Spring Break, Part 1

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What takes the edge off of hosting a week-long family visit? Knitting cashmere in the round, that’s what.

I purchased Bonnie Marie Burn’s ChicKami pattern seven (!) years ago to make a gift for a friend and stashed it away once the project was finished….until 800 yards of Tanis Fiber Arts’  luscious amber label motivated me to dig it up. The color is Purple Purl, and reminds me of hydrangeas:

 

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Photo: Farmer’s Almanac

 

I made a size 40 chest, shaped waist version, with wide straps. My gauge swatch was spot-on stitch-wise, and a little tight row-wise. So….how did my FO wind up looking like this?

 

 

Apparently my week off was at least relaxing enough to loosen my knitting.

A quick google search yielded some shrinkage tips from Jerrod at Oxford Cloth Button Down, who advises that “you have to be okay with losing the sweater.” Well, I’m not okay with losing the sweater, but magical thinking has taken over and I’m inordinately hopeful that nothing bad will happen because, well, just because.

I’m going full bore and machine-washing the sweater in a pillow case in very hot water, hoping for sufficient shrinkage sans felting. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, any sweater shrinkage stories to tell?

 

Frankentank

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Unassuming white tank tops have been some of my most-worn garments, yet for some reason, the slowest to be replaced when the need arises.

Last spring and summer I’d curse as I commuted in the sweltering heat, wearing my cardigan to cover old salsa stains or hide dingy beige bra straps (that’s a topic for another post). No more.

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I can take this cardigan off without fear!

This year, I’m ready with a me-made layering piece that also works on its own. I used Style Arc’s Evie top in size 14 as a baseline. I tried it on after finishing the bands; my high hips and short waist fought with the high/low silhouette so I traced the shirttail hemline of a favorite tee.

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Shirttail hem. |  Pants: Eileen Fisher. Flats: Saks, second-hand. Necklace: gift. Cardigan (top photo): Pendleton, second-hand.

This kind of (minor) modification would have seemed impossible to me even a few months ago–I credit Alison Glass and Karen LePage’s Knit Essentials with demystifying the fitting process and helping me to accept that pattern modifications are inevitable. It’s really changed my thinking.

How much time do you typically spend tweaking a pattern? What are you sewing to get ready for spring or summer?