Knitting with friends.

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Soooo…  this post was supposed to be up on Saturday! That was the deal I made with my fellow knitters, Andrea and Kristin.  They posted (found here and here) but six days later (I keep having to up that number as more days pass!) and here we are.  My bad! Apologies, Ladies! No excuses! Though honestly, I’m not sure that I have anything worthy to add after their thorough and thought-provoking tales!

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A couple of months ago, in a fit of pique over the crap weather that Toronto kept delivering, Kristin, Andrea and I decided that we might be able to pretend it was Spring if we started knitting for Spring. Bright colours, fun patterns and all that jazz. The Mizutama pattern from Olga Buraya-Kefelian was one that Kristin had been eyeing for some time so after a trip to our favourite LYS EweKnit, we were off!

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I’m not sure that I have much to add about the actual knitting of this pattern that Kristin and Andrea have not already covered in their posts. Suffice it to say that this was not necessarily the most enjoyable knit except that we were in it together so could complain and bitch to each other! Picking the yarn made for an eventful evening! We had trouble settling on a base and picking colours that were bright and flattering but were not already overrepresented in our Ravelry project page. The yarn selection at EweKnit is large so narrowing it down was no small feat! I kind of feel like I failed on all fronts but live and learn! I opted for a yarn that I had not worked with before; Raventwist Torc. This name is no joke, my friends! This yarn has some serious twist to it, which made it interesting to work with. I had high hopes that it would bloom a little when blocked but I didn’t find that to be the case at all. The result is that it feels a bit like I am wearing string around my neck, which is an overall fail in my opinion. The twisty nature of the yarn did endow the shawl with a slightly architectural look to it though, which is rather lovely. And the mix of red-orange, a colour that can be seen time and again on my Ravelry page, is awesome!

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Lined up (Kristin, Andrea and Sara)

Kristin and Andrea both went with Madeline Tosh Merino Light, which I have worked with often and continue to love. You can check out their posts to see what they thought of it but having fondled all three shawls, I much prefer the texture of theirs! So lovely to wear! And is probably obvious, the photoshoot was a blast! All is all, a successful knitalong! We’re currently repeating the fun with the Aisance cardigan but likely won’t have a group post until the Fall as wool sweaters are not high on the priority list as the weather heats up in Toronto.

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So. Now that we have saturated the interwebs with photos of our shawls, are you tempted by the pattern? Or to have a good KAL with friends? What colours most remind you of spring? Do you have a favourite yarn or fibre for shawls, scarves, cowls or anything else worn up around your neck? In the words of Kristin, let’s talk!

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An illuminated Hamilton fivehead for you all to enjoy!

My project notes can be found here.

Sara

 

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Split-Back Tank

Finally, the first of my Spring Top Sewalong tops! I was pretty excited when Rae (of made-by-rae) posted that she would be hosting this sewalong again this spring.  I watched last year but was just getting back into sewing and so didn’t participate.  This year?  All in!  A perfect excuse for some selfish sewing as much of my sewing and knitting time lately has been dedicated to gifts (Christmas gifts, birthday gifts, baby shower gifts, welcome baby gifts, etc etc…  I think you get the point!).  While there is little more satisfying than gifting someone with something handmade (particularly to those that appreciate the time and effort!), my spring and summer wardrobe needs some work!  A month later, however, and my commitment to the SAL was somewhat…  dimmed!  I just haven’t had the time!  But before the ardor cooled, I did manage to make a couple of shirts, the first of which was this split-back version of the tiny pocket tank by Grainline Studios (worked from this tutorial).

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I used fabric from the comma collection from Zen Chic.  I’m using quilting cotton a lot in my me-made wardrobe, which is a real switch for me.  I used to have some definite opinions on quilting cotton and fashion/apparel fabric and never the twain shall meet!  Sometimes this still holds true but for those that feel the same way let me just point out that the quality of quilting cotton has really improved!  Some of it is silky with really excellent drape.  In this case it could have had the texture and drape of a cardboard box and I still would not have been able to resist the punctuation marks!  And I am really pleased with my choice…  it’s fun while being fairly subtle.  I don’t have a picture of the inside but let’s just say that with the bound armholes and neckline and french seams that this tank is as pretty on the inside as it is on the outside!

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If you are considering the split-back variation of this pattern then I should point out that it is BIG!  Much more room that you would have in the regular version so keep that in mind.  Despite the straining darts in the above pictures (awkward pose!), this tank could still stand to lose a couple of cm’s in the centre front.  And I had to angle the back pieces in such as way as to reduce the overall volume of the shirt.  Because of this, I also had to sew the back shut so the buttons ended up being decorative only.  It also meant that the split was less dramatic than intended in the back.  The upside is that this tank can be worn in the lab…  always a bonus!

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Can’t think of anything else you need to know about this one.  Hopefully I’ll manage to post about my Colette Sencha and a blouse I made from one of my Japanese dress books…  the sewalong end on Friday so that just might not happen!

Photos were graciously taken by my friend Alisha.  I wich I could say that I was an equally gracious subject!  I was a grump (and I was freezing!), so the pickin’s were slim for this post!  Thanks, Alisha!

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Sara