Friday, September 24, 2010

The Amsterdam Top

(This is the last crochet project for a while, I swear. I have been sewing!)

Started: June 5, London - Finished: August 12, Strait of Dover
First worn: August 14, Amsterdam.

Most of this top was crocheted on various trains throughout summer.
It was finished just in time for an impromptu mid-August weekend in Amsterdam. I scrambled so much to finish this in time for Amsterdam (staying up late at night to do the seaming and weave in the ends), that wherever I wear it, or see it in my closet, I think of it as "the Amsterdam top", despite the design's name being Menorca!

The design is from the Summer Crochet book published by Rowan, which I already told you about - this is my second project from this book.
I happened to see the crocheted model (in cream) displayed at John Lewis’s in Oxford Street, only a couple of day after I’d started mine, which was quite motivating.
For the first time, I used the recommended Rowan Siena, which for some odd reason is cheaper here in Southern France than it was in London. I was initially planning on using the white or the ecru shade, but fell in love with the antique mauve shade when I saw it in the shop, and there was no turning back.

This yarn is amazingly beautiful, and adds so much to the finished work. It was well worth the price (I paid a total of 36 euros for the 8 skeins I needed to make this pullover).

This was rather work intensive, but I do love the puff stitch.

I made a few alterations - mainly, I made the top smaller than the S size, which would have been very loose and bulky on me, and simplified the neckline:
  • Back side: Frogged the first 10 rows as it was proving decidedly too large. Started over with 94 ch sts instead of 118, but only did a 2-stitch decrease on row 15. Width at bottom is 40 cm
  • Front side: 102 ch sts. Width at bottom: 44.5 cm.
  • Neckline: mine ended up higher and tighter than in the picture, and than was really comfortable, so I frogged part of it and only did 1 “eyelet” row. It also looks less fussy this way.
I love that this top both boldly asserts itself as crochet work with its notable puff stitch, while being cute and definitely modern, thanks to the clean cut, the three-quarter sleeves, and the boat neckline. This is definitely my favourite crocheted garment to date, and the one I've been wearing most.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

White tank top

I am a bit too (pre)occupied ATM to be much talkative, hence my sparse posting despite pictures being ready for several weeks. I just thought I'd finally post anyway, and let the pictures do most of the talking.
This is another design by Doris Chan, from her book Everyday Crochet (same book the design for this dress came from). I modified the design as the absence of waist decrease was making this look ridiculously tent-like on my hourglass figure. I must confess to being rather proud of this achievement - decreasing shells on the round is not self-evident.

I also modified the design for the straps/neckline finish, as I didn't find the original neckline to be flattering on me. It was originally too square, high and tight. It took me quite a few tries to get the neckline to my liking.

In the (unlikely) event anyone is interested in these alterations, please let me know in the comments.

There's a funny little story about this top. I made this during my holidays in the Alps back in July, as this picture testifies ;)

The process was put to a sudden halt when an Evil Dog of Doom rushed at me, decided my ball of pure white yarn was his new toy, and promptly set about covering it in dirt and doggy drool. Good thing I'm not afraid of dogs and was quickly able to recover my yarn from the dog's jaws. Good thing, too, that I was able to borrow some savon de Marseille from one of the other tenants. The yarn was good as new after a wash.

This is quite a useful little top - dressier than most tank tops (although it was quite dressed down in the pictures, over one of my favourite summer skirts for staying at home and sitting in the grass!), meaning I can wear it to work, and very nice to wear, as it is 100% cotton. I bought the cotton at a factory shop in my hometown (Lille), and got it for 1 euro a skein. This top cost me 3 euros.

I am very happy to report that I've been sewing again! My office/sewing room is all but complete - all that's left to get is a small table for the serger. I love my room, love working - and sewing! - in it. Good thing, too, as there's been quite a lot on my plate lately, and there promises to be much more of it as the next few weeks unfold. At least, I get to do it in a lovely environment when I work from home.