Usually I like to be working on the current project while planning the next. Not that hard to do as I’m always look for inspirations. Must say Pinterest is great for that. I look at the new pins nearly every night, usually during commercials, and save the ones that are interesting. I can’t say that I choose a project based on the yarn as I am just as likely to find a neat project and then source the yarn. Yeah, even with a personal store-like inventory of yarn, on occasion, I still need to buy new to fit my project .This yellow almost green, mercerized cotton named Limoncello, crossed my eBay search for yarns earlier in the year. I bought because of the unique color (it’s not quite yellow and not quite green) and the fiber (100% cotton). I do think cotton is more comfortable than just about any other fiber during summer. Based on the project, a tank top, I had decided to use this yarn when I was about half way through the previous project. Weeks ago, when I started thinking of another project, I thought another summer garment could be completed and worn several times before winter. I doubt that now but I really don’t want to work with fall and winter yarns -even at the machine- while the temps are still hitting upper 90’s and triple F digits.
I think most of my projects go through a growth period. I mean, I rarely do a swatch and knit a garment from start to finish without any deviations. I used to try to knit that way when I had only those long written out hand-knitting patterns to follow. I learned rapidly, I needed to be ready to adapt when things did work as expect especially since my hand yarn and hand knitted gauge never matched that of the pattern. I started this project with a tension test.
That’s just cast on 10-20 stitches; 10-20 rows then change the tension (up or down) and knit another 10/20 rows. Repeat.It is very quick. No pattern needed at this point. As the old-times (wait I think I am one of them now) told me, you are discovering how this yarn handles at your machine and for you. Even if you’ve knit with the same yarn previously, this little swatch will save your sanity by telling you not only when it knits smoothly and as expected but when the quality is off or environmental effects have taken over and the yarn knits terribly. You also get a really good impression of the best tension for the best appearance. I often change the tension numbers by 2 instead of . I can see the differences much better with a leap between tensions. I started at T8 and cranked the tension down (8 to 4) with each 10 rows. I decided although I liked the looks of T4, it was a bit too tight for easy knitting. I made a full swatch at T5
I’m using 60 rows, 60 stitches because I have had issues with achieving an accurate guage over a large piece of knitting when I used 60 rows 40 stitches. Anyway, I liked this swatch. Really liked it. As soon as I finished the variegated yarn, I sat down at the PC and had Sweater Maker calculate a pullover sweater for me. Well wouldn’t you know, at T5 I have more stitches than needles. Must rethink.
A few days later I do a 2nd full swatch at T8 (made sure to bump that T up high enough to make a difference!)
Took care of needles problem but, I don’t like this swatch. It is wimpy and see how it wrinkles compared to the T5 swatch. Same yarn. Same machine. The difference is the tension at which it is knit. Hate the swatch. Need to think some more.
Reluctantly, I decide a paneled garment is the best choice. I know you can barely tell the variegated yarn was a paneled garment. That’s because the changing colors and stitch pattern hide a lot. I am wanting a simple knit so that I can get this done before summer is a distant memory. Unfortunately, stocking knit stitch + solid color fine yarn means errors will show.
Before I even begin telling what I’ve decided to do, be warned that my final garment will hardly look like my inspirations. I will be borrowing elements from
For starters, my peplum will be knit sideways and will be about the proportion seen in the Connie Crawford pattern to the right. Butterick B0456 (I believe that has been renumbered but the insides are all the same) is a favorite sewing pattern of mine which I fit last year. I know the proportions Connie used are most flattering to me. IOW I will not have a horizontal join across my middle. My peplum will join at a low empire. I will use more of a tank top for the other portion. I’ve made a new garment in Sweater Maker, especially to change the shoulder width. I made the shoulders 1″ narrower because my variegated top just extends past my shoulder maybe 1/4″. Course while I’m at it, I raised the underarm 1/2″ to be sure my underwear stayed out of sight. With changes input, I printed the front and back schematics Sweater Maker so nicely and started figuring out the peplum. It will be 9″ wide.
Wish I’d figured that out before printing. Because now, I changed the measurements to indicate the top wide will be 5.5″ and there will be no shaping. It will be a straight 20″ from cast on to armscye. Back to SM to input the new dimensions and this time I added the place for my RBA (Round Back Alteration). Usually I need to add ease for my tummy, often referred to as a FTA or full tummy alteration. Because the peplum extends above the waist, far above my tummy, I do not need to add the FTA. Schematics for the top portion of my garment:
(Somehow my printer is a little off and is starting the pages further down on the page than it should. Something I will ferret-out when my mind is not thinking “knitting”)
That does leave the peplum to be charted. I’m make a sideways knit peplum, 9″ wide, with regularly spaced short-rows to add a little flare to the hem side. Calculation is simple (9 * stitch gauge) for stitches and 20 (the bottom edge measurement ) * row gauge. I just sketched it out by hand on a piece of copy paper. Added instructions on the bottom, which I revised and expanded on the back of the page
…and I’m almost ready to cast-on. I want to let this sit for just a day or two. Sometimes I remember something else, important. I’d really rather do that before the garment is half knit.