Hi Jill B!
Oh, happy day! I finished my first successful top. Bonsai Tunic is done!!
I’m very satisfied with how it turned out and feel like I learned a lot of things in the process.
Here’s the breakdown…
Bonsai Tunic by Norah Gaughan in size 38
10 skeins of Berroco Bonsai in Kaigun 4152 Colorway
Used size 7 and 5 needles (Knitpicks Harmony)
Modifications: I knit the bottom based on pattern repeats rather than length. I did five complete repeats and though it looked a little short in process, the completed piece hangs perfectly. The only thing I might have done different would have been to knit the neck band a smidge longer than the 3 inches called for. I ended up having to really cinch it to fit the back and there are slight puckers. Though, I think ultimately it helps to keep the shoulders from sagging. Also, I didn’t do the best job on seaming the neck and shoulders. I learned the mattress seam technique after putting the top part together. (Upon you’re recommendation, JB. Thanks!)
I can’t believe I’ve gotten this far as a knitter and not known how to mattress seam. It’s like a whole new world has opened up to me. I was so pleased at how tidy the side seams came out.
The yarn was just okay. I don’t think I’m a huge fan of ribbon type yarn. Plus it was so snaggy because of the nylon thread wrapped around the bamboo core. These photos are surprisingly true to the color.
I was so inspired by the success of the Bonsai Tunic that I swatched and cast on almost immediately for the Flutter Sleeve Top, Camellia, by Kate Gilbert. I recently purchased the Classic Elite Make It Modern Book, but apparently the pattern is also available as a stand alone for purchase thorough Kate’s site. I’m glad I bought the book though because there are a number of other really nice patterns I know I’ll want to make eventually. The greatest victory for this project is that I’m using stash yarn. Yay! When I was a very new knitter, and before I ever knew about the existence of independent yarn shops, I purchased a bunch of Lion Brand Microspun to make some sort of Vanna White shawl from some random book from the library. Well, then I got obsessed with learning lace and cast on for Donna Druchunas’s Arctic Diamonds Stole. I kept dropping stitches and getting frustrated with that one so it went to the frog pond and the yarn went back into the closet. It’s been sitting there for a long time and came to my mind because I’ve been looking at a lot of patterns that call for DK/sport weight yarn. And I have just enough of this stuff to make a top as long as it doesn’t have long sleeves. so I crossed my fingers and swatched and washed and dried and it came out perfectly. This yarn so wanted to be 24st/32rows to 4 inches. So much so that it came out the same gauge on both size 5 and 6 needles. Strange. I find it interesting how not only does a swatch give you answers, but often times makes you ask even more questions. Why? Why? Why? Anyway, I decided to just go with the size five and cast on this morning. I really like the fabric it makes and surprised at how nice it is even though its 100% acrylic. (GASP!)
That means that I have a lot of active WIP’s in my knitting bag right now. In the spirit of full disclosure, I think I should make a list…
Camellia in Microspun, Orange
Swallowtail Shawl in Misty Alpaca Lace, Plum
Leafling Socks, STR Lucky Mediumweight (had to totally rip out all my progress and start all over last week because they were coming out waaaay to big. That was kind of painful since I was doing the two at a time thing…)
Mossy Jacket, Handspun Multicolor BFL from Chameleon Colorworks (I frogged the February Baby Sweater because it looked like hell and found this pattern in my queue that suits the yarn much better. Went from kitting on size 4 needles to size 9. Much more comfortable!)
Secret Project that I mentioned in my last post, still not finished. ugh.
That’s a lot for one bag huh? And then there’s the Laminaria KAL that we were talking about doing with Melissa. I’m totally into that and have some Knitpicks Alpaca Cloud in either Moss or Sunlight in the stash and ready to go. Actually, this would make great travel knitting for my trip. Yes, yes, I’m still wrestling with what to knit on my trip to Europe. All I know is that it will be a pair of socks and a lace shawl of some sort. (If I don’t get a move on my March RSC then that will end up being the socks I bring I guess.) I’ve still got some time to figure it out.
Oh, and I almost forgot to mention… since I’m going to be away and missing LA’s Stitch n’ Pitch, I had my own little baseball knitting session this past weekend and even got some photos to prove it.
The Dodger’s lost to the Padre’s, but since I’m from Boston and was dutifully wearing my Red Sox cap, I didn’t care all that much. It was a fun game and a beautiful warm night.
Who’s going to Sip N’ Stitch tonight????? I’ll be there sporting my new tunic! 😉
Have a great weekend!
xo, Jill P aka. oboegoddess