Friday, December 21, 2012

Friday Favorites: A Little Somethin' Somethin'


 Just for you - a little something special :)

I've posted a new free pattern on my Hubpage for this knitted flower.  This is a quick knit and easy to assemble.  And it uses two of my favorite materials:  scrap yarn and vintage buttons!

My pattern includes directions on turning your flower into a pin, but you can really use these flowers as decoration on sweaters, hats, household items, whatever.  And you can change up the look of your flower with your choice of yarn and buttons.

I hope you enjoy this pattern!


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

More Knitting Hints


I've added some knitting articles to my Hubpages blog that I thought might be of interest to you :)

How to Pick the Right Yarn for Your Knitting Project

How to Pick a Sweater Pattern

A Review of A Stitch in Time, Vols 1 & 2 (knitting books)

I hope these articles are of interest and help to some of you.  I'll be posting some new patterns in the next few weeks!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Friday Favorites: The Holiday Season



I really do love the winter holiday season.  Yes, it comes earlier every year.  Yes, it's a lot of rushing around.  But I love the decorating, the food, and doing something special for those you love.

Here are some crafts, gifts, and recipes to make your holidays a little more merry :)

1.  I made this needle felted reindeer decoration (above) for my knitting group's handmade ornament exchange (we had a blast).  It was my first time needle felting, and I enjoyed it.  I've posted my notes and instructions here.

2.  Knitty.com has a great list of gift ideas for knitters.  These gifts include storage containers (always needed and appreciated), magazine holders, and design materials.  These ideas are items you don't always think about, but every knitter wants and needs!



3.  In case you missed it, I've just posted a new FREE holiday-themed knitting pattern for my Reindeer Tracks Cowl (I must have reindeers on the mind). 

4.  I always love it when someone gives me something I can't splurge on myself.  Here's a review of the much desired and beautiful A Stitch in Time (Vols. 1 & 2) knitting books.  Any vintage knitting fan would love these books!

5.  What would the holidays be without food and entertaining?  Here are a few of my favorite recipes for parties and little get-togethers:

Warm Eggplant Parmesan Dip (so good!)
Easy Meatball and Pepperoni Pasta Bake
Quick Salsa Cheese Dip

Hope these ideas fill your heart with warmth and cheer!


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

And the winner is...


My Textured Fingerless Mitts pattern!!  Yay!  My pattern won the Rising Star competition on Hubpages!!

And what did I win, you ask?  A "virtual" trophy! And bragging rights for a little while :)

Thanks SO MUCH to everyone who voted!  I really appreciate your support!

Check out my Hubpage for more free knitting patterns and craft ideas!

Thanks again!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Please vote for my pattern!!!


Yea! My free pattern for my Textured Fingerless Gloves or Mitts (by purl3agony) has been nominated as a rising star on Hubpages!!!  I really have no idea what this means but please go to http://hubpages.com/topics/arts-and-design/2 by Wednesday, Dec 5, and vote for my pattern (pretty please).  If I win, then we'll all find out what this is all about :)

You don't have to sign up to vote, so vote early and often!!  While you're there, check out my other free patterns and craft articles at http://purl3agony.hubpages.com/

Thanks!!!!



Friday, November 23, 2012

Friday Favorites: The Lust List

Or "If money grew on trees..."

photo by Genevieve Williamson on etsy

1.  Polymer Clay Bracelet by Genevieve Williamson on Etsy - This bracelet is beautiful! I love how she formed and colored the polymer clay to look like old, worn pieces of wood, stone, I don't know, something else. It's - at the same time - both very architectual and organic. Really cool.

photo by Zach Medler on etsy
 
2.  Pittsburgh Mug by Zach Medler on Etsy - He doesn't currently have this mug in his shop, but I love this design. I love how he uses stamps to create a Pittsburgh-like landscape on his mugs. I lived in Pittsburgh for 9 years and loved it. This mug reminds me of Pgh - the heaviness and colors of this piece remind me of the industrial past and hardworking roots of the city. Plus, I always love a great handcrafted ceramic mug!
 
 
photo from elvafields.com
 
3.  Handmade Necklace from Elva Fields - I first heard about Emily Wheat Maynard's beautiful jewelry in an article in Country Living magazine and just fell in love. It's hard to pick a favorite among all of her beautiful pieces. Emily recycles/upcycles vintage jewelry into new pieces with a great modern look. I love bold necklaces and really like how she maintains the femininity of the vintage pieces while updating them to a very current and cool look.
 
 
4.  The Photographs of Sarah Szwajkos - We saw an exhibition of her really large photographs recently at the Chocolate Church Arts Center (I'm not making this up) in Bath, Maine. I can't seem to copy any of the images from her website to share on this blog, but believe me, her photos are amazing (follow the link). Her photos of indoor spaces capture this wonderful sense of stillness, beauty, and mystery. You feel as if the occupants have scampered off, and left the details of their daily lives to be examined like an archaeological dig. Really fascinating.
 
With the holidays coming up, I hope this list gives my husband some ideas :)


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Knitting Pattern: Reindeer Tracks Cowl


I recently posted this new knitting pattern for my Reindeer Tracks Cowl on my Hubpages.  You can find this FREE pattern at: http://purl3agony.hubpages.com/hub/Free-Knitting-Pattern-Reindeer-Tracks-Cowl.

This is a pretty quick, so it's great for last minute holiday gifts :)   The pattern uses slipped stitches and is knitted in the round.  I designed it to show off the colors of variegated yarn, but I think it would also look good in solid colors.

Hope you like it :)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Friday Favorites: Non-Traditional Quilts

"Christina's World" quilt by Luke Haynes
First, I don't quilt.  I don't even really sew.  But I enjoy looking at quilts and I admire the work and creativity that is involved.  I love how color and texture are pieced together to create an interesting composition.  I particularly like non-traditional quilts where either a) traditional materials are used to create a non-traditional pattern or image; or b) non-traditional materials are used to form something the resembles a traditional quilt pattern.

For this Friday Favorites, I am highlighting two non-traditional "quilt" artists.  A little surprising, both are men (I'm not really sure what that says about anything, but it's interesting to note).

Luke Haynes

"American Gothic" from Luke Haynes website

 
Amazing. What else is there to say? His cloth photo quilts are so detailed in their piecework - just beautiful. And I love how he uses traditional quilt designs as background for these images of daily life. I really can't imagine having the patience to put these together, but the color and composition make you forget that you're looking at a quilt and just draw you into the image itself.  Again, amazing.
 
 
"In School" by The Steel Quilt Company
 
Nathan Winkler uses wood and recycled barn tin to create these "barn quilts" that mimic traditional quilt patterns.  I love the rustic marriage of the rusted tin and worn wood in his pieces.  He seems to have a great eye for picking just the right background color to interplay with the pieces of recycled metal and how to create visual interest.  His barn quilts manage to be "country" and yet still be very modern.  More information about the Steel Quilt Company can be found on their facebook page.
 
from the Steel Quilt Company
Hope you enjoyed seeing these amazing quilts!  do you have any favorite non-traditional quilters?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Top Ten Local Yarn Store Names

logo for Ball & Skein from their website


I love to visit local yarn stores (LYSs) when I'm traveling. Its always great to see the different products that different stores carry and how the merchandise is displayed. I particularly like stores with great names. I lean toward LYSs with cute and clever names, and I love a good play on words.

I've put together a list of the best names I've come across. I'm not receiving any compensation from listing these stores. I don't have any relationship to any of them. In fact, I've only been to a couple of them (which I've indicated with an * ). These LYSs are on this list solely based on their names. I've included links to their websites if you want more information about them.

Top 10 Local Yarn Store Names
 

1. Knit and Stitch = Bliss in Bethesda, MD

2. Yarnia in Portland, OR
3. Ball & Skein* in Kennebunk, ME

4. Knitorious in St. Louis, MO


5. (tie) We're in Stitches (no website) and We'll Keep You in Stitches, both in Chicago


6. Yarntopia in New York City


7. TheTaming of the Ewe in Gadsden, AL


8. Yarnivore in San Antonio, TX


9. Strings& Strands in Atlanta, GA


10. Purl's Yarn Emporium* in Asheville, NC


 
Honorable Mentions


Twisted in Portland, OR

String in New York City

Bad Woman Yarn in Seattle, WA

I have a dream (more like a daydream) of opening a yarn store in Maine when I retire.  And I've already got a great name for it!  But I'm keeping it a secret :)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Knitting Project: Modern Cabled Capelet


My latest knitting project is a short capelet (whatever that is) from Teva Durham Loop-d-Loop Lace book. It’s done, however I've made so many changes to my capelet that it barely resembles Teva Durham's design.

I've always had some issues with capes and ponchos. They seem slightly impractical (particularly for warmer climates), somewhat uncomfortable to wear, and (dare I say it?) I think I might be too old to pull one off.
But I loved the idea of Teva Durham's pattern - I liked the overall shape of her cape and the fact that the side slits allowed your arms to be free. But I thought her lace pattern was a bit boring (just my opinion). I wanted to try this cape using my own modern lace pattern, and went about making changes to be able to accomodate my cable pattern. Add in that my gauge was off and this led to MANY modifications.
1. I wanted to change the neckline because this Patons Classic Wool that I'm using is itchy. The original neck in the pattern would sit too high on my neck and drive me crazy. So instead, I knit a wider crewneck with ribbing that won't really touch my neck.
 
2. Because my gauge was off, I added another 4 stitches of ribbing to each side to give me more width to stretch over my arms and seam up the sides.
 
3. I used 5 alternating modern lace cables for the pattern (I'm making the front and back pieces the same - both with the cable pattern).
 
4. My cables had less flexibility than her lace pattern would, so I built in 6 stitches of garter on each side of the cables (there's garter between the cables too). This allowed the piece to stretch and move.
 
 

Now that the capelet is finished, it is probably as impractical and uncomfortable as I expected (I feel and look a bit like a mummy in it), and the shoulders are wonky as described by others on Ravelry. I tried to remedy this a bit, but they are still wonky and they ride up every time I move my arms. But...I do love my cable lace pattern on this piece. I love the color, and I still love the idea of this capelet.

But…I think I’m going to frog it
L  The shoulders are just too weird.  Instead, I think I’ll find a cardigan pattern, and just add my cables to it to make something that I’ll definitely wear and enjoy J



Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Gift of Giving


Fall is traditionally a time when a lot of knitters' minds (and hands) turn to holiday gifts. For the past two years, I've knitted gifts for my family members, with mixed reactions. All in all, its safe to say my family are not great fans of handmade gifts.

So this year I've been using my stash to knit gifts to give to charity. And I've come across a new call for knitted goods, the Red Scarf Project. I am not a paid spokesperson for this organization, nor am I affiliated with them in any way. I don't know anything more about it other than what I've read on their website, but it sounds like an interesting cause.

The Red Scarf Project is accepting red scarves (or scarves with red in them) to distribute to college students who have grown up in foster care. The scarves are distributed as part of a Valentine's Day care package for each student!

Scarves can be any shade of red and can include other colors. The finished scarf should be 5" to 8" wide and about 60" long. The organization only accepts scarf donations from September 1 to December 15 - perfect for fall knitting! For more information, visit their website at http://www.fc2success.org/how-you-can-help/red-scarf-project/.

I've decided to knit Cindy Bajema's Best Friend Scarf using some red Encore dk I picked up while on vacation.  I really like the simple lace pattern in the scarf and I hope it will be perfect for this donation.

Anyone have any favorite organizations that request charity knitting that they want to share?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Hints and Help for My Knitting Patterns

I'm posting some information that may helpful for my knitting patterns, now located on Hubpages.

Some folks have had some issues with working through the double yarnovers in my High Tea Collar Necklace and my Modern English Cowl patterns.  I've put together this (very basic) video tutorial, showing the double yarnovers.  I hope this helps!  (be kind, this is the first time I used the video feature on my camera)

video


I've also posted the knitting chart for my Modern English Cowl to the right.  This is a jpeg.  You should be able to double-click on it, save it, the re-size for printing.  Let me know if you have any problems :)

Monday, July 30, 2012

Sakura, or How I Learned to Love this Top


It's taken a long time to post, but I finished my Sakura Tee from the Summer 2012 Interweave Knits about a month ago.  I knew when I started this pattern that this top was not the best choice for me.  These boxy tops with no side shaping seem to draw attention to my hips and make my chest look like that of a 12 year old boy.  Not a good look for me :(  But I still loved the design, and I had some cotton yarn in my stash that would work for the pattern, so I decided to give it a go.

I still think the shape is not the best for me, but the top has grown on me.  I like the relaxed feel of it and I think the pattern is unexpected.  The construction was unusual too and it was fun to knit.

It was not fun, however, to try and photograph.  Three different photo sessions, three different necklaces (variety is the spice of life), a very patient husband, and still not a good photo to be had.
Ugh, my face is blurry

Maybe a flash will help?
Why does my hair look green?

Time to move on to the next project :)

Monday, July 16, 2012

A few (knitted) projects around the house

We're slowly getting unpacked and settled in our new house.  And I'm glad that I had some time to knit a few things for our home.  These projects have become welcomed and useful additions.

First up - place mats for our kitchen table.  I'm still working on these.  I've completed three so far and want to make a set of six (we have six chairs). 

I've been all over the place with these place mats (no pun intended).  I started with the Woodsy Place Mat pattern, which I was lucky enough to tear out and keep from a Creative Knitting magazine my Mom found at the recycle center.  I love how this pattern looked in the Red Heart Fiesta I've been using, but after blocking these place mats shrunk and the edges got all wonky.  I was not a happy camper :(

I swatched a bunch of other patterns, but didn't find anything that I liked as much as these.  So, I re-knit them (again), but this time I added a garter border (5 rows on the bottom, 3 stitches on each side, and 4 rows on the top before binding off).   With the garter border they keep their shape much better.

Next, coasters - I've talked about these before, but you haven't see the wonderful thing I found to keep them in!

I have this little wood-fired ceramic cup from a pottery class I took a few years ago.  My six coasters fit perfectly in it, and I'm thinking  of making a couple more coasters if I have enough yarn left.

And finally, my knitted basket, also made from the pinwheel coaster pattern.  Once I finish my (never-ending) place mats, I plan to make another one of these baskets to cover a glass jar and hold my knitting needles.  I hope to use some self-stripeing yarn for the contrast color.
And then one future project - I have about 3/4 of a skein of cotton yarn left over from my latest sweater project.  I want to use this either to make a hand towel for my master bathroom or a couple of face cloths for my guest bathroom.  I'd certainly get more use out of a hand towel for my own bathroom (we don't have many guests), but if I make a few smaller cloths, I'll get to try a couple of different patterns (which would be fun).  What do you think I should do? 




Monday, June 25, 2012

The Big Reveal


We finally moved into our new house last Monday and are still unpacking.  But, of course, the first space I had to set up is my new knitting/craft room!

I love it!  (though I've only spent a couple of hours in it (so far) while I waited for Habitat for Humanity to come and pick up my husband's old recliner).  I still need to hang some artwork, but I think all the elements have come together just as I had hoped :)

Surprisingly, only a couple of items in this room are new.  All of the furniture I've had for at least 10-15 years (yikes!).  This green chair (with the finished front of my Sakura Top draped over the arm) and I have been together for many years.  I love it, and really built the room around it.  Only the ottoman and carpet are new. 

The ottoman I bought at Target for $55 (but I used a gift card).  I wasn't really sure that this ottoman went with my chair, but now that I've got the rug, I think it looks great together.

I went over budget on the rug.  I realized I had to go up in size to fit the room, then, well, things change.  My husband liked the rug and agreed that we could up the budget to buy it.  It is perfect for the room and we're happy.


I was hoping that these shelves would look neater once I got all my supplies on them, but it was not to be.  Oh well, its a working space.  And its my space :) 


What do you think?  Any suggestions?  I'd love to hear about and see photos of your work spaces!!


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Worth the Wait!!


Well, it has taken a while, much longer than I expected, but I finally finished (almost) my modified version of the Modern Lace Henley from Knitty.
As you may recall, I wanted to make a lace crewneck pullover similar to this sweater from the J Crew website (it no longer seems to be available), using some Knitpicks Comfy I had from a previously frogged project. 

So here's the deal - my gauge was no where near the gauge for the pattern.  Doing some math, I figured that I could cast on for the x-small size with a #7 needle and get the size I needed for my hips.  I followed the decreases laid out in the pattern, but switched to a #6 needle at the waist to tighten up the width for my chest measurement.  I changed the top to a crewneck, lengthened the body to 22 inches, and made the sleeves 3/4 length.  If I were to re-think this project, I might try to figure out the math to knit the body of the sweater in the round (though the decreases would be a nightmare).  If this was knitted in the round, the finished sweater might have more of a bias fit, more like to J Crew sweater.  But I'm NOT planning to re-knit this whole sweater.  Not now, not ever :)
I followed another Raveller's suggestion and deleted 1 pattern repeat for the cast on for the sleeves, starting with 50 stitches.  Big mistake for me - my sleeves are too tight and are pulling, particularly at the shoulders.  Sometime (not now, but hopefully before summer is over) I'm going to re-knit the sleeves, following the cast on stitches as suggested by the pattern.  I'm also going to fiddle with the top of the sleeve - I don't like how its fitting into the sweater.
Overall, very happy :)  This sweater is very comfy and soft.  (And I still love the color!!!) 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Confessions of a Wife Left Behind

So we closed on our new house last Friday.  And this past Tuesday, my husband left for an 8 day business trip.  This is the second time he's left me to do all the packing and unpacking from a move all by myself!  This time, I decided to get some retail compensation.

I've bought two knit-related items, though neither is a big splurge.

Purchase #1 -  I finally hunted down a knit-novel that I had been searching for.  I found Unravelled by Robyn Harding on ebay for $2.31.  I find these knit genre books are all pretty similar and a bit hokey.  That aside, this book is a light read, a great distraction from the stress of moving, and I am enjoying it :)

Purchase #2 - I bought a mini-skein of hand-dyed merino sock yarn from Wullenstudio off of esty.  I have a plan to make a necklace, similar to one on saw on Anthropologie, from this yarn.  Once I'm done, I'll share my notes on this blog.  Stay tuned!!

Although I'm miffed about my husband's absence, I can't complain completely.  I've managed to make great headway on my lace pullover. 


I've completed the back piece and I am almost done with the front!!  Just the sleeves, blocking, and joining to go!  I might actually finish this sweater by the end of June.  (And I still love the color!)



Friday, May 25, 2012

Its A Start

We closed on our new house today.  Here's a photo of a rose from the yard of our new house, sitting on our new windowsill!



For a little while, at least, this blog might focus on decorating and setting up the house.  But I will still be knitting along the way :)  Stay tuned!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Coffee Tables, Coasters, and Ottomans (Oh My!)

More about the new house, decorating and knitting...

We will be buying new furniture for the living/family room.  Everything we have now is stuff my husband or I bought after college and have been hauling around with us for years.  I'm particularly excited about getting a nice(ish) coffee table, something like this beauty from Macy's.

from Macy's website
(Actually I can't see paying this much for a coffee table, but I like the glass top and the medium wood color, and I think we can find something similar at other stores).

Of course, if we invest in a nice coffee table (i.e. something that hasn't had three previous owners and was bought at Goodwill), then we need to treat it well.  Do I hear coasters?



I just finished these babies last night.  Using the pattern for Pinwheel Coasters from Ravelry, I knitted these using some leftover Red Heart Fiesta from a previous project.  I made 6 coasters with a #8 needle, then used various scrap yarn to darn the center hole, adding the different colors.  I like how funky this set looks.  And very utilitarian, too! 

And on another decorating note, I think I may have found my ottoman:


I bought this ottoman at Target for around $55 (but I had a gift card).  It doesn't really "match" the chair, but I love the fabric and all the colors.  I think I'm going to keep it.  Heck, its my knitting room - I can have whatever furniture I want, right?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A (Knitting) Room of One's Own

Well, my lace pullover sweater is going about as well as possible.  Its been slow in knitting, but I've been having some wrist pain and trying to take it easy by cutting down on my knitting :(  This has been disappointing, but there has been some GREAT news:  My husband and I are in the process of buying a new home!  Best part - I am going to convert the formal dining room into a knitting/arts room of my very own!!! 


I've never had a dedicated arts room for my projects, but I think this room will be perfect. I really love it!! Its light and bright and just the right size (the photo above is from the real estate listing and features the sellers' dining room furniture).  To be honest - its one of the main reasons I wanted to buy the house :)

And I'm so excited to start decorating this room (and the rest of the house).  I've had this wonderful overstuffed green armchair for many, many years, but have never really used it or even sat in it.  I've always loved it so much that I put it in the dark corner of every living room I've had, fearing it might get faded by sunlight.  Well, now I'm going to use it.  It should be a very comfortable knitting chair.  Maybe I need an ottoman to go with it?
I love this one from the Anthropologie website, but it doesn't really go with my chair.

I have a couple of these small bookcase/storage units that I want to put in the room, probably under the windows.  I'll use these to store my books and art supplies.  And I want to put my small work table in there for blocking and other projects. 



Next step - I want to get a funky area rug for the room to make it cozy.  I've scoured many a website looking at area rugs.  There are some really beautiful ones out there, but I'd like to keep the cost under $150 (or much, much less). 


One of my favorites is this rug from World Market, but they're out of the size I need and the price is much higher than what I'd like to pay.

I've even found some interesting area rugs on Walmart's website (like this or this) at much better prices.  Luckily, I have some time to look around for something I really like at the right price.

I'm sure I'll have updates, but enough about decorating and shopping - back to knitting: who hasn't fallen in love with this top from the upcoming Summer 2012 issue of Interweave Knits?  I know I said I needed to take it slower with my knitting, but this beauty has made it's way to the top of my queue!!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A decision, finally (maybe)

Thank you to everyone for your kind words about my pink eyelet top, both here and on Ravelry.  A lot of you thought the finished top looked great, others supported my thoughts on frogging it and making something else.  After a couple of weeks of considering my options, I've (almost) decided to take it apart and make this beautful lace henley top from Knitty.  My plan is to change the neck to a crewneck and make the sleeves longer, maybe 3/4 length.

A couple of things have influenced my decision.  One, the eyelet top pattern called for way more yarn than I actually used, so I have 4 and half skeins of yarn left over. (I hate when a pattern calls for so much more yarn than you actually use - I mean, what's up with that?).  If I take apart the top and use the leftover yarn, I can knit up a full sweater with longer sleeves.

Two, the worsted weight yarn I used is very soft and comfortable, but still rather heavy for a sleeveless top.  It is unlikely that I could wear a heavy top in warmer weather, so a longer sleeved top for spring/fall might be a better use of this yarn.

from Banana Republic website
And three (most important), I've fallen in love with this sweater from Banana Republic.  I tried this sweater on in the store and loved it.  However, this pink color in person is more orangey (really, a bright coral color) and not great for my coloring.  Also the cotton of this sweater is a little scratchy on the skin.  If I change the Knitty lace henley to a crewneck and use my Knitpicks Comfy in that beautiful poesy color, I think I can create a very similar, if not more flattering, finished sweater.

So, that's the plan.  Maybe.  And unfortunately, my digital camera died just after I finished taking the photos of the eyelet top, so it might be a while until I can post any photos of this project.  If I decide to frog the eyelet top.  Which I think I will (probably) do.  Maybe.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Indecision and Disappointment (or Disappointment, then Indecision)

Sorry to be so long in posting, but I've been busy with my needles, knitting the Top-down Eyelet Top from Teva Durham's Loop-d-loop lace book

Although this might not be the most beautiful pattern in this book, it immediately caught my eye.  I love the simple pattern, and the easy and casual feel of the top in the photos in the book.  But my finished version of this top leaves me rather disappointed.  I love the neck and top part of the shirt, but from the armpits down, I think it's kind of a mess.  I have almost made up my mind to frog it and make something else instead.

For starters, I think there's a problem with the pattern as its been printed in the book.  The pattern says this top will fit up to a 40 inch bust, but as written, I found the shirt to be tight and uncomfortable even on my 34 inch chest.  And the eyelets in the picture in the book have this lovely rippling effect.  Alas, my finished top did not have the same open eyelets that should look as if they are dripping down the body.

I had made some modifications.  I chose to knit my top in Knitpick's Comfy, in a beautiful shade of rosy pink called Poesy.  Love it!  I wanted to make the top out of a yarn that would be good for warmer weather wear, and chose not to knit it in wool.  (This may have been part of my problem.)

After knitting down to the armpits and finding the top to be uncomfortably snug, I tore my knitting out and started again.  The top starts with the circular yoke, and I started the pattern after the first increase, making the top a bit bigger from the beginning.  To avoid have the neck opening be too large, I cast on with a #4 needle for a few rows, then switched to a #6 needle.  I knit with the #6 almost to the shoulders before switching to a #7 needle to complete the rest of the garment.

I think there's another problem with the pattern in knitting the yoke.  The pattern says to do 5 repeats for the smaller sizes and only 4 repeats for the larger sizes.  That doesn't make sense.  I did 5 repeats for mine.  Four repeats would not have been big enough or wide enough to reach my shoulders, which are somewhat narrow.

Once you bind off for the shoulders and cast on for the body, the pattern has you slipping and passing over stitches to maintain the same stitch count through the body.  This is where my top really became a mess.  To me, the passed-over stitches create this crab look, which I didn't notice in the photo in the book and that I really don't like.  I also think it makes the top look more bulky than I expected. 

I added a little shaping through the body and chose to add ribbing to the bottom edge.  The original top has a rolled edge on the bottom.  But in my experience, rolled edges always roll up to my belly button every time I sit down and I spend way too much time pulling down my shirt.  Ugh.  I didn't want my ribbing to be too distracting from the pattern of the top, so I chose a 4 knit, 2 purl rib.  I think it maintains the eyelet pattern of the top and yet still keeps the edge from rolling up.  It's one thing that seemed to work right.

Ultimately, my finished top doesn't really look like the one in the book, nor do I think it's very pretty.  Maybe if I hadn't increased the size, the shirt would have fit snugger and the eyelets would have opened more and created a ripple?  Maybe, but I think it would have been uncomfortably tight for me and I wouldn't have enjoyed wearing the shirt.  Or, maybe if I had used wool instead of cotton, the lace would have opened up more during the blocking process?  Who knows, but I think I will be frogging this top and making the Gemini top, which has a similar look and shape, from this month's Knitty instead. 

Stay tuned for more misadventures in knitting :)