Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Drape Neck Top

It's hot.  High 80's Low 90's.  The only nod to the concept of "Spring" is that the humidity is not too bad right now.  50-60%.  Next month it will be 90 degrees with humidity in the 90's.  Summer will last from June to mid October.  Sigh.

The first summer I spent in South Florida, it felt like I was having one long hot flash.  I learned very quickly that daily dips in the pool and light loose-fitting clothing was necessary for survival. Life without air conditioning is just not possible.

This summer I'm going to focus my knitting on summery things.  My first foray: lace panels provide built-in ventilation.

Pattern: #3 Drape Neck Top by Jacqueline Van Dillen
from Vogue Knitting Magazine Spring/Summer 2011

Yarn: Narvik Young Touch Cotton DK 100% cotton
12 balls or approx 1368 yards
Shade 7500 (white)

Needle size: US 4 for the neck and cap sleeves
US 6 for the body

The cotton yarn was a gift (thanks, Bobbi!) and perfect for this pattern.  It knits up into a crisp fabric.  Despite that, I wouldn't recommend it as it was extremely splitty.  It is very loosely plied and I had to redo a lot of stitches to avoid snags.


1. The gauge I got with this yarn was 6 stitches per inch (pattern gauge is 4.5). After swatching the center panel, I decided I liked it enough to rework the pattern to fit my gauge.

2. I opted against the split bottom hem and made the entire hem 10 rows of garter stitch. 

3. After completing the collar and trying it on, I decided I didn’t like all that fabric around my neck - too warm!  I frogged and reknitted it so that there’s only three rows of garter around the sides and back of the neck. Left the front neck at 20 rows so that it would drape accordingly.

4. I turned the sleeves into "cap sleeves" and made them more fitted.

A little winter white for what promises to be a blazing hot summer...

Friday, May 13, 2011

Seaming Tip

There are many great tutorials about seaming (Knitty.com has a good one) so I won't go into that here.  Just thought I'd share a handy little tool for "pinning" the pieces together before you seam.

Hair clips - the kind that has those interlocking spikes - I believe they are commonly referred to as Claw or Jaw Hair Clips.  I find that the smallest ones are invaluable when it comes to seaming.

They're easy to use and snag-free.  Even on slippery bamboo. I don't recommend using orchid clips (they look the same but are used to hold floppy orchid stems to wooden stakes) as they tend to have rough edges.  Bad for knits.

They're tiny...

but quite sturdy.  I also use them to "baste" pieces together to check for fit before committing the time and effort to seaming.  For the blue bamboo camisole (more about that later) I used my clips to baste the strap onto the body so I could try it on to see if I needed to shorten or lengthen it.

Best of all, they're inexpensive and easy to find.  I picked up mine at Target.  Online, they're available here.  Happy seaming!

Monday, May 2, 2011

At the Dog Park

Watching dogs play is the best antidepressant.

After all, canine joy is abundant and highly contagious.

However, there's little concept of personal space.

A lot of good-natured posturing

My, what big teeth you have...

 Disclaimer: no animals were harmed in the making of this photo essay

There's always a trouble-maker

Group Run

Some prefer to relax