handiwork in our flickr groups!

The SKC has one flickr group for sexy but non-KAL knitting here: Sexy Knitters Club:

These groups are for the individual KALs (in order of occurence):

Bella Paquita:



Tree Jacket:


Red Carpet Convertible:


Rusted Root:



Simple Knitted Bodice:


Tempting II:



Bella is finished!

Bella PaquitaYippee, I finally finished Bella Paquita yesterday! With all of the reknitting I did, I probably knit the whole thing twice.

I used Rowan Calmer, so my gauge was very different from the pattern and I had to customize everything. I also knitted the top so that the lace would start higher.

More details on the modifications are on my Ravelry project and blog post.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I have to say I was very intimidated by this pattern at first, because I had never worked with charts before. But I took Marnie's advice and created a "crib sheet" and it went fairly smoothly. I had some trouble with the sleeves, but after reading Mary_Me_A_Little's post, I got "Knitting Without Tears" from the library, and I'm very happy with how easily they came together. (After having frogged the first sleeve 3 times.) I also liked the sweater without the sleeves and may knit another sleeveless version some day. The steeks scared the snot out of me, but I took the plunge and am keeping my fingers crossed. I put them at the shoulder seams. I'm happy with the yarn and I love the color - Berroco Comfort #9761. It's a beautiful pattern, and I will be wearing this one a lot!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Getting Close

Bella Paquita

Sorry for the dark late-at-night photo, but I've got to take what I can get. I'm finally getting close to the finish on Bella Paquita. Since I wasn't sure I'd have enough yarn, I stopped knitting the body when it was the shortest length I'd want, and put the stitches on waste yarn. I'll go back and knit more length if I have enough yarn.

My dilemma is now the sleeve length. I can't decide whether I want to knit them to the elbows, as in the original pattern. Any thoughts? Should I just end the sleeve now, add enough length so the bottom of the sleeve reaches the top of the ribbing on the body, or go to the elbow? If I go all the way to the elbow, I think there will be just barely enough yarn, so I probably won't be able to add any length to the body, and then I'm not sure it will look well-proportioned.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

To frog or not to frog. That is the question!

Thanks for your comments on my post below about Giselle. (Giselle Sizing--post immediately below this one.) I've thought of how I can fix it. I think I will run a lifeline at the point where I want the length and frog back to that point, then bind off. Then it will fit like the pattern photos. I just cannot stretch it across the bust like it is because it is too long. I measured the gauge again and found that it must have grown when it was wet blocked. Silk does funny things like that. It fit when I tried it on a few rows before I bound off. I didn't wash my initial swatch so I didn't expect it to grow like that. That will be a lesson because if I had washed the swatch, I probably would have saved about a week of knitting!

Now--here's my question. I don't have enough yarn for my second flounce and I ordered another skein. I"m wondering if I should just use the yarn that I frog from the bodice for that. My concern is that this yarn has already been blocked and has stretched out. I'm afraid that mixing it with the unblocked yarn will affect the finished flounce when it gets blocked. Should I just save the blocked yarn for another small project? It would save spending on the extra skein, but I want the thing to turn out right and I don't mind spending since I've already spend a lot on it. I've never been in this situation before. Thanks for any advice. The comments are always so helpful.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Giselle sizing

I am making the cropped version of Giselle. I wish the pattern had included a photo of the back view. I don't know how far the front pieces should wrap. Mine wraps all the way around the back and actually crosses. I'm not sure if I like the way the back looks because it hangs over where the ends cross. I followed the directions for the smallest size and got gauge. The sweater seems longer that in the photo. Perhaps it is because Marnie is taller so it fits her differently in the photos. Has anyone had the same fitting issue? I envisioned it not going all the way down to my waist. I also think the sweater needs more negative ease. I measure 34.5 and made the smallest size. I still think it is beautiful and I will get plenty of wear out of it. I have finished one sleeve flounce and discovered that I don't have enough yarn to finish the second one so I have ordered one more skein. I will finish it when the yarn arrives.

I may put it aside for a few weeks and do the crochet then. I'm having surgery on my left hand the end of the month and I know I won't be able to knit for a while. I think I can crochet though, so I will save my crochet projects and try to knit as much as I can now!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Chart Problems, and Trying Again

I'm just about to start knitting the top of Bella Paquita for the 3rd time. This one had better fit, or I'll be ripping the yarn into confetti!

There seems to be a problem with the medium charts. Marnie is aware that there's an issue, but has not had a chance to look into it yet. I thought I should post about it in case anyone else tries to knit the medium size in the meantime.

I would normally have knit the "small" size, but my yarn gauge is off since I'm using Rowan Calmer, which is a thinner yarn. Doing some number crunching told me that knitting the pattern in the large size should work. Unfortunately, either I messed up the math, my gauge changed, or it's just because the Calmer is so stretchy, the top ended up being a little looser than I wanted it to fit.

Looking at the difference between the medium and large bust sizes, I figured the medium would probably be fine. So off I went and knitted the top for the second time. This time it was way too small. I couldn't figure out how I could have such a huge difference, when there was only 1.75" difference between the pattern bust size for the medium and large.

Looking at all of the charts, I discovered that the chart for the medium top is smaller than the chart for the small top.

At first, I just figured that somehow the charts got switched, and that the "small" chart was really for the "medium" size, and vice-versa. But after crunching some numbers, I'm not so sure that's really the problem.

I don't know how Marnie calculated the circumference for the size dimensions, but I tried this:

Number of stitches across back at underarms x 2 (for front and back), divided by 4.5 stitches per inch = bust circumference.

Small chart: (78 st x 2) / 4.5 = 34.7"
Medium chart: (76 st x 2) / 4.5 = 33.8"
Large chart: (88 st x 2) / 4.5 = 39.1"

The pattern sizes for the bust show:

Small: 34.25
Medium: 37.5
Large: 39.25

The small and large come out very close to my calculations, but the medium is completely off. If the small and medium charts were just switched, I'd expect to see the "small" size come out closer to 37". So maybe the small is really the small, and the medium is just wrong. Or, maybe there's some other secret to calculating the bust size.

So anyway, I've spent the day working out my own chart, that's a little bigger than the 'small', and hopefully I'll come out OK.

As for the bottom and sleeve charts, it looks like the small top matches the small bottom, and the medium top matches the medium bottom (I compared the number of stitches at the join), but for the sleeves, the small sleeves are really smaller than the medium sleeves. I won't worry about the sleeves until I get there.

On the plus side, I really like how the Calmer is knitting up, so if I can get the size to work out, I'm sure it will be great.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

curly edges!

Hi Folks, I've been in the sunny Caribbean for a week now (my new home!) and so haven't done a great deal of knitting....but will get back into it soon! Because I'm impatient, I've done the crochet edging around the neck line and the bottom on Bella (I'm doing the cropped version) and whilst it looks very very pretty, it is all curly (ie the knitting hasn't straightened out to lie flat). Is this normal and will it lie flat when I've blocked it when the whole thing is done?

Coming Up For Air!

Hey Sexy Knitters!!! Whew, I have been SOOO busy that I've gotten a little behind in my SKC "duties" and am just now getting to post the winner of the last SKC Juliet/Tree Jacket Knit Along! I'm actually even further behind that just that, but we won't talk about that right now (hey Erin, your tote bag is on its way to me even as I write!) Anyway, today's been a bit of a catch-up day for me, so let's get to business, shall we?
The winner of the SKC Juliet/Tree Jacket KAL is Garnet -- Knittin' in the Yukon! Garnet's won a Hip Chicks Knit T-Shirt!

Congratulations Garnet!
The Bella Paquitas and the Giselles I've been seeing are gorgeous! Remember this knit along ends at the end of March which is only 3 weeks away! As always, we will have a drawing for all who finished either or both of these patterns, so if you've already finished, you can send me an email with either a pic of your finished project or a link to a pic of your finished project. Remember to title the subject of your email "Bella/Giselle KAL" for organization purposes.
Knit on!

Paired increases for Bella

I will be starting Bella in a week or so. What types of paired increases are people using at the sides? I will be knitting it in one piece. Are you doing a M1 before the marker and one after? How are you increasing? Thanks!