Oriel Lace Blouse

It was lacy. It had pearl buttons. I had favorited several different versions in Ravelry. It was the perfect project for spring and fall. And I already owned the pattern. The yarn (Cascade Venezia Sport) was a bit of a shot in the dark since I had never seen it in person but it looked pretty online. And the pattern is written by one of my favorite designers– Shirley Paden. Once I had ordered a sweater’s worth of yarn, I was committed. 


I modified the pattern to work the body and sleeves in the round. The body up to the armholes, and the sleeves up to the shoulder shaping. Since this sweater is worked in an all over lace pattern, shaping is a bit of a challenge. I left off the selvedge stitches and worked the increases and decreases into the lace pattern as I could. It’s always a bit tricky though. 

Working the pattern in the round sped up the knitting and decreased by 2/3 the amount of sewing up. This was a pretty fast knit and I enjoyed it throughout the knitting and finishing. 

The edging and buttonholes in the neck placket is crochet. It’s been so long since I picked up a crochet hook that I had to watch YouTube videos to remember how to single crochet, but once I found a good video it all came back to me. The sweater is pretty and feminine. I especially like the bell shaped sleeves. 


Details

Pattern: Oriel Lace Blouse, Interweave Knits, Summer 2007

Yarn: Cascade Venezia (I used just under 4 skeins)

Needles: sizes 3, 5, 6 and 7

Mods: working the sweater as much in the round as possible. 

The One Way Tee

I’ve been eyeing this pattern in the cover of the Spring 2013 issue of Interweave Knits ever since it arrived in my mailbox. It’s the perfect type of springy pullover that I love to layer with on chilly, but not too cold, days. The pattern is pretty but simple. The lace detail that runs up the middle and back of the body of the tee and decorates the saddle shoulders breaks up the monotony of the otherwise plain tee. 

I had no trouble with this pattern at all. It’s well written. I memorized the lace pattern quickly, making the knitting easy and relatively mindless. I modified the pattern to work the body in the round to the armholes. Then I divided the front and back and worked them separately. 



This is the first time I’ve knit a sweater that is made with saddle shoulders. It wasn’t any different than working a set in sleeve though and I really like the effect of the lace panel on the finished tee. This was a really straight forward project and I think it’s going to be perfect for layering in the spring and fall, and pretty in the summer with a camisole underneath. 


The bottom edges of the body and sleeves are worked in garter stitch. However, there is no finishing edge on the neckline so it rolls just a tiny bit. This is my only complaint about the design. 

Details:

Pattern: One Way Tee from Spring 2013 issue of Interweave Knits

Needles: size 4 circular

Yarn: Cascade Ultra Pima in Turquoise. I used just about 3 skeins

Mods: I knit the body in the round until it was time to shape the armholes. 

The Trick to Finishing

Sometimes I think the sewing up and finishing of a garment is the hardest part.   I have knit more than 10 sweaters now (10 being the number of sweaters I made before I started to consistently get the fit and style of the sweater right) and sewing in a set in sleeve is often a mental challenge. The problem with sleeves is that they are not uniform. There are bound off edges and side edges. Sleeves are curved so sometimes you are sewing a side edge to a bound off edge. 


And sometimes you are sewing side edges to side edges. 


1. Side edge to side edge in stockinette 

When sewing side edge to side edge I use mattress stitch. I pick up the piece of yarn that lays in between and underneath the two legs of a knit stitch and  run my needle underneath it, and then do the same to the corresponding stitch on the sleeve that I’m sewing into the armhole.

2. Side edge to bound off edge 


When sewing a side edge to a bound off edge, like when I sewed in the saddle shoulder tab on to the top of the One Way Tee, I use mattress stitch in the side edge. On the bound off edge I run my needle underneath the two legs of the knit stitch and I only pull tight enough so that the fabric doesn’t pucker. Some of the sewing yarn will still be visible. 

3. Side edge to side edge in garter stitch 

For garter stitch edges I find the purl underbumps. The underbumps are the purl bumps shaped like a frown instead of a smile. I thread my needle under one, and then find a corresponding underbump on the sleeve side and thread my needle under that stitch too, then pull tight. 

4. Easing

I almost always have some portion of the sleeve and the armhole that need to be sewn together that aren’t the same length. After pinning the sleeve into the armhole I assess carefully. On the side that is longer, I sew two stitches to one on the other side of the garment until the length becomes even. This takes some patience. Usually I sew a few stitches together, then reassess. Then sew a few more and reassess. It is slow but I have found that any difference in length can be masked this way. The important thing is to even out any difference in length all along the seam. If you wait until you get all the way around the armhole and you have a significant difference in length in the sleeve or armhole side, and then try to sew the extra fabric in, the sleeve will be crooked on the sweater and seriously uncomfortable. When pinning the sleeve in make sure that the top of the sleeve is pinned to the top of the armhole and the bottom is pinned to the bottom of the armhole. Then add a pin or two along the sides of the armhole so that you have a good guide when you are sewing the sleeve in. 

The Glasgow Sweater

It seems like this sweater flew off my needles. Seriously. This was quite possibly the easiest, least complicated sweater I have ever knit. It’s a raglan knit from the bottom up. You knit the body up to the point where the sleeves need to be attached, then you knit the sleeves, join them to the body, and knit up from there. The only modification I made was knitting the sleeves in the round, two at a time, while magic looping. I did that because knitting sleeves one at a time makes me want to stab myself in the eye with a knitting needle, especially if the two sleeves then turn out to be two different lengths. And yes, that has happened to me more than once. At least when I make a mistake while knitting two at a time, it’s generally the same mistake in the same place. 


The cable pattern was simple and easy to memorize. I did use a lot of stitch markers to mark my place in the pattern though. That made it much easier to remember where the cable sections began ended. 


And I love this yarn. It’s Malabrigo Twist in Manzanilla Olive. It’s soft. It gives great stitch definition. And the color is a beautiful semi-solid. The yarn practically glows in the light. 


Knitting this sweater made me really want to knit another sweater, immediately. 

Details: 

Pattern: Glasgow Sweater from Interweave Knits, Winter 2016

Yarn: Malabrigo Twist, in Manzanilla Olive

Size: I made the smallest size, knit the pattern almost exactly as written, and used just under 7 skeins

Needles: size 9 and 10