Before I show off my latest FO, I first wanted to say thank you for all the nice comments on my Cable-8. I had grand plans of thanking people individually, but my workload at the office is out of control. I've been working lots of overtime and when I get home the last thing I want to do is get back on the computer. I'm also getting royally behind on my blog reading, but that's another story...on to the knitting!
I was able to finish the top I designed for my design class last week and wore it to the office on Thursday. As you may recall, I had initially planned to work on a modified Urban Aran for B, but with some early gauge issues that I couldn't resolve by the second class, I opted for something else. It is a simple design and I am very happy with the results. I looked through my copy of Knitting on the Edge for inspiration and found the Gazebo Lace panel. I pictured a simple knit top suitable for office wear in San Diego and reminiscent of the kind of knit top you might find at Ann Taylor. By the end of the second design class, I had my road map and I set to work.
My top is pieced together with set-in picot hemmed short sleeves. Although, I'm not a big fan of wool short-sleeved sweaters, I thought the 50% cotton in the Rowan Wool Cotton would keep the fabric appropriate for the design. The body is fitted, but not tight so it was worked pretty much to my measurements with no ease. The neck is a simple open neck modeled after one of my favorite Gap tanks. In fact, the neck is so simple, it is just bound off. I worked the neck deceases with short rows, which eliminated the stair steps and thus the real need to add a separate neck edge to smooth everything out. The neck lays nicely without anything else to help it do so.
The bobbles at the bottom edge of the top do tend to roll a bit, especially in front where they turn up when I sit down. But, for the sake of honesty, I decided to show what the top looks like after a day of wear. The bobbles can be pressed flat, but I'm sure those in front will always roll a little and I really don't mind.
I took the waist decreases and increases into the stockinette portion of the lace pattern. It worked out with my size that I could maintain the yarn overs and double decreases next to the side seams.
The top was made with just a bit over 6 balls of Rowan Wool Cotton in Still (964) on size 5 needles with a stitch gauge of just under 6 stitches per inch. I also consider this a stash project as the initial 4 balls of yarn were purchased during a 50% off sale with no plans for their use. However, that meant that I ended up having to add the other 3 balls as I went at virtually full price. The yarn was great to knit with and it did not split at all. It was soft, smooth and sproingy. I know I will use this yarn again for future projects...in fact, B is already hinting at how the leftovers would be nice in a beanie for him. :-)
Overall, I rate this project a success. Working though all the calculations in a "safe" classroom environment, has given me the confidence to make modifications to my current projects easily. I feel like I can just do it, instead of having to sit down and think through the logic and re-invent the wheel every time I want to lengthen the body or sleeves of a top, which is pretty much all the time. Plus, it was so dang fun. If you get a chance to take a class from Dave Kraft, do it. He is a knitting guru and a great guy. We always had so much fun and yet we learned so much. I know I could have read about basic sweater design in a book, but you just can't beat gleaning hints and tips from an experienced instructor. I am so glad I took this class and I am very happy with the final product.