Monday, September 17, 2007

Lacey days...

...not lazy days. Oof, I wish. Now that the semester's started, I don't know that I'll see another lazy day in...oh, probably months. AND. Now that I'm.....(wait for it)....actually doing some WRITING for my dissertation, even my stolen moments knitting and blogging will probably be colored by severe guilt.

But enough with the whining! (Actually, I secretly love that I can now whine about writing my diss. I feel like I've joined the club..."demented and sad, but social.") I have a finished object for you all.

Lace Tank

(this is my "dreamily holding the hem like they do in IK" pose.)


Pattern: Lace Tank, from Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer 2007
Yarn: Euroflax Linen, 2 100g skeins, color champagne
Needles: Size 6
Size made: 34"


First of all, don't be intimidated by this pattern, or the dumb magazine copy that's on page 71. They say in the techniques section that when knitting the edge, "it will be helpful to count the stitches at the end of every row to make sure you have the correct number; a missing yarn over would be disastrous." Disastrous? Way to go,'ve just scared away half of your knitters. The truth about the edging is that it's only ever 14-20 stitches long, so if you make it to the end of your row and you're missing a stitch, well, you just tink back a row of 14-20 stitches.

Because the lace is double-sided, I actually was pretty intimdated at first, but once you get past the edging and the razor lace, you're more than halfway done. The more complicated lace near the top demands your attention, it's true, but it's not that hard (there's no crazy "knit 5 together through the back loop" action going on here). There are also charts available on the VK site, so be sure to look for those.

I wore this tank all day today, and I'm actually pleased with it. Which surprised me, because as I was knitting it, I was convinced that it was going to be one of those FOs that spent more time in the closet than in the light of day. Why, you ask? Well, I love knitting lace (as those of you who've been reading for a while well know), but the tank tops I've knit haven't really worked out well for me, either stretching out or not fitting right. And, because the yarn was so scratchy to begin with, I was sure that wearing this would be akin to wearing a big heavy dishcloth.

Not so. I ran it through the wash in a lingerie bag, and it softened up considerably. I know that the more wash it gets, the texture and the drape will improve.

I did find, however, that it was just too long on me. What they don't show you in the magazine (but what you can kind of see here if you look closely) is that the armholes are really roomy. Also, I felt that bust portion was hanging too low. After cutting into the single crochet edging on the sleeves and neckline, I frogged about an inch from each of the straps, kind of eyeballing it, which was a mistake. I botched one of the straps, ripping back too much, so I knit it again in garter stitch until it was even.

I wouldn't recommend the reckless approach! I would recommend, however, trying the darn thing on to see if you're happy with the armholes before seaming the straps and working the single crochet. Common sense? Yes. Do I have any? Apparently not.

After those adjustments, I picked up the crochet and finished the edgings, weaved in the ends, and ta da! The fit is much better.

In other knitterly news, I visited Gauge, the new LYS in town. The space is airy and modern, with that just-painted feel to it. Yarns are arranged by gauge (of course), and although the store owners kept saying that they weren't completely settled in yet, they had a nice selection.

I was stupidly excited to see shelves of Cotton-Ease. Ha! I thought this was brilliant, since I can't find the stuff either at the other LYS or at Hobby Lobby. I was also pleased to see Malabrigo worsted weight, and brought home two skeins in the American Rose color.

The owners were super sweet and very helpful, and Karli even offered to start a "favorites" list for me. They have a spacious, comfy lounge area in the back for classes and, as Karli explained, just for hanging out; the place has wireless, a selection of tea, and a library of books and back issues of IK and Vogue.

Oh, and also! Free knitting classes! I think they're beginner classes, and one to a customer.

As if yarn, wireless, and free classes weren't enough, they also had some cute t-shirts and jewelry for sale. All in all, a hip little yarn boutique that I'm sure will do well in this town.


At 5:25 AM, Blogger Karen said...

Love your lacey tank . . . and the Breakfast Club quote. (Hurray Children of the '80s!!) The new LYS sounds fabulous . . . I want to go!!

At 7:37 AM, Blogger elizabeth marley said...

It looks fantastic. I can definitely see you wearing it over a long sleeve shirt, or under a blazer/cardigan in the colder months.

At 8:04 AM, Blogger Yaya said...

I checked out Gauge on Friday before hitting ACL and I thought the store was super cute. The owner was really helpful and nice. I really liked the lounge area in the back the best.

Will definitely be back! If only it was there when I lived in Austin and just across the highway!

At 9:02 AM, Blogger meg said...

The lace tank looks great.

I'm going to make it out to Gauge sooner or later. I hear it's pretty hip inside.

At 9:40 AM, Blogger msubulldog said...

Olga, the tank is gorgeous! Good pattern review, too. (and yay for Breakfast Club fans!) *grin*

At 10:40 AM, Blogger a friend to knit with said...

This is really fabulous olga!
I too think you could wear this all year layered! Glad to know it will see the light of day! :)

At 10:40 AM, Blogger Ashley said...

Oh I wish I could go hang out at Gauge. Although I have tosay, my LYS just rearranged to have everything by gauge, and I kind of hate it. Its what I'm looking for "worsted" or "heavy worsted"? And where does taht shade into chunky on the one end, and DK on the other?

The tank is lovely, and I hope you get a lot of wear out of it while sitting around in your cube ripping your hair out. Oh, I mean, while the sentences flow from your pen like water over Niagara Falls.

At 4:06 PM, Blogger la rebelde said...

very nice tank! good for you that you're writing already. i gotta get on it!

At 7:23 PM, Blogger Elizabeth said...

I love your new tank - so beautiful. I know what you mean about feeling guilty - that's just inherent in writing a dissertation (or, in my case, a book).

Maybe next time I'm in Austin we can finally meet up - and go to Gauge. :)

At 9:14 PM, Blogger PCR said...

That lacy tank looks great on you! Looks like you found a summer top pattern that looks great and will stand up well over time. A thousand times better than a tank from Target!

At 3:53 AM, Blogger Laura said...

Oooh, this is so pretty! Was knitting with the Euroflax miserable? I love the idea of it, but having felt it in the skein at the LYS, I am afraid to buy it. Afraid I'd cast on and hate knitting with it. But it looks so pretty! Did I mention the pretty? :)

Gauge sounds like a nice shop. The fact that they carry Cotton-Ease says to me that they know knitters. Not a fancy-pants label, but there's a yarn that many knitters love to death.

At 8:53 AM, Blogger Jennifer said...

I think it looks lovely!

I'm glad you like your new LYS. It's good to have a nice one in the area.

At 6:14 PM, Anonymous amanda cathleen said...

your tank is breathtaking! fantastic job!

Sounds like you have a wonderful new yarn shop in your area.
i;m so jealous!


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