Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Cap-Sleeved Silk Top

Silky Goodness
Apologies for the craptastic indoor photo. I thought
the light in the house was good. I would have more photos
taken, but my photographer is grumpy right now.

Pattern: Cap-Sleeved Top from Debbie Bliss Pure Silk book, 3rd size
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Pure Silk, magenta, 7 hanks (pattern called for 8)
Needles: US sizes 3 and 5
Comments: Nice pattern with clever sleeve shaping. The little sleeves are worked by doing increases on the front and back pieces. The increases are lined up vertically (instead of added to the edges) creating a very nice looking fake seam. The increases also create a bias which allows the sleeves to curve over the shoulder. Though the pattern does not specifically say so, I used right-leaning increases on the right side and left-leaning increases on the left side. If you make this sweater I suggest that you do so, too. Little details like that result in a more professional looking garment.

A Confession: One process in knitting that I hate is picking up stitches for necklines, etc. Not only do I hate the process, I'm a little afraid of it, too. The knitting books I've read always warn about not picking up too many or too few stitches. Then, they show awful photos of the consequences of picking up the wrong number of stitches.

So, I prefer to work patterns that tell me EXACTLY how many stitches to pick up. When I have the magic number, I pick up stitches, pull them out, pick them up again, pull them out again, etc. until I get the right number at the end. I'm completely anal about it. (However, I'm completely anal about most things in knitting so this isn't very different.) I followed my neurotic method when I picked up the stitches around the neckline of this sweater.

But something happened to me when I picked up the stitches for the armhole edging. I got tired. I picked up stitches on one side of the armhole and I was TWO stitches short. I looked at the 50-something stitches I had already picked up and said, "eh, close enough." What? Who took me away and replaced me with someone lazy? I continued to pick up stitches on the second half of the armhole and didn't even bother to count. Seriously, what's wrong with me? I knit the armhole edging, bound off, and it was perfect. On the second sleeve, I simply picked up stitches in the same ratio as I did on the first armhole, didn't count, and finished the edging. Again, perfect. Sigh. I hope this experience doesn't lead me down the dark side of overly relaxed knitting.

21 comments:

Cordelia said...

It's really pretty! Great color too. I have to ask if you knew it was going to be so sheer in the front before you started?
Congratulations on being not-perfect, by the way. And I'm sure it's not a step down the Dark Path! :-)

Boogs said...

Love that colour!! *L*

You did a great job!

grumperina said...

Hehe, you're such a rebel, not counting those picked up stitches! I think in most instances it doesn't terribly matter, and that our eyes and hands, having knit an entire sweater, have a very good idea of the frequency the stitches should be picked up, without the pattern's help. Don't you think? Anyway, the top looks fantastic, congratulations!

entrelac said...

For picking up and knitting along armholes, necklines, and so on I always pick up a stitch everywhere there's a place to (every stitch, every row, etc) and then count to see how many more than the desired number I ended up with. I usually end up with a number close to 30% more than desired -- 4 for every 3 I should have ended up with. Then on the next row I decrease all of those extra stitches away. Smooth, even pick up, perfect number of stitches every time. No stress. :)

amylovie said...

It looks amazing on you Laura. Thank you for letting me borrow it for a while.

Amy

monkeemaven said...

Relaxed is good... knitting is fun... enjoy yourself... block pieces on your roof...

monkeemaven said...

Oh yes, and it looks great. Can't wait to feel it up, though I guess I'll feel it up in the store... without you inside....

Susann said...

I just love it!

bradyphrenia said...

ooh, very pretty. i love silk and the purple looks great.

Mintyfresh said...

very cute! how does the silk feel on your skin?

Rachel said...

WHAT?? Next thing you know you're going to be blocking without your blocking board! Or deciding to forgo swatching! Your blog will become dominated by phrases like "eyeballing it," and "more or less," or "close enough" -- NOT what I've come to depend on you for! My "What Would Laura Do" knitting needles will suddenly be much less of an inspiration. I am devastated.

Cute top, by the way!

Anonymous said...

Craptastic picture or not, it looks fab! Purple and silk... pure yumminess. Beautifully done!

- MJ

Rebekah said...

Oh it's lovely! Great color too.

Jennifer said...

Beautiful!

I fear picking up stitches for edgings too. I'm glad yours worked out.

Annie said...

Very pretty! And you just made me feel better about my lazy knitting. ;-)

~drew emborsky~ said...

Hey, maybe I need to relax more when knitting. Your results are amazing!!

Ingrid said...

I hate picking up stitches too...only I'm not anal and more often end up with gasp something that is too loose or too tight and I never wear it as a result. Nice shade of purple ;) Are you keeping this one or is it going to be displayed somewhere?

CarrieScribe said...

Looks great! I think that the point is hitting that proportion of picked up stitches that *works* -- I have a tendnecy to do that by feel.

Which means I rip out more than my fair share, but I'm always happy with the end product.

It does look fabulous. Hope the grumpy photographer is feeling less grupmy.

Terby said...

Nice job! Thanks for showing the fake seam. I like knowing details like that. I'll be interested in knowing how the garment wears. Silk is pretty, but I'm hard on fibers.

Anonymous said...

Gosh, I don't know if I can read your blog any more - you might be a bad influence on me! Obviously fudging on the stitches did nothing to change the outcome - the result is beautiful! Good job!
Dorothy
http://www.missouristar.typepad.com
dswaite@mac.com

Elizabeth said...

Lovely! I just got this book from Y2E, although I'm not sure I'll ever be able to afford the silk yarn. I know what you mean about picking up stitches - I hate it, too, and always get freaked out about it. But your knitting looks perfect.