Looks like my knitting mojo is fine, afterall. I was able to spend a few hours today finishing Ophelia in Mediterranean. Once I finished the back piece, I couldn't stop. I didn't even stop to eat lunch. I seamed the shoulders, crocheted single stitches around the front edges and neckline area, and then weaved in all my ends. After a quick bite for lunch, I grabbed some yarn and headed outside to sit on the porch. I sat and knitted an i-cord tie. Yes, it was a gorgeous day. No humidity and a slight breeze. Perfect knitting weather. :)
Here is another review of Ophelia. I did make some minor changes for this version. I've also noted similarities with my Cactus version.
Name of Pattern:
Pretty sleeveless cardi features two different lace patterns: a simple lace rib that mimics curving vines and a more complex pattern that resembles lilies of the valley. The top is knit in one piece to the armholes and then the back and front pieces are worked separately. Shoulders are seamed. Wear it over a pretty camisole on those sultry summer days or over long-sleeve tops for cooler nights.
Cardi is worked in one piece to the armholes.
XS (28), S (32), M (36), L (40), 1X (44), 2X (48), & 3X (52)
Lengths: 20 - 23 inches
I made a size Medium (36"). Normally, I will knit a size Small. This time, I went with the finished full bust size of 36" as this was closer to my measurement.
For this version, I also lengthened by 3/4".
Blue Sky Alpacas Dyed Cotton (Organic) - used 3.5 hanks in Mediterranean color. This yarn is 100% Organic cotton. A wonderful yarn to knit with. The stitches form beautifully.
Being 100% cotton, this yarn has no elasticity. I ended up lengthening the vest in the shoulder area.
16 sts = 4 inches
Knitting Tools Used:
- Circular needles: 40" in size 8 for this Mediterranean version
- DPNs: size 7 were used to knit the i-cord
- Waste yarn for stitch holders
- Tapestry needle to weave in the waste yarn
- Stitch markers (used several to mark the fronts, sides, back and also the 3-repeat lace pattern for the back. Used two unique stitch markers to mark the side seams of the garment.
Techniques I used/Things I learned:
Here's what I did for this version.
The Bind offs at the armholes:
Worked the BOs for the armholes the same as my Cactus version.
Decreases used for the front edges:
Worked the same decreases as my Cactus version.
I did the normal BO for the shoulders (front & left pieces) and also did a BO for the back piece.
I sewed the mattress stitch for the front left and right shoulders. I sewed only the knitted stitches (not the purl stitches) of the front ribbing. This created a more gathered look at the front shoulders. I am pleased with this look.
Changes I Made to the Pattern:
As with the Cactus version, I narrowed the front pieces. Did 2 stitch BO for the armholes (front and back pieces). Did 4 stitch decrease along the front edges of the front pieces. In essence, I did a K2tog on the left front edge on the RS in 4 consecutive rows. For the right front edge, I did an SSK on the RS in 4 consecutive rows.
Because I did the 2 stitch BOs at the beginning of the lower armhole areas, that removed the 4 garter stitches (area under the separation of fronts from back). By the time I got up to the shoulder area (ribbing), I had to ignore the instructions for the edges. The instructions assumed the garter stitch was maintained up along the armhole edges. I ended up not doing a 2-stitch decrease before the shoulder ribbing. If I did that my K2, P2 ribbing would have been off.
For the back section, I did the 2 stitch BOs at the armholes. I decided not to match the decreases that I made for the front pieces. One, I did not want to disturb the lace pattern. Two, my back is broad enough to handle any "extensions" in the upper body.
What I Like About this Pattern:
This version in blue is my favorite. This is now a TNT pattern for me.
What I Dislike About this Pattern:
Nothing to dislike. This is a well written pattern. I found no mistakes.
My Pattern Rating (Beginner, Easy, Intermediate, Hard):
I would rate this pattern as Intermediate. I know I would not have been able to tackle this project without all the knitting experience I had on my previous garments.
I will be wearing this a lot along with my Cactus version for the remainder of the Summer and into the Fall. It's comfortable. I can wear a tank or cami underneath for the warm spell and a t-shirt when the weather gets cooler.
Since this 100% cotton yarn has no elasticity, I went ahead and lengthened the upper shoulder area so that the tie/eyelet area sits well below my full bust. This change worked out well for me.
Would I knit this again? You bet. I'm waiting for another yarn to scream "make me into Ophelia!"
I highly recommend this pattern.
(Side note: For our date night, DH took me to a Mexican restaurant. It was fab!) What a beautiful way to end a gorgeous day!