Friday, June 20, 2008

Altering the Leaf Kimono: Part II (Pins & Measuring Tape)

Yay! I finished knitting the body of the Leaf Kimono yesterday. I'd been kind of ignoring this project recently because it's not necessarily the best travel knitting ever. It's more of a movie-watching project. But we now have plans to drive around Northern Italy & Southern France in two weeks, and I would love to have this finished to wear while we're there. The weather has been fickle (to say the least) around here. At least yesterday was nice and sunny. Holy Crap. Two weeks. I just realized that I will probably not finish this in time... but oh well. I put the pedal to the metal this week, finished the front and back, and seamed them together.

Here it is blocking:

Body of Leaf Kimono (blocking)

Before blocking the piece, I wanted to sort of try it on. So I put on a thin tank top and pinned the body about where I'd want it to sit. It was hard to judge where I really wanted it to sit, and even more difficult to get the back piece to stay exactly where I wanted it to. Basically, I wanted to be able to measure how long the sleeve rectangles need to be so that the bust seam falls below my bust. On tops with similar construction, I find that the bust seam will often cut straight across the fullest part of my bust, and I want to emphasize the thinnest part of my ribcage.

After reading some of the very helpful commentary from other knitters and the designer on Ravelry regarding this pattern, I have decided to make two alterations to the sleeves. A) I will add one inch in width to the sleeves and ease them in to the front a bit more. Hopefully this will help compensate for the fact that my chest is not very flat at all, and will allow the top to still have some looseness to it while it's on my body. B) I will knit the sleeves about two inches longer than stated, to lower the bust seam. Another knitter had her sleeve pieces grow in length by 4 inches (!) after blocking, and had to rip back three of those inches so it wouldn't sag too much. I'm thinking I'll take my first sleeve up to 18 inches, put the live stitches on a piece of scrap yarn, and pin the sleeve to the body to check the fit. Then I will be able to actually see the drape of the body better, since it will be hanging from the top of the sleeve the way it's meant to.

When I wrote the first post on this project, I had some strange ideas about making the sleeves wider in front than in back, but I've decided now to just stick with a straight rectangle. I have some stockinette patches on the sides of the body from making the waist shaping, and while they are neat, I think they do detract a bit from the lace pattern. Hopefully when it's on they won't be too obvious. Anyway, if I wanted to make the sleeves non-rectangular, I would end up with those same stockinette areas on the edges of the sleeves, which would look very weird. One edge of the sleeve is actually the neckline, so they'd be extremely obvious, too.

Ok! Wish me luck. Maybe I should try to go on a break with the jaywalker sock (which is hard, because I just turned the heel) so I can have an actual chance of finishing this top before leaving for France. We'll see. I also promised you pictures of my buttons and yarn from Munich. Here's the whole haul:

Schafwolle from Ludwig-Beck in Munich

Three colors in what was only described as "Schafwolle, 100g" which translates in America-speak to Sheep's wool, 3.5 ounces. I think these will be good for two-color mittens (maybe another Adrian Bizilia design). I am particularly smitten with the heathered tan color. It kinda reminds me of Cascade 220, but it's much plumper, not quite as smooth, and only a two-ply. I don't know the yardage precisely, but I bet it's less than the 220. I was able to haltingly ask the lady at the counter if she knew the yardage, but she didn't know, and guessed between 100 and 150 meters (or at least I think that's what she said). If I get really really bored I'll untwist one of the hanks, break out my tape measure, and try to figure it out.

Horn Buttons: BacksideHorn Buttons

The buttons are a bit chunky, too, and I tried to get a set that were very similar in color and thickness. They're all 3/4" (2 cm) in diameter. The fronts are all pretty well matched, not so much with the backs. I have no idea what I will do with these, but hopefully they will go on a nice thick sweater next fall. Maybe I'll finally get up the nerve (and paycheck) to do a real traditional fair isle sweater...

1 comment:

Lakin Khan said...

Hi, you're having fun with Karen there. Driving around Southern France and Northern Italy,'s beginning to sound somewhat like a Fitzgerald novel. Say, would it be ok to send the link to your blog to Margalo? She was here visiting with her dad, Uncle Alan. They asked about your trip so I thought it would be a good way for her to see what you're up to over there. Then of course, if it's ok with you, I could share it with Aunt Ilma & Uncle James, Uncle Jonny, too, maybe...let me know how you feel about it.

Love the kimono, the pattern is so intricate. Has it been raining there a bunch? or storming?