Calla Camisole

calla finished 1

Pattern: Calla, by Sauniell Connally, free from Magknits
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cathay, 4 balls for XS
Needles: Addi Turbo Circular Needles, US 5
Started: April 22, 2006
Completed: June 16, 2006
Modifications: Worked in the round rather than flat; modified last link of smaller cable to correct sizing awkwardness in strap.

Notes: First, let me say that the photos here flatter Calla more than she deserves. Siiiiiiigh. Honestly, I'm relieved to be finished with Calla, as I've expressed before. We've come a long way together: through my last semester of law school, my A-paper, and now bar study. We've made it through pattern errata, gauge issues, cabling errors, and more pattern issues related to sizing. And in the end, the piece is allright, but the bottom half is way too loose thanks to my lackluster attentiveness to gauge with this slippery, slippery yarn.

calla finished 2

My hips draw enough attention to themselves without your help, Calla. I would have burned her (at the stake, maybe!), really I would have, but Calla saved herself by looking stunningly cool and professional under my favorite fitted blazer, and I plan to wear her to work in the fall. Save for the looseness 'round the bottom, she came out pretty well, considering. Let's close our eyes and imagine the bottom doesn't exist:

calla finished 3

So... the mods. First, I worked the piece in the round. It seems like all Saun's tank patterns are written for pieces, but there's no reason they necessarily need to be worked that way. The circular stuff was smooth sailing. The other major problem is that the decreasing for the armholes and straps cut into the cable pattern in a big way as written for the XS size. I ended up leaving out the last round of decreases. I also ended the last small cable a bit early so that the top twist smoothly transitioned into the strap. This fix worked rather well. I didn't do it on the back, and that transition is rather Fugarific, but it serves to distinguish back from front for me (not that it matters - they're supposed to be exactly alike).

A note on Cathay: Heather hates it, Cirilia struggled with it but found the finished fabric worth the sweat equity, James thinks it's no match for her Bryspuns. I struggled with the splittiness and slipperiness of it, but agree with Cirilia that the finished fabric is something extraordinary drape- and softness-wise. James is onto the secret, methinks - Bryspuns would make this yarn lots easier to work with. I would definitely use Cathay again, though. I even played a small part in convincing Ms. Gleek to knit her newest sleeping mask out of it.

So it's on to smaller, less frustrating things. I am halfway through one toe-up, 3x1 rib sock made of Koigu which I have decided will be my only project from here until the bar, which is late next month. It's going to be baby steps from here on out, friends. I'm already thousands of posts behind on Bloglines. Over the next month you'll find me hunched over Bar/Bri at the Brooklyn Public Library, filling what little brain-space I have with information I will most likely never use again and, anyway, forget three days after the bar exam. Okay, so maybe I will remember that it is "slander per se" to say that someone has leprosy or to "impute homosexuality" to a straight person in New York State. F'reals, folks. I don't make the law, I just stare at it trying, futilely, to memorize it.

Posted by jess at June 28, 2006 6:31 PM | TrackBack

Um...what hips? ;) Seriously, I think it looks great and you should not be worried about your hips (if you don't mind me saying so).

Posted by: Melissa A. at June 28, 2006 7:39 PM

You look lovely, Jess. (And I can't tell anything about your hips.) Frustrating knit or not, it suits you.

Posted by: Cher at June 28, 2006 7:41 PM

I think Calla looks lovely - and yes, I know often photos make things look better than they do in reality. But really, you look great in it. I just finished a top with Cathay, and also found it both frustrating and rewarding. I like the color you chose - that soft silvery gray is so pretty.

Posted by: Elizabeth at June 28, 2006 7:43 PM

Calla looks fab, no matter what you say. Good luck on the bar! We'll have to celebrate your passing it in Spider Style at the Point one Friday (and perhaps at the tavern up the street afterwards?)!!

Posted by: Lisa at June 28, 2006 7:45 PM

Seriously I think that looks great on you. Hips? Those tiny things? You should be sashaying down a catwalk with those hips!

Posted by: stephanie at June 28, 2006 7:50 PM

Gague problems I will buy, but hips? Like our friend Shakira says, Hips Don't Lie!

Good luck with studying in this weather...When is the bar exam? (or did you say and I didn't notice???)

Posted by: Julsey at June 28, 2006 8:05 PM

she looks great but I'm sorry you aren't 100% in love with her. you deserve the best fo right now with all the studying youre doing!

Posted by: yahaira at June 28, 2006 8:05 PM

What about possibly using some very thin elastic... not too snugly sewn in... along the bottom. I see where it puckers a bit, though that's possibly because there's a picture of you pulling at it in another picture ;)

Otherwise, very impressive work. I really need to learn cables one of these days.

Posted by: kristiface at June 28, 2006 8:07 PM

tres gorgeous!!!! Well worth the effort, I say.

Posted by: Sandra at June 28, 2006 8:14 PM

Well, it looks very lovely, whether it was what you hoped for or not! I'm glad you'll have some use for it.

I love Cathay, but imagine it would be hard to work on Addis. Bryspuns or Denises would be the way to go!

Posted by: Meredith at June 28, 2006 8:22 PM

Pretty Calla! It's so nice to see it finished :)

Posted by: natalie at June 28, 2006 8:30 PM

Your Calla is a work of art. And it looks breathtaking on you. Stunning. Oh to look as bad as you. Ohhhhhhhhhh yeah. My husband would never .... ummm.... yeah. Just yeah.

Best wishes for the stamina that it requires to get from *here* to *there*. When the bar is over your life will really begin, won't it!?

Posted by: Laura at June 28, 2006 8:37 PM

Calla is splendid! And there's nothing at all wrong with the hem. It looks just fine from here.

Good luck with the studying--ugh. At least you can look fabulous in your new top while you slog through it...

Posted by: Beth S. at June 28, 2006 8:45 PM

Very cute!

Posted by: Jenn at June 28, 2006 9:31 PM

I saw the picture and started thinking about knitting a Calla all for myself, but I remember the difficulty you had and you still sound unhappy with how it looks (it's really hard to see why with those pictures, I think you look great in it), not a great advert for it.

Once again, good luck with the bar.

Posted by: schrodinger at June 28, 2006 10:14 PM

Your trials and tribulations with Calla actually made me want to try it! (I am a glutton for punishment.) Best of luck with the Bar/Bri course.

Posted by: Angela at June 28, 2006 10:37 PM

i do like the cathay. it's a little splitty working it with a crochet hook but it's soft next to my face even after i washed it! i just need to downsize that pattern for a smaller mask.

calla does look great in these shots. i'm glad she'll still be wearable once fall rolls around. you're gonna need the extra stuff for your wardrobe when you're working at that law firm! woo hoo! you're gonna do great on the bar exam! ganbatte!

Posted by: gleek at June 28, 2006 10:44 PM

I don't think the photos can lie that much--you look amazing in Calla! Maybe all of the struggle involved skewed your perception of the final product, but rest assured that it really looks great on you--and really, how could anything not look good on your figure? :)

Posted by: Jessica at June 28, 2006 10:53 PM

Hey Calla looks great! Not to mention great on you!!
Your hips are fine. They are utterly normal. I couldn't even see them AFTER you pointed them out.
Take it from total online strangers - you don't need to wear a blazer over top of Calla.
Congratulations your persistence really paid off.

Posted by: Miss Scarlett at June 28, 2006 10:56 PM

I think ya look damn fine, the tank looks good too!

Best of luck and brain on the bar.

Posted by: spaazlicious at June 28, 2006 11:09 PM

Calla looks great! And puh-leeze Jess, seriously? Hips? Whatchoo talkin' 'bout? Anyway, looks fabulous. And I love your use of the word "Fugarific," despite the fact that I don't think your Calla is "Fugtastic" or "Fugarific" orr any variation thereof at all.

Posted by: Maritza at June 28, 2006 11:26 PM

The first thing I thought when I saw your pictures was that the way the cable transitions into the strap looks really nice. I'm glad you stuck with the cathay- the result is worth it!

Posted by: Casey at June 28, 2006 11:39 PM

see, i think your calla is lovely. no blazer pic?

mine was spot on for gauge, and the only reason it's too big i i'm running with the measurements i took almost 2 years ago, and i've gotten smaller since then.

and interestingly, i only hated cathay for this pattern.

i'm going to frog it and use the cathay for... something. i can't remember what i'm going to use it for, actually.

i'm getting old.

Posted by: heatherfeather at June 28, 2006 11:46 PM

It may have made your eyes bleed and you tear your hair in frustration but now that it's done it was worth it because it's just lovely :)

Posted by: Debi at June 29, 2006 12:26 AM

calla looks super cute to me, but i know very well that some finished knits photograph well yet feel funny on. (my past is checkered with 'em.) i think a smart blazer will do the trick, no?

Posted by: carrie m at June 29, 2006 1:08 AM

It really does look lovely. But I gotta agree with you.. the flaring bottom would drive me nuts. Do you think threading elastic through it would make it better?

Posted by: Angela at June 29, 2006 1:38 AM

I think it looks wonderful and the bottom - pshaw, not even noticeable.

Posted by: Chris at June 29, 2006 1:55 AM

Calla is beautiful, absolutely beautiful. Okey, I can see the slightly loose bottom, but my guess is that you will love it more and more the more you wear it.

Posted by: Emma at June 29, 2006 3:02 AM

I love Cathay too. I'm making Green Gable out of it and I love the drape. I had a bitch of a time knitting with proper gauge with addis so I changed to clovers and the stickiness that tends to happen because of the bamboo helped to make this yarn very knitable. I'm going to use it again. To make another tee-shirt sweater, me thinks.

So, your Calla looks great and I hadn't noticed the bottom until I saw your flickr notes. Can you frog the bottom and knit in some decreases? I bet it looks great with a suit jacket! Tres fashion, cherie! Maille (knit) is very popular this year in Paris fashion.

Posted by: Aimee at June 29, 2006 5:07 AM

I think Calla looks very flattering on you. In fact, you have me re-thinking this pattern for myself. Maybe you'll feel differently after the frustration of knitting it fades away. But really, it looks great on you. :) Good luck with Bar Study!

Posted by: Cathy at June 29, 2006 8:04 AM

Okay, I see your point about the very bottom, but overall I think you've got yourself a winner! I can't tell from looking where the problems were, so whatever you did you remedy the whole decrease-running-into-cabling thing, it worked. Good luck with the bar!

Posted by: Sarah at June 29, 2006 8:29 AM

I think Calla looks great! Good luck with the studying, and - agreeing with Lisa on this one - we'll celebrate at the Point when it's all over.

Posted by: pixienyc at June 29, 2006 10:26 AM

Lovely! I just started a project on which I'm learning cabling, and it's not as daunting as I'd thought it would be. I love how Calla looks but I'm not sure I could stick it out through the mods and adjustments. Then again, I still make things that are essentially rectangles so perhaps I will change my tune after tackling a garment of some sort.

Posted by: Alison at June 29, 2006 11:55 AM

Indeed, Calla is very flattering. I am glad to found the strength to weather her storms and finish.

Posted by: Gina at June 29, 2006 11:57 AM

Calla looks really good!
Good luck on the bar exam!

Posted by: Dorothy B at June 29, 2006 2:07 PM

I'm just finishing up Calla now - at the armhole decreases. Your mods were a timely help. Thanks.

Your Calla turned out beautifully. I'm glad that you are satisfied with it in the end.

What is the necklace that you are wearing in the 3rd picture? It looks really interesting and antiquey (if that were a word). It goes well with Calla's look.

Posted by: Beth at June 29, 2006 5:14 PM

hey, after Calla, the bar exam will be a breeze - I should know, I took it enough times, not sure I could handle Calla!....honestly though, stay focused, lose any distractions, and take a deep breath. it'll be over before you know it. oh, and don't forget to eat right, it does help.

Posted by: gretchen at June 29, 2006 7:01 PM

I think it came out well - the color especially looks good on you. Let us know if you try to thread in the elastic, as suggested - hope that will work.

Posted by: Delica at June 29, 2006 8:03 PM

I think it looks stunning and despite your issues would definitely try the yarn and the pattern based on that alone.

Posted by: Abi at June 30, 2006 4:28 AM

I love it. The pattern and the color are great. I love Cathay, too.

Posted by: colleen at June 30, 2006 7:02 AM

what choo talkin bout willis?? that calla looks supah calla fragilistic!
now, about the cathay: i am considering it for a cropped cardi i'm swatching for at the moment...just curious about the drape of it. is it heavy like silk cuz that's kind of the effect i'm after. i got some 100% silk from yahaira, but i think it might be too fuzzy. would love to hear your thoughts! happy 4th.

Posted by: kate at June 30, 2006 9:11 AM

Calla looks lovely. And I'm not sure what hips you are talking about! If you have hips, I am in deep trouble...

Posted by: carol at June 30, 2006 11:41 AM

I think Calla looks great- you did a beautiful job. You can't really even see the armhole cable weirdness that you were worried about. I think you were probably looking at it so closely that it seemed a lot worse than it really was.

And what's up with NYU closing off the law library to anyone not taking NYU's bar/bri course?

Posted by: Kym at July 1, 2006 12:05 AM

I'm going to put in a request for a picture with the blazer. Really, it looks great from where I'm sitting! And a high five for figuring out that tricksy decreasing. Best of luck with the studying!

Posted by: Sarah at July 3, 2006 2:47 PM

This is stunning and looks absolutely fantastic on you!! Fab! x

Posted by: Annarella at July 4, 2006 2:28 AM

It looks great! But when a project gives you that much hell it's hard not to hold a grudge. I threw my bolero into the wash the other day and it came out totally fine. I probably won't do it again, but it's good to know that the yarn will at least hold up.

I've seen a few Rowan sweaters (Aimee from Vintage Style and a beaded one...Grace? Maggie? Something that Jen at Xtreme-Knitting made...) that have a fold under hem with a ribbon encased inside to serve as a drawstring. That would probably just add bulk, huh? I hate when some part of my knitting is loose, hate it!

Posted by: Cirilia at July 6, 2006 10:40 PM

Oh, it looks terrific now, though!

Posted by: The Purloined Letter at July 7, 2006 3:28 PM
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