I finished the buttonbands on Sunday night, wove in the ends, and gave her a nice wet block in some Kookaburra that Ellen hooked me up with. Let me just say, I am a convert! I've always used Lavender scented Eucalan for blocking, but was always disappointed that the scent didn't last. The Kookaburra has tea tree oil in it, and after drying, my sweater still carries that aroma. Of course, not everyone would enjoy that, but I love wearing something that's gently scented. Saves on perfume. ;)
Anyway, I went to Jo-Ann yesterday looking for some very specific buttons I had seen on someone else's blog and came up empty. I did, however, find these nice coconut buttons that compliment the yarn perfectly (a better blogger would have taken a closeup). I probably wouldn't have chosenn these buttons, but I have developed the habit of bringing in my finished project and trying buttons on it right in the store.
I made a few modifications to this pattern, one of which is detailed in the picture above. I noticed in the pattern that the lace on the peplum did not go all the way around. I didn't like that idea, so I changed the peplum. It was pretty easy for me to do this (after, oh, three or four tries), because my stitch count was different from the pattern, due to my gauge issue. I really, really wanted to use this yarn, but just couldn't get gauge. Unwilling to relegate the yarn to another project and search for something new, I decided to modify the pattern for my gauge, and while I was at it, add a new bust size. I had never done this kind of modification before, but it was surprisingly simple due to the top-down nature of the garment. I could try it on as I went! I added some length to the raglan "seams," added an inch or so to the waist, and shortened the sleeves by about six rows.
The yarn I used was well suited to this pattern, which needs a yarn with some structural integrity. I would definitely recommend a wool yarn, or cotton at a tight gauge. I used Jo Sharp Silkroad DK Tweed in Granary. The yarn feels nice in the ball, but really softens up after a wash! I used US5 needles, and do you know, I can't remember my gauge. I believe it's right around 5 stitches per inch. I made a 35" bust. Now I'm hoping for some unseasonable cold so I can wear this a couple of times before fall!
Now on the needles? Rusted Root! I finally cast on for that bad girl, and I love it so far. The STR socks are in time out while I try out some stitch patterns. If I can't find something satisfactory, I'll just have to come up with a non-sock project!