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Tshirts and Girls’ Dresses and Pi Shawls, Oh My!

July 5, 2012
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Camp Loopy Project 2 started on June 27th, but I was on vacation and smack dab in the middle of deadline design knitting so I didn’t actually start my Project Two until July 2nd.

When I purchased my yarn, I intended to make a tshirt. The Madelinetosh Tosh Sport seemed like the perfect choice – not too heavy, very soft, gentle colors that will go with a lot of things.  I had an image of a scoop neck, short sleeve T with narrow stripes of both colors, and wide rib or garter bands in the Wellwater.

(Let’s pause briefly to see a photo of the yarn, although it is not terribly accurate – the Smokestack is a true grey, and the Wellwater is a lovely steel blue).

I was visiting Trisha on Sunday and Monday this week, and we spent a lot of time looking for the tshirt pattern I had in my mind. We kept finding things that were too high necked, wouldn’t look nice in stripes, needed too much yardage, were only available in some obscure out-of-print magazine, etc. Nothing seemed right! At one point, Trisha suggested I make a Pi Shawl to which I said No Way Man, I just made a shawl for Project 1 and I don’t even wear shawls anyway, especially not circular ones!

After a lot of fruitless searching, I thought about making a little girl’s dress instead. I had a couple of really cute patterns in mind, and a friend with a really cute 6-year-old… but I eventually vetoed that idea too because  I thought the colors weren’t as suited to the little girl as they are to me (yes, I am a totally selfish knitter, so what?).

Then I finally compromised by deciding on Gemini, from a recent issue of Knitty. It was the right gauge, the right yardage, and even though it didn’t have the other features I wanted, I liked it when  worn “backward” with the lace in front. I especially liked this version in the same yarn I have from Knitsublime on Ravelry, and this striped version from GretaOto on Ravelry.

So, Monday afternoon after I had finished my deadline design knitting and the corresponding photo shoot (more on that later), I cast on for my very own Gemini.  I didn’t make much progress before it was sadly time to drive home, which meant putting the knitting down. Tuesday I had to go in to school to set up for summer school which starts next Monday, so it wasn’t until Tuesday afternoon that I was able to start working on my tshirt again.

A few rows in, I decided I didn’t like it, not one bit. By this point I was getting really stressed out about meeting the Camp Loopy deadline – 800 yards is a LOT of yarn – but I really loved the yarn and wanted something awesome that I would love, and not just something that completed the challenge. I finally gave in to Trisha’s original suggestion and cast on for a Pi Shawl. I don’t like fancy lace patterns so I decided to just work a stockinette shawl with eyelet increase rounds.

After Day 1, I had finished the first 3 sets of increases and was partway through the next section.  I decided to start with the Smokestack and alternate with the Wellwater every 12 rounds, until running out of Smokestack at which point I will continue with just the Wellwater.

Yesterday, I made even more progress, and it’s now large enough that I can’t stretch it all out on the circular needle.

It’s hard to get true-color photos of the yarn with the grey gloominess we have been having, but the sun is supposed to come out soon so hopefully I will be able to get better photos later this week.

I am now in the middle of the 288-stitch section and it is starting to feel endless. Not a good sign since I haven’t even finished a skein of yarn yet, but I still have a few weeks to go.  I’m currently on the hunt for a simple lace pattern to insert in the final Smokestack stripe – the yarn really reminds me of winter, so I wanted a snowflake motif. I’m starting to question the idea however, and think I will just keep going and add a lacy edging instead. I just want a little something to add to all of the lovely stockinette.

The only regret I have is the second increase round – I wish I had used an invisible increase, instead of eyelets. With all of the other eyelet rounds spaced 12 rows apart and falling at the color change, I think it would have been better the other way. I may see if I can fix it later, but we will see. For now, I’m just enjoying the fabulous yarn.

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