Apr 24, 2007

I briefly posted about a cami I was knitting for my daughter, but I hit a road block, and the piece needed its requisite time in the penalty box. The neckline was way too low, even for a top meant to be worn as a layer. And I needed to decide on some kind of treatment to neaten the edges up, and nothing was coming.

The denim yarn was tripping me up. There is an inherent challenge when designing with denim -- the shrinkage, of course. See, with shrinkage, you get all sorts of surprises. For example, when I swatched, I discovered that the diagonal lace caused my top to shrink in both length and width, rather than just lengthwise. The significant changes in gauge make it a true guessing game to add unwashed yarn to an already-shrunk piece -- what needle size should I use? What will it do when I wash it again?

I also really wanted to protect the main design element of the camisole, the transitions of the lace pattern up the bodice, and the contouring of the straps around the final lace repeat. They worked exactly the way I intended, and I didn't want my solution to interfere with it. I also wanted to keep the tied straps, so I could have the option of adjusting them on my growing kid.

So I consulted with a brilliant designer over a cup of coffee last week, and we together hatched a solution. I would frog back to the armholes and using my unraveled swatch, reknit a significantly higher neckline , and keep all the stitches live on holders for the application of an i-cord edging that would extend into the tied shoulder straps.

The bad news is that now the neckline is a little too high, but the good news is that it will work fine for the back, and I will start the neckline a couple of rows lower for the front piece. The other issue is that the strap transition has lost its pointiness, and now has a rounder look around the arm because the placement of the i-cord pulls the first few stitches in towards the neckline. I think it might straighten out once worn but I would love a suggestion to help me on the front piece to keep that pointy look I so loved.

The wonderful surprise is the eyelets along the neckline created by applying an i-cord to decreased stitches. I love how it echoes the laciness of the pattern. I decided to leave the armholes unfinished for now, with the idea that I may single crochet around the edges once it has all been washed and seamed. I wish I had enough room to apply an i-cord around the armholes as well, but I think it might be too much bulk under the armholes.

As always, I am open to suggestions and ideas. Participating in the CAL has really kept me motivated on this project, rather than trashing an idea as I have done in the past!

Sort of x-posted to my blog.


Julia (MindofWinter) said...

I would give the i-cord on the armhole side a try - I think that if it works out it will give those edges a really nice look. The worst that can happen is you'll have to rip back a little!

Denim can be super-challenging. I would always recommend washing and drying a large-sized swatch in a machine before starting in on the main piece, because then you'll have a much better idea of what will happen in the process. People always talk about the 15-20% you lose in length, but you do lose at least 5% of width as well, and the type of stitch matters!

I think you did a great job with this - it's super-cute! And I just know your daughter will love it. Thanks also to the link to Carol's blog. I got lost in her fabulous book reviews!

Julia (MindofWinter) said...

One last thought - you could run the applied i-cord up the side, rip back the current i-cord straps and then re-knit them a little thicker using sts from the top and side i-cords and the main body. I think this would preserve the points that you like so much, as well.

EDNA HART said...

It looks nothing short of BEAUTIFUL-----CONGRATULATIONS

Hattie said...

Maybe if you didn't attach the icord to every stitch on the pointy parts? Not sure how I would do it, not having it in front of me, but I can see at the top where its more bunched, maybe work a round or two of the icord before attaching it to the next stitch on the top. Is that possible? I've not worked with icord a lot.