Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Botanica Medallion Cardigan

Botanica Medallion Cardigan
My husband suggested that we could use this for an afghan or a table cover when I'm not wearing it. It does look OK here.
Botanica Medallion Cardigan
But it looks OK here too.
Botanica Medallion Cardigan
Botanica Medallion Cardigan

Botanica Medallion Cardigan
I love the crunchy texture of all these stitches in the Blue Sky Alpaca Skinny Dyed Cotton yarn.
Botanica Medallion Cardigan
I followed the pattern exactly (I hope), except that I misunderstood the triple decreases in the center medallion - the pattern calls for a different triple decrease, which doesn't leave the straight line of center stitches that I have here. And, I agreed with several other folks on Ravelry and moved the seam from the center back to under the left armhole. I grafted the seam nicely, but I still wish it was more invisible. Also, the directions have you unwrap all the cross stitch wraps at once, but it's much easier if you unwrap the triple wraps 6 stitches at a time.
Botanica Medallion Cardigan
This is a great pattern - both simple and complex. It's a simple shape, worn in an unusual way. Most people who see it on would never guess that it is a large circle with armholes. The way the row gauge shifts as you move outward on the border stitches is so clever, and the stitches themselves, especially the Indian Cross Stitch, are so pretty. Several people have mentioned that they think the trinity stitch section is wrong-side out. I'd just remind anyone making this that the prettier side of the trinity stitch section is what is turned back for the collar and around your face. So it is right side out, where it counts.

Details:
Botanica Medallion Cardigan,
designed by Shiri Mor, from Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer 2009.
Blue Sky Alpacas Skinny Dyed Cotton, 7 skeins, gravel color (the pattern calls for "clay"). Yarn from Knot Another Hat in Hood River, OR.
Size M/L, though if I had to do it again, I'd make the border in size S, but the medallion in size M/L -- if you are not tall, and not thin, like myself, this might be something to consider.
US size 7 needles for the center medallion and size 6 for the border. Mid-border I switched to Addi lace needles (circular, but used back and forth). I'd recommend these needles, or some other pointy-tipped ones for this project. The trinity stitch was much easier after I switched.

Success? I think this sweater would be better for someone slimmer, with Michelle Obama arms. But then most clothes are. I'm happy with this sweater. It's comfortable to wear, both interesting and pretty. I think the color will be nice -- I'm not finding the neutral color so versatile as I'd thought, but the neutral tone keeps the sweater more casual, which I like. I wore it to my high school reunion last weekend. Only one friend knew I'd made it, but it made me feel more myself all night, to be wearing one of my own hand-knits.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Textiles from Thailand and India

Instead of saying tomorrow, I should learn to say "next time". I promised a look at textile gifts from India and Thailand, and it's taken me longer than I expected to take pictures and do this post.

My daughter recently returned from three weeks in Thailand and India. It was so great to have her back home & hear all about the wonderful things she saw and did. She'd been with a church group, and visited refugee camps, orphanages, and schools. But she also rode an elephant and brought home some fun gifts. I think I've raised her right, because my gifts were all textile related.

Textiles
This lovely scarf came from Thailand.
Textiles
My gift from India was this big length of fabric.
Textiles
This is the end of the long piece of yardage. The dark blue part looks like it was dip dyed.
textiles
This is the border that runs all along the side of the piece.

It's a large piece of light-weight fabric. I'm musing on what I should do with it. It's very long - so there's plenty to work with. I am thinking a skirt, something full but not voluminous. Any thoughts?

Finally, she bought herself a textile gift.
textiles
Here she is (in the middle) with some friends in their Indian finery. I think the girls' clothes are called salwar-kameez - a tunic over pants. My daughter picked a cotton tie-dye. It's not fancy, but she looks great in it. And we've had fun looking at the hand-made fabric. I still need to finish the ends of her scarf, and the threads that tied the tie-dye were still in place when she got dressed that morning. Here are some details of the fabric:
textiles
I think the light spots look like little volcanoes.
textiles
I think these textile gifts are so beautiful and none of them were expensive. We'll all enjoy them for many years.

Next post (see, I do learn sometimes): something is finished!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Spud and Chloe

It just happens that Dancing Ewe Yarns and Teas in Ellensburg is right on the way to SeaTac airport -- at least if you're driving from our house. So, we made a stop for lunch (at the Yellow Church Cafe) and yarn.
Spud & Chloe
This is what I got -- the new Spud & Chloe sweater yarn (tempting just for the cute tags, but also soft and springy feeling) and the pattern for the Candy Stripe Jacket. The colors are Lake and Grass. I love the red in the picture, but the actual red yarn used is pretty orange for my taste. I love this blue. I've admired this cute jacket pattern since the Spud & Chloe range was announced. I'm a little nervous about the style on *me*, but I'm going to risk it.

Tomorrow, pictures of textile gifts from India and Thailand.