Monday, April 30, 2018

Summer Sweater

Here on the Central Coast it's generally cool enough to be sweater weather right through the summer, yet it's rarely cold enough to require wool. This sweater pretty much hits the sweet spot for our climate.

The pattern is Wasabi, by Wendy Bernard. This is a blank slate kind of pattern. Boat neck, drop shoulder sleeves. It's basically 4 rectangles joined together. It's knit seamlessly from the top down and it's good social knitting. Not much tricky stuff to distract from a good conversation.

side shot
I used a yarn called Bamboo Pop, which is a 50/50 cotton bamboo blend. It was nice to knit with and the fabric is soft and fluid. Which is a good thing, because a sweater this square could easily be a mite too boxy if the fabric had a lot of body.

back view
I see from my Ravelry notes that it took me about 6 month to knit this up. That's only because it spent quite some time resting in my knitting bag. If you kept plugging away at it you could finish this sweater in a week, I bet.

I bought the yarn at Stitches West because I liked the color. I might call it periwinkle blue. Or maybe cornflower? It's a pretty strong color. I used to be able to wear pastels, but since my hair turned grey I feel like I disappear unless I wear colors with some punch to them.

Color is very washed out here, but look at that diagonal ribbing
The pattern called for knit2-purl2 ribbing at the edges. I made my own little mark by doing a diagonal rib instead. There are some instructions for it on Craftsy here. Basically, you just shift the rib pattern one stitch to the left every other row.

We're getting ready to take a train trip to Chicago, stopping along the way to visit family in Minnesota. Nothing like a train trip for some prime knitting time! I'll be starting on Snapdragon, by Marie Wallin. That's if I can figure out the gauge by next Wednesday.

My Ravelry notes are here, if you're interested.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Bra-Making Extravaganza

I went on a bra making kick about a year ago. I pretty much filled my lingerie drawer with bras by Colette (Florence) and Ohhh Lulu (Jasmine). Those bras have served me well over the last 12 months, but after many washings and wearings they're looking pretty tired. I'm not a fancy laundry do-er. My dainties go into the washer and dryer along with everything else I own. Time has taken its toll.

So I was very happy when I saw that Ohhh Lulu has released a new bra that has to be the most straightforward lingerie pattern ever. She calls it Hyacinth, and it's free!

Here's my first attempt, made from scraps of a poly/cotton jersey left over from my Brassov top.

This bra is not just easy, it's super fun to make. There are only two pattern pieces; a front and a back, both cut on the fold. No fiddly curved seams to shape the cups. The bottom edge of the front piece has curves in the just right places so that, once you sew the bottom elastic band on, the cup shape magically appears.

Flowers and lace, what could make for better lingerie?
It was so easy and fun to make bra #1 that I immediately cut into some stretch lace to make bra #2. When I purchased this lace I'd earmarked it for lingerie of some sort, but I hesitated to make a bra. I worried about seams running up over my nipples. Not a problem with this bra! Your fabric pattern stays sleek and uninterrupted.

Edgy strap elastic application
Hyacinth comes with very clear instructions and there's also a nifty YouTube tutorial, in which Sarah Norwood (a.k.a. Ohhh Lulu) sews up a bra before your very eyes in less than 20 minutes. Although this isn't my first rodeo with lingerie elastics I learned some nice tricks from this video, including my new favorite way to attach straps to the back band. Very secure, distributes the pull very nicely and looks just a little bit edgy.

My pattern review is on here.

While I was playing around with elastics I also made up a couple new versions of Florence. I've been wearing my original versions a lot lately and enjoying how comfortable they are.

Two new Florences
I'm planning another Jasmine or two as well. Jasmine has a two piece cup. I'm thinking maybe lace on the inner piece and a solid on the outer piece.

If you are one of the many ladies who is better endowed than moi, these bras probably won't provide the support you prefer. But if you are on the smaller side, or if you want to have fun running up some quick and easy lounge wear, don't be shy, give it a try!