FO: Lipstick Henley

Let’s start the week off with a finished object, shall we?
Lipstick Henley
Sunday evening I finished off my modified version of the Lipstick Cardigan – this time I made a Henley! And in case you forgot what my first Lipstick Cardigan looked like, here’s a side by side comparison of the two projects.
Lipstick comparison
When I made the first version I didn’t make it with the intended ease, I wanted it to be a fitted summer cardigan and I love it that way. This time around I decided since I was going to use Berroco Modern Cotton yarn I should make it with the ease intended but turn it into a top instead of another cardigan. And the first time I made it I kept thinking that the shoulder detail needed to POP more so I made it in a contrasting color so it really is highlighted.
Lipstick Henley
I love that this is a longer back style but I didn’t love how my short rows turned out. I didn’t do the German short rows and just did traditional wrap and turns and I ended up with some small holes on one side – but only I will notice unless I point them out. Not the cleanest but hey it’s totally wearable. Plus I like to point out my issues since everyone likes to think I have perfect knits – I make lots of mistakes! I also toyed with making it a bit longer and remembered that this is cotton and after wearing it all day it will stretch a bit more so I’m fine with it as is and will just see how much it really grows in the front on its own.
Lipstick Henley
I decided on going with a henley version, a lot of people have done that modification if you look at the project pages on Ravelry. I worked it like the cardigan pattern and then once I had about 4 inches for buttons I decided to add in 6 stitches and join in the round. I also sewed down the placard/button band to make it more stable since cotton can be drapey. Oh and since it was cotton I went with garter stitch edges instead of ribbing.
Lipstick Henley
Perhaps if I make this one again it would just be a full on crew neck instead of even bothering with buttons. It really is a great pattern that’s easy to modify (I also still didn’t do the lace sleeves and opted for stockinette stitch sleeves). And with the ease built into the pattern it’s light and breezy for the insanely humid DC summer days. Now I have to decide what to knit for myself next! I’ve got a pile of more Berroco Modern Cotton but in a super bright pink! I’m thinking a feminine top should be next, any suggestions?

FO: Cosette Tee

I feel like I’ve been on a roll with summer knits lately. But of course when I say, “no I won’t knit myself that hat because it’s warm out…” the weather takes a nose dive. It’s been cold and rainy and insanely breezy so I haven’t worn my latest finished object but it was light enough when I got home from work to take pictures!
Cosette final
Here is the Cosette tee, part of the Berroco Pima 100 collection. I wanted to make this tee when I saw the pattern and then I saw a sample in store at Fibre Space and immediately new I wanted to make it as my next project. It’s knit from cuff to cuff so the stitches go side to side instead of up and down so I decided why not play with doing vertical stripes for this one. So how does one set that up for this pattern?
Cosette color blocks
I colored on my schematic of course. I use the Bamboo Paper app on my iPad a lot to make notes and draw on top of patterns. So I decided to color block out how I thought it should go and then I read through the pattern and figured out the easiest places to do a new color join. Essentially anywhere there wasn’t a decrease or increase in the pattern was where I decided to add a new color. It’s the same on both sides but I found that the blue/purple side has a row or two more than the pink side. Of course only I notice that. And since I didn’t do a solid color I decided to add a few rows to the neckline instead of just picking up and doing a purl bind-off immediately.
Cosette final
I also thought using the navy blue yarn would be a nice way to pull it all together. Initially I was only going to make this with five colors and make the center a stripe of purple but when I saw the lavender shade of yarn I decided to just make it an even six color blocks. And you already saw I barely had enough purple yarn left but hey it worked out in this instance.
Cosette in stages
This is what it looks like once you’ve knit it from cuff to cuff (see how it matches the schematic?). It was hard to wrap my brain around this piece and I kept worrying it wouldn’t fit but I had to trust that my gauge was right and I was doing what I was supposed to do. Once you knit it, you fold it in half.
Cosette in stages
And then you just have to sew up the side seams! Of course the first time around I was slightly off and had to take out the pink seam and redo it. I was proud of myself for seaming it fairly neatly on both sides. I don’t love seaming but hey you gotta do what you gotta do.
Cosette final
I love how the piece curves around the hips and back and when you block it the piece grows a bit. The bottom is finished off with picking up stitches all the way around and then just doing a purled bind-off. It leaves a slightly raised edge. I actually felt like my ends were clean enough to leave on their own but I think they did this so that it wouldn’t curl up on you. And it’s funny, I think I like the pink side more but overall I like this fun color palette in general. I’m glad I opted for more color. And I could see myself making this again with all white and then one big block of green or something.
Cosette final
Again, I really do love working with the Berroco Pima 100 yarn. In the images where I’m wearing the tee this was after I washed it on delicate cycle in my washing machine and let it air dry. It holds up well and is soft and light on the body. It’s a perfect summer weight and it’s making me think about knitting more light weight cotton sweaters for fall and even winter. It’s still soft but not as hot and heavy as a lot of my wool sweaters are at times. Especially when we have mild winters around here in the Maryland/DC area. Next up I’m working on a test knit for Alicia Plummer again for a summer tee. Her version uses Quince and Co Kestrel yarn but I have leftover Berroco Maya from my Bragita top from last year that I’m using. I’ve really wanted to try some of the Quince and Co yarn but it’s a bit on the expensive side so I’ve held off on making a purchase. So what are you working on for summer right now?

Lessons Learned: Short Row Shaping a Shoulder

I love to learn. I’m constantly looking for new skills, new things to excite me and it’s probably one of the reasons I love to teach and love social media. There’s always something new and fresh to learn about that subject. So a few years ago I took a class at my favorite local yarn shop, Fibre Space, to learn how to knit a saddle shoulder sweater. I knit this sweater, the Andover. I had high hopes for it because I lived in Andover, Massachusetts for a few years growing up but that wasn’t enough to make me like this project.
Andover without neckline finishing
I hate it. I think I’ve worn it once (if anyone wants it I’m more than happy to give it to you). And there are a couple of contributing factors to why I really don’t like this sweater:

  • The pattern wasn’t a good one to start with for a saddle stitch shoulder. There were errors in the pattern and at times points where it seemed like she stopped mid-thought and never finished her sentence. There were multiple charts to have to refer to for the cables on the sleeve and the body and it was just a lot for a first time saddle shoulder sweater. I took the class with one of my coworkers and she felt the same way and I don’t think she ever got beyond the 50% point.
  • I didn’t love my yarn choice for this one or the color. I used Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Superwash but in a purple I picked out for someone else and it just wasn’t my color so I wasn’t that excited about it. Plus one ball of it kept splitting on me.
  • My instructor made a comment to me about using an acrylic yarn for a hat I made from one of her patterns that left a bad taste in my mouth. I hate being yarn bullied. Everything can’t be made of organic wool sourced locally. It just can’t and I don’t think anyone should make anyone else feel bad about their choices of yarn. Period.

So overall, I just didn’t have a great experience but I said to myself that I liked learning how to do a saddle shoulder and would want to do that technique again. Unfortunately I don’t see that many patterns with saddle shoulders as an option, so I haven’t done one in 2 years. When I bought a bunch of colors of Berroco Pima 100 and wanted to make a fun striped tee for summer I decided it would be a saddle shoulder style and this weekend I embarked on that journey and I’m LOVING it this time around.
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I’m horrible about taking photos as I go along. I should’ve photographed the saddles and then what it looked like when attached but I didn’t. But what got me super excited was creating a sleeve cap using short row shaping! I’m at that point in the sweater construction where I have a little over an inch from under the arm and decided I was ready to make the sleeves since I just had body stripes left. I was so nervous that this wasn’t going to fit and was going to be too small so I was eager to get the sleeves on to see how it all worked out. I’ve been using my favorite book for basic construction and some notes and got to the part where they say you add in short rows around the saddle’s live stitches left at the shoulder and then continue all the way down with short rows to the last stitches of the sleeve. Um…it created this awesome shape. I HAVE A SLEEVE! I’m such a knitting nerd.
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Now I just have to do the same thing on the opposite side and then finish off the body. I picked colors I liked and didn’t have any rhyme or reason to them and I’m loving the big bold stripes and playing with so much color. It’s such a happy project. And when I love a project it flies off my needles so this one might be finished by the end of the week!
Stages of emotion
And in other news, does anyone else feel bad taking their dog to the vet? Saturday was Jellybean’s day to get shots and go through annual exams. And these were her stages of emotion. Excitement to go with me all by herself and even ride in the car, then the realization that she was going to the vet, then the relief once it was over and then the clingy/need for extra love that comes after the shots (that’s her curled up in my arms in a blanket on the couch on the bottom). She was a trooper, had some soreness the next day and walked a bit slower but seems to be back to her spunky self. Oh and she gained a pound…so we’ll be cutting back on those treats that we spoil her with!