Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Buttercup and Ladybirds: Happy little Cardi ~ Bouton d'or et coccinelles : petit gilet coquet

English version: click here
Version française: cliquez ici (et décochez l'autre case)

Allez, un petit article en français à la demande de mes amies du tricot-thé... et pour toutes les francophones lectrices de ce blog bien sûr :)

J'ai tricoté ce petit gilet pour des amis qui vont avoir un bébé en juin ; ils ne veulent pas savoir à l'avance si ce sera un garçon ou une fille, alors j'ai choisi du jaune ; surtout que mes neveux étant bébés étaient toujours très beaux habillés en jaune. :)

Modèle: Garter Yoke Baby Cardi, gratuit sur Ravelry.
Fil: Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, dans le coloris #001 ("yellow", sans blague). Un fil vraiment parfait : comme je le disais aux copines sur Ravelry, il se tricote presque tout seul ;)
Aiguilles: 3 et 3,5 mm. Et je me rends compte que j'adore tricoter avec ces aiguilles plus fines...
J'ai tricoté la plupart du gilet en 3,5 sauf les bordures en point mousse : la bordure initialement tricotée en 3,5 était trop lâche et je l'ai défaite pour la refaire en 3 mm.
Conseil pour les manches, tricotées en rond avec des double-pointes: En plus des points à relever, ne pas hésiter à relever 2-3 mailles supplémentaires dans le milieu bas de l'emmanchure.
Les boutons coccinelles viennent de la mercerie Avant-Après (désormais sise en face de la cathédrale Saint-Roch à Montpellier).

I knit this cardigan for two friends who are having a baby in June. They don't want to know beforehand whether they're having a boy or a girl, so I settled on yellow - my nephews always looked good in yellow when they were babies. :)

Design: Garter Yoke Baby Cardi, free on Ravelry.
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, in the #001 ("Yellow" - duh!) shade. Absolutely yummy yarn. I was joking with some friends that it knits up practically on its own. ;)
Needles: 3 and 3.5 mm. For some reason I love knitting on smaller needles.
I knit most of the cardigan on 3.5 mm but did the garter stitch edging on 3-mm needles, as the first try was too loose with the 3.5 needles.
A tip for the sleeves: Knit in the round with DPNs. When picking up stitches, also M1 twice into center bottom of armscye, or pick up 2-3 extra stitches there, to avoid a hole at the underarm.
Please also admire the lush green grass of our lawn - if you remember it was virtually nonexistent when we moved in. Well, some yard work, sowing, waiting, a bit of resowing to cover the remaining bare patches, and we now have a lovely little garden :) All mainly thanks to Seb I should say! :)

Many thanks for the kind birthday wishes! :)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Turning 30 Dress

(For some reason Blogger's smaller pictures are blurry; the larger pictures you get when clicking on them, however, are not.)

I turned 30 in early May. My birthday was anything but big - not much fun can occur if you get up at insanely early hours and come home late for days in a row, and for several weeks (which also explains why I'm only managing to post over 10 days after my birthday). I don't mind much, really. I prefer small happy things all scattered around the year, than one big fabulous day that is gone all too soon. I'm the same with gifts - nothing beats RAKs and just-because gifts, and Seb knows it well :)

The really good thing that I did do to celebrate my birthday, though, is make this dress. I love it! Truth be told, I wasn't quite sold on it as I was making it. I had to sew in very short increments and went through phases where I was seriously doubting my choice of pattern for this fabulous fabric. That is bound to happen with a fabric you treasure, right? It only all came together in my mind at the very last minute - when doing the hem. Instead of doing it on the coverstitch, or doing a hand-stitched invisible hem (my usual choice for knit dresses), I opted for a lettuce edging - something I rarely do on knit dresses, but which turned out really cute here, and gave just the right added bit of fun and cuteness to the overall result.

But wait - what you want is a pattern review, right? :)
Pattern: Simplicity 2369, a pattern for a mock wrap dress, a mock wrap top (= same as wrap dress but cut to hips), knit pants. I made view A, the wrap dress with ties, in the shorter length.
Design Elements I like: I like the mock-wrap design, which I find classy and interesting - a nice change from a plain knit dress. The wrap pieces in this one are different, with this rounded edge, which makes me think somehow of a flower petal. I also like the raglan sleeves - another interesting details that makes this pattern stand out in the land of wrap or mock-wrap dresses.
Size: I cut a size 8 all around.
Fabric: a gorgeous lycra jersey that I bought on Totally Fabrics - very special as it was hand-delivered by Melissa when she visited 2 weeks ago
Pattern instructions: They were fine, except for 2 things:
- some of the drawings were reversed, which was confusing at first - I had this ugly blood-freezing moment when I thought I'd completely messed up and cut both the left and the right sides as if they were right sides. Then I realized the drawings were symmetrically inverted from the pattern pieces. Phew.
- the way they have you sew the tie to the right side isn't the cleanest in the world. Thankfully, Trena had already figured a neater way to do it, with an enclosed tie. Be sure to check out her review and look at her pictures showing how she did this. Thanks Trena! :)

A caveat I might add is that due to the dress construction, you can only really try it on once it's all sewn up. For this reason, I machine-basted everything to check the fit before I sewed and serged all the seams. There was no way I was going to botch my birthday dress :)

I know this may sound bragging and all, but hey - if you don't have the self-confidence to own up to your own accomplishments at 30, then I don't know when you can. I really love this dress, and feel pretty in it. I can foresee a lot of wear out of it!

I didn't get to wear this for my birthday, as it wasn't finished in time. Let's say it's more a dress I made as a gift to myself for my 30eth birthday. Hey, I have a whole new decade to wear it anyway. :)

As per Melissa's suggestion when she was visiting, I'm planning to do a recap of the various birthday garments I made since I started sewing. As soon, you know, as the rhythm eases up a bit on the work front.

In closing...
Many thanks to Doris, Sylvie and Jennifer for their thoughtful birthday gifts! The blue embroidered pillow is Sylvie's and the calendar cover is Doris's work. The patterns (sent by Jennifer) are knitting patterns for sweaters with nifty cat designs. Not included are Doris's super-yummy treats and Sylvie's gift of a shawl pattern from my Ravelry wishlist; and their cards, which really made me smile. Un grand merci à vous !!
Thanks also to everyone who emailed on my birthday. I haven't had the time to reply yet, but they really added something to the day. :)