Pattern: Eyelet Chemise, from Interweave Knits, Summer 2006
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Prima, 8 skeins.
Modifications: I added two inches to the bottom lace section pattern and an extra half inch to the top eyelet section. I used smaller buttons and used the crochet edging as button holes.
What I learnt: How to insert short row bust darts. They worked really well to add length to the front; you can read how I did them here.
Comments: This is the best-fitting garment I have made, and I’m really thrilled about that. I love the plunging neckline, which is just high enough.
However, the one slight issue I have with this cardigan is the difference between something flattering, as distinct from fitting, a particular body type. I don’t have any empire-waist tops; mostly I chose things that accentuate my waist. I think I’ve discovered the reason for this: Steve took these photos, and he was very complimentary when he first saw me wearing this top. However, it was not the knitting to which his eye was drawn. And here’s the thing – I’m not sure that I want to get that kind of attention all the time!
Alex: ‘Are you knitting some knickers for a really large doll now, or have you finally lost your mind?’
Me: ‘No, darling, they’re the sleeves of my eyelet chemise.’
…Which is a roundabout way of saying that this top is practically finished! I’ve knitted each sleeve about ten times over, using various different techniques to try and improve my lumpy stocking stitch. I’ve got quite a lot to say about this, which can mostly wait for another day. Suffice it to say that I have improved my tension, almost to my own ridiculously perfectionist standards. Look:
Not bad, huh? Even close up it looks all right:
It’s such a nice feeling for once, not to be frustrated with my hobby…
I managed to complete 1 1/2 sleeves of my Eyelet Chemise today, and do the crochet edging on the finished one. I carried on trying out the combination method that I mentioned yesterday to improve my stockinette tension, and I’m really pleased with the result. Thanks for all the comments about this – I am going to write about this subject in much more detail over the next week or so, and post it with some swatches, as I think it’s a technique that could be very useful to draw upon sometimes.
I really enjoy crocheting, it’s so quick and satisfying, but just doing this little bit reminded me why I don’t do more. I have a tendency to get RSI (repetitive strain injury) in my right hand, not helped by having a job that involves writing all day and then spending my free time knitting. I try not to twist my wrist too much with these activities, but wrist-twisting seems to be pretty much the main action required to do crochet. Never mind, this is a really pretty edging, and I’m sure I can cope!
I signed up for the Knitting Olympics last night, for Team Mine, the Selfish Knitters‘ group team on Ravelry. I’ve never done this before so am pretty excited about it! The idea is to cast on a project during the opening ceremonies of the Summer Olympics (August 8th) and finish before the Olympic flame goes out on August 24th. That’s 17 days. I don’t have time to do anything too large in that time, so socks seemed like a good idea; several of us have planned a mini-KAL called the Pomatomus Posse, making socks or gloves based on this pattern.
I’ve finished the body of my Eyelet Chemise.
But that’s not the bit I’m most excited about. I’ve been trying to improve my stockinette tension, which I’ve always had a real problem with. I think the fact that I knit continental style is part of the issue.
So I’ve been doing lots of reading about how people have sorted their tension out. Today I tried out combination knitting, and I’ve been amazed at the difference it has made:
It’s still not perfect, but there is a definite improvement. I’m going to some more reading, and some swatching, and report back on this soon.
My Eyelet Chemise is coming along really well. I’ve completed the eyelet lace rib pattern and am up to the empire waist, having made the ribbing 2″ longer than in the pattern. I’ve stopped knitting now because I need to get my head around all the measuring and calculating needed to to the short row shaping that I want to try out on this cardigan. I’m using HoneyBee33’s brilliant ‘titorial‘ to help me figure this all out.
The Debbie Bliss Prima that I’m using is a pleasure to work. It’s soft and drapey, splits a little, but not too much, and has a pretty sheen.
I got buttons and ribbon for this project today, and I think they’ll make lovely finishing touches.