I have overcome one of my previously mentioned afflictions, or at least have suppressed it long enough to complete the Silky Wool piece.
The lighting in the "model" shots is a little cruddy, but I'm happy to say that shooting myself in front of a dark brown wall appears to make me look slightly less fish-belly white. Not a bad trade off.
I'm modeling here with a pair of dark brown cargo pants, which, oddly enough, suit the top. I'm thinking the top needs some sort of lacy cami underneath, in order to be truly practical, but as a garment, am happy with the end product.
Design: My own
Yarn: Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool
Method: Knit with crochet
Will I write up this pattern? I'm thinking not. It's a rather involved pattern and I can't fathom having the time to size it and write up the whole thing. Who knows, maybe someday.
Some bits and details:
The sleeve has a button to keep the pleat from flaring too much. It made a huge difference in the finished appearance. The Silky Wool is so light and able to hold it's shape that the sleeves tended to fly out a bit too much for my taste. An alternative solution would have been to start the pleat halfway down the sleeve, but I like how the button pulls the design together.
The sleeves were knit in the round, from the top down, using Barbara Walker's method, though I had to make some serious modifications to the technique in order to leave the opening for the pleat. In fact, saying it was knit in the round is really a misnomer since the sleeve was worked back and forth with short rows, leaving a wide opening where the pleat went.
The inset was worked by picking up the stitches from the top of the armsceye and working down, then the edges of the inset and the edges of the sleeve, were seamed via crochet.
Here you can see the princess shaping. I have about a 10" difference between my waist and my chest, and hips. When I've knit a piece to correctly match my dimensions, by only decreasing at the side seams, the garment has tended to fit oddly with a funny little peplum effect at the sides and too much excess fabric at my lower back. These princess seams allowed me to distribute the shaping over more points and where they are most needed. I removed the side seams altogether, working it all in one piece. I faked the seams up the princess line by working a slipped stitch, every other row, where the seam would be. The project could just as easily have been worked in separate pieces which would have made the piece easier to block, but it would have probably made the seams less apparent because mattress stitch tends to be so invisible. I really wanted the "seams" to be a design feature.
The buttons are just from my local craft store, nothing fancy shmancy, though I like them. They are metal, maybe pewter, and have a relatively ornate engraved design. I thought for a while about what sort of button would best set off the piece and while I thought wood would be a nice color compliment, it seemed too rustic for the design, while shell or pearl was too dressy. The metal seamed to blend more with the look of the piece, so that they complimented while not overpowering the piece. Even better, the holes in the button were big enough to accommodate a small Chibi. This meant there was no need to find matching embroidery floss or thread to finish the piece. Life is good.
So that's that, another FO.