Saturday, June 9, 2007

Parting of the Ways

Oh, 1930. When I first laid eyes upon her, I fell hard. And now, after making my way through the re-knit, and much, much fixing and stitching and blocking and ironing, I see that while the bottom will fit very nicely, the top will most certainly not. And so, it is not to be, for us.

The good news is, I'll keep the shorts because now that they're done to fit they're too damn comfy not to keep. (Seriously, y0. They're a dream to put on.) The bad news is the top is so far from fitting, it is laughable. So before it goes forth to be untimely ripped, I thought I would post up some notes about my experiences making it.

(We'll just skip right on past the part where this is the equivalent of letting
the Internets into my underwear drawer. Movingrightalong.)

First, I think the "tangy" rating is open for debate. There are challenges in the fitting and finishing that go beyond the stockinette and basic shaping of the actual knitting. To make this you'll need to be very familiar with your own measurements and have very precise gauge. As well, the pattern doesn't provide reverse shaping for the back and front pieces: you'll have to figure out the rights on your own after doing the lefts. You'll also need to know how to sew an overcast button loop, and to have a dab hand with a needle for the ribbon and a steam iron for blocking. This piece really comes together in the finishing, and those are where the real challenges are here.

Second, the design is just plain not meant for all body types. The top, I would guess, would best fit someone with a 34A-C measurement. I think there is some room for shaping on the front pieces (e.g. some darting on the sides), though, and they could maybe be lengthened to give more side coverage.

Another quirk here is the stockinette edging on the edges of the undies and the bra fronts. We know the laws of knitting. You can block and press and steam that sucker from here to next Tuesday, but that edge'll still curl. I added 4 rows of garter stitch to the bottom of the undies, and it did the trick pretty well. The look is still clean, but it keeps the edge flat.

DO be sure, if you knit this, to take care with the ribbon and the button loops. They absolutely make it. Unlike the fabric, which will stretch and give, the ribbon will stay put and make sure the garment will stay put at your size. I fell in love a little bit, seeing it all pressed and sewn in place. It's magic. The twisted-cord even worked, for the straps. (Just make sure you fit them snug.)

DO, also, check, double-check, and triple-check your gauge and your measurements as you go, particularly for the top piece. This is the kind of thing where even half an inch will make the difference between something that fits and something that sags.

And really, this is a fun pattern. It's whimsical, designed more for fun than function. But it has some very nice detailing, especially with the ribbon, and I do think it'd be pretty darn wearable on the right person.

I used Patons Grace, in Champagne, which I was totally happy with. It has a nice bit of shine (not a lot, but enough), is smooth and soft, and handled the blocking well. I think what I may do, when I've got time after another few WIPs, is find a couple more balls of it, make a cami, and call it summer PJs.

My thesis kept me inside today so I didn't get to Knit in Public, but I might have time to crank out another discloth. (Stop it. You wish your Saturdays were this thrilling. Oh go on.) And I'll get back to Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian, which is simultaneously enthralling and scaring the crap out of me.


Laritza said...

Your pictures are not showing. All I can see is a square. If you are deleting the draft that blogger saves automatically, make sure and do not delete the pictures. Ask me how I know!

Glenna C said...

Laritza - I can see all of the pics, in both I.E. and Firefox - perhaps it is a problem with your browser?

Sarah said...

Those button loops make me happy just looking at their beauty. Sorry that this wasn't a total success but I think a cami with the shorts will make a lovelier set than the original. A beautiful phoenix from the ashes.

Marianne said...

The idea of making a camisole to go with the undies....great!
Heh, I've been knitting washcloths and I don't even have the excuse of writing a thesis...they're just good stress busters.

Kelly said...

Well the shorts look lovely. Too bad about the top, but I have to say that I was also thinking about knitting a cami and short shorts to wear as pjs. I'll keep this pattern in mind if I do.

I spent yesterday inside writing too. I feel you pain!

Lady O said...

I'm glad you got the shorts finished and that you like them (after all that work, it would be criminal if they weren't wonderful!)

I hate bra tops! The measurements are never right.