Summer sunshine

Lately we’ve alternated between bright and humid sunny days and thunderstorms. This color, Saffron, in Hazel Knits Artisan Sock, brings the sunshine regardless of the weather outside.

After messing up my Damask shawl in this color and reordering the color I decided I would rather have a top than another shawl. I decided to make another Whispers top. I made one before in the smallest size. I made that size due to the limited amount of yarn I had in my gradient kit at the time, but this time I decided to make the 37″ size to have a loose and flowing top as the pattern was written.

I keep getting distracted by my walking socks, and blanket squares too, but I’d like to finish up this top in the next couple of weeks in time for the beginning of the school year and back to working full time.

A bit of lace

talavera-4I’m so pleased to be finished with this project, and I got it to come out just the way I wanted. While Talavera was beautiful just as it was written, I made a few modifications to suit my needs. I love the original neckline, but I wanted it to be more open for summer wear. I also wanted a bit more of a sleeve and some extra body length. The yarn is Louet Gems Fingering in Teal and I used barely over 3 hanks of it. talavera-2This pattern is well written and the lace is very enjoyable to knit. The repeat becomes natural after a few times. It wasn’t something I didn’t have to look at well enough to read, but it did become rhythmic and natural, and had rest rows (a solid knit or purl row) between the active rows.

It took me awhile to decide on the neckline. I hemmed and hawed and eventually decided that I would replicate the neckline from Waterlily since that worked well with lace. I began the neckline decreases after the third repeat of the lace pattern on the sleeve. I think a slightly deeper neckline would have also suited me. I could have started the neck after the second repeat as well, but I like the way it turned out nonetheless.

talaveraI wanted the sleeves to be a bit wider, so instead of following instructions for sleeve increases, I decided to just cast on enough extra stitches for an extra lace repeat when it was time to add sleeve stitches. My sleeves ended up with 33 stitches across after I followed the neck decreases. I really like the way this part came out.

As for length, I did 13 repeats of the lace pattern before dividing for front and back. After blocking (oh, magical blocking!) this came out to be a 15.5″ length. I think even one repeat longer would have been fine, but this is a nice length to work with a variety of clothing items. talavera-3Best of all, for this photo shoot, Zooey was a fantastic helper. She was a stand in when I needed to focus the shot, and she worked the remote for me for most of the time so I could avoid the remote in hand pictures I often end up with when I take photos alone.

I’m thrilled to have this piece finished! I’ve already cast on a new top for myself, and I’ll post more about that soon!

Happy Mother’s Day!

To all the mommas and their mommas and so on, Happy Mother’s Day!  Becoming a mother to this little monkey has been a lovely, funny, challenging, rewarding, and heart-expanding experience. mothers day-3This morning while we were snuggling in bed after she got up I asked her if she could say, “I love you.” She looked at M and me for a few serious seconds, and then just said, “No.”  It was pretty hilarious. mothers day We had a fantastic day yesterday with lots of family and friends around as Matt and I both went to our graduation ceremonies.  Though those things are usually fairly boring, there are at least a few thrilling seconds as you walk across the stage, or witness your loved one step toward that ritualized recognition of accomplishment.  In the meantime, at Matt’s ceremony I was able to get in an inch and a half or so of knitting on my Saco Stripes for the Tops, Tees, and Tanks KAL.

mothers day-4I’m using Shibui Linen in Brass for the main color, and Suit for the stripes.  My row gauge includes more stitches per inch, so I’m making the stripes two rows wider than prescribed in the pattern and spreading out the decreases over more rows.  The yarn is chain plied and it seems much easier on my hands than other linen I’ve used in the past.  Z likes it too.

mothers day-2I finished weaving in the ends on my Cocktail(Dress) last night, so I should be able to post a pic soon!