Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Ra-Ra Cape construction 2


I did not construct this cape all in one sitting, the i-cord threading was driving me batty.
Here is my take on Diagram 2, attaching the top two ruffles to section 3.



Section 1 cannot be attached directly opposite to the join of section 4 and 5, as shown in the diagram, as the length of attachment for each of section 1 and 2 does not allow this. Instead, section 1 is attached slightly to the right of the centre of the edge of section 3, then the i-cord is threaded through section 1 alone for 5cm of the cast on edge and all of the short end. There is a long tail of i cord.

Section 2 (crochet) is shown as being attached abutting section 1. I chose to overlap section 1 and 2 slightly to prevent a gap during wear. Section 2 is then attached to section 3 for 10cm, and the i cord is threaded through section 2 alone for 15cm. I assume this is to allow an armhole, but unfortunately, my daughter did not like the very skinny appearance of section 2 alone over her shoulder, and does not use this armhole. If I were to make this cape again, I would not place the armhole here, but in the section 4 attachment, to make a more symmetrical appearance when the garment is worn as a short vest, rather than just over the shoulders.
Section 2 is attached to section 4 for the last 15cm of section 2 edge. The remaining part of section 2 has the i-cord threaded through without attachment, and there is a long tail of i cord, which is worn tied to the i-cord tail from section 3 and 5.

The flowers are added at this point.


The instructions for this pattern say that assembly requires patience. I agree, but the outcome looks rather pretty, and the recipient is suitably appreciative.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Jo Sharp Knit Issue 7 Ra-Ra Cape Construction part 1

My daughter really fancied the Ra-Ra Cape from Knit Issue 7.


This pattern calls for 10 different balls of yarn in 5 separate pieces loosely joined by 3 i-cords. Reading through the pattern, I noted that several of these shades were only used for a relatively small amount of knitting. I decided to make a version of this pattern from mostly remnant yarn, to get an idea of the amounts needed.


Section 1 and 2
I used Alpaca Silk Georgette, Kelp, 1 ball for both sections. I used Sirdar baby bamboo, Willow to edge section 1.

Section 1 was straightforward, and a pretty lace pattern. The pattern calls for lightly ironing this piece before assembly. Instead I dampened the piece and gently stretched it to shape, pinning the section to my ironing board to dry overnight. I feel that this displays the lace pattern to advantage, without the risk of distorting the piece by ironing.

Section 2 is simple crochet. The crochet instructions in this pattern are written in USA style. I found this a bit annoying. The pattern book is published in Australia, and it is an error, in my opinion, to publish in this country, for distribution in this country, using non-Australian terms without noting this use in the pattern.

In spite of translating from USA to Australian/British crochet terms, I found that using the ASG for the crochet ruffle rather than the mohair indicated (or maybe not having a tension gauge to aspire to) left me with a crochet ruffle far less wide than the blocked knitted lace ruffle. I added a shell edging to increase the width.

RS: 1dc,*miss 1 stitch, 5tr into next stitch, miss 1 stitch, 1dc into next stitch: rep from*


Section 3
This is the only part of the garment for which a tension is given. Using the tension gauge, this piece is 60cm in length.
There is an error in this section. The first 6 rows are correct, except for the double asterisks at the end of row 6, which should be ignored.

Rows 7 - 12 Rep rows 1 to 6.
Rows 13 - 17 Rep rows 1 to 5.
Cast off in rib pattern.

I used Alpaca Silk Georgette in Kelp, and Aslan Trends Glaciar Del Cielo, in colour Green Tea for section 3

Section 5 and 6 were constructed as written, using the same Rare Comfort Kid mohair shade for both (Damask) (C and D), with the other yarns being Silkroad DK Tweed in Magnolia (this is yarn E in the pattern, and I used it as yarn E), substituting Aslan Trends Artesenal in Champagne for yarn F, and using the Green Tea cotton (I), the Baby Bamboo Willow yarn (J) and Jo Sharp Soho Summer Cotton in Crete (H) as the three cottons.

The i- cords were made from the Baby Bamboo, in Willow, and in the Magnolia shade of the Silk Road DK tweed. The crochet flowers (translated from American again) were made in the Green Tea cotton.

I then started the assembly. This was not straightforward, as the diagrams are not to scale.

As section 3 is 60cm long, and Section 5 is attached to it for 20 cm, followed by a 25 cm gap, then attached for an unspecified length, it is important to note that Section 5 is attached at least 3/4 of the way along the length of Section 3, not 1/2 way along as Diagram 1 would indicate. (I unpicked ;( )


I found that Section 4 was slightly gathered to Section 3 to achieve the 13cm unattached edge at the left.


I found all the i-cords rather too long in this garment. In retrospect, I could have made them a third shorter with no problems for wear by an average sized woman.

I will write about the next assembly steps in a further post.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Knit Issue 10 Jo Sharp Cotton T shirt

The Desert Garden Aran jumper in Knit Issue 10 has been lurking at the back of my project list for a few months now. With warmer weather, I have faithlessly abandoned my blanket in progress, and my 1/3 completed wooly waistcoat, and frivolously started on this top 2 weeks ago - on a weekend away camping. (Yes, we did need our beanies at night, and they were beautfully warm)

The Desert Garden jumper was a perfect knit for car travel, easy stitches, washable, non-fuzzy cotton/microfibre yarn, and I was happily up to ball 4 on the sleeve/upper bodice section whilst still on the drive north west (passenger, naturally) when I ran into a problem. The ball I pulled out of my knitting bag was not the same shade. Horror! I had pulled the yarn straight from the shop shelf on Friday, not looking very closely, knowing that there was only one dye lot per yarn on the shelf. What could have happened? Alas, I had a mixed bag of colour Solstice 237, a white/cream shade, and Stark 668, which is, as the name suggests, Stark white. I had no other knitting project with me, what could I do but start a second top in Stark?

As I had more of the Stark with me than the Solstice, I progressed further with the second top during the weekend away, and have now finished it, much to the displeasure of daughter the second, who had dibs on the first one. As this is a quick knit, I might manage to get hers finished too before the very hot weather starts.

I am afraid that I cannot agree with the magazine that this is a t shirt. In my opinion, this garment is a boat neck jumper. It is designed with a loose tension, so that an undergarment in a contrasting colour is visible underneath. It would be rather cheeky worn without an underlayer.


This particular jumper is size B, for a 90 cm chest. The smaller size is for an 80 cm chest, slightly smaller than the dimensions of the recipient, and my daughter did not want a close fitting or negative ease garment, hence the larger size. I have lengthened the sleeves, and the body, slightly, to fit my daughter, but still used only 10 balls. The printed pattern called for 24 balls for this size, which was an errata corrected by the Jo Sharp team to 14 balls, but in my knitting, even with lengthening, I was 4 balls short of this.