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Tres Chic Veronique

 

Sensual Knits is out!

sensual_knits_cover
Look what came out early! The release date for Sensual Knits was supposed to be January 2008, but many Barnes & Noble stores shelved them right before Thanksgiving. Heather, the ADD knitter, was the first to call this to my attention. Not only that, but she actually went out and bought me a copy which she dropped off in Brooklyn this weekend. Wow. Thanks Heather!

I have 2 designs in this book. Joie de Vivre has been knitted 3 times. Yup, THREE times. The first was a prototype for myself, in Karabella Margritte that I dyed purple. I submitted this design for publication, but was asked to reknit it with longer sleeves. Marie of Brooklyn Handspun donated and dyed some marvelous wool/silk blend yarn in a lovely icy shade of blue, and Jamie Cary took quite a few glamorous photos (Flickr set here).
Joie de Vivre flies away
When Yahaira saw me wearing this cardigan last November at a knit blogger meet-up organized by Rangsiwan, she expressed an interest in it, but I had promised it to another publication. Well, that deal fell through, so Yahaira snapped it up. But not before she gave me some red bamboo yarn (similar to this) and asked me to ditch the zipper. I loved working with bamboo yarn! It's so fluid and shiny and soft... The overall effect is very kimono-like, which is completely different from the wool/silk version. I can't decide which one I like best.

The other design, Tranparencies, was knit in silk/mohair yarn. The sample was made with Shibui Knit's Silk Cloud (color Rust), and I'm currently re-knitting it for my aunt in Habu's Silk/Mohair (I was totally tricked into it! That'll teach me to show off...).
Transparencies 2

There are so many designs in there that I want to cast on for right now! Olga's cover jacket is definitely on my list.

Bravo Yahaira! The publishers were so impressed with her work that they asked her to prepare a second book. And I have another design in there :)

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By Veronique
On Monday, November 26, 2007
At 11/26/2007 02:20:00 PM


 
 

Paint the Town Red!

Does anyone else have a lag between the completion of a project and the photoshoot/post? It just takes me so long to get a photoshoot idea and then to find time when it's actually daylight out. I find it very frustrating.
And that's why I pestered my roommate-with-a-fantastic-camera! She's got the fancy camera, a little bit of time, and her tried-and-true backdrop (aka our front stoop).
Outtakes
Pattern specs:
Pattern: Ruffled Jacket (#44), by James Coviello, from the Fall 2007 Vogue Knitting magazine.

Yarn: Malabrigo worsted weight, purchased 7 skeins in color American Beauty (#502) from More Than Yarn ($10.40 a skein!), but I used only 5 skeins (1,080 yds total). That means that for $73, I got a sweater *plus*: opera-length armwarmers (ahem, not photographed), and (soon) a Rem Koolhaas hat. Pretty sweet.
Now, you might think that buying an additional 2 skeins (432 yds) is a little bit of overkill. I have 3 excuses to offer you: 1. The pattern instructs you to use 8 balls of GGH Soft Kid (1,208 yds) and 7 balls of GGH Bel Air (994 yds). Why the discrepancy? Well, I sent an email to VK, and was told:"Thanks for writing. The yarn amounts are correct, as backward as it seems. (Soft Kid) is much finer, and takes more yarn to go inch for inch with the thicker (Bel Air)". I really couldn't wrap my brain around this concept, but thought it wise to get *at least* 1,208 yds of substituted yarn. 2. Have you ever purchased too little yarn for a project and then been unable to find the same dyelot? Oh, it makes me hyperventilate just thinking about it. Six skeins of Malabrigo would be 1,296 yds, but really, that's a mere 100 yds more than the recommended amount, and who knows what disasters could happen? 3. This yarn was on sale. The recommended yarns would have cost me $170, so I saved $100! And anyway, if I have a lot of yarn left over, surely the Spiders will buy it off of me.

Buttons: 3 big ass, bright red plastic buttons, purchased from The Point.

Needles: Although I thought that I owned Addis in every size known to man (or, in this case, knitter), it turns out that I did not have the ones that I needed. This is where Jess steps in and hands over US 9 (5.5 mm) 32" long Addis. Phew! The recommended needle size was US 10.5 (6.5 mm), but I got gauge with Malabrigo on 9s, so 9 it was.

Mods: Oh boy. Lots.
1. The back cable is one of the major selling points of this pattern.
Back cable!
Lovely right? Well, the chart is wrong! I'm sure it's just a typo, but I think at this point VK was sick of answering my emails, and there's no errata. I posted the corrections on Ravelry.

2. If you look closely at the picture in the magazine the stitches on the sleeve seem to be pulled really taut in the shoulder area. It turns out that the sleeve cap is super narrow due to *double* decreases on each side. This decreases 4 sts per row instead of the usual 2 sts, which creates an abrupt slant. Perhaps there's a logic behind this, but in the end, these sleeve caps simply didn't fit, so I unpicked my seaming, ripped out the sleeve caps and improvised.

3. Seaming. There are miles of seaming with this cardie, but no tips on seaming. Now, I know how to seam, so this didn't appear to be a problem. Not a problem that is, until I tried on my completed cardie, and saw the ruffled edges droop outwards. This gave an overall wilting feeling to the piece and made the V neck overly wide. At that point, I discovered that Anthropologie sells this sweater. Yup, you read that right. For $368, this cardie could be yours! (For $228, you can get the Twinkle sweater that was on the cover of VK last winter). After zooming in, I noticed that the Bell ruffle is seamed "backwards", ie so that the bulk of the seam is facing the outside, not hidden on the inside as seams usually are. This neat little trick forms a pretty braided edge and forces the ruffle towards you instead of away from you!
Closeup of seaming
Verdict: I love the girliness of this pattern! The plunging V neck! The elaborate cables! The ruffled edge! *swoon* Yes, there were plenty of mods but really, you can figure out the chart typo after row 2, and re-knitting the sleeve caps took a few minutes with this bulky yarn. It took me a little over 2 weeks to knit this cardigan! And Malabrigo is the softest, dreamiest yarn a knitter could want (but I'll pretend that I don't notice the slightest bit of pilling on the sleeves after 2 weeks of wear).

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By Veronique
On Monday, November 05, 2007
At 11/05/2007 11:40:00 AM