Monday, August 21, 2006

In Praise of Blocking

When the Summer 2006 Issue of Interweave Knits arrived the blog world went crazy over the Lotus Blossom Tank.

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Don't get me wrong, it's a pretty top. There's even a knit a long where lots of knitters have made beautiful versions of this pattern. And you know how I loves a good knit a long. But I hate the straps. The curl factor just looks high. I sold my Mariposa in the garage sale over the curling straps. Something about this tank just screams "Unflattering cut on your body." So I gave this pattern a pass.

Instead I was enamored with a little pattern in the very back of the issue. The last pattern in the magazine as a matter of fact.

The Eyelet Chemise

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Now I am no longer an eighteen year old girl with a flat stomach, but I love this pattern anyways. This pattern calls for linen yarn. I don't know who they think I am, but linen in not in my budget or lifestyle. I love this pattern anyways. No one else even noticed this pattern, I love it for it's anonymity. It just seemed so sweet, and old fashioned, rather bohemian. I think the ribbon sold me. I knit it way back in June. I finally blocked it Friday.

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(I don't know why I'm all cloudy in this picture, none of the other ones look cloudy.)

Pattern: Eyelet Chemise from Interweave Knits Summer 2006

Yarn: Sinfonia, 4 skiens

Needles: Honestly I don't remember. I knit this in June. The pattern calls for size 3 circular needles, but I've got a feeling I used my size 4 Addis.

Modifications: I subbed the yarn for a cheap cotton. I lengthened the ribbed lace section because, honestly, people should not be walking around in those belly shirts a la Brittany Spears anymore. Even Brittany covers her stomach these days. I knit it flat, but being unable to find buttons for this shirt I ended up seaming the front shut. I think it looks just fine. And I used a crochet hook several sizes smaller than the one called for in the pattern.

Review: I can not extol the virtues of blocking enough. This is my sweater pre-blocking.

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I was so disappointed with this sweater. The edges of the sleeves curled despite the cute crochet edging. I re-did the edging on the neckline four times with three different crochet hooks and still didn't like the way it lay. Despite adding three inches to the ribbed lace panels I thought it was going to be the wrong length. I almost threw it in the goodwill bag. It wasn't even good enough to put in the yard sale. But my good friend Big Booty Knits threatened me bodily harm if I didn't finish the sweater. So I blocked it.

Blocking is such magic. The neckline flattened. The sleeves behave. The length magically appeared.

I'm so glad I didn't throw it in the goodwill box.

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The crochet edging is really cute too

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I wore this to a birthday party on Sunday and it held up nicely. Didn't stretch out of shape by the end of the day. The blocked down pieces didn't flip back up after an hour. This sweater is a keeper.

So Thank You Big Booty. Because real friends don't let friends forget to block.


Mag said...

It is truly beautiful and that was an excellent post as well.

I noticed the pattern and plan to make it someday. Seeing it made longer is a great encouragement, as I have no interest in bare midriffs, (mine or anyone else's ;-)


bradyphrenia said...

ooh that is so cute!

i liked it in the mag much better than LBT too, but i just haven't gotten around to knitting it. yours is making me take a second look.

btw, i think your mariposa was adorable. maybe sometimes we are just too critical of ourselves and our knitting?

Lynda said...

That is SO cute! I'm so glad it blocked out to be a keeper!

I have to admit being tempted by the Lotus Blossom tank, too...

Bitterknitter said...

Simply lovely, as usual! And here's to cheap yarn subs! Hooray!


Katrina said...

How do you do that? How do you make me want to knit everything you've done??? You are truly gifted.

Beverly said...

That turned out so beautiful! I have liked this top since I got my mag too, but was afraid of the wide scoop neck. Seeing it on you, it looks fabulous! I'd lengthen it tummy is in no shape to be bared. I also like it sans buttons. Be proud! It looks fabulous. Oh...I second that this was an excellent post. find yarn for this top...

Anonymous said...

Great job! Blocking is truly your friend! Glad you didn't get rid of it, it looks wonderful on you! Yay for Sinforia! I got some for Sizzle! I also think it looks better with no buttons! :) CSM ;)

Baigneuse said...

Super cute! I never would have noticed the origional pattern but yours is great. I'll have to give it a second look.

Kalendar Girl said...

Soooo jealous! I have been wanting this chemise but not wanting to add it to my list of things to knit. I think you just ensured that the chemise makes it onto the list!!!

kimberly said...

I love it and it looks so great on you!! I had that on my list of cute sweaters from IK. The other two just came first.

turtlegirl76 said...

Wow! And Sinfonia too! Love it! You're glowing because the white makes it reather ethereal. Appropriately so too. Beautiful job!

brewerburns said...

That is so, so cute! I've been thinking of making it too. (I did make the Lotus Blossom tank and there is a curl factor with the sleeve/strap thingies.) Anyway, I really like the idea of lengthening it (because no one needs to see that much of my belly either!) In closing, cute!

Holly Jo said...

That top is great and looks lovely on you! Blocking is a very good friend indeed.

Amy said...

It's gorgeous, Mamma. You may have sold me on it as well.
Would you mind posting a little advice to those of us (who are nowhere near as prolific as you are) on knitting with a flock of kids in the house? I'd either have to knit like the wind or have my kids swinging from the ceiling fan to even finish one thing a week.
And did I tell you we're homeschooling this year too? I shall be lucky to even pick those needles up, I think.