As promised (threatened?), here are a few progress shots of my Hanne Falkenberg Mermaid. I’m finished with the body and I’ll start the sleeves as soon as I have a chance. (That might not be until I finish the Widdicombe Fair baby blanket; that baby’s arrival is getting closer and closer.)
I’m not sure what I think of this project yet, although it looks better in person than it does in my crappy photographs. It started to rain just after I got Lucy nice and comfortable on the bench so I had to flee to the indoors before I could get some better shots.
Here’s the front (I would have positioned the lapel better if I had had the time):
Here’s a shot of the back:
The garment feels a bit “stiff,” and it doesn’t have a nice drape to it. I’m hoping that wet blocking will soften the yarn and let it relax. We’ll see.
Like Susan, I made a couple of changes to this pattern. You are supposed to knit the i-cord edge for the left side, then pick up stitches into the i-cord and start knitting. Instead, I did a provisional cast on so that I could knit the right and left lapel/collar in one piece and not have any seam up the middle of the back neck. In other words, I had live stitches on both the right and left side and worked the i-cord on those. That turned out nicely. The one issue is that when knitting an applied i-cord in a contrast color, the original color (white in this case) sometimes pops through. To avoid that, the easiest solution is to knit one row in the contrast color before binding off in the i-cord. I couldn’t do that here, though, because the entire jacket is knit in garter stitch AND the collar/lapel folds back on itself. If I had knit a row in blue, there would be obvious “bumps” of blue and white at the edge of the i-cord when the collar was folded back. It would look like the color transitions on the inside of the jacket:
Susan reminded me of a technique we learned at Meg Swansen’s knitting camp. It was invented by Joyce Williams and can be found on page 18 of Sweaters from Camp. Let’s assume you are doing a three-stitch i-cord bind off. Normally, you would have your live stitches on the left needle and then cast on three stitches. Then you would knit 2 and then SSK (slip two stitches one at a time as if to knit — the second stitch being slipped would be one of the live stitches from the garment — then knit the two slipped stitches together through the back loops). When faced with wanting to make sure that the color of the live garment stitches doesn’t show through, you do this variation: Knit 2, slip one, yarn over, knit one (this is a stitch from the garment, in my case white), then pass the slipped stitch and the stitch produced by the yarn over over the knit stitch. It’s a bit futsy (the yarn over can be tricky to get your needle under), but it definitely helps hide the color.
Here is a close up of the i-cord bind off.
The jury is out on how Mermaid will turn out. I’m still undecided.