Thursday, 28 January 2010

FO- Winter Romance

It's the time of year where I get a wee bit stir crazy. That winter doldrum sets in and I start dressing more for comfort than style. I dream of the day where I won't need the soft gurgling of a humidifier to lull me to sleep, and hat hair would be optional.

I had 12 skeins of a discontinued color of Noro Silk Garden in my stash, waiting for a little inspiration.

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I loved these colors together- royal blue, turquoise, peach and a deep purple balanced nicely with more neutral browns and grays. The whole effect reminds me of a cold winter dusk turning into a long dark night.

Try as I might, I couldn't find a pattern that I felt was right for this yarn. There are tons of patterns out there that utilize this kind of yarn, but I found a great deal of them unflattering or awkward. I wanted something a little sexy and, above all, flattering. Something this colorful needs a simple design but I wanted to make the stripes work with my shape.

So I sat down with a tape measure, graph paper and a calculator, knitted up a gauge swatch and started to design my own.

The end result:

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I did not want horizontal stripes around my mid-section. No matter how much time I spend at the gym, I can not banish the feeling that my Buddha belly is here to stay. I can't help it. I love my carbs. On the other hand, I really don't mind appearing bustier than I actually am, so I was pretty okay with the idea of horizontal stripes across the boobs.

I started out by knitting a panel, grafted it into a tube and then picked up stitches along the top. I then did bust shaping- I found this guide to be most helpful when it came to placement. I also wanted to show a bit of skin, so I made a deep V-neck at the same time I started the raglan shaping. The sleeves are fitted until the wrist, where I increased them to a bit of a flare. I finished it by picking up stitches along the bottom and the sleeves for a couple rows of purl, and a row of single crochet along the neck. I have to go back and fix the top edge of the collar as it likes to fold down.

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It fits me perfectly.

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It's graceful, romantic and warm. Exactly what I want to wear this time of year to get me out of my winter funk.

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I'm in the camp of "math is hard, it hurts by brain". Once I got over that fear, I found it really simple to figure out how to do the math on a sweater. Since the math was applied and not abstract I could get my head around it.

The specs: I used all of 9 skeins of Silk Garden- 1098 yards- on a size 7 needle. I went down to a size 6 on the trim. It took me a hair over two weeks from start to finish. I started out using EZ's percentage system but once I figured out how the game was played, I went along with my gut and invented my system based on my personal measurements. I tried it on quite a bit as I went to figure out how far I wanted the raglan decreases to go. That helped me make little tweaks for a better fit.

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