January 5, 2012

the wearability factor

I think I was on the right track with my Cadence, in purposely making it longer. It's rather loose up top, and the belt is quite necessary for this to work on me! I like the styling of this--though you can't quite see the whole outfit, I'm wearing it with my skinny jeans and my taller brown boots and it's just very comfortable, but still nice enough for flute teaching later. For what ended up being such an open knit, it's surprisingly warm--hurrah for being able to wear alpaca!

My main concern with this is the neckline. It's stretching like crazy as I wear it--it was about 2" higher when I put it on this morning, and if not for letting it dip lower in the back, it would quite easily be falling off my shoulders by this point! So I'm trying to figure out what I can do about that--whether it would be better to weave some of the leftover yarn into the neckline to try and tighten it up, or attempt a row of crochet around the top to cinch it in, or what. Because that's the sort of thing that could take away the wearability factor in what is already a much looser sweater than I would have preferred.

But aside from that, the knitalong is complete. So I wanted to publicly thank Kristin for her expertise and patience with us newbies, and Sarah for coming up with the idea! Despite the frustrations, I did have fun and learned a lot!

So, moving on. I did a bit of swatching and then cast on my next major knitting project last night. This is the Camellia Shrug from the Winter/Spring '11 KnitScene, and I'm making it in a nice-feeling (and washable!) cotton/acrylic blend that I picked up at the yarn store on Tuesday.  I'm 14 rows into it so far, and other than the annoyance of trying to cast 4 stitches onto 3 double-pointed needles without them sliding off and making me start over a couple of times, once I got it going, it's been a fun knit so far. But I'm really glad that I had the Cadence to work on first so I could get used to reading a chart! The diamond pattern actually isn't all that dissimilar, either. It's just a lot more increases, since it starts in the middle and goes out from there in the round.

I've also got my raincoat "muslin" done! This is the sleeveless version of it. And it looks a bit big, but I'm actually going to leave this as is with no adjustments. For one thing, this is being made to wear over bulkier winter clothes. For another thing, it has a belt anyway. So all I need to do is take this apart, trim the seams back down to normal from the 1" that I allowed for test purposes, and I can get started on the actual cutting out! (And then figure out what to do with that main front piece, since I'm not sure if I'll need to line or underline that or not.)

One final comment on the next several posts in general... I know there's occasionally a debate amongst sewing bloggers about whether it's better to show all finished projects, or in-progress things. And I know there are people out there who have no interest in seeing unfinished projects. I'm one who tends to show more of the process. And I'm ok with that. For me, the process of putting a garment together is as significant a part of the enjoyment as wearing the finished product. I had a nice reminder of that recently when talking about my sewing with a newer friend. (Well, boyfriend, actually. I seem to have stumbled into one of those relationship things over the last month--thus my quasi-resolution to just keep things as pressure-free as I can this year!)  So I'm unapologetically going to keep writing about things like how this raincoat comes together. And my barely-started Anthropologie-esque refashion. And this shrug that may not look much different than it does now the next time I take a picture of it. And whatever other sewing or knitting projects I end up doing this year. Because most of us who sew aren't solely about the destination most of the time, are we? It's about the journey and the learning process, too. And that's something that should be celebrated.

6 comments:

  1. I love the styling of your Cadence. The orange and brown look great. I'd like more sweaters like that! I think i would crochet around the neckline to stabilise it. I'm sure you want to get lots of wear out of this one.

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  2. The Cadence looks lovely as a tunic! I bought a couple of knit tunics to wear over leggins this fall, and they're one of my favorites to wear! I'll have to try and knit one myself for next year. :)

    Personally, I enjoy reading the occasional in-progress report on other blogs, even though I'm usually too lazy to write them myself.

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  3. I love how you've styled it! I can definitely see how it is looser than you hoped and how it stretched out. Which fibre is it? Knitting it always an adventure, one in which we learn a LOT along the way. I am really proud of you for sticking with it, it looks really great! Ravelry is not only great for pattern research but also yarn research: you can look up your yarn choice on Ravelry and see what it looks like knitted up in other projects and see what other people's experiences were with it. Helen's suggesting of stabilising the neckline with crochet it great, too! & I agree with Alessa on updates, I like knowing the story of how things are progressing.

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  4. Your tunic looks absolutely amazing, and I love the lacework? around the yoke.
    Of course, your blog should be exactly what you like it to be! Don't pay attention to how you think others think it should be!

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  5. Ooh, the Cadence looks great! I agree with Helen, too-- crochet around the neckline should hold the stretching to a minimum. I love the Camellia shrug! Can't wait to see yours!

    I like seeing people's in-progress projects, too! It's been super helpful for me in the past to post something I'm working on, especially if I'm having issues. Other people have been able to point out super helpful solutions.

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  6. Absolutely. I agree that making the garment is as important as the finished item.

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