Please excuse the awful photo; I’d been hoping to get some nice shots over the weekend but the gloomy grey skies were somewhat uninspiring, so when the sun peeped out briefly on Monday we hastily rushed outside and snapped a few pictures. Voila the finished Mon Plaisir! This has actually turned out better than expected, particularly the fit, which is snug and neat up top with the gentlest of flaring towards the bottom edge – perfectly flattering to apple-shaped figures like mine.
This nigh-on-perfect fit was something of a surprise because initially, even though I cast on fewer stitches than the pattern required, the circumference of my first few pattern repeats seemed vast! One of the benefits of knitting a garment in the round means you can try it on as you go, but openwork patterns like this one have a nasty trick of stretching like a piece of elastic. My early attempts at trying this on suggested that the sleek summer top in my minds eye was destined to end up more like something you’d wear in the third trimester. Not very encouraging! It wasn’t until I’d worked a good half-dozen repeats that I could stretch the knitting lengthways, thus adjusting the stitches into their correct shape. The measurements then proved to be spot on, which just goes to show that you should always have faith in that tension swatch.
Also, in the wake of my finishing class, I can happily report that my pick-up-and-knit technique has vastly improved. Compared to previous snaggled efforts my neckband, armhole bands and welt are more than passable. I decided not to bother with a fussy picot edge and I’m glad I did, as these simple bands are a perfect counterpoint to the busy lace.
So, whilst these are the things I’m chuffed with, there are also the inevitable niggles. Yes my borders are pleasingly neat, but my neckband is slightly marred by having worked the first round as knit, not purl. I forgot that my pick-up-and-knit round was, indeed, a knit round (the clue is in the name!) so what ought to be a neat band of garter stitch smoothly butting up against lace has a gulley of stocking stitch around the edge of it. Bah! I corrected this mistake for the rest of the borders though.
My second – and more noticeable – niggle is that along the side edge where I didn’t have sufficient stitches to complete my lace repeat there is an obvious botching. At this point I’m still not entirely sure how I could’ve done it differently, but it’s extremely annoying as it looks like I’ve cocked up the pattern. Ah well, no matter, I’ll just have to keep my arms down at all times so nobody can see it!
Since finishing Mon Plaisir I’ve been toying with a couple of new projects, one involving luscious British Wool from Coldharbour Mill in Devon, two skeins of which I picked up on holiday. The colours are so deep you could fall into them. I’ll keep you posted!