Monday, September 9, 2013

Late summer round up: Antrho knock-off, Carthamus shawl, M6744

While it feels like I get no. thing. done. all day long, my FO pictures tell me I've at least been plodding along in the sewing and knitting departments.  I really want to stick these up on the blog so I can move on to some WIPs.  I'm very chronological like that.  So first up:

Carthamus Shawl

This is the Carthamus shawl by Kirsten Kapur from Through the Loops designs.  The yarn is Louet Gems Fingering in aqua and linen grey.  I ran out of the linen with literally about 33 stitches left, and some kind knitter on ravelry sent me about ten yards so I could finish.  I love TTL's designs and I queued this the second it came out.  It's kind of a hybrid between shawl and scarf, and I think it will be perfect for the colder months. 

I love the construction.  You knit the thistle lace pattern first, then knit the garter stitch shawl on to it, knitting it together with the live stitches as you go.  I just love that method of slowly knitting on (or off, in this case) a border, watching your FO take shape as it slowly falls off the needles. 

With a shawl, the blocking is almost more important than the knitting.  In this shawl, you really need to pin out each YO in the edge of the lace.  In the above picture, you can see that I started pinning the center of each thistle flower, then I went back and pinned out each YO.  Without that extra work, the lace wouldn't shine like it should.  Blocking : knitting : : pressing : sewing. 

Kirsten usually hosts a summer shawl KAL, so you can see more of her amazing shawls in her Ravelry group here

McCalls 6744

This will be known as the summer of the knit dress.  This one was almost a wadder, but I stuck with it.  I should have listened to my instincts.  My instincts said that even though my measurements said I should make a large, experience with the ridiculous amounts of ease the Big 4 pattern companies put in their patterns told me I should make a medium.  So when they were on a crazy cheap sale, I bought both the medium pattern and the large pattern so I could make a hybrid, medium on top, large on bottom.

Ack!  I'm not wearing my beautiful chewbeads necklace!  Just imagine it there. 
When it came time to cut, though, I chickened out and went large all the way.  So when I put it on, it basically would have been a great swimsuit coverup.  The thing is, I wasn't wearing a swimsuit.  I didn't want to give up because the fabric is incredibly soft and drapey and in a really beautiful color of blue.  So I tacked down the bodice where the front cross, and that took care of the top portion.  Maybe the faux wrap of the skirt works if you're making a maxi version of this dress, but in the short version, it was just obscene.  The fronts only overlap by about 6", so it felt like it was just wide open.  I just stitched it down until about 8" from the hem. 

While not ideal, these fixes made the dress wearable, although a bit harder to nurse from, which was kind of the point.  I've worn it several times, dressed up with a belt and some baby-friendly accessories

Anthro knock-off

In those summer weeks when we were moving, it seemed like everyone (mad housewife, aleah, jennifer) was making these cute little mixed print tees, and I was so bummed my sewing machine was hidden behind boxes.  It took me all summer, but I finally made one of my own.

Many people used Skirt as Top's Scoop Neck Tee, but that was too small for me.  I spent 0.5 seconds wondering if I could figure out how to scale it up, and then found the Casual Lady tee from Go To Patterns.  I made a CL tee, but I was worried it would be too small, so I made a bigger size than I normally would.  (Do you sense a theme in my summer sewing?)  HUGE.  I still wear it, but again, it's kind of like wearing a swimsuit cover up.  I used my regular size for my anthro tee, and gave it more of an A-line shape after the bust. 

Hey!  Here are my chewbeads!

Here's my final anthro knock-off.  I'm pretty happy with it, although my husband doesn't 100% get it.  He said he likes the stripes. 

This pattern calls for a wide facing/lining, which might work well in a heavier fabric.  The white stripes in my fabric were a bit transparent, and I didn't want the navy stripes showing through from the wrong side, so I cut a neckband.  I really should have stretched the neckband a bit more because it gapes too much, but summer was waning and I just wanted to wear the thing already. 

I'd have to spend some more time playing around with the CL pattern to get the fit I want, but for now, I've moved on.  I'll return to it next spring for sure, because I think it could be a good wardrobe builder. 

Those are some of my favorite summer projects.  I have a slew of things I want to do this fall, but I'm trying to be a bit more realistic about what I can do.  It's a lot easier to find time to knit than it is to sew, but there are a few patterns I really want to make.  My first fall project, though, is a fair isle sweater for my daughter.  More on that to come!

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