Sunday, January 10th
I started crocheting this Roseline cardigan and was surprised how quickly it worked up – or worked down rather since it starts at the neckline. The rows of double crochet have the increases spaced so evenly the piece forms a smooth semi-circle and lies flat.
These double crochets are worked in the front loop only of each stitch and I found out this variation really gives a softness and nice drape to the yoke of the sweater, better than when crocheting within both loops of the stitch. I'd learned more from the designer's Chez Plum blog post for February 21, 2014, a link provided within the pdf pattern.
Below the waist are alternating rows of a shell pattern and a mesh pattern. I completed the top, minus the sleeves, and three row pairs of the follow on shell portion below the waist. It went smoothly and was very engaging. Here is a closeup of that pretty shell and mesh sequence.
Monday, January 11th
I finished the final two pair of the shell and mesh sequence rows below the waistline. I like the spark of interest that the one row of single crochet in a contrasting color gives at the waistline. I was quite pleased that I'd knitted this whole torso and skirt without a break in yarn. All that I had left from the 3.5 ounce (100g) skein is pictured at the left.
Before I crocheted the contrast trim border I needed to pick my button size, because loop closures for the buttons on the bodice are integral to the trim and need to be sized accordingly by adjusting the number of chain stitches in the loop. I had some buttons in my personal stock that I thought would go quite well but just wanted to check out if there was a better option at my local JoAnn's Fabric and Craft Store. There was not. I must admit that this is not rare. I think I have a collection of buttons that rivals the stores. When my mother passed away in 1979, my sister and I inherited all her sewing notions, fabric, and yarn.
When I buy fabric or notions now, I buy what appeals at the moment and often do not use them right away. Since colors change with the seasons, I can usually do better relying on my personal supply since I have several years' range of featured colors. The lilac in the stores now is much more of a pinkish orchid than in the yarn I am using. The lilac center and pink stripe of the button that I already had were spot on color-wise. The store had nothing even close to the hue of the yarn. My husband questioned if I was going to add aqua to the sweater because of the stripe in the button. I said no. There is yellow in the button also, but that just means there will be a wider range of outfits that will be able to be worn with this sweater. The conically shaped buttons feel very smooth and streamlined. Things have to have tactile appeal to me, too. I think these buttons were just waiting for this sweater. The scale may be a bit large but they make a statement!
I found the sales slip in with these buttons There were purchased in 2009 at a small yarn shop in Lake Forest, CA – a shop approximately 4 miles away I'd googled and sought out while visiting my son in Aliso Viejo. Sometimes nowadays I cannot remember what I went into the next room for; but, oddly enough I knew I had these buttons somewhere and I recall pawing through a bin of loose (and very unique) buttons seven years ago in that yarn store. Apparently I paid $1.00 for a "handful" of buttons. I'd saved the receipt in case I ever wanted to find the shop again when I was in the area. Coincidentally, my son just moved to Lake Forest in January 2015. Sadly, when I checked for the Yarn Lady, I learned this particular store had gone online in 2010 and is now out of business. It had been the premiere yarn source in Orange County. I'd only been there once but it had made an impression on me.
Here are some other buttons I bought that day. Those are little red cars that are zipping along the circular roadway on those blue buttons.
I also bought a clever collapsing yarn/knitting basket.
I use it to this day and it is one of my favorites. It is very flexible and with being as smooth as it is on the inside, nothing snags.
I finished the sleeves and added the picot border edge to them, too. I sewed in the stray yarn ends. The way this garment was constructed there were no side or sleeve seams to slow me down and there were few yarn ends to weave in. And miracle of miracles! I did not procrastinate on the blocking. I was able to spread the body out flat to block it, but the sleeve shells were a bit tricker since they were double layered. I steamed one side of each sleeve, then flipped the two sleeves and steamed the other side of each. That seemed to work. After blocking, I sewed on those three buttons and here is the completed cardigan. I sure hope it fits!
After adding a few photos and editing this blog post a bit I am linking up to this week's Freshly Pieced Works in Progress to explore other bloggers' efforts.