A better fit

Thank you to all for the thoughtful comments on my last post.  I have not yet replied to them all, but I intend to.  I can see that I struck a chord with many of you, who like me, tend to be conflicted about the trend towards longer patterns.

I have been busy with non-knitting matters lately, but am still managing to participate in a test knit for Claudia Eisenkolb.  This is for a lovely linen tee-shirt with short sleeves and a pretty design feature at the neckline, which is called Sel Gris.  I still have to knit the sleeves, but have finished the body:

IMG_1364

You may recall that when I first cast this on, I encountered some serious (and laughable) gauge issues:

IMG_1334

I had to rip and start over again – I went down both a needle size and a pattern size (to a Medium).  This means that I now have about 4 inches of negative ease, which is not what I had intended. Nonetheless, I think I have managed a better fit this time around.  It errs a bit on the snug side, but I am hoping that a good block will give it more ease and drape.  The yarn, Shibui Linen, is not the easiest to work with, but I will wait until after I’ve blocked and worn it a few times to make any firm judgements.  It does have a very rich hue, and makes a quite lovely, sheer fabric.

IMG_1375

This is my first time doing a test knit.  I am very impressed with the thoughtfulness and professionalism of both test knitters and designer; it is a very collaborative process.  I am also left with a feeling that the other testers are all considerably faster than I am.  The deadline for this is September 15, and I think that I shall make it (just), but most of the other testers whipped theirs out in days.

IMG_1368

Enjoy your Sunday!

Sleeves and a test knit

I usually hate knitting sleeves, especially when I’m knitting in the round.  For some unknown reason, I powered through the sleeves for my Laelia cardigan.  Here it is without sleeves two weeks ago:

IMG_1274

And here are the sleeves:

IMG_1314

The pattern calls for lace on the sleeves as well, but I decided that I preferred them plain.  I am very happy to have finished the sleeves, but there is still a lot of work to be done.  This is quite a long cardi, and as you knit down, the lace pattern continually expands around the back.  I find that I cannot knit this particular lace pattern with my mind disengaged, and that limits when I can knit it.  I have about ten more inches to go, I think.

IMG_1325

That ten inches might take even longer, however, because in the meantime, I agreed to do a test knit for Claudia Eisenkolb.  The test is for a lovely tee made out of linen.  I have seen a lot of patterns for linen tees lately, but this one drew me in because it struck me as very elegant and perfect for work.  (No pattern photos while the tee is in test mode.)  I am using the stunning Shibui Linen in the colour Bordeaux.

IMG_1302

I love the way the yarn picks up the light.  It is so rich and luminous.  The yarn has an unusual chained structure, which you can hopefully see in this photo:

IMG_1304

I am so far finding it a little rough to knit with – the linen is quite stiff – but I very much like the crispness of the fabric.  I think that once washed a few times, it should be perfect.

IMG_1331

I am spending quite a bit of time on the train this month, and this is a much better project for train knitting that the Laelia, which has grown a bit awkward.  To demonstrate, here I am trying to untie knots in the yarn while Doug patiently waits to take photos.  (The knots, by the way, are not in the skein, but result from having too many live threads going at once and getting it all in a tangle.)

IMG_1310

Have a lovely Sunday!