Tag Archives: Ruffle Tank

Sweater Surgery #2

The red ruffle tank. This one was a quickie. I brought it to TNNA and wanted to wear it to Sample It, but I wasn’t willing to remove the armhole and neck i-cord edgings in order to shorten the shoulders. Instead, I sewed a new shoulder seam on the inside of the piece, a half inch down from the original. I tacked the extra seam allowance towards the back. It’s not perfect, but it down and dirty worked!

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I no longer fear that my bra is showing through the armholes, and it no longer feels like a shapeless sack. The waist seems to fit better, too, even though I did nothing to the shaping. I think just being hiked up a bit helped, because it ends at a better place on my hip. Here’s the original again:

ruffle tank

I have one more TNNA post to make, but it’s not done yet. I had jury duty today, and some of my info for the post was at home. I’ll post it tomorrow. Have a good evening!

Ruffle Tank transformation

I finished my red ruffle tank (rav link). Leigh Radford is the designer, and this is the second time I’ve knit this pattern. Last time I knit with Louet MerLin, a merino/linen blend. This time it’s linen all the way, Louet Euroflax sport in burgundy.

I had set this project aside to work on the Zen Rain KAL and the This Little Ziggy vests, but I really wanted to wear it to OFFF. At the beginning of the week, I could tell that I was going to have to do some marathon knitting, which isn’t that much fun with linen! I just had one shoulder to finish and and join to the other, four ruffles to knit, and some i-cord edgings. I had already worked this in the round so there were no side seams to deal with, and omitted the keyhole back neck and just made the back shaping match the front. Even so, I took a few shortcuts at the end. Instead of applied i-cord I opted for a simple slip stitch crochet edging around the neck and armholes. After the crochet bind-off on the first ruffle, I did a purl bind-off on the rest because it was faster for me. Still, I finished binding off my last ruffle at 3 a.m. on Saturday morning. Knowing that I could put this yarn in the washer and dryer meant that I could go to bed and hope for the best in the morning!

ruffle tank

The fabric was really crispy before I washed it, almost like a net. I opted to wash it by hand, and I’m really glad I did. I filled the kitchen sink with warm water and a bit of Soak (love this product) and started squishing it. There was a lot of excess dye, so I ended up rinsing it 6 times, and the water was still pink. But oh, the transformation! When I first started handling it, the fabric was stiff and rough. With each subsequent sink full of water, the fabric became progressively more like…fabric! It was so much fun to feel this transformation with my hands. It was still a bit stiff when I was done, but it was headed for the dryer.

I put it in the dryer and checked it every 15 minutes. What an adventure! (I know, I should wash and block my swatches, but then where would the excitement be?) When it was dry, it was a slinky feeling piece of fabric, almost fluid. It is amazing. I love it. It is so comfortable to wear, even on a hot and humid day at OFFF. And it’s a good thing I wore it Saturday, because Sunday was rainy and cold.

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I’m glad I got it finished, and I’m glad it fits! I think in a perfect world it would be an inch narrower, but I had already altered it to make it smaller than the smallest size. If it still bothers me the next time I wear it, I’ll crochet a little seam along the sides from the inside. Until then…absolute love.

More ruffles

I love my blue ruffle tank that I finished last summer. It was perfect! And then I was a bit irked when I saw it in a recent family photo, and it was shorter than I wanted it to be, and not as flattering as it was last summer, fresh off the needles. (I had machine dried it per label instructions.) What’s a knitter to do?

Wash and re-block! I regained 1.5 inches in length, and it is once again perfect. But it also got me thinking about how much I love it, and wouldn’t it be nice to have one in a deep cherry red, too? So I went in search of yarn. The blue one is knit with Louet MerLin sport, a Merino wool/linen blend. I had a Mother’s Day gift certificate burning a hole in my pocket, but then I found out that my LYS doesn’t carry MerLin any more. They do have Euroflax Linen sport, which is the same weight and the yarn specified in the pattern, but a little bit different. It would have been so easy if I didn’t have to think about gauge this time around, or wondering what the difference in fiber content will do. It’s close, gauge-wise…so I’m just going to forge ahead. I’m too lazy to wash and block my gauge swatch. I’m jumping in, feet first! I’m going to knit it in the round, but I’m starting front and back knit back and forth so I can leave the bottom 2 inches unseamed at the sides.

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The Zen Rain KAL is going swimmingly! Come see the finished shawls in the PDXKnitterati Ravelry group. The KAL will wrap up July 21 (a week before Sock Summit), and I’m having a drawing for a couple of prizes, too. It’s not to late to join the KAL, because many of us are still knitting!

A rose for me in Portland grows…

I had a stellar significant birthday.

Part of it involved a surprise visit from some Royal Rosarians (including the Prime Minister!), the ambassadors of the city of Portland and the mythical Realm of Rosaria. (Portland is the City of Roses.)

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There were ceremonial speeches.

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A rose was planted in my honor.

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I got to shovel dirt.

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Thanks to DH for arranging this very sweet surprise! And thanks to friend Susan for sharing her pictures.

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Obligatory knit content: I was wearing my ruffle tank.

In other news, the Teen has been brewing his own ginger beer at home, resulting in his own 15 minutes of fame. Sweet!

ruffle tank bliss…

…and how I got there, aka adventures in applied i-cord.

My Ruffle Tank is done.

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I love it. It’s perfect. My favorite FO of the year. This is the picture I sent to my friend Diane. We had been discussing applied i-cord edgings via email and text. She wanted to see the FO, which I was wearing hot off the needles, and I didn’t have a picture yet. So I took one.

I started this project last year, after seeing Leigh Radford, its designer, wear hers to knit night. I knit on mine last year until Sock Summit, when I lost my annotated instructions at Deb Accuardi’s pre-summit luncheon/yarn tasting. My fault, not hers! I set the project aside in a fit of pique.

Fast forward to last month, when I finally felt that I could face puzzling out what I had done on the back, so the front would match.

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What was I waiting for? I wish I had finished this last year; it’s so much fun to wear.

Ruffle Tank by Leigh Radford
Smallest size 37.5 (and modified smaller)
Louet MerLin Sport Weight, 3 skeins French Blue
Lantern Moon Ebony circulars, US size 3

Mods: I eliminated the keyhole neckline on the back; it was pretty but I wasn’t looking forward to i-cording around it, and I knew I’d never unbutton/button it. I also made the tank shorter overall (because I’m short), and narrower than the smallest size by 4 sts on the front and 4 sts on the back to try to get it to be closer to 36 inches.

After applying my i-cord edging to the neckline, I could no longer get the sweater over my head easily! This is what prompted me to chat up Diane, who had the same issue with the armholes of a tank top. She solved it by crocheting the edge instead. I wasn’t willing to give up yet, because I had already had a discussion with Leigh about i-cord and right and wrong sides, and I really wanted to do it her way. After googling around a bit, I came upon some suggestions to work the i-cord without always attaching it every row. Yarnpath and Mason-Dixon Knitting, were particulary helpful. Armed with this advice, I picked up sts from the wrong side and worked the applied i-cord edging, working an unattached row of i-cord after every 3 attached rows. It worked like a charm. The armholes were still a bit snug using this ratio, so I re-knit them working an unattached row of i-cord after every 2 attached rows. Perfect. And the unattached rows are undetectable to the naked eye. I finished using the Purlbee’s excellent kitchener stitch tutorial (yes, I started with a provisional cast on).

I worked my i-cord using an SSK to attach it to the edge of the tank; I liked this better than PSSO or k2tog. I picked up several sts at a time on the body, like Kelly Petkun did in this video. I also slipped the sts back to the left needle, rather than sliding the dpn through. You can do yours any way you like.

I haven’t washed the garment yet because I wanted to wear it yesterday to work and to knit nite. I don’t know how the fabric will react to the washer and dryer; it may get a lot more relaxed. (I know, I didn’t wash my gauge swatch, naughty me.) I did steam it a bit to relax the ribbing, and the fabric took on a lovely drape. I would happily make another of these. If I do it again, I’ll knit it in the round (it took me 6 tries to get a seam that I liked), and maybe eliminate the little open side seams at the bottom 2 inches of of the tank.

Thanks, Leigh, for a great pattern!

ask the designer

I’m making steady progress on the ruffle tank. It’s seamed and just needs the i-cord edgings at the neckline and armholes. Here’s the back. I opted to omit the keyhole closing at the neckline.

back

This is my first experience with applied i-cord. The instructions in the pattern are for a 2 stitch i-cord, applied from the wrong side. I remembered seeing other general instructions in which i-cord was applied from the right side. I had the opportunity to ask Leigh Radford, the designer, why she chose to work from the wrong side, and her answer was simple: She liked the way it looked.

I decided to try it both ways.

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The little bit on the left is applied from the right side. The top 3 stitches were picked up under the far edge. I didn’t like the way it left a ridge on the right side, so I switched to the closer part of the edge on the following stitches. I like the way it looks really tubular. But it looks a little heavy for the edge.

The bit on the right is applied from the wrong side. It doesn’t look as tubular or as finished, but I like it. It’s delicate and a little rustic looking. So I’ll carry on from the wrong side, knowing that Leigh likes it that way. Especially since I feel a little guilty for omitting her keyhole neckline!

In other news, my new iPhone4 is here, and I love it. It’s very intuitive. I took the ruffle tank pictures with its camera this morning because I was too lazy to go downstairs to get my other camera. Not bad, and the macro worked great. Here’s a screen shot of where the phone’s google maps app located me this evening.

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It was correct, but I wonder what it would have done if I asked it for driving directions…

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sunset bridge

By the way, I’m having a little giveaway on the Lantern Moon blog. Go check it out!

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back from crafting, I mean camping…

I’m home, skeeter-bit, itchy, and happy. We were at Swift Forest Camp on the Lewis River in Washington. It was marvelous to look up and see this by day…

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…and a million stars by night. Being away from city lights really changes the night sky. It’s too early for the Perseid meteor showers, but we saw several meteors streak across the sky each night, including a very bright one tracing the Milky Way. Gorgeous!

I brought my knitting, and I was completely engrossed in my ruffle tank. I ripped both front and back down to the neck shaping so I could adjust the depth of the neckline. I had a “duh!” epiphany: I needed to figure how far *down* from the shoulders I wanted the neckline before I could figure how far *up* to start it from the armhole shaping, since I was changing the depth of the armhole, too. That sounds like gibberish, but it makes perfect sense. I wish I’d thought that through the first time. I also decided to forego the keyhole neckline on the back, and give it the same shaping as the front. I finished front and back, and started adding the ruffles.

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I love how this is turning out; the ruffles are fun to make and charming to look at.

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I shopped for these beads for an ankle bracelet last month and hadn’t gotten around to making it. Carole designed and put this together for me since I was otherwise obsessed.

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We had some bead stash sharing and swapping.

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It’s a multi-family camp out, which makes it all the more fun. The teens woke up on Thursday and decided to try to make a sailboat with the inflatable raft. It’s amazing what they can do with sticks, duct tape, rope, and the rainfly from a tent.

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And it worked! Mast, sail, working boom, and a paddle as a rudder.

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We had a great time, even without our electronic toys. There was no cell service in the area, and sometimes it’s nice to be untethered. But I’m looking forward to my new iPhone4 on Tuesday!

knitting a blue streak

It feels like it’s all blue here, all the time.

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I started my Breezy Market Tote. Although Twisted’s Single Skein Club offering with my design was AllHemp6 yarn in pumpkin, I was able to swap my yarn for deep sea (blue), since I’d already made the original design in sand (nearly pumpkin). I wound the yarn by hand, twice. The first time, I wound it in my usual way, over my fingers to keep the ball loose to avoid stretching the yarn. It works with wool. With hemp? Not so much. The ball was sloppy and prone to tangling and falling apart. So I rewound it more tightly, and away we went. And yes, that’s a provisional cast on at the bottom. Never fear, the bag will be only…blue.

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I also resurrected my ruffle tank from the time-out basket. I lost my annotated instructions last year at Sock Summit time, and was just too peeved to go on. But looking at it now, I’m pretty sure I can get the rest of it done. The back was already done, and the front was up past the armhole shaping. It won’t take long (famous last words) to finish. And I get to learn applied i-cord to finish the edges.

front

I’ve been working on the instructions for my Pacific Shawl (yes, mine is blue); it’s almost ready to go to test knit. I need to make a video tutorial for placing the beads, and check the math one more time, but the charts are done.

blueberrylime

Last night I made blueberry lime jam. (More blue, even though the jam is deep purple.) I don’t like plain blueberry jam, where the berries have been through the food processor. The texture is…grainy. So I gently squashed the berries with a potato masher, and I think I’ll like the result a lot better. Along with lime juice, there are bits of lime zest in there to give it some zing and keep it from being cloyingly sweet. Because these berries are really, really sweet already. There are still more out there on the bushes, too…

Oh, I did finish something that wasn’t blue…a helmet liner for the Knit for the Troops project. Lichen green, and I forgot to take a picture before dropping it off at Twisted! Sorry. I used the pattern here. If I were to do it again, I would change the decreases at the crown; there are only 5 decreases around the crown of the hat, and it meant that the top of the hat was tall and a bit pointy. I’d make more decrease points (maybe 8?) so the crown would be shorter and rounder. (If 8 decreases, then I’d start with 88 stitches instead of 90) But that’s just me; I can’t seem to ever knit something as written!

Back to the blues…

Travel knitting

I’m going away for a weekend with the Piano Babes. Too bad I haven’t played the piano very much this year. Oops. Knitting and blogging have taken up a lot of my leisure time! But I’ll try to resurrect the three Granados Waltzes from Valses Poeticos that I played this year. Wish me luck.

I’m trying to decide what knitting to take for the plane. I think my socks on dpns (poor languishing Kai-Mei) would be a bad choice because it’s so easy to drop a needle. Circular needles are great for plane knitting, because you can’t drop one! That means I should take the Ruffle Tank. Or my new Ishbel. Or both.

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New Ishbel? Yes! I was feeling sorry about not using that glorious blue Claudia Handpaint Silk Lace. It was a bit spendy, and I was feeling guilty. I bought some Addi Lace needles, and it has made all the difference. I also went down a needle size to a US 5. The silk glides along on the metal needles, and I’m a happy camper.

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This doesn’t meant that I don’t love my Lantern Moon Ebony needles. They’re still my favorite. And they’re working great on the Ruffle Tank! I finished the back, and have cast on for the front. This is a great knit, just enough pattern to it that I’m engaged, but simple enough to knit while watching old episodes of Firefly. Mmmm, Firefly. I’m going to be sad when the 14 episodes are done!

Have a great weekend! What’s on your needles?

Promises and Potpourri

I can’t remember exactly when our blueberries ripened last year, but there are promising signs out there.

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All five bushes are heavily laden again this year. I hope they’re ripe soon; I love blueberries!

My Ruffle Tank is showing signs of promise, too. The knitting is easy, and it’s a great take-along knit. I’m almost to the armhole shaping on the back, and still on the first of three skeins of yarn. I don’t think I’m going to run short.

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It’s interesting knitting with this linen/merino mix. It’s string-like, but not really hard on the hands. I know that when it gets washed and dried, it’s going to get a lot softer, and it will help even up the stitches, too.

And one more sign of promise:

robin nest

This robin is nesting in Carole’s lilac. Since our wreath nest was abandoned, Carole says we can share this one instead.

In other local news, Lorajean of Knitted Wit is having a contest. She’s participating in Take Steps for Crohn’s & Colitis, a fundraiser for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation. For every $5 you donate to Take Steps on her behalf, she’ll enter your name in a drawing for some wonderful prizes, including a Lantern Moon circular needle case, and hand-dyed yarn and fiber.

Deb Accuardi of Mt. Hood Fibers is starting a local sock club, which includes a lunch at Gino’s Restaurant in Sellwood (Portland) with every yarn/pattern release (every other month from October 2009 through August 2010).

And lastly, Saturday is World Wide Knit in Public Day. Last year I was on a camping trip, knitting in a field. I have several choices for this year: Hollywood Farmers’ Market at 8 a.m., Pioneer Courthouse Square at 10 a.m., or Hillsboro from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Get your needles ready!

Looking for a WWKIP Day event near you? Check here!