26 September 2007

FO: Bonnie...

Finished before the end of Project Spectrum despite a few set backs.

Pattern: None. Inspired by a top worn by Faye Dunaway in Bonnie and Clyde
Yarn: Jaeger Aqua in Bugle, 7 skeins
Needles: US5/3.75mm KnitPicks Options; 3mm crochet hook, cable needle
Other: Jacquard Procion MX dye in lilac
Time: 1 month


I had some trouble figuring out the smocking. I knit about three swatches and still had to rip out the back (first piece I knit) when the method finally occurred to me. I had the right idea in my last swatch but tweaked it when I reknit the back. I posted a tutorial earlier this month on how to do the smocking. I forgot to mention that the number of stitches to cast on are an odd multiple of 5+3. The odd multiple (e.g. 7x5 or 13x5) is important for symmetry.

The math wasn't too difficult to figure out until I got to the sleeves. In the end, the sleeves are a tad more fitted than in the movie picture. I say this because in the photo, the smocking is relaxed rather than stretched. The only way I could get this effect was to increase a lot after knitting the smocked band, which would have made the sleeve much too baggy. I also worked a single crochet edging around the neck.

Sleeve detail

As you can see, I overdyed the top. When I washed it (by hand with mild soap), some discoloration occurred on the sleeves. A very noticeable hot pink stripe went halfway around both of them. Since I've washed items in the same manner before with no problem and it only happened on the sleeves, I might have gotten an unlucky skein. There are other possible reasons. Anyway, I was tired of knitting on this and I wanted to wear this soon so I did a bit of research on dying cotton. I ended up getting some Procion MX dye and tried dying for the first time ever. The end result isn't as even as I'd like but at least you can't see any blatant discoloration. The top is now a shade darker, which I kind of like. I'll call this a success considering it was my first time.

I might make another one sometime in the future. Probably with a softer cotton or drapier plant fiber. I tend to avoid wool for short sleeved tops meant for spring and summer. Next time I'll make the bottom of the body about and inch longer and maybe I'll even figure out the sleeves.

For now it's back to the Vogue hooded jacket. Both sleeves and one front are done. Currently working on the other front and then I'll just have the back and the hood to do. I'm also going to try to get some more progress on Monkey. After the hooded jacket, I plan on finally starting Venezia from last fall's Interweave and either Baudelaire or the Entrelac Stockings after Monkey.

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