Thursday, September 27, 2007

Square Root


Rusted Root by Zephyr Style,
modified size medium, which gave negative ease at the bust
Cotton Fleece, Caribbean Sea, 3 skeins
US4, US5, US6 needles

I'm calling mine a Square Root because of the modifications I made to the neckline.

IMG_4401I knew that the neckline, as written, would be unflattering to me because it came up so high on the chest. So I decided that the easiest way to modify the silhouette, without messing with the lace inset, would be to simply drop the neckline. I cast on for the back, sleeves, and one stitch each for the left and right fronts, and knit back and forth until the neckline seemed to be at a depth that would work. For me, that was about 4". Then I cast on the front stitches, joined and knit on in the round as written. I'm very pleased with the result and feel that I could have gone down even further now that the ribbing is added on.

IMG_4396Many people have had problems with their sleeves being too tight or not puffy enough. I worried that I might, too, but I knit the sleeves as written, including going down from US6 to a US4 needle for the ribbing, and ended up with perfectly puffy sleeves that weren't too tight at all at the cuff.

IMG_4379Another modification I made was to add lots of shaping. This top looks pretty funny laid out flat... very hourglass shaped! Right under the bust, I placed steep mirrored decreases here at the side and also in two places at the back where a woman's shirt would have darts. After knitting straight for a bit, a added increases at these two places again for hip shaping.

IMG_4388Another view of the resulting fitted silhouette. I knit the hemline ribbing with a size US5 needle because I didn't want the ribbing to pull in toooo much at the hip.

I'm so pleased with how my Square Root turned out. If I had to do it all over again, I would have made the back darts longer and more gradual and kept the side darts the same. Then I would have added just a bit more increasing at the hip. From the back, you can see that the upper back is a bit looser than the lower back, but I'm still quite happy with the overall effect. So happy, in fact, that I'm having a bit of trouble choosing my next big project! I want another winner...

IMG_4377All of the modifications I made were possible because I had Barbara Walker's Knitting From the Top beside me. I also referred to Stefanie Japel's Fitted Knits. This was my first top down design and I'm eager for more. It was really motivating, as I was knitting, to know that there would be so little finishing after I cast off.

One last view of that neckline. How do you like my new glasses?

Sunday, September 23, 2007


Wow, it's been a month since I posted! Whoops.

My Rusted Root is all done now, blocked and dry and everything, just in time for the weather to abruptly turn chilly this week. No kidding. Suddenly, Mother Nature turned down the thermostat. I think there will be an opportunity to wear it later this week, though, and maybe get some kiddos at school to do a photoshoot since 7 and 8 year olds have done a better job than my own dear hubbo lately! I love Rusted Root, and will share all the details of my modifications with you soon. Let's just say it's very hourglass shaped.

I was fortunate enough to meet Melissa and Jenna a couple of weeks ago; they're two of the nicest gals you'll ever have a chance to meet. They came over to knit and we watched Tim Gunn's Guide to Style. They assured me that Wren looks quite dandy and that I should give it a chance. They brought cake. I think I'm going to keep them. :)

And look at what was in my mailbox recently: A picture of Baby Julia modeling her February Baby Sweater! I think the sleeves ended up a bit short, but her mama actually liked the length; Julia is beginning to eat solid (messy) foods.


I'm finishing up the Baby A Cardi and Hat from Yarnplay. The Kraemer Tatamy Tweed is just right for this project and will look great on the little boy it's for. I'm feeling a little uncertain about what to start next. I have lots of ideas and projects on my Ravelry queue, but none of them are jumping out at me right now. I think it might have to do with the fact that I loved knitting Rusted Root so much -- the top-downness of it! the fit and color! -- that I want to pick something else that's going to be a sure winner. So I've spent a lot of time cruising Ravelry and my Bloglines hoping for some inspiration to hit. I have a feeling it's going to be the Tangled Yoke Cardi in Silky Wool.

Meanwhile, I'm keeping busy with my daughter's social calendar (chuckle), work, and National Boards. We went to the local Kids Day at the Firehouse, look how cute my little firefighter is!

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2007 09 15 021

I'm definitely getting psyched up for the annual girly road trip to Portland; it's coming up in about a month. I've never spent the night away from the peanut and I'm ready for it. Let me tell you, I adore this girl! But I'm also ready to get away and have a cocktail or five. I'm also planning on buying a new MacBook (tax-free! woot!) while I'm down there. But mostly, it's a tradition that I cherish, spending a whole weekend with my buddies. Can't wait!