Friday, October 19
Noro Lotus, col. 156
It all started when I saw Turtlegirls's Cherie Amour on her blog on Oct. 14. I had seen the pattern in the Fall 2007 Knitty, but didn't appreciate the details until I saw her photos. It was soooo pretty, soooo curvy, soooo perfect for my ensemble for our first ever visit to the Renaissance Faire in about a week's time. I shopped the stash for a bulky weight yarn which I don't have a ton of because we live in Hades (90 degrees today, people). I found a bag of Noro Lotus (Attention Yarncave shoppers, there's a bag of Noro in bin 3!) that I scored on eBay because I've always liked this yarn ever since I made the Chinese Charm Bag from Stitch 'n Bitch. It's got lots of preeeety stripey colors, metallic sparkle and knits up on size 13 needles like the way I drive---real fast...unless the kids are present.
It's 57% rayon, 23% nylon, 12% acrylic and 8% cashmere which seems like a total waste to me. I guess if you closed your eyes and thought real hard you'd feel that cashmere, but it's not exactly overwhelming you with it's 8% presence. Anyway, this high falutin' Japanese acrylic-san was perfect for the pattern and our less than frosty winters.
I downloaded the pattern, swatched and knitted like a big dog all week long. And I mean BIG dog.
FYI: Don't let the following notes put you off this pattern. The numbers all work out quite nicely. It's just that I have a habit of pimping my sweaters.
Yes, my arm is up (again) and I'm convinced that it looks thinner. Hey, let's raise both of them and see what happens!
I made a size medium, thinking that this yarn would have zero memory and relax with time. Plus it looked great on the T-Girl.
I made the bottom lace section shorter than the pattern calls for because the world doesn't need to see 31 rounds of lace traversing my beam at its broadest point.
I used a size 9 needle as called for the 2x2 ribbing but switched to a size 8 for the middle bit to cinch in the waist a bit more. Just call me the Sands of Time because I've got the hourglass, baby.
I read Turtlegirl's observations closely and she mentioned problems with the front decreases. Boy, was she right! I ended up making my own chart so I could get those decreases in line with the 6-stitch pattern repeat. And all of this headache over 20 friggin' stitches to start with. Remember, it's a 6-stitch repeat and stitch markers are your friends. You may end up working a few more decrease rows than shown on the chart. Ok, maybe that's a me thing and not a you thing.
TIP: I worked one row of knit followed by one row of purl on the back and the fronts before that 3-needle bind off for the shoulders--it gives more support for a bulky yarn.
Methinks it's mead time.
Sleeves: I cannot wear a bulky weight long sleeve in this climate plus I wanted something in character for RenFaire. I didn't want thick seams or the pain of joining a sleeve in the round, so I got creative. I picked up stitches around the armhole with a size 10 needle and worked about 7 inches in the 2x2 rib. I tried doing a couple of repeats of the bottom lace pattern, but my brain couldn't handle the lace and the Red Sox in game 5 at the same time. So, I opted for my alltime favorite lace cop-out; YO, K2tog followed by a purl row. I worked it back and forth so I'd have a split cuff and the Maid Mary, Mary thing going.
TIP: I don't like an unfinished edge on a neckline so I worked a row of single crochet around mine with a strand of Anny Blatt Victoria in burgundy to give it a flat edge and a nice finish. (DMC floss or a solid yarn will do, I just happen to have accrued tons of Victoria after 3 years living in France.)
I realize that you may think that all this lace is wasted on such a busy yarn. It's true that you can't see the detail like you would with a solid, but here the lace serves the dual purpose of air-conditioning as much as decoration.
Forty grams left and the Red Sox won!
Posted by Mary, Mary... at 6:49 PM