Lily

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It's a relief to have this finished. UFOs really irk me, I think because I'm so bad about revisiting them if I've lost my momentum. I seem to be getting better at it, with age, but I still think I do best with a big burst of inspiration.

Finished Lily Front

You know what's funny? This might be one of the few garments that looks a little better on me than the mannequin. The very narrow hips and shoulders of my stand-in, make the piece look unbalanced (top heavy?), to my eye. Still, she holds still which is useful on these overcast days.

Finished Lily w/ Thea

When I first started designing this, I felt sure that I did not want ribbing at the neck and hem. I can't remember why, because I actually really like it, now. At the sleeve hem, I just used a simple i-cord bind-off to maintain the rather pronounced scallop that the lace produces. But, at the neck and hem, I think the ribbing does a nice job of producing a clean finished edge.

Finished Lily Neckline

Speaking of the neckline, I used a few decreases to keep that boat neck from falling off the shoulders. It juuuust covers my bra straps. I could probably have done a little more ribbing if it bothered me, but right now, I like it.

I really don't think I need to say much about my love for Calmer. I've used it quite a few times before and love it to pieces. It's soft, soft, soft, soft, soft, and for those of you who can't stomach the price, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at the yardage and how far it goes, when knit at the recommended gauge.

All in all, I think it's another piece I'll actually wear. I'll try to get a shot of me in it, eventually, but it's a bit too rainy and cold right now.

Dusting off Lily

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Do you remember Lily? Well, I sure do. I have kept the bag she's been in, in plain site, since I last worked on her in May. Oy vey. I put Lily into time out after trying her on, and feeling the design had gone astray. The motifs, running along the raglan, were coming so close together that they appeared to draw an (unattractive) arrow to my face. When I tried her on, I knew I was not happy with the look.

I put Lily aside and I wasn't sure that I'd come back. I usually have a very hard time revisiting sleeping projects.

But, something about the soft olive colored calmer and the lily of the valley motif, drew me back.

So I pulled out Lily and simply started ripping. I figured I'd have to rip back to the armscye, or further. But something stopped me, after only a dozen rows. I decided I should put all my stitches onto waste yarn and throw Lily on the mannequin.

The piece was rumpled but the little bit of ripping proved to be a good starting point.

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I realized, I had it all wrong. I was going for a boat neck, but I was trying to make the neck too high. I think this piece is salvageable with minimal modifications.

I gave Lily a bit of a steam, and I'm back in the race.

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I'll tackle the neckline first, resolving that issue, before dealing with anything else. After that, I'll probably close up the vents at the hem and work a bottom edge that matches the neckline.
Finally, after all that is done, I'll assess the sleeves.

Let's see if I can take the U out of this UFO.


For those of you who like looking under the hood, I've uploaded some detail shots of the Linen Top, including the final ribbon I've chosen.

I don't have any immediate plans to write a pattern, but I think some people might be interested in a look at how the garment was constructed.

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On second thought

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Well, after claiming that I would need to use the pink or orange yarn and after an overwhelming majority suggested the pink, as the best option, I went with...

Linen progress top 1

...mint green.

Once I completed the brown portion of the garment, with most of the 4th ball left, I realized that the two balls of mint green should be just enough. I really like the pink yarn, but I'm going to use it for something different.

I knit and reknit the green portion, a few times to get just the right effect.

Linen progress top 2 Linen progress top 2 - back

When I was finally happy with the results, I debated doing the straps in brown, but decided green, with brown trim would be better. After three days of obsessing over the piece, the knitting and crochet are done.

The sun poked her little head out today, so I decided to get some shots while the shooting's good. The piece is just lousy with unwoven ends, right now, but the nice thing about having a mannequin is that I can easily tuck them away, and she won't move around and set those ends loose.

Finished top - front

So here it is, all done, but for the weaving.

I don't think I'll keep that particular ribbon at the bust, I'll swap it out for something simpler, but I wanted something there to complete the look.

Finished top - back Top with jacket

Here's a back view and a view of how I'll most likely wear it; layered under a jacket. If I had more yardage, I think I would have done short little flutter sleeves, terminating in the same lace as the hem, but a tank is nice too.

Since Ravelry came to town I've noticed an upsurge in pattern sales, which is fantastic. It also meant I could finally treat myself to something I've been pining for, for a while.

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This isn't one of those cool adjustable dress forms that you can make to your exact body specifications, but at around $50 (including adjustable stand), it's a great alternative. The measurements are very close to my own, right down to the rather long torso. The waist is just about exactly my size and the bust and hips are a little smaller. I think it'll be easy enough to slap a bra on this baby to more accurately simulate my own shape.

The form is totally pinable so I can easy throw partially worked knit pieces on it and see how it's all coming along.

On that note, you've probably also noticed the new knit in that picture.

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I'm using a bit of Madil Sahara, that I have lying around. It's 70% Viscose and 30% Linen.

Here's the thing, though, I don't have enough of the brown to complete the garment, so I was thinking about working the rest in some of the Euroflax Linen I have.

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I can't decide which color I want to use. I love the orange with the brown but it feels a little 70s-ish to me. I wonder if I'll actually be happy with the end results. The pink is probably a better color on me and would be very valentines appropriate, but it might be too garish. What do you guys think?

I also have a couple balls of the Sahara yarn in a very light mint green, which I like with the brown, but I think it might wash me out when used at the top of the garment. I'm not even sure I"ll have enough leftover brown yarn to crochet around the green to give some contrast.

I have a feeling there may be some trial and error in my near future.

If what doesn't kill her, makes her stronger, Thea should indestructible by now.

thea with skein.jpg

If you don't know Chappy and his mum, you might want to take a moment to go over and read this post.

Whenever I post about Thea getting into something she shouldn't (@#!%@$@), I can count on Deb to regale me with a Chappy tale, sure to give me some perspective. Go ahead, ask her about Chappy's taste in drywall.

So when she posted that Chappy and coiffing had collided, I thought for sure that Thea and he must be long lost cousins.

See, Sunday night, Leo got it in his head that he was going to give himself a buzz cut. He had about an inch of curls that he quickly zipped off with his electric trimmer.

As Leo checked his work in the mirror and made minor adjustments, he heard a sound, like lips smacking. He turned around to find Thea looking up at him, licking her lips.

There was a moments pause. There's nothing edible in the bathroom. What had she gotten into?

And then he saw it, or more accurately, didn't see it. The hair. Every last hair was gone. GONE! She had hoovered up the clumps of locks that had been so carefully caught in a towel, on the floor. I heard only, "What did you do?" and came running.

On the one hand, come on, that's just funny. I mean, we know she'll put just about anything in her mouth, but hair? HAIR? At the same time, dread engulfed us both. Is she going to end up with a giant felted mass in her stomach?

We called the vet, first thing, the next day, and after bemused surprise, the receptions conferred with the vet and suggested we wait and see.

A few days later and Thea still seems fine, so we are tentatively optimistic that this is a humorous situation. Do feel free to laugh in our general direction.

If only she were good like her sister.

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*sigh*

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