Mar 7, 2007

Semi-Complete


I have come along on the tiny tank, it is almost complete, lacking only buttons and button loops. I did experiment a bit with finishing. My initial thought was to try an applied I-cord edging to neck and armholes. First attempt is not pictured, I ripped it finding it too heavy and my tension was uneven, leaving a sloppy impression. The I-cord is a nice look, but not at the armhole area. Next attempt was a crochet edge, half double, I think. It is not pictured, but I was dissatisfied with the appearance of the crochet, too elongated for the edge, detracting from the overall simplicity. I went back to the I-cord neckline with a simple slip stitch to clean up the armholes and feel relatively pleased with the end result. Finishing is an interesting challenge, requiring some patience and experimentation. I did not want to overwhelm the piece, but did not like the uneven edge created by the basket weave stitch pattern. This seems to be a nice compromise.


Overall, I am glad the first piece I designed is so tiny, it came along quickly and. remained manageable. It may be too tiny, but I have very little comprehension of what size the beans will actually be, so I’ll try to get them in the tank(s) ASAP when the time comes. I think initially babies are smaller than anyone realizes, so I will try for a photo or two…I do plan on making another, just to keep things even.

I really have taken to Calmer, I find the feel and resulting fabric lovely. It knits up evenly, shows a nice definition of stitch, seems to have a good bit of play from the synthetic component and is light enough to be worn in my climate. I have to learn to choose yarn for its wearability vs. its luxurity (not a word, I know). Calmer is not a cheap yarn, so I would like any recommendations for substitution. There are so many yarns out there, I usually try new yarn by seeing a project on another blog and using their suggested yarn. I am not the most adventurous when it comes to trying out a yarn, very project driven, am I.

I’ll come back once I finish button work. I plan on using this technique for button loops. I used it once on the Union Square Market Pullover (which resides with my sister in Northern California where she can actually use it. 100% baby alpaca in fingering weight on 3s makes for a really warm sweater. Learned that lesson.) adieu until then, I love reading all the various posts. Really good idea, Julia and Marnie!

8 comments:

Emily said...

Hey, you work fast! Great job so far!

Julia (MindofWinter) said...

Yay! The vest looks wonderful so far. You should definitely run finishing ideas by everyone - I know they'd have great ideas. Calmer doesn't really have a substitute that I know of - it's a very unique yarn. But I do have a few suggestions for upcoming baby yarns. For the summer you should try out Lion Brand's Cotton Ease (very economical), Rowan's All Season's Cotton (get it cheap on ebay) and then for fall Rowan Wool Cotton (not as hot as other wools and machine washable!). I guarantee you'll enjoy all of them, and they'll wear well for the kiddos.
xox, J

Joanna said...

That's so funny - I've always thought of i-cord as a light, subtle detail. But I've been using yarns that are either the same weight as Calmer, or a little thinner, and putting the i-cord on garments for myself. I never stopped to think about the change in scale when knitting for a baby - a worsted-weight baby sweater is kind of like a superbulky woman's sweater in terms of the number of stitches! So I can understand why the i-cord would look too heavy in this case. I think the slip stitch is a nice solution.

As for yarns, it's not a direct substitute for Calmer, but I really like Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece. It's 80% cotton and 20% merino, incredibly soft, and machine washable (though the label doesn't say so sometimes, because they're worried the dye might run).

Marnie said...

Continuing on what Julia said, I don't know of any substitute for Calmer (actually, Artfibers used to make something similar but it's just as expensive and I don't know if they still offer it) but another good baby yarn is Berroco Lullaby. It sort of feels like a softer version of some of the faux suede yarns out there.

Julia (MindofWinter) said...

Lullaby is a nice yarn - and economical. Marnie made a very cute dragon hoodie out of it for her brother's girlfriend's child. Definitely one to add to the list.

Yarn It said...

That is adorable! I would make one of those for the babies in my family. Great work!

mames said...

thank you for all the great comments and suggestions for yarn. there is such a wealth of knowledge out there in the knit community.

Liz K. said...

I also really like Mission Falls 1824 (both the wool and cottom) for easy care baby stuff. They have really great colors, and are a super value too.

In fact, one of your vests in the nubbly MF cotton would be really cute!