Luscious Gracious! Look What We Made Today!

A blog devoted to the art of the Luscious Gracious clan.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Kiki follows a pattern!

Not since 7 tanks in 7 days has Kiki followed a sweater pattern. This one is the Chevron Rib Tank by Ann Budd. It's a free download from Interweave, and has been sitting in her pile of "somedays" since Indiana, so it's kind of old. But always intriguing. Add some Optimum dk (gift from Jenny), and a few hours on the way to California, and a new tank was born. -Steve

Kiki here-I don't know if I really haven't followed a pattern for that long, but maybe....At any rate, this yarn is a treat, and, like the best gifts, forced me out of my comfort zone. I love tan. And brown. And even beige and grey. So, when I get gorgeous yarns in fabulous colors, like that Phildar cashmere in ruby red, or this bright turquoise, it reminds me that there are no "good" or "bad" colors for an artist. And now it seems that I can't get enough of this shade. I see it everywhere, and think about how to use it all of the time. That's why I can't remember that I was supposed to do other things, like order birthday cakes....

Lots of our knitting friends and acquaintances were excited to see the finished article, mostly because they had this pattern in their very own pile of "someday" knits. It does not skim my features the way it would on someone less "curvy", but that's ok by me. And, it makes the pattern that much seems to work for just about anyone, without any major alterations. Perhaps using the cotton yarn that the pattern called for would change the way the sweater drapes, but we all know that it is woolwoolwool for me. I used three skeins, and about 3 yards from a fourth one, if that tells you anything. What it means to me is that there is almost another full skein just waiting for a new project. What should I make to match?

I really like the way that the sweater comes to a point in the front, but is straight across the back. Also, because I am short, that length covers without overdoing it, if you know what I mean. As in, it covers the right places without needing to be a tunic, and without me adding 6 inches to the length so that my belly is not showing.
Below is a detail of the center front. It's a very simple rib pattern. The back is worked straight, and the front is just a series of decreasing and increasing in sensible places. The pattern was SO easy to follow, and I didn't suffer the usual "Why in the world wouldn't they make this one in the round?" that I do with most knitting. I actually liked making this one in pieces.

Here's a peek at the inside, which is also an interesting visual texture. I am thinking about wearing it wrong-side-to on purpose. Both sides are pretty, and I tried to be careful when weaving in ends to make sure that it is really reversible.
This is the only place that I made any change to the pattern (really!!). I added one stitch to the beginning and one to the end of each row. I usually do this when I am knitting in pieces, and I slip the first stitch of every row purl-wise, and then knit the last stitch, no matter what the row instructions say. This leaves a very neat edge, and makes sewing up almost painless. Also, in this case, the side seams really echo the middle stitches in the front of the sweater, where the stitches come to a point. I like those little details.

Just remembered something.....I also added three rows at the top of each front strap because otherwise the sweater strangled me. I don't think that this would be a problem for everyone making this sweater (again, I blame the Breast Fairy), but I do encourage you to try it on before binding off those last rows and sewing up the shoulder seams.

Thanks to Letoya and Jenny and Cynthia, our Lulies are busy creating a stitch marker inventory. Here are some recent examples. Thanks for the lessons and the supplies, dear International Knitters. The Hello Kitty beads are from Jenny, who spotted them in NY. They are ceramic and absolutely perfect. Don't tell the girls, but I already have two of them buried in my latest project.
Aren't these great? The girls are so much better at this than I am....

My beading skills are severely limited. I did manage to make this beaded cuff for Letoya's birthday over the weekend. The yarn, you may remember, is the handspun that I made for the edging of the sweater I made last week. There's something about this combination of colors (peach and ice blue) that I find very striking on Letoya. I think I have to make her a sweater..... Peach with a Fair Isle yoke of cream and ice blue. What do you think?

I decided that I needed to worry Steve some more, and found another pattern to follow. Thanks to E2K, another IKC member, the new book One Skein by Leigh Radford is the hottest thing in LusciousGraciousLand. We can't get enough. I immediately cast on for this little bag. I didn't realize until I got home from Jessica's that the color is almost the same as the tank. See, I told you that I can't get enough. And there were dozens of tempting colors to choose from, including my very favorite of all time, M-07, Sable (yes, it is brown). I used one skein of Lamb's Pride Bulky (the pattern actually called for that, right? What in the world is going on with me?) in M-124, Persian Peacock. I have yet to choose the buttons for decoration, but plan to dig into my vintage collection and follow the pattern suggestion, again. The only change that I made? I added a little loop with a snap closure to the inside for a place to clip my keys and phone.

This was such a fast knit. The longest part was picking out the yarn, and then waiting for it to dry after felting. I want to make dozens of these bags. All for me. All to match my many, many sweaters. All in shades of pink and peach and other girly, sickening sweet, lipstick colors. Must be spring. After all, why else would I be following the crowd?

Knit on, and enjoy the process.



At 7:17 AM, March 28, 2006, Blogger Heather said...

I love the sweater! It looks beautiful on you and the color is just gorgeous. The stitch markers are adorable - how can you not love Hello Kitty?

At 8:45 AM, March 28, 2006, Blogger Mel said...

Ditto to everything Heather said! Also, those wristlet colors are very good for Letoya and I would love to see the sweater you imagine.

At 10:44 AM, March 28, 2006, Blogger illanna said...

Your sweater is super beautiful! I just love it. Those stitch markers are coming out great. Keep up the excellent stitch marker sweat shop, girls. The claymation dude approves.

At 4:46 PM, March 28, 2006, Blogger photogmichelle said...

Kiki, I love the tank top, it is gorgeous, good tip on the extra stitch for seaming. I'll be remembering that one.

Stitch markers look amazing, I need to be half as crafty as your girls are.


At 10:19 PM, March 28, 2006, Blogger kt said...

I add my kudos to the many above on the tank top. Didn't know the trick about the extra stitch to facilitate seaming...maybe i'll try one this summer...

And isn't One Skein just wunnerful?? I was drooling over it in Changing Hands last weekend, and only by sheer force of will (and known spousal disapproval of spending $20 on ANOTHER knitting book) prevented me from plunging in. But I know it'll surface here eventually...

At 9:36 PM, March 31, 2006, Anonymous Sissy Muffy said...

A couple days late on the blogs due to being out of town. I love, love, love the blue bag. I don't ask for much, but would you please make me one? The same color would be awesome. After all, I am you favorite sister!


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