After a delay to obtain a small cable-length 6mm circular needle and 6mm DPNs (double pointed needles), I’ve finally finished the smocked tam for Jenny:
Smocked Tam – WIP-4a
Smocked Tam – WIP-4b
Jenny’s thrilled! I must admit that, though perhaps I shouldn’t say so myself, it looks really good. The smocking process was very simple and gives a very nice effect It will be good to see Jenny wearing both her tunic and the hat..I’ve still got some scope for other accessories in the same yarn as there was a definite surplus!
While I’m waiting to find and obtain the right size needles to finish Jenny’s new hat, I’ve started on another project. This one is a sweater for our daughter’s partner, using the sweater part of His’n’Hers from The Family Knitting Book, the edition which was published exclusively for W H Smith. As I’m having to make this in black and white (mostly black), I’m discovering why my Mother hated knitting in black! It’s fine in natural light but horrendous in artificial! As I knit mostly at home in artificial light, it’s a real challenge. Most of the time, I can’t see the stitches on the needles properly. If desperate, I use one of those little battery operated LED lights that stick up on walls but that’s still not as good as natural light.
The pattern calls for double knit (8-ply/DK) yarn, the first 24 rows knitted on 3mm needles and the rest on 3¾mm needles. That’s challenging too, especially using black yarn! It’s quite difficult to make the transition back to DK from chunky The sweater is in a rib pattern throughout, which is rather mind numbing too. The real “feature” is the stripes pattern at the top, which I’ll be doing in white.
So far, since Saturday, I’ve gotten the starting rib (on 3mm) of the back done and have finally started on the main body (on 3¾mm). During all that time, I only had about an hour (in total) of knitting in natural light, hence the painfully slow progress.
Paul's Sweater - WIP01
This could be a very long project!
I’ve had to slow down with this project, as I’m lacking the 6mm DPNs needed at the end. I’m now working the decreases anyway, so the end draws close.
Smocked Tam – WIP-3a
Smocked Tam – WIP-3b
This project has gone very smoothly so far. I just hope that it continues like that!
I love this pattern! It knits up so quickly! I’m galloping (for me) and am already nearly half way. I’m beginning to wish I hadn’t dodged knitting in the round!
Smocked Tam - WIP-2
I’m now on the second increase round. And here I have to say what a pleasure it is to not be confronted with “dec x sts evenly across the row”! That kind of pattern instruction annoys me so much…
At around 4 this morning I finished the belted tunic! Sewing on the collar was challenging but ample pinning saw me through it. Jenny is thrilled with it and has worn it all day today Despite her aversion to cameras, I was able to get a photo of her modelling the tunic:
Jenny modelling the Belted Tunic
I’m happy to say that others have also liked the finished tunic.
This must now count as the most challenging project that I’ve completed!
Well, I’ve got to the last part: the belt. Of course, it was inevitable that something would mean adapting the pattern! We were unable to find a big buckle. Jenny, actually, prefers a smaller buckle anyway so I’ve had to adapt the pattern, to accommodate a narrower buckle. So, keeping to the style of the belt in the pattern, I’m knitting the belt to the following:
Cast on 7 sts using 6mm needles
Row 1: P2, K1, P1, K1, P2
Row 2: P3, K1, P3
Rep these 2 rows until 38” long
And this is producing:
The belt for the Belted Tunic
It’s quick but very repetitive work. Still, the end is in sight!
The front and back of the tunic now completed, I’m now working on the collar, which is made in two sections. This is in a ribbed lace effect, which proved challenging at the outset. It’s also one of those patterns where you have to knit a fair amount before you get the satisfaction of seeing it emerge. It’s not my favourite part of the pattern, but it’s effective, especially for creating a cosy collar. The back is nearing completion, then it’s the front section’s turn, which will take longer, being more stitches.
Back Section of the Belted Tunic Collar
Once the two collar sections are completed, that will leave only the belt to make. After that, there’s the sewing stage as the pattern doesn’t call for any ironing/blocking.
Jenny’s getting quite excited now, as the end draws near
The front is nearing completion:
- Belted Tunic – 02 – Front
The neckline is now established and I’m nearing the shoulder shaping. This is such an easy pattern to follow! At current rate, it will be completed in no time. If you’re interested, the details of the pattern source can be found here, on Ravelry. It’s well worth getting a back issue of Simply Knitting #77 (March 2011)!
At the weekend, I started making a belted tunic for Jenny. The pattern is titled Lime Queen in Simply Chunky Knits, a supplement in Simply Knitting magazine. Jenny chose the yarn herself: Stylecraft Life Chunky, Shade 2319 Mixtures Cranberry, which is 75% Acrylic/25% Wool. The tunic features a “skirt” of lacework and a top of ribbing, with a cowl collar. It’s a beautiful garment, designed by Pat Menchini.
I’ve gotten this far:
Belted Tunic - 01 - Front
I’ll try to update you on progress as I go along.