Sunday, August 12, 2007

Hand-knit Cotton Camisole


One camisole, knitted in mercerized cotton yarn on size 3 needles. It sounds tedious, but it actually only took three weeks, and the results are worth a little fight with unyeilding cotton yarn. I used GGH Scarlett, in a teal color. The pattern is in the book, Beyond Wool. It is blocked, and not in a sloppy way. The pattern specifically says not to block out the curve at the bottom of the lace panel. The recommended yarn is mercerized cotton, just a different brand (Jaeger Pure Cotton). I think Scarlett is quite similar.  I started out with about 38" at the bottom and decreased down to what I thought would be 34" or so. The bottom band is knit on size 2 straights, and is all purl (I wonder why?), producing garter stitch. Then you decrease and knit on size 3s. I switched to circs, and had good gauge at first. Then it got smaller, and smaller anndd....

At one point, it was only 30" around. I frantically started increasing, but was a little late. I did add about an inch right before the armholes. I had my doubts, but shouldn't have. After blocking, it measured exactly as I wanted it. The 30" had stretched to 34", making the bust 35". I shouldn't have worried, but I still underestimate the amount of negative ease I need in a fitted garment.


I'm afraid it may grow a bit more, but I can usually block out too much width by stretching it longer. (Offside: The quilt it is resting on is an inherited one, made from old flour-sacking. No, I don't like the bright green fabric they used with the flour sack prints; it wasn't my choice.)

I really like the pattern. The placement of the decreases along the neck and armhole produces such a neat rolled edge. The only real modification I made was to knit the back plain, leaving out the lace panel. Since I had to finish the back center section someway, I used an i-cord bind-off for the middle 20 stitches, so it matches the rolled edges. Doing this, I found I need more practice in my grafting. I had trouble matching the beginning of the i-cord to the side, and then more trouble grafting the straps. The straps are not i-cord, although they look it. Just plain stockinette, 4 stitches wide, so they roll up. You wouldn't think I'd have had a problem grafting them. But I did.
The other change, not a big one, was to knit it in the round to avoid purling. I see now, after wearing it, that the natural biasing of this yarn would have been limited by side seams. As it is, it tends to bias around the entire cami. I think washing and drying flat will help. However, if I were to make it again, I'd do the purling to get the benefit of side seams.

8 comments:

Alyson said...

That's a very pretty cami! The fit on you is just gorgeous!!

Bron said...

Wow - perfect fit! What a beautiful cami. :)

Patricia said...

That looks just lovely and with all the heat, a welcome addition to your wardrobe!
I'm amazed at the sweaters that you've been producing lately. Did you have several on the needles or are you knitting night and day? ;)

Kathy said...

Simple and lovely. Fits nicely too, so I hope it doesn't stretch too much more.

Renée said...

Love it. Thanks for the inspiration, It is similar to a tank I have on the "back burner". Working with cotton isn't my favorite, but as your cami shows, it really is beautiful when done!

Iris G said...

Oh it's so adorable! And your stitches look so perfectly even ;-). The straps do look like I-cords though.

vlb5757 said...

That looks really nice. I think I am about a life time behind. I'll get there!!

Amanda said...

Now, this sweater I absolutely love! The pattern on the front is fantastic and your stitches to look perfect.