Chambray Butterick 5748

Butterick5748_Chambry_Front Butterick5748_Chambry_back

At the beginning of Me Made May, I said I wanted to make an office-friendly dress to wear to my part-time job. In the month of May, I didn’t get very far past cutting out the pieces, but I finally got it sewn up in June. Overall, I’m really happy with it. The fit is pretty great, and my only complaint is that I wish I hadn’t done the notched neckline. I chose to add that detail because the dress is fairly plain, but the notch has some minor puckering at the bottom, and it always looks slightly off center to me. I’ve measured it so many times and finally came to the conclusion that I’m the one that’s not symmetrical, not the dress. I’m doesn’t spoil how much I like this dress, though.

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I self lined the bodice since I had enough fabric for it, but the fabric is heavy enough that I didn’t feel like the skirt needed a lining. That left me a little stuck on how to cleanly attach the bottom of my bodice. I have a dress my mom made me with just the bodice lined, so I knew a nice way to do it existed, but when I took a closer look, I saw that she carefully hand-stitched it. It’s a beautiful detail, but I’m way too lazy for that, so I decided to attempt my own “invisible” join by turning up the bottom of the bodice lining, basting it in place, and stitching in the ditch at the waist seam. I’m massively pleased with how it turned out. You have to look really close to spot the line of stitching, and it makes the bodice so much prettier on the inside. Making that work more than cancelled out my annoyance about the neckline notch.

Swatches for a Pullover

The best choice for heatwave knitting is clearly a cabled pullover, right? Haha! As I was working on these and wondering what the heck I’m doing knitting cables in this heat, I kept reminding myself that regardless of the weather, I need to get some patterns ready for fall. I’ve been meaning to get another cabled pullover designed, so here we are.

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Cabled sweaters always seem to require the most swatches because it can be harder to visualize how they’ll look knit up than lace panels. The 3-D aspects and structural quirks means something that looks right on paper can still end up a dud. I used almost a full skein of yarn knitting swatches, but in the end, I found some great cables to use. The cable on the left edge of the left swatch in the second row of swatches and the one on the swatch on the right side of the second row are the two cables I’m most excited about. Now that I’ve knit my swatches, I need to sit down and do the math so I can get started on my sweater!

OAL Update

My camera is back in action, so I can finally share my OAL progress again!

OAL_Vianne_First_Sleeve_WIP

I’m on my first sleeve on my Vianne, and I’ve just finished the short rows of the sleeve cap. I’m right on track for getting my sweater done in the next two weeks. As for the dress, well, as you can see I haven’t made any progress there. My original plan was to do a big chunk of it this weekend, but a heat wave hit the west coast, and I spent most of yesterday sitting in front of a fan, trying to move as little as possible. There’s still hope for today, though!

A Modified Stretchy Bind-Off

Although the ribbing on Vianne is super stretchy, it’s easy to find yourself with a waist that’s too tight if you use the wrong bind-off method. On the original sample, I tried the basic chain bind-off, and it was a really bad choice. It looked nice but was nowhere close to as stretchy as I needed it to be, so I had to rip back and replace it. The next bind-off I tried with Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off. That one had plenty of stretch, but it looked a little sloppy at this loose gauge.

Vianne_Close_01_xtra

My ideal bind-off method was something halfway in between those two methods, and that’s exactly what I did! My modified stretchy bind-off uses the chain method for knit stitches and the JSSBO method for purled stitches. If you’re starting with a knit stitch and binding off with the right side facing you, here’s how to bind-off using my modified method.

Modified Stretchy Bind-Off: K1, *yo, p1, pass both the previous 2 stitches over, k1, pass the previous stitch over; repeat from * until one stitch remains and pull your yarn through the last stitch to secure it.

That bind-off will give you a nice looking stretchy edge, but it’s not your only option here. The tubular bind-off would work just as well if you don’t mind doing some grafting.

Quiet Days

Get ready for some good stuff! My collection for Knit Picks called Quiet Days just came out, and it’s full of great patterns to knit on relaxing days spent at home. There are five patterns in the collection, and I’m excited to introduce them all to you.

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First is the Conservatory Cardigan. It’s full-length sweater that’s knit seamlessly from the top down using short-row set-in sleeves. The colorwork band is added after the body of the sweater is complete, so the majority of the project is soothing stockinette. The cardigan has two columns of buttons, but only one set is functional so each front has its own set of buttons making for a nicely balanced look when it’s worn open.

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Next up is my personal favorite, the Nosegay Vest. The big intarsia flowers were based on flowers in my aunt’s garden, and they just make me so happy! Because of the intarsia, the body is knit flat and seamed, and then stitches are picked up to work the edgings. I really want to knit myself one of these. I’m thinking a KAL might be in the future!

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In the accessories department, there’s the Porcelain Teapot Beret & Mitts. This matched set features stranded colorwork in elegant motifs and fun details like a fluffy pompom.

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And I couldn’t resist adding in a bulky cowl. The Stove Cowl is delightfully chunky and combines a ribbed stitch pattern with lace chevrons. Two versions are included in the pattern. One is long and narrow so you can loop it around your neck twice, and the other is short and deep so there’s not wrapping needed.

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Last but not least, I obviously had to include a cropped cardigan. This is the Sunshower Cardigan. It has a sprinkling of eyelet rain drops over the body and little seedlings at the waist. It’s also seamless and knit from the top down.

The patterns are all available indiviudally, as an e-book, or as a print collection from Knit Picks. Which is your favorite pattern?