Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Proud Mari

Well, now, that's a little better, isn't it. ;)
Ms. Mariblush
Look ma, no wings!

The solution to a
crappy-fitting sweater (besides Pop Tarts)? A cute little top-down tank in a yarn that doesn't shrink. Ahhhh...

Sum of its parts
Ms. Marigold was my first pattern from Zephyr Style (I have the Tree Jacket pattern, but haven't knitted it yet), and I found it to be very well-written. The instructions are separated into several parts, which makes it easy to follow along and not lose your place (as opposed to long-winded text blocks that make your eyes swim *cough* IK). It has some handy explanations and tips to guide you along as well.

Plus, I really dig the
construction - simple, top-down, and in one glorious, seamless piece. Knits up mighty quick, too, what with the lookatmyboobiesdeep V-neck, sleeveless sleekyness and all!

I whipped the body out in one weekend, then waited another week or two to do the neckline and armhole finishing because I uh... got busy. Yeah. Really, really busy. Had nuuuuthin' to do with the fact that I hate picking up stitches (I never feel like I'm doing it right). Nuuuuthin' at all...

Ms. Mariblush
Customization is good for the soul. Or the wardrobe. Maybe both.

Things that make you go hmmmm
Take a ride around the blogosphere, and you'll see quite a few people comment on the fact that there are no stitch counts or schematics included. Me, I can kiiiinda see why they chose not to - the pattern is very customizable, and the stitch counts/sizing will vary based on how low you choose to make the V-neck and so on. And it is top-down, so you can very easily try it on and make adjustments as you go.

That being said, the pattern could definitely be improved by included stitch counts in the beginning, at least up to the part where you join all the pieces together. I wrote them in myself, just to make sure I stayed on the right track. Kinda woulda sucked to get to Part E and discover I'd effed up in Part C, kwim? And, while we all know I don't often look at schematics :P, it certainly would've been helpful for those who do to have some baseline from which to work with.

There were also a couple of eh? moments - for example, when you bind off for the shoulders, it's very easy to end up with one extra stitch in the front right section. I had to go back and redo it a couple of times to make sure I both bound off and ended up with the same number of stitches for each shoulder. (Er, just don't ask me how I did it. Had something to do with ignoring the stitch markers, but that's all I can remember.)

Also, in Part D, the pattern tells you to break the yarn after completing the last (front left) section, which makes no sense to me. Why break the yarn and join a new ball, when you simply turn and knit all the way back across? I ignored that part, 'cause you know, why join a new yarn when you don't have to!
Ms. Mariblush
Top down. It's like top off, but not.

Shape it up
I did some waist shaping as well, but in a different way than the pattern suggests. Right after the tank is joined in the round, I added a stitch marker to indicate where the side point was. Then, about an inch or so later, I did three rounds of decreases followed by three rounds of increases, all spaced about 6 rows apart. Like a dis:

Decreases - *K1, SSK, knit to 3 stitches before side marker, K2tog, K1, slip marker, K1, SSK, knit to 3 stitches stitch before end of round, K2tog, K1. Knit 5 rows even. Repeat from * two more times.

Increases - *K1, M1, knit to 1 stitch before side marker, M1, K1, slip marker, K1, M1, knit to 1 stitch stitch before end of round, M1, K1. Knit 5 rows even. Repeat from * two more times.

I also: 1) made the body about an inch shorter, 2) the ribbing about a half an inch longer, and c) opted for ribbing on the armholes because I'm not into ruffles and my crochet skills suck.
Ms. Mariblush
Well ya gotta have at least one cheesy poser pose.

Yarn thoughts
It's Calmer, people. Soft, stretchy, machine washable love. I think I used around 3 balls? I dove into some overs from the Frankenshoulder shrug Iris for the ribby parts, so it might've been less.

Wrap it up
I LOVE this tank. Love it love it love it! It's comfortable
, flattering, sexy, and damn if it ain't a perfect fit. Now this, this I wouldn't mind wearing if I ran into Nathan, Viggo, or Hugh! (Who was added to the list after a recent viewing of Kate and Leopold. 19th century chivalry. English accent. Romantic as all hell. And tight white pants. The man was hot before, but now I want to jump. his. bones. I mean, I would if I weren't very happily married and madly in love with my husband. *cough* Er, where was I?...)
Ms. Mariblush
Ms. Mariblush
Pattern: Ms. Marigold by Zephyr Style
Yarn: Rowan Calmer, 3(ish) balls in Blush
Needles: Addi Turbo size 6, 24" + 8, 24"
Mods: Skipped the yarn cutting at the end of Part D, added increases and decreases for the waist, made the bod about an inch shorter and the ribbing about half an inch longer, skipped the ruffly sleeves and opted for ribbing instead.


Anonymous Becca said...

While I get the impression you could wear a Hefty bag and rock the hell out of it, the tank looks fabulous!! I definitely prefer the ruffle-less version. And someone really needs to come up with magical way to pick up stitches because I hate it too.

3:08 PM  
Blogger Bezzie said...

Schmexy with a capital Exy!!

I'm going to have to check out this yarn. YOu had me at "machine washable!"

4:13 PM  
Blogger Zonda said...

Just fab-u-lous! I love your mods on the sleeve/arm openings! I didn't like the ruffle at all!!

8:24 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Super cute! That looks like something you could, you know, wear in Texas!

8:39 PM  
Blogger SJ said...

Fabulous! It fits you perfectly, so clearly the lack of stitch counts and schematics didn't hold you back. I have a feeling your husband would rather you wear it with out the tank underneath, though. ;-)

Um, yeah, Hugh Jackman? Have you seen the X-Men movies? I'm not so much into the comic book stuff, but I watched all three just to see him running around in an undershirt and a tight pair of jeans.

4:36 AM  
Blogger knottygnome said...

it looks great! you know, i was just thinking this morning that i should dig my ms. marigold out of whatever pit i last threw it in to give it another shot at belonging in my wardrobe. i might just do it.

6:40 AM  
Blogger Jacey said...

I go back and forth about this pattern, but your Mariblush is awesome!

6:47 AM  
Blogger chemgrrl said...

Dammit! You keep making me want to add stuff to my queue. That's cute. Really, really cute.

9:19 AM  
Blogger Sourire11 said...

So cute! I love it with the ribbing at the sleeves instead of the wing things... I may have to knit this with those mods... hmm....

1:31 PM  
Blogger Eryn said...

Gorgeous! It looks absolutely amazing!

1:52 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...


3:00 PM  
Blogger The A.D.D. Knitter said...

Oh wow it's just phenomenal on you--I've never seen that shade of Calmer before, I love how it looks on you!

3:23 PM  
Blogger LizKnits said...

Love how that turned out for you. Definitely a big winner after your frustrations last time!

4:01 PM  
Blogger Sourire11 said...

Just stopping by to say - Horny Melon Flesh is an AWESOME name for a band. Kindof want to start one so I can call it that, actually... do rockband bands count?

11:54 AM  
Anonymous Meredith said...

Wow, that set is so gorgeous. Will you make me one? Just kidding!

3:15 PM  
Anonymous Jeanne said...

That is gorgeous - and it looks great on you.

4:21 AM  
Blogger Holly said...

Wow. That's really just stunning! What a tremendous fit, and perfect color. I love all the details on the pattern modifications - thanks for sharing those.

Good job! And you should never fear picking up stitches - it looks like you did it perfectly. Leave the worrying of that type to those of us who are lesser knitters. :)

6:40 AM  
Blogger Batty said...

It's smokin' hot on you! Wowee, that's sexy, even with the little camisole thingie under it. Great work. The modifications you made really, really worked out. Your common sense is definitely worth listening to. Mine sometimes goes on vacation and results enormous sweaters I'll never wear, but yours isn't sleeping on the job.

6:02 AM  

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