FO: Custom Green Tunic

July was a good selfish knitting month and I finally took a little time to finish my Custom Green Tunic I started mapping out back in June. I know that Fringe Association is having a knitalong where you design your own sweater but honestly after dragging my feet on this one I think I just want to knit a sweater from a pattern. It’s so much easier and I don’t have to do a lot of math or try the sweater on as I go so frequently. Lazy? Perhaps. Do I care? Not one bit. LOL Plus with all this GRE Prep (have I mentioned how much I hate geometry?) I feel like my brain needs simple over the next month. But let’s get into the details of what I did create.
Custom green tunic
This is a circular yoke tee and I like to use the The Knitter’s Handy Book of Top-Down Sweaters eBook: Basic Designs in Multiple Sizes and Gauges as a starting point. They give you a lot of math and do a lot of work for you but I modify and change things up based on my gauge that’s never really what anyone else gets and how I want my sweater to look. I also know my measurements so I also like to use what I learned from Sweater Modifications for Custom Fit with Amy Herzog to try to tailor a sweater to my actual size. Since I like how my Madigan sweaters fit and how my cape fit I decided I’d do another circular yoke knit. To hide my increases instead of making them a feature I decided to do a knit front and back stitch for my increase and I hid it in the knit 2 rows and purl 2 rows for the top half of the sweater, which is similar to the Madigan construction. It works nicely at camouflaging. Perhaps next time I’ll do some eyelets with yarnovers.
Custom green tunic
I also decided I wanted to do a curved hem and that was going to require some short row shaping which I love to do now with German Short Rows (if you haven’t tried them yet, seriously watch that video and  it will change your life!). I also decided instead of a tee I’d make it tunic length to wear with some of my heavy leggings in the fall/winter.
Custom green tunic
And once I went tunic length I decided to do a split hem, much like on North Fork but a bit cleaner this time. Really, I was using this as an opportunity to really rework skills I haven’t perfected yet and make things cleaner. The yarn is a cotton mill ends bag of 1 lb of yarn that I picked up at AC Moore for the sole purpose of having something inexpensive to experiment with and surprisingly it didn’t have any knots and held up well. I’d buy it again (I also still have a second bag of it so it will become something else in the future I’m sure).
Custom green tunic
But that’s how my green tunic came to be and I really like this piece. I do feel like my curved hem is slightly off center but that’s just me being  picky. I’m still wearing this baby and often. I’m sure it will be a layering piece as the days get colder. I’m always pleasantly surprised after I block a knit and try it on when it does exactly what I wanted it to do. I’m still trying to gain more confidence in my knitting – I know, I know – but I’m still learning and I’ve got a ton more I still want to learn too!

So what are you doing to challenge yourself with your knitting? Share!

July’s FO’s Roundup

Hello, August!
July FO
Here’s what I was able to finish in the month of July with my knitting. 4 out of 5 knits were for myself – selfish knitting for the win! Also, I can’t believe today is August 1. But that just means my birthday will be here before I know it! But first, let’s talk about July’s FO’s:

  • My custom green tunic – don’t worry, I’ll have a post about that this week. I’m super excited about this piece.
  • My modified North Fork – I. LOVE. THIS. TOP. It’s so much better than my last attempt since I made great modifications.
  • The Rain Outside in green for myself. A lovely wrap that I’ve been wearing in my office nonstop.
  • My Ruby Woo cardigan, a perfect red in a really great cardigan that I can wear with pretty much everything.
  • Safia’s North Fork tee. She was pretty excited about this one and I was happy to give her a nice summer knit to add to her wardrobe.

Up next, I feel like I want to whip up one more warm weather knit to clear out my cotton blend yarn and then it’s on to fall sweater knitting. Plus there are a bunch of knitalongs about to happen and it’s it always more fun when you knit with friends, right?

Custom Knit Progress

This weekend we had family in town so in between my GRE studying (I hate geometry) and riding around with my mother-in-law and brother-in-law I got to sneak in a little knitting on my custom tee. We did take them to the National Harbor for dinner and took a ride on the Capital Wheel. The view from the glass gondolas is always so gorgeous.
I’ve been getting more comfortable with custom knit creations after my first custom cardigan and then my cape, So I decided a while ago to work on a summer tee for myself. I bought an inexpensive bag of 1 pound of cotton yarn mill ends from AC Moore and made a gauge swatch and started making myself a circular yoke tee.
This is my green tee in progress. I’d slowly do a couple of rows every other week when another project would get a bit mundane but I’ve finally gotten to the body of this baby and I’m excited to get it off my needles. I’ve worked beyond this point in the picture and am now doing increases and think I might want to do a split hem with curved front and back panels courtesy of some short row shaping. I’m a little inspired by this newly released pattern:

Sheltered by Andrea Mowry image via Ravelry
Sheltered by Andrea Mowry image via Ravelry

Sheltered by Andrea Mowry is a cool looking poncho but I really love the split hem and want to see if I can do something similar. I’m using this tee to test myself. So far the fit is pretty good (I’m hoping it doesn’t stretch too much with blocking) and I think if I make this in a tunic length it will be even cuter when layered with a long sleeve tee in the fall. I told you this year was about not being afraid to try new stuff, so I’m plugging away at learning how to make more things for myself because my goal of having a closet full of hand knit sweaters is very attainable. Although I may put this aside to whip up a bulky knit for my cousin!

So what are you knitting that’s pushing your limits?