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June 24, 2005

Third Smooch is a Charm

I like finishing my knitting projects late at night. As much (or as little!) as I've measured, swatched, blocked and seamed, I never really know how it's going to look until I slip it on. I prefer to do that first try-on by myself -- if it's going to look bad, I'd rather learn that on my own. If it's fabulous, I can indulge in a Minor Conceit Session in private.

Smooch was no exception. I finished the knitting and seaming (marvelling at the Hannukah yarn all the while!) long after Jason had gone to bed. I slipped it on, held my breath, and walked over to the mirror.

Let the Mild Conceit Session commence!

Some knitters expressed discomfort with Smooch's plunging neckline, but I'm of the opinion that if it looks good and you don't wear it inappropriately -- then there is no such thing as neckline too low! In other words, this Smooch by itself is a night-time tank. During the day, I'd probably layer a bit -- which is what I did when I wore it Knitsmiths a few days later, and Alison snapped this picture of the tank in all its layered glory. I do wish that I'd made it just a wee bit longer, but I'm nit-picking -- I really love it.

Click here to see the back view

Speaking of the V-neck, Sarah asked in the comments if I could elaborate on the extra-stitch technique I was using to avoid streched-out stitches at the neck divide. I'll give it a shot!

For the front, I cast on the correct number of stitches plus one. I then knit the body as directed in the pattern all the way up to neck divide. (Obviously, the extra stitch meant that my stitch count was off by one as I knit the body.) When I got to the neck divide, the pattern told me to knit a certain number of stitches (let's say 20) and turn my work to start working the left side of the V-neck. I knit those 20 stitches, but before turning the work I put the next stitch (#21) on it's own tiny stitch holder (see the picture). I put the rest of the right-side stitches on a normal stitch holder and continued knitting the left side of the V-neck. When it was done, and it was time to put the rest of the stitches back on the needles, I did not put the center stitch on the needles; instead I left it on it's own little stitch holder. Here's what it looked like after both sides of the neck were done:

Once both sides of the V-neck were finished, I used the tail from where I joined my yarn to start knitting the right side of the neck to tack the center stitch down. I began weaving the tail into the row below the V-neck divide just to the right of the extra stitch, and when I was directly below it I slipped the sewing needle through the extra stitch and then went back to weaving. I don't have a close-up of the finished front, but it looks much better than my V-necks normally do! (I also received a tip from reader Ericka on another technique for avoiding the V-neck stretch. It sounds like a good one, so I'll include it in the extended entry section!)

Ericka wrote:

another alternitve for your loose stitch issue whenever you have to divide and place stitches on a holder. this is something that i read somewhere that works great for me and it keeps those center stitches at a divide tight. find the point where you're going to seperate the stitches and put a marker there if it helps. just cross your stitches, just take the stitch on the right side of the marker and swap it with the one on the left. might be something you might want to try and it would prevent you from needing to tac down an extra stitch on the wrong side.

Thanks, Ericka!

Posted by shannon at June 24, 2005 2:22 PM | For related posts: For Mom, Smooches!


Smooch is beautiful. Thanks for the tips on handling v-necks. I love v-necks and am happy to have a way to prevent the loose stitches.

Posted by: Annette at June 24, 2005 3:27 PM

Smooch turned out great! Very fitting and flattering on you.

Posted by: Lisa D. at June 24, 2005 3:29 PM

Smoocharific! I'm wearing mine today, perfect timing for your post. I agree, let the neckline plunge (ahem, all day at work, I take the plunge day or night!).

Posted by: Johanna at June 24, 2005 7:26 PM

I hope you took your well deserved MCS for Smooch -- it looks fabulous both layered and on its own.

Posted by: nona at June 24, 2005 7:37 PM

Looks great! Love that Hannukah yarn! :-)

Posted by: Cara at June 25, 2005 8:40 AM

Hi Gringa,

I'd comment on your latest post except I could seem to manage it. Anyway, congratulations! Enjoy your honeymoon! My honeymoon this spring was to Bali and I went crazy shopping for batik and ikat fabric. My only advice, based on personal experience there, is: Don't give your new husband heat stroke dragging him around to textile shops in the middle of a sunny day. Luckily mine recovered and is still understanding of my obsessions.


Posted by: Lisa Dusseault at June 25, 2005 12:54 PM

That Smooch is adorable and you look fabulous in it! I guess the right yarn did the trick for you! I'm so happy it finally all worked out.

Posted by: Wanda at June 27, 2005 9:14 AM

Ooh, looks great, and great on you! Congrats!

Posted by: Zabet at June 27, 2005 9:39 AM

That's a great tank! I love the technique. That is something I've been wondering about for awhile. That goodness someone else figured it out!

Posted by: Bookish Wendy at July 7, 2005 10:18 AM