Grey Rondo a la Turk

It’s finally done! I cast this on about a year ago, and it sat around for months with everything but the sleeves finished. When I finally sat down to do the sleeves, I realized I had purloined one of the grey skeins to make a Freestyle Hat for Chris, and only had one skein left for my sweater. Luckily, I hardly ever wear sweaters with full sleeves, so I just split my remaining yarn into two balls of equal weight (thanks, kitchen scale) and knit them half-length. Very pleased with the final product.

Why yes, I casually lean against the balcony railing all the time.

I made the 36.5 size, so this is a no-ease sweater for me.

The yarn is Cascade Longwood, which is really soft and lovely, but yowza does it split easily. There’s almost no twist to the yarn, so it’s like knitting with 10 little separate threads. Aside from the extra attention to not splitting stitches, Longwood is pleasant to work with and the finished fabric is very warm and cushy.

How is there not a cat in this picture?

My biggest “arrrgh” is using a tiny 9″ circular to knit the sweater sleeves. It definitely works, but the needle tips are so short they’re hard to hold onto without rearranging after each stitch. I guess I’m 50/50 on a short circular vs DPNs for sleeves. Maybe trying the Magic Loop would be better?

Colorwork detail

I used a few different techniques in this project that are worth bookmarking:

Now I just need the weather to cool off enough to wear it all day.

Warning! The interval between pettings is approaching maximum tolerance

Whale Washi

Here it is, my first Washi dress! Ok, my first made-with-the-intention-of-wearing Washi dress. I did a test run with a $2 sheet from Goodwill, since I’m new to this whole garment sewing thing. The pattern is very easy to follow, so I forged ahead, and here we are.

I bought this fantastic (fintastic?) cotton whale fabric at Birch Fabrics in Paso, the storefront for fabricworm.com. SLO is a small town and we don’t have a lot of good fabric shops around here, so I was super excited to learn that all those amazing fabrics were just a short drive away. Anyhow, this fabric is “Natural History” from Lizzy House in the Whales Blue colorway,  and it’s swim-sational. Heh.

I was pleased to find that this fabric holds up really well under adverse wearing circumstances. It was unusually muggy and hot when I wore this to work, and even after an bunch of walking and bag-schlepping and two plane flights home, it was hardly wrinkled at all!

Whale fabric deets

And some more views. I made this version with no alterations, and there’s a little too much fabric in the under-bust and front waist for my liking. The sweater I’m wearing here ties in the back, which is a fine interim waist-fix until I decide to alter the dress properly. (Already on the schedule for the Twelfth of Never.)

         

I would have liked to do the facing and bias tape in an orange color, but didn’t have anything on hand that was the right shade. Instead I used a grey with white polka dots and it’s totally fine, just not punchy like I would prefer.

Fine-but-boring polka dot facings and bias tape

 

Overall, I’m pretty happy with this project. It was a good starter pattern for a beginning garment sewist, and fits reasonably well without any pattern changes. Looking forward to another!

Notes for next time:

  • Modify pattern to reduce the extra fabric in the front.
  • Be careful with the seam allowances, especially over the pleats in the front. I caught the end of one pleat sort of funky. NBD, but avoid next time.
  • Make it a little longer for wearing to work?
  • Try the variation with elastic casing for the back gathers.
  • Try the big bow variation, as well.

Whenever possible, have a Feline Supervisor on hand for your photo shoot