Thursday, October 10, 2013

Lace Tunic: Finished

In early September I finished the main knitting on my Lace Tunic. The back had already been blocked (I was testing to make sure it would block to size before I invested time in the front) so I only had to lay out the front and side pieces after they had a good soak.
I had to pull pretty hard, but everything was made to match the measurements in the schematics. The pulling just opened up the lace and netting more.

Once they were dry and I had some time, I started seaming the pieces. The squares are turned on point and inserted into the seam at the lower edge of the front and back. Then you seam the front and back together above.
That is a wicked-good looking seam, if I do say so myself.

Next I was supposed to seam the shoulder seams so that the armholes and neck could be trimmed in the round. But I didn't feel like working in the round. (The length is just the right length to be annoying: too long for magic loop and too short to work in one loop. And I didn't feel like working with two cable needles.)

So instead, I knit the armhole trim in the flat,
and then seamed one shoulder seam so that I could knit the neck trim in the flat:
Then I seamed the last shoulder. All the trim was knit in garter stitch so the seams were very easy to hide.

And then that was it; it was done!
I'm still deciding on the length--whether it's just right or a little short. I feel like the body could be a little longer, but I don't want the side pieces to come down below my knees. So I guess I'm saying it's good.

I love the cotton for this pattern. When I first bought the sweater to ravel, I just thought it would be a nice light neutral and had no idea what I would do with it. (I don't use much cotton besides for dish cloths, so who knows what I was thinking!!) But it's easy to wear and just right for an extra layer. It feels good on.
It was an interesting lace pattern. The stitch count is not consistent throughout the repeat. I also didn't do it exactly like the pattern, but followed a modification by KnittingAmazon on Ravelry. I didn't compare the two too carefully, but I believe the modification made the pattern more symmetric.

The lace morphs into a much simpler pattern for the shoulder straps and back yoke. It's a bit of a cop out, but I can understand why the designer did it. Such a big open lace on the shoulder straps wouldn't be stable enough and would be very difficult (tedious) to write out for different sizes.

I am very happy with how my neck trim came out. The cast off is just right; not too tight, not too loose. I also worked carefully to leave no holes along the pick up line and to pull in the lace in the center front so it looked good.
The hemline is a nice scallop. It's starting to roll already (as stocking stitch does), but not too badly.
I still think the side inserts are a clever way to get a bias hem line with straight pieces.
If I get tired of them one day, I could easily remove them and just wear the garment as a tunic with side slits.
But for now I have to watch my hands. I catch myself doing this as I walk around
and that is not a good look!

Project Stats
: 23 Jun '13
Finished: 14 Sep '13
Pattern: Open Eye Tunic by Deborah Helmke (magazine it was in was $6.99)
Materials: 263 grams of cotton from a Croft & Barrow Sweater ($1.25)

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