Well, my work day was a bit more than I bargained for yesterday so I was unable to take any knitting breaks (just a couple peeks at Ravelry), but between last night's TV time and the kids' waking up this morning, I'm happy to say that I finished the Lutea Lace-Shoulder Shell!
This top went so darn fast I can hardly stand it. Plus, it's super cute! Plus plus, I'm out 2.5 skeins from my stash! I took the photos before blocking and it fits great! Now it's blocking and I'm certain it will continue to be wonderful. All the measurements worked out perfectly.
I made the 36" size after reading the designer's note that the top was meant to have 0-2" of ease (Thank you, Angela Hahn!). My bust is 36" so I went for it and I'm glad I did. Even though I'm not quite the size I wish I was, I'm retraining myself to not think I'm larger than I am. That's been my downfall - I make patterns too large and the end result just looks stupid. Choosing the right size has been as much a factor in my recent successes as the pattern itself. I may just have to make another one of these. I could really go for one in Violet.
Another picture, just because I'm so happy with it!
And now the warning. What to do when not-so-good yarns turn oh-so-bad.
Two words: Lupus Foundation.
Yes, that is where the Cozy V-Neck with Deep Ribbing is destined. Too many problems to count. First, I thought I'd be clever and use Sensations Angel Hair from my stash. Ok, kids, repeat after me: just because you can get gauge doesn't mean you should. I got gauge, but the fabric is too dense. Did I figure that out? Nooooooo! Heck, I got gauge!
Then I chose the wrong size. I made the 40" size (hey, dummy, the book is called FITTED Knits - not 4" of Ease Knits). I thought the armhole depth was too shallow so (after ripping back) I made the yoke for the next size larger, then decreased back to my size. Then, 7" into the 10" of ribbing, I realized I hadn't gone down a needle size. Determined to do it the "right" way, I ripped back again and redid the ribbing - which by the way is FAR more boring and torturous than miles of stockinette ever could be.
The ribbing is so thick and sturdy I think the sweater could stand on its own and it didn't relax at all with blocking. It constantly wants to ride upwards and then all the extra fabric in the body relaxes into one very attractive bubble around my middle (see photo above) and another one right above my bustline. See that? Yeah...yuck.
There is some good news though. My stash is lightened and though it was made into something I don't like, who's to say there isn't someone out there who would love that sweater? I'll tag it and bag it, and it will go out with the rest of my Lupus donation next week.
I also learned valuable lessons about gauge and size. Not only must you get the gauge, you must be happy with the gauge you get. Know your size and trust in your size. It's always better to make something that fits you NOW, not what you wish you were, or what you think you are in your own weird head, but what you really truly actually are. Everything looks better when it fits.
At that, I will leave you. On the needles now is Josephine, glowing in it's Apricot Shine Sport loveliness. I'm making the 36 1/2" size exactly as written in the mag. I figure Deborah Newton knows what she's doing and I shouldn't presume to mess with it. I swatched with some Patons Classic Merino last night. I have sweater quanities of it in Royal Purple and Dark Grey Mix. My first instincts lean towards Salt Peanuts and the Cabaret Raglan, but I'll probably change my mind.