Monday, 27 December 2010

Icy blue summer cotton top

This was meant to be a quick project to take to knit evenings with me and motor through the stocking stitch.  I also wanted to use up my stash of only 300 grams of this - bought a couple of months ago because I liked the colour.  Never mind that it won't be the season to wear this for a long while yet!

I am very aware that I need to reduce my yarn stash, it has taken on ridiculous proportions, completely out of whack with anything that would be reasonable.  I decided on a 'late year "new year's" resolution' (becauce I never keep the true "new year's" resolutions!) - I want to start a new project by looking for a yarn I fancy using and then finding a project to go with it.  Not the other way round!  That way madness lies because it usually involved me buying new yarn.  This may just be the reason why my stash has grown so excessively.  No more!

This project worked along those 'new intentions' guidelines:  I looked at the yarn and didn't even have to think what sort of project I wanted to do, - the small quantity dictated a smallish project. A sleeveless summer top was just the answer:  I have most of the last ball left so I must have used about 260 grams of this DK cotton.

YarnSchachenmayr nomotta Catania
Needles4 mm
Patternmade up as I went along

For once I did not knit this in the round but did a separate front and back piece because I wanted the stability from side seams to keep this to a better shape.

I used a little bit of a tapered waist, more on the front than the back because I cast on a few stitches less for the back (unintentionally, no idea how that happened).  The only issue I have with this top is that I should have done a couple of short rows across the tummy: the front unfortunately rides up a bit which isn't hugely attractive.

I started with a Purl 2, Knit 1 ribbing but then felt that the reverse side looked better, so before the first stocking stitch row, I turned it over to show the K2, P1 side.  In this cotton DK this type of ribbing makes the purl stitch retreat in the background and leaves the two knit stitches as a very smooth looking surface.  In contrast to stocking stitch this ribbing does not curl up which is exactly what you need for the bottom of a top.  I may use this again, I really like the way this looks!

I wasn't very happy with the raw edges of the neckline and armholes so I attached an applied i-cord made from three stitches.  As per a very handy YouTube clip that I saw, I knit the first stitch of these through the back loop and used a SSK to attach the third stitch to the live stitches I picked up around the edges.

An interesting technical bit is that because I did not pick up enough stitches around the edges, I used my working thread to pick up another stitch every 4-5 stitches.  This means that my working thread loops around the raw edge on the inside and in the process stabilises this raw edge by binding it closer to the i-cord.  I thought that was a very useful, even if completely unintentional, side effect of what started life out as a mistake!  Again, I may use this again - probably more with quite inelastic yarns like cotton and bamboo than with wool.

I like the effect that the applied i-cord has on the edges: it neatens them up no end, and stabilises them very well.  Again this is a technique I will use in future - I may experiment with how 2 stitch or 4 stitch i-cords look.

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