May 11, 2007

Pisces Camisole Finished

Around this time last year, I was struggling with designing a child's tank dress, and when I encountered struggle with shaping the bodice, I gave up on the design, and morphed that piece into something else. In the past year of knitting, I have done some pattern modification, and eventually some designing, and have gained confidence in my ability to knit beyond the pattern. I took a giant leap as a knitter, and I credit blogging. Besides reading other blogs as an endless source of inspiration and information, this blog has forced me to be more thoughtful, more purposeful in my knitting, and my brain is engaged in my knitting more than ever.

I joined the CAL as a way of committing myself to successfully executing a design, and finishing the project, no matter the frustration or lack of initial success. I wanted to knit through the problems, and frog until I got it right. I wanted to further challenge myself and write up a sized pattern when it was done. I have been inspired by the incredible designs here, and the tenacity with which the designers are sticking with their projects. This has been a great KAL for me, since it really pushed me past my usual failings as a knitter.

So it is with a little pride that can say that although it took several tries to get the bodice right, but I am finally satisfied with the denim tank.

Pattern: Pisces Camisole, designed by me
Yarn & Needles: Rowan Denim/Elann Den-im-nit - I noticed no discernible difference in the yarns, US 8 needle.

This camisole was conceived as a way to use up some oddballs in the stash. I have tons of leftover lightweight cotton yarns in the 250-350 yd range, perfect for summery tops for my little girl, including denim, one of the Create Along yarns.

My original intent was to come up with a basic tank recipe which I could easily modify in gauge or details, but I got inspired by the fishtail lace pattern and created with this lacy-but-rugged layering piece. It's no standard tank top recipe, but after knitting the bodice multiple times, I have a real sense of how to shape armholes and necklines without a pattern as a guide. I also know to consider edging details and bulk under the arms. So, I am satisfied that I have learned enough about tank construction to begin cranking out more little tops for Rosebud.

The neckline went through several iterations, including the blogged-about applied i-cord which I can only now call wishful thinking. It was a good idea, but in reality, it was way too bulky for the top, and it had no relation to the rest of the piece. I needed something simple, something that would mirror the scoop neck of most of her cotton tanks. The desired rounded look for the neckline of the tank was finally achieved through short-rows. The finish around the neckline was achieved with a simple, decorative bind off, and the armholes have a row of single crochet to flatten them a bit.

I did keep a lot of detailed notes as I made this camisole, hoping to further challenge myself and write up a sized pattern. However, I began to run out of steam (hence the wishful post about the i-cord) and the notetaking suffered at the end. The decreases around the straps are, um, improvised; those beads are not just for decoration.

I also made the i-cord straps extra long so it can be adjusted for growth...

Of course, I could swatch a bit or reknit just a bodice piece and carefully perfect the line of the tank. Sizing would be a piece of cake -- just add or subtract a lace repeat.

I think I'll just be satisfied with the tank as it is. An original design by me.

And the name? First, I used the Fishtail Lace pattern. And my Rosebud? She loves the water, and a Pisces, too.

x-post to the blog


Hattie said...

It's beautiful! All your hard work has certainly paid off! :D

Anonymous said...

You should be so PROUDE of yourself. It looks so great and I love the Bead detail-very nice's all in the details and you sure did a wonderful job...Your model is very cut...Good for You!

Emily said...

That looks great! Excellent job and good pictures, too. I like the beads.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on finishing- great job! That tank is really cute, and so are the bead details - yay for improvisation!

Iris G said...

It's lovely. The I-cord is such a thoughtful element.

SwetPMnkyGrl said...

Beautiful, and the azaleas are so nice to see when I'm so far from home

Angela said...

Nice job! The lace is beautiful and the top suits your model perfectly.

Ruinwen said...

The model and the tank are beautiful! Congrats on working your way through this project. You should be very proud! :)

Julia (MindofWinter) said...

Liz! This came out wonderfully! I've been meaning to comment forever, but keep getting caught up in my knitting and work. Isn't it great to see a project like this to completion? What a wonderful piece for your daughter, who has the honor of being the muse for your first designs. May she wear it well!