Thursday, 2 August 2007

Of Top downs and new fall designs.

Top down

My progress on the top down so far. I've had to rip two inches back on the body, to three inches below the armpit. Personally, I don't like frogging, although I'm not afraid of doing it. I don't take the decision lightly, but when it's done. It's done. Fast, ruthless and with a steady hand.

No tears, here.

While knitting the sleeves, came to the conclusion that alas, I must frog. So I have. I need to start decreases at three inches below the armpit instead of five. It will follow my shape better.

It's been interesting doing the topdown. My partner is actually in awe of the process, in terms of its elegance and ingenuity. He is tickled by the notion of knitting while the garment is on one's body. My reactions have been more along the line of an academic interest. I can see why the topdown method is the preferred method for American designers. Once you know how to do topdown, it's just a matter of getting a stitch dictionary, some math skills for sizing and hey - a cottage industry in your home. I can see myself using the topdown as a way of using awkard amounts of yarn up - like that one skien wonder that Japel of Glampyre fame uses, or just exploring the joys of the garter stitch ala Brooklyn Tweed.

Apart from the academic interest, and the appreciation of said technique, I can't say that I'd totally abandon piece knitting for knitting topdown. I think it's the amount of different circular needles lengths for one piece is offputting. You need about 16" (40 cm)for neck, 24"-32" (60-80cms) for the body and about 6" (15cms) for sleeves. So to knit one longsleeved garment in the round, I'm looking at 3 different lengths. Whereas with piece knitting, at most, I need two, unless I'm changing needle sizes.

However, I can see myself trying to incorporate much more circular knitting into my life, especially when it comes to fair isle such as this:

I've tried fairisle on knit and purl sides. I can do it, but if knitting in the round makes it easier, I'm all for it. I also find that I'm becoming more open to steeking, because I dislike 'V' necks and turtle necks, which seem to be the default necklines for said patterns. For people with a bra cup size of C and over, I think scoop necks and square necklines tend to break up all that chest space and adds some sort of interest, like if you wanted to wear a cami underneath in a constrasting colour, or material.

What are your thoughts on the new Rowan? Issue no. 42?

On my behalf, I like the magazine in terms of its shapes, the push of colour (cables done in that tapestry/noro style yarn? Inspired. If only my husband liked knit wear) and little details. In terms of knitting stuff for me however, I've seen three or four patterns that make the hands itch.


Iceland, from Rowan 42

It's really an interesting pattern. Done in Rowan's new yarn, Cocoon. I love the horizontal detailing, and the generous rib.

Yes, yes, yes.

On me it might look as if I've tucked into the biscuit tin (these are models in the photos. Three sizes smaller than myself, as well as 6 inches taller) and scoffed 3 score of chocolate creams.

That would be a bad look, wouldn't it?

*sighs* I fear so.

I do like the pattern though. I might do it for my stepdaughter - and pretend that I bought the design at a chi chi shoppe, because she's wary about handknits.

I think the design is fab enough to risk the scorn. You?

I also like this top. Very much so. Enough to even spring for the recommended yarn (never mind the bad penmanship on the post it note) .

Oslo from Rowan 42

Rowan Cocoon again. It's 80 percent wool, 20 percent mohair. It's a heavier version of kidclassic (wool, mohair and alpaca mix, I think). I think the colour scheme for the yarn is limited based on my LYS- a charcoal, a cream and a grey, I think.

I'd do this in a cranberry, or an orange, if I could.

I'd do this top for me, but probably incorporate some shaping around the waist, so I don't look like a dumpling. But I like this top. Normally, my partner and myself will go a rambling, and it would be nice to have something warm and handknitted for the times I do go.

There are other new Rowan books coming out, like Kaffe Fasset's knits - which I'll buy. Since I'm an English knitter, he's supposed to be a part of my knitting heritage (never mind the fact that he's American, he's been in England for almost thirty years).

There is also the design book by Weardowney coming out in the fall. Very elegant, with a nod to vintage, a sly kiss to the catwalk, but very much wearable. My friend Pat is all twitterpated over the new arrival (in October) and she will buy the book on first print. I'll wait until the errata is corrected.

I have a backlog of knits that I need to do for the fall/winter season. Like slipovers in many colours for my wardrobe, and a cardigan to schlep around the house in.

What's new in your WIPs?

1 comment:

JayJay said...

Sorry to hear about frogging your top-down. I think I've been avoiding large projects lately because I don't feel like going through the inevitable frogging. But really, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

I love the colorwork in the first design you posted. I haven't tried anything nearly so ambitious, but may give the mitts in the new Interweave a try to get my feet wet.

I also like the design of the second sweater you posted, but agree that it might be a hard look to pull off.

The third cream sweater is absolutely beautiful. I agree that it would be worth a splurge.