Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Suddenly, I feel very British

I completed my first Rowan pattern and it's Elspeth (sorry Moni). Ta Da!

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Pattern: Elspeth from Rowan 37
Yarn: Cashcotton from Rowan Classic Yarns in white
Needles: US 6 and US E4 and US H8 crochet hooks
What I learned/did for the first time: Crochet edging, short rows (on sleeves), and raglan shaping

As many other knitbloggers have said, this is not the most clearly written pattern. However, I can confidently say that there are no errors in the pattern and that the lace chart can be used for more than just the first 12 rows. So, I offer the following hints for those of you who are either struggling with the pattern or fearfully considering knitting this cute bolero.

Elspeth hints for those who care:
1) The lace pattern has a repeat of 9 stitches. Place a marker between the repeats and mark the repeats on the lace chart. This will help you know where to place YOs and K2togs after doing the increases or decreases. It will also help you spot mistakes and save you from having to count stitches every row.
2) All the YOs are paired with a decrease (K2tog, P2tog, K2tog tbl, P2tog tbl). When working the lace near the edges of your piece, remember that YOs and decreases are like love and marriage in the old song--i.e. "if you care you'd bother, don't have one without the other."
3) I used selvege stitches--2 sts on the side and raglan edges and 1 stitch on the front edge. I did not add stitches, I just kept those stitches in stockinette and ignored the lace chart. But remember to keep pointer #2 in mind while doing this. The selvege stitches allowed me to sew nice neat mattress-stitch seams and made it easy for me to pick up the front-edge stitches for the crochet border.
4) The instructions for the increases and decreases on the front panels are very confusing. I wrote out row-by-row instructions for the increases and decreases. I will be happy to send these instructions to anyone--just email me or leave a comment.
5) For those in the US, remember that the British use different terms in crochet. Specifically, a British double crochet (dc) is a US single crochet.
6) When picking up stitches for the crochet border, experiment with the ratio of stitches that you are picking up to insure that the border will lie flat. For example, I found that on the top and bottom edges I needed to pick up every stitch, but on the front slopes picking up 3 out of every 4 stitches looked much better.
7) When making the ties for the front, use a larger crochet hook to make the base chain and then use the smaller one to make the picots. When I used the smaller hook to make the chain and the picots, the tie was too short and was extremely curly.

Have a rambled on long enough? Even Scout is bored with me.

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amylovie said...

You look fantastic in it, especially with your beautiful roses in the background.


amy said...

Elspeth turned out great! It's beautiful on you.

Gaile said...

Beautiful - it looks lovely on you, and that background of roses is lovely.

Joanna said...

It looks great, and fits so well! Beautiful work as always!

grumperina said...

Gorgeous top! Congratulations! Love it in that color, too! Thanks for all the tips: knitbloggers planning to make this will be very appreciative.

Stasia said...

Laura, it's beautiful and you look great in it. Thanks for posting the photo. See you 'round KnitTheClassics!

heather said...

Your Elspeth looks fantabulous!
Great job!

knit chick said...

Your work never ceases to amaze me. It turned great and looks wonderful on you!

Helene said...

I've been wondering if I'm going to give this Elspeth a go, and I've still not made up my mind. From the photo it looks a little like it's going to slid off your shoulders. Is that a problem with this design?? Is there anything you would have done different??

Nik said...

elspeth is beautiful. and you wear it well, dahling.

gray la gran said...

i would love to have some info on your increases. i'm getting ready to begin elspeth, and have been reading everyone's notes/alterations. yours looks very nice. i like the use of selvege edges, and though i've knitted tons of lace, i think i will use the markers too, as increases/decreases in pattern always gets confusing. can you tell me about the fit? what size did you make in relation to your true measurements? thanks!

katie o. said...

Wow! Great job on the Elspeth pattern-it looks nice. I'm inspired to try it now...thanks for posting the helpful tips.

BeanMama said...

I love the Elspeth pattern in the photo but you're right, it's clearly not the same. And take a look at the photo -- It sure looks to me like those arms are sewn in and NOT knit all of a piece.

Sara McBurney said...

Hi! I know that this blog is from a long time ago, but I was hoping you could help me out. I am having a hard time with the lace pattern, and I think that it has to do with your second point listed above. If I understand correctly, I should be simply working a knit or purl stitch if a yo is written in the pattern without a corresponding decrease ( or vice versa )? I am knitting for a 34" bust. Thanks!

MiniLaura said...

Hi Sara,
A YO is an increase stitch, and you do not want to increase if you do not have a corresponding decrease. So if you find a YO that does not have a corresponding decrease, SKIP the YO completely. Don't do anything. Work what ever comes next after the YO. Pretend that YO square in the chart does not exist. Don't try to put a knit or a purl there because you will throw off the pattern. (I don't have the pattern in front of me, so I can't give you an example.)