Recently in Green Gable Category

Finished Rainbow Gable

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Finished Rainbow Gable

The Rainbow Gable,she is finished. The ends are woven in and glued down with Fraycheck. She is all ready to make the trip across the western US, across part of the Pacific Ocean to the island of Kauai in the Rainbow state itself.

As you can probably tell, I did opt to do the full waist shaping. It was definitely the right decision as this top fits perfectly and definitely works with my curves. The husband likes this one a good deal. "Could you have made the top completely with the mesh pattern?" he asked. "Yes, but then it would be kind of see-through." Pause for a moment. "What's wrong with that?"

Clearly the boys, they are not always thinking the same things about a garment as we are. But in the end, both John and I liked what we saw.

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Back of the Gable

In case I haven't mentioned it, this top was made with Tess' Designer Yarns Hand Dyed Microfiber Ribbon. I believe the colorway is called "Confetti". I started with two skeins and have a significant amount of the second skein left. I opted to make the top about an inch longer than suggested by the pattern. I considered going a little longer, but didn't want it to stretch too much over my hips. Overall I am very pleased with how this colorway worked. It is not a subtle sophisticated colorway, but it is bright, happy and didn't pool in any weird ways. And it will be perfect for warm sunny days both here and on vacation. Good thing that vacation is coming soon, because warm weather in Chicago is mostly on it's way out of town for a while.

A few comments about the yarn in this top. Generally speaking, the yarn and this pattern are well paired. However, the knit is quite loose at this gauge and it is very, very easy to snag this stuff. The ribbon doesn't get damaged (this stuff is like iron) but the ribbon gets pulled out and the stitches can get very distorted in the area of the snag. Easy enough to repair, but a pain to deal with. Clearly I will not be wearing this garment anywhere near my cell phone clip, and I will be careful about wearing it when I am carrying a purse with a lot of hardware.

The only problem with the top itself is the neckline on the back. It rolls over rather badly, even though it looks fine in the front (if you look closely you can see it just below my hair line in the back picture). I may have to thread a bit of elastic through the cast on edge to keep it where I want it.

This top is also accompanied by another purchase from Renegade that will be travelling with me. The floral pendant is from a local artist, ZN Creative Arts. I loved the color when I saw it (probably no surprise to those of you who have been reading for a while) and thought it would be a very fun addition to my jewelry box.

Rainbow Gable

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Rainbow Gable

So it seems that my microfiber ribbon yarn and the Green Gable pattern are willing to play nice with each other. I've been referring to this top as "Rainbow Gable", for obvious reasons. Clearly, this is not a subtle garment, even in the subdued light of a rainy, grey Chicago day. But I do think it is a perfect garment to take with me to the Rainbow State (as Hawaii is sometimes nicknamed -- in fact, last year, when we were in Maui, we saw a plethora of rainbows). Lord knows, John will not lose me on the beach -- or any place else -- if I am wearing this!

I do like the being able to "try it on as I go" part of knitting from the top down. You are not getting any modeled shots at this point -- no one needs to have too much exposure to my blindingly white belly (though John was entertained by the process) -- but I am very pleased with how it fits and the nice way the ribbon fabric interacts with my shape. I'm a couple of inches below the bustline right now, so there's still plenty of knitting to go. The only real decision that remains at this point: do I add waist shaping or not? I am tempted not to because I think the ribbon fabric will accomodate most of my curves, but my favorite garments usually turn out to be the "fully fashioned" ones and the only challenge in adding the shaping is doing it at the right place. Once again, an easy thing, when dealing with a top down garment.

And I have no fears of running out of ribbon. As you can see, that ball there is still quite substatial and only the last 2" or so are from that ball. So I should have plenty of ribbon to finish the bottom and the sleeves. I will definitely be lengthening this top beyond the recommendations of the pattern. I am a little past my days of belly tops, I think, and the top will get more wear if it is slightly less revealing.

Funny Little Swatch

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A Funny Swatch and a New Pattern

So I've really been stalled on finding something that I want to knit for myself. Besides socks, I mean. I wanted to find something that I could knit out of existing stash. I wanted to find a project that really fell into the "close to instant gratification" category. I wanted a project that would actually be a useful and practical wardrobe addition. I wanted something that might even want to go on a Hawaiian vacation weith me. A summer top would seem like the perfect thing.

Now, if I'm making a cardigan sweater to wear over a turtleneck, practical and useful can mean just about anything as long as the garment is shaped well and provides warmth. But for a summer top, "practical" means "machine washable". Alas, my current stash does not include very many yarns with this quality. Aside from a small stash of CottonEase and a rather vast collection of sock yarn I couldn't remember anything else that fit the bill.

And then Silivia finished her Green Gable top and helped me solve all my problems at once. First of all, I definitely have 2 skeins of Tess Designer Yarns Microfiber Ribbon (as a matter of fact, I have 2 skeins in one wild variagated colorway, and 3 skeins in a more solid sophisticated colorway). The Green Gable top is a nice easy knit (mostly in the round and mostly stockinette except for the neckline detail). The top would likely be a nice functional piece in my wardrobe, and given that it would be constructed of microfiber ribbon, most eminently machien washable. Clearly, a bright colored, washable, almost impossible to wrinke top could go on vacation in Hawaii.

Clearly, I will also owe Silvia a good margarita the next time I see her for both the inspiration and because I am now going to blantantly copy her idea.

Today, while watching my husband sort through vacation properties on Kauai, I started swatching for Green Gable. I am a lazy swatcher at best, and while I figured I needed to knit a swatch in the round I decided I was just going to knit enough to determine "fast fail" a needle size. The first rows were cast on to 4 of the the pattern recommended US size 6 needles (4.0 mm). Eight rows later it was clear that both row and stitch gauge were too tight. The next set of rows were worked on 5 US size 7 needles (4.5 mm). Still no dice. I then discovered that I don't actually have any US size 8 (5.0 mm) double pointed needles, so the last section was knit on a singular Crystal Palace circular needle using the magic loop method. Almost perfect. Or, I should say, perfect enough for me. Truth be told, my row gauge was perfect, but my stitch gauge is probably a little tighter than it should be. But this fabric has an awful lot of horizontal give, and the top is meant to be quite form fitting, so I think I'll be okay. I'm going to stick with bamboo needles for this project, because this ribbon is quite slippery and I think the wood will give me the extra grip I need to keep my stitches looking neat.

So now, I'm off to rip out that swatch and get started. I know, not good form, but after all the other swatch sins I've committed here, I figure what's one more? I'm hoping the happy vacation vibes will win out over bad swatch karma

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