This is the Liesl tunic knit in Classic Elite Firefly, a linen and acrylic blend. The yarn was a disappointment. It biased badly, and no amount of hard blocking could completely remove the bias. If you look closely, you can see the side “seam” stitch — actually a false seam where the garment shaping is done — torquing to the front of the knee. It’s pretty bad. I had wanted a pure linen yarn for this project, but the shop owner suggested this instead, and of the yarns she had in stock, this was the best option. It wasn’t quite right, and I knew that at the time, but it was closer than anything else she had. I nearly didn’t buy it anyway. I nearly came home to order something online so I could get what I wanted. But I was eager to cast this on because I thought this tunic would extend the life of my meager collection of tanks and jeans. As you see above, throwing it on over a tank and jeans really transforms the outfit. So the garment works well in that sense, but I do wish I had waited and used a different yarn. This yarn might be fine for other sorts of projects, but knitted in the round, it was a failure.

I’ve been on the hunt for a wide belt to wear with this outfit, something that will restore my shape and keep this from looking boxy and linear. So far, I haven’t found one I liked. I found one I almost liked, almost, and I very nearly bought it. But my experiences knitting the “almost right” yarn have made me reluctant to spend on other “almost right” pieces. I need too many things right now, and my wardrobe is too meager. I can’t spend on things that are just okay. Everything has to work well right now. So the hunt for a good wide waist cincher continues.

I can’t really rate this project a wadder because I do wear it sometimes, but it’s definitely not a grand success. Someday I’ll find a silvery-gray linen yarn, pure linen, in a sufficient quantity to reknit this. Until then, I’ll make do with the one pictured above.

I think of “almost right” projects as learning experiences because they always show me a better way to do something next time. This also makes it easier to deal with the disappointment of a finished object looking less than perfect.

What tactics do you use to cope with an “almost right” project?




Super soft and super cozy

Everyone needs a big roomy sweater with just a dash of pizazz. Mine is the Salted sweater designed by Alicia Plummer in a heathery purple Classic Elite Classic Silk.


another terrible selfie — and if you think this is bad, you should see the ones I took with my phone, ugh

I chose this pattern because I liked the boat neck and the mesh detailing across the yoke. The original is knit with 3/4 sleeves, but I want to get more use out of this so I knit the sleeves full length. Because it’s bottom-up, it was a little tricky to gauge exactly where the hem would hit, and if I had to do it all over again, I might shorten it an inch or so. It’s big — I knit it to 39″ bust knowing full well that would give me a good couple inches of positive ease. But that was how I wanted it. Roomy, cozy, super soft because of the cotton/silk yarn, and with that casual everyday vibe. This is one to wear with jeans or yoga pants around the house on my at-home days. It’s every bit as comfy as an old, much-washed tee shirt, even though it’s fresh from the needles.

One other thing that I might change is the tubular cast-on. In my experience, this cast-on works best with elastic yarns like ordinary wool, less effectively with non-elastic yarns like cotton. With this yarn, the ribbing doesn’t really contract much, and the tubular cast-on creates a soft, floppy edge. I was in a rush to cast on and didn’t really think it through, but if I’d paused before starting, I’m sure I would have picked a different cast-on method.

The yarn is absolutely delicious, and after starting this knit, I bought some more in a denim blue color for another sweater. It’s soft and lofty and has a bit of heathering to give it a whisper of textural interest. Here’s a snapshot from the early stages of knitting that shows the yarn and the loose cast-on both a bit better.

salted silk yarn

That picture captures the color better, too. My camera hates all colors except yellow and orange, which it thinks everything should be, but it managed to stay pretty true to this purple here.

This leads me to a question. What kind of camera/phone/whatever do you use, and would you recommend it? Another question — do you use photo editing software, and if so, do you recommend that? I’ve been pretty unhappy with my pictures lately (my old Coolpix really seems to be falling apart), and I’m thinking about upgrading.