Marathon 26.2


Saturday, June 27, 2009

Layout Summer Top

Hubby said that I need more "balance" in my life. He's got a good point. Since I picked up crocheting and knitting, I've been obsessed with it. I thought this phase would pass pretty quickly but it hasn't. Lately, I have not been spending every minute knitting/crocheting. My projects will get done, just a bit longer.

My latest finished project is called the Layout Summer Top. It's a free pattern from the Berroco website. What appealed to me about this top is the neckline. I didn't like the stripes because I don't think it would be flattering on me! I opted for a solid color with another color for the neckline. Using a size 5 needle, this project actually worked up pretty quickly. I added waist shaping after reading some of the comments on this top. I'm really glad I did! I had to redo the front arm/neck area because the top was too short. I also added 2 rows of sc in an attempt to tame the (rolling) hem!

I really wasn't sure how this top would turn out. Honestly, I was worried that it would not come together after my 1st try on. After sewing the straps on, I tried it on. It's a perfect fit! I may end up making another one of these tops in the future.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Crochet ~ Swingy Summer Skirt

After a long hiatus from crocheting (a whole project), I did a CAL with Krystal, crochetferretlvr. I pretty much been knitting, except for adding crochet for the finishing. I received my Crochet Today! magazine in the mail earlier in the week. While I waited to pick up my daughter, I browsed through the magazine. The Swingy Summer Skirt caught my eye because it looked like it would be a quick project and I could easily buy the yarn at the local discount store. I wouldn't have to travel over a hour to buy the yarn!

I must admit though, I've always been intimidated by Doris Chan's pattern. Maybe it is her foundation chain, (which I had no problem this time) or those intimidating intricate lace patterns. I remember starting a few of her projects from her book but never quite getting that far before I gave up!

I picked up 4 skeins/balls of the Peaches and Cream yarn. The last skein was of a different dye lot, a darker red. I was not really worried, I figure I'd make it work! I used a size "I" hook to get gauge and I started crocheting. I found the pattern to be really confusing. After a couple of false start and getting almost 1/2 through the skirt, I started over. Honestly, I was getting frustrated and realized this is why I don't crochet. I wanted to just scratch the pattern but I couldn't because I'm doing a CAL with Krystal. She was helpful in giving me some insight into the pattern and keeping me motivated! This time, starting from row 2, I followed mainly the chart and ditched the directions, for the most part. I spent a good 4? hours crocheting and realize I was making good progress and it looked right! I was trying to finish this as quick as possible and the following day, it seemed to be coming together. That afternoon, I was able to finish up the skirt! Hurray!

The 3 skeins of yarn was just enough for me to crochet most of the skirt. I used the last skein (darker red) for the final shell row and the waist band. I didn't make any modification to the chart.

When I started out making this skirt, I didn't think I would ever wear it. I figure it would just hang in my closet. The more I look at the skirt, the more pleased I am with it. It's really growing on me! Hubby said it was really nice too. I'm thrilled to have finished this skirt. It's got me wanting to crochet again! I actually started the Avalon Top, another Doris Chan design! But...I'm not giving up on knitting, I have the Layout Tank (from berroco website) to finish. Now I just have more options and an excuse to have more than 1 project going at the crochet and one knit!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Prosperous Plum Tank

Lately, I've been totally obsessed with my knitting. I think it's because I'm addicted to knitting! Hubby has been nice enough to watch our daughter yesterday while I finished my project.

I started the Prosperous Plum Tank by Joanna Cohen (a download from Ravelry) last week. I used 6 skeins of Shine Worsted in terra cotta (yes, orange) from Knit Picks. I had originally bought this yarn for my hey, teach! cardigan but frogged it after knitting the sleeves and body. I was worried that I would not have enough yarn to finish my tank but in the end I had more than enough! I have 2 skeins left and I have 2 more on order. This yarn was easy to work with and it had a nice sheen to it.

I was pleasantly surprised to find the pattern easy to do! There were some cables, which I had never done before. The cable and lace pattern were very easy to follow. Knitting with the worsted weight yarn made the pattern work up pretty quickly, which I love!

The tank was made in a size 28" bust. I had originally wanted to make the 30" bust because of suggested 4" negative ease. When I discovered I had made the xxs size, I decided to proceed and have a "try on" later. As it turned out, even at this size, the tank is still very big. Maybe the yarn gave it too much drape and there's too much stretch to it. I'm not sure. I'm glad that I did another fitting around the bust increase. Instead of the 5 increases suggested in the pattern, I only needed to do 3. For the front and back straps, I made them 7" long. I opted to skip the crab stitch on the sleeves because they made the arm feel awkward and tight. I did a single row of crochet around the neckline and hem. I forgot to mention that for the hem, I did not do the picot edging per pattern and I added a few inches to the length.

Overall, another great pattern. Easy to follow and understand. I did my first "cable" project and it turned out good. I think that if I were to do this again, I would make the pattern mirror itself on both sides though. Other than that, I'm thrilled with this tank!

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