Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Finished: Elvira

After being completely obsessed with this project and spending the last month knitting it up non-stop, I am finally finished!! Yes, it is completely riddled with mistakes galore, but I have to admit that I am quite proud of this piece - it's my first time knitting a full garment! I had knitted up a shrug before, but I don't really consider that to be a complete garment. And before that my time was spent knitting up scarves, dish cloths, and other various accessories.

Now that this top is finished I'm thinking that it'll no longer be a summer piece, but more of a fall or a transitioning seasonal piece. Why do I think that? Well, three quarters into knitting this I realized that the yarn is a lot thicker than what I had originally thought, and with the amount of alpaca in the yarn the top is also a lot warmer than I had anticipated. I knitted Elvira up to the original length that I had wanted it to be, and then stewed over whether or not if I should keep it as a summer garment. The heat wave that we recently had made the decision for me, and so I kept knitting until the piece was tunic length. Rather than planning summer outfits around Elvira, I'm now envisioning myself wearing it over turtlenecks, over simple black long sleeve shirts, and over leggings...I'm not confident enough to wear leggings without covering my butt and a portion of my thighs, hence the reason why I made this tunic length.

Anyways, I've learned a new technique with this project. One of which I am quite sure I'll be using a lot. Truthfully, I don't know why I haven't discovered this technique before, why I hadn't even heard of it 'til now, and most importantly, how I've managed to knit this long without knowing this information! The technique: the spit and splice joining of yarn. I don't know if that's the correct terminology for it, but after some Google-ing it really depends on who you ask. It doesn't work on all yarns, just ones made from animal fibers. I am by no means a yarn snob, I have worked with acrylic in the past, but I do prefer to work with natural fibers. Solely for the hand and drape of the end product. I used this new technique twice in this project and am seriously elated with the results. I've always dreaded having to join new yarn cause I hate the look/idea of having to tie the new yarn in, and sometimes the whole knit the new yarn in with the old yarn is just too thick or messy looking. The spit and splice makes for an invisible join. I seriously cannot tell where I started a new ball of yarn! I'm in love!

I decided to do the same “Better Bind Off” technique that I saw on the Purl Bee blog, the same bind off that I used on my Thermis project. The BO seriously took a million times longer than a regular BO, but it was worth it! Unfortunately, as per usual, I didn’t read the tutorial properly, so I think I did the BO wrong. You can’t tell, but I don’t know if it should be stretchier? Also, I'm not sure if it is a result of doing the BO wrong, but the hem turns up. I did a steam block on this, but am thinking that I might have to do a proper block just to get the hem fixed if it continues to turn upwards.

And of course this wouldn't be a Miso Crafty project if there wasn't a little pink thrown into the mix! I found some pale pink buttons in my stash, which were the only small buttons that I had anyways, and used them for the closure. When I first started this project I was thinking of wooden buttons, but the ones that I had were a wee bit too big. Oh well, I prefer the pink ones anyways, it's a nice little splash of color on a monochromatic garment!

I plan on making this pattern again, but using a 2-ply 100% wool. I won't be making it anytime soon. I have quite a lot of knitting projects that I want to do before I make another garment from a pattern that I have already made. And hopefully next time I'll get the yardage right. I had bought 3 skeins for this project after doing the math for substituting yarn. If I had stuck with the original length I wouldn't have needed to dig into the third skein, but since i decided to make it tunic length I ended up using a few metres from the third ball. So now I have extra yarn left over. I am always disgruntled when I have left over yarn, cause what can I do with it? And it's yarn that takes up space in my stash. Ugh. Now I'll have to find a project that will need only 1 skein of this type of yarn.

Anyhoo, here's the deets for this project:

Pattern: Elvira, All grown-up by Sanne Bjerregaard
Yarn: 2.2 skeins of Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine
Colour: Salt & Pepper (Dark grey with white flecks)
Size: Medium


  1. Looks fabulous on you!!!! Love the back detail.

  2. That is awesome! It looks really nice on you.

  3. Thanks ladies! I was a wee bit worried that this would turn out looking like a potato sack or something to that extent! And even after I finished it, I was still a little skeptical, so your comments mean the world to me!

    Thanks again!


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