Laceweight crochet solution

The sleeves for Chamomile start with a crochet band, the beginning of which were actually trickier for me than the flowers in the waistband.

Why was this so difficult? Well, it starts with a long chain, and I was having a really hard time crocheting into it because 1) the loops were tiny, despite my best efforts to keep them looser and 2) the yarn is really splitty. I may have had an easier time of it if I were a better crocheter, but as it was, I kept either working into the wrong loop (if I could get the hook in there at all) or splitting the yarn. I seriously started the first sleeve five times before I finally thought up a solution, based on a provisional cast on I’ve used a number of times for knitting. And that solution was:

1. Make a chain, using a smoother, slightly heavier crochet cotton.

2. Make a slip knot in the project yarn. Then with the laceweight, slip stitch into the back loops of the cotton chain.

3. Work the first pattern row into the top laceweight loops (the back loops should be on the other side of the cotton chain).

Then, work the rest of the band per the pattern. Pick up and knit around the top of the band.

4. Unzip the cotton chain.

Tada! The laceweight didn’t unravel at this point, because the slip stitch row is basically a chain itself.

This worked for me for two reasons. One is that, as noted above, crocheting the laceweight into the cotton chain actually separated the back loop from the rest, so it kept me from working into that loop. The other is simply that the contrast between the off-white crochet cotton and the brown laceweight made the loops easier to see.

Once I got the crochet bands done, the rest of the sleeves were easy peasy. Pictures of those to come!

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On to the fourth

Since I’m done with Bayerische, I’ve of course moved on to a new pair of socks. Here’s a look at the current ones in progress:

Twisted Flower is a Cookie A pattern I’ve had in my library for awhile. It’s super fun! With a little bit of lace, a few twisted stitches, and some cable crossings, there’s never a dull moment with this sock, as far as I’m concerned. In fact, the reason I haven’t finished this yet is because it’s a little too interesting for work or reading knitting.

The yarn is Colinette Jitterbug, which I love so far! I’ve never worked with it before, and now I seriously wish I hadn’t waited so long.

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Well, these socks took awhile, but they’re done, and they’re so worth the effort!

Pattern: Bayerische by Eunny Jang
Yarn: Brown Sheep Wildfoote in Blue Blood Red
Needles: US0 / 2.00mm ChiaoGoo circular

The pattern really does eat yarn like crazy, but luckily I can get away with shorter socks. (In fact, due to my build, I kind of have to knit shorter socks unless I want to incorporate lots of calf shaping. Which I usually don’t. Especially with these socks!) While I only needed a little less 100g (2 skeins in this yarn), the recommendation of 150g is spot on.

Such a great pattern though. It really is quite logical in its own way – it’s easy to see where each of the four motifs are going, and it also helps that they all have a multiple of 8 rows (three have 8 rows, the last has 16). It’s also fun if you like cables and crosses, although I think you should ditch the cable needle if you usually use one. There’s so many 2-stitch crosses in each round that an extra cable would just get in the way, in my opinion.

I don’t love the yarn – I kept splitting it – but I think it shows off the pattern nicely. It’s also a bit finer than many of the other sock yarns in my stash. So, while I don’t know if I’ll ever use Wildfoote again, I think it’s a good match for a project like this.

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Moving on down

I finished the waistband for the Chamomile Tunic a couple of weeks ago:

I love love love it. It’s not perfect, by any means, but I totally don’t care. It’s close enough, right?

So I started the knitting portion. I ended up knitting down from the waistband to the hip first, instead of up from the waistband to the neckline like the pattern calls for:

This is mostly because I hadn’t made a decision on sleeve length yet, and I didn’t want to make that choice until I had a better idea of how much yarn I have left for them. I mean, I didn’t want to say “hey, I’ll do elbow length sleeves!”, knit those along with the rest of the upper torso, and then not have enough yarn for the bottom half. Oh, the joys of using stashed-five-years-ago yarn.

I’m making a few modifications beyond that, too. The pattern doesn’t have any waist shaping, but I added some to my version, in the interest of not looking completely boxy. I’m still aiming for a bit of positive ease in the bust, which is a bit of a departure for me, but I’d like to keep it a little looser without losing my shape entirely.

I’m also planning on doing yoke shaping rather than raglan. I thought about doing set-in sleeves, but I do those all the time and could use a change in construction techniques. Besides, it’ll be a good exercise, I think.

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I’m really glad the weather finally cooled down enough for me to model this sweater, because I finished it two months ago and have been wanting to share it!

I never really used to knit patterns in colors close to the original. But now? Look at Arm Candy. And Peregrine. And now, Vignette! I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, because those are all colors I love anyway. But still.

Pattern: Vignette by Amy Herzog
Yarn: Cascade 220 in color 8908
Needles: US5 / 3.75mm and US6 / 4.0mm Clover bamboo circulars

Although the funny thing about that is, I was actually originally planning to use this yarn for Peregrine. But then I bought the Cascade 220 Sport during a sale, and then Vignette was published, and, well… I changed my mind. And I’m really glad I did, because I love this sweater. I did get seriously stalled out – it took me nearly two months to get around to seaming it, after I finished all the knitting – but I’d like to think it was worth the wait.

I recalculated everything to fit, as usual, but I do wish I’d made the fronts just a tad wider, to keep them from pulling so much at the buttonband. I also included bust darts, and I think I may have finally gotten the vertical placement right! But I probably should have moved them about a half inch or so closer to the buttonband. Oh well. Still, I think I’m getting better at this bust dart thing!

I had to rework the front chart a bit, due to my different row gauge and need for more rapid increases.

I also had to change the sleeves. It’s partly because ¾ sleeves are not flattering on me. But I was also limited by the yarn I had – I would have preferred long sleeves, but since I didn’t have enough yarn, I went with short ones instead. These aren’t perfect – I kind of wish I’d made them a hair shorter. And I’m also not sure I love the turned hem, though I think that’s probably because I sewed it down a little too tightly. But I like the sleeves well enough.

Imperfections aside, I’m pretty happy with my Vignette! Now if the weather would just keep cooling down so that I can actually wear this…

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