Monday, July 6, 2009

A Rumply Lady Jane

A long US holiday weekend meant lots of knitting time. So, even though I had a couple of ripping out episodes, I managed to finish Lady Jane yesterday. As you can see, it is very purple! You can also see that I didn't bother to fix my hair for the photos--I am as rumpled as the unblocked vest!

What we see here is before blocking. The arm area will look much better once it is all straightened out, and the bottom lace edge (inconveniently cut off by my kind photographer) really needed a good straightening out to look its best. I think it won't be quite as form fitting once the blocking is done.

As you can see, it's quite tunic length. Used a lot of yarn. I'd say I have about one of my ten skeins of yarn left, and the instructions called for 9, so they were right. I just always buy extra. That was helpful at the end when I was knitting the two sides of the front at the same time.

There were not too many challenges with this project, though the instructions sometimes left things to be desired, and I wish it were finished off a little more neatly. In fact, I may do a crochet edging around the neckline and sleeve edge, because it simply divides at the underarm, leaving an unattractive space at the bottom where a stitch stretches out. There is also a stretched-out spot where the cable divides for the neck. We'll see. I may decide it's OK the way it is.

I am not sure why the pattern called for a seed stitch (or moss stitch) shoulder edge. But, I put one on there. I also was not thrilled that the instructions called for knitting the back to a certain length (hard to measure on a vest with an irregular edge), then had you knit the front by stopping when you had a certain number of decreases. Sure enough, the fronts ended up an inch or more longer than the back, so I had to re-attach yarn and lengthen the back. This was fine, because I thought the back armholes looked too short.

A final odd thing about the pattern was that, at the end, the instructions tell you how to do a three-needle bind off on one shoulder. They never tell you to also do the other shoulder, nor what to do with the back of the neck stitches, which were waiting on holders along with the stitches for each side of the shoulder. I guess you are just supposed to figure it out. What I did was three-needle bind off the right shoulder, continue and bind off the neck edge in pattern, then keep going bringing in the second shoulder and three-needle binding it off. I hope that's what the author intended! (And before you suggest it, yes, I am going to contact her, and will let you know what she says--she has been very helpful so far. I actually think I may be the first person to finish the project.)

EDITED July 9: The author has kindly let me know that instructions for finishing are now in the newest version of the pattern, so make sure you get that version if you decide to do this pattern!

Here you can see how lumpy the bottom edging is. This is what I am going to have to knit a swatch of in the cotton blend I got for the second one of these, to be sure it will block out. It's a lovely pattern when straightened out, though!

I washed the garment right after these photos were taken, and the yarn bled a little, but not too much. I then just straightened it as well as I could and put pins along the bottom and arm edges, to try to get the cap sleeve effect that the straight shoulder edge is supposed to give. This morning the top half was dry, so I turned it over and hope the bottom dries in time to take it to the yarn shop this afternoon and show it to a friend who is going out of town.

And Now, a Word about Noro

When I finished Lady Jane, I worked a bit on the Dianna shawl. I am still having a little bit of entrelac confusion, but I got another tier done. Not without effort, however, because there I was knitting away on a blue section when, BAM, there was a knot in my Noro Kureyon Sock yarn and it suddenly turned BLACK. This did not make for a nice transition. I tried knitting along, but the motif where the color suddenly changed looked bad, and it made way too much dark stuff all together at what will be the bottom of the shawl. Ick. So, I ripped that out and wound through the skein of yarn until I hit another blue section. That was about 200 yards. Sigh. I just want the beginning to flow nicely. Dang that Noro and their knots! I know it is hand spun, but sheesh.

I figure as the shawl progresses, and there is more spacing between squares, I will be able to end one motif before a knot and start the next motif with another color and it won't look so wrong. I did notice that there is a lot more very dark stuff in this colorway than I thought--a lot of black and blackish green. I will try to not have them overlap too much, but we will have to see. I think this will be a darker shawl than I had imagined. Good thing I have two more much brighter skeins I could try again with if I wanted to.


  1. This is just gorgeous and will be even more so after blocking, no doubt. I long ago gave up on knitting garments. Socks are as adventurous as I get...

  2. I'm not surprised about the Noro. I have encountered several tie ons over the years with the Brand. I had one skein about 3 months ago that had 3 tie ons in it. I was totally peeved and the yarn shop I bought it at wouldn't exchange it. I bet you can guess what shop it was.

  3. True. But Noro is just like that--if they returned every skein with a knot, yarn shops would probably go out of business!

  4. It looks wonderful and such a nice color too!

  5. I love that stylish sweater. It is so cute!!


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