Thursday, May 28, 2020

All the Ripples: An Ode to Jessie Maed

Oh, hello. Welcome back to the blogging, Katie. 

My Little Secret Crop Top 1

I know a lot of us never left, and more power to you, but it's been a year and some months since I last blogged, and the world has been through a loop. (Future Katie: this means we've been in lockdown for over two months because there's a global pandemic and you are living alone with your cat, Pickle.) I'm definitely returning out of a need to write and share and reach out in more-wordy-ways. As with most types of blogging: I've got feelings and I gotta share 'em.

The feelings are mostly about crafts but I can't make any promises other stuff won't sneak in here.

I'm not going to do a recap of the last year and a half for you in any concise way. I'm taking a page from Jenny & Aaron's book and getting on with it (but please go look at their new post about making over a doll house, because it's adorable and I wish we ALL had tiny doll houses to make over). Let's focus on the here and now! 

My Little Secret Crop Top 2

So here's to two of my most recently completed knitting projects: My Little Secret Crop and the Ripple Bralette DK, both by the queen of knitting design simplicity, Jessie Maed

Jessie released MLSC as a free *mystery* knit-along just as most places in the US went into lockdown. I was finishing up a Lengthy Secret Project, as well as a few commissions, so I missed participating the revelation of the mystery, but I benefitted by watching the amazing finished tops rolling in. As soon as the Lengthy Secret Project was finished, I cast on for MLSC with the most ubiquitous of stash yarn, Paton's Wool Worsted, in a gorgeous blue-green-teal color. Really not the choice for a very small tank top, and yet, I LOVE the way it turned out. Is it thick? Yes. Is it warm? Yes. Is it just the thing for those weird overcast mornings in LA in May/June? Also a yes. 

My Little Secret Crop Top 3

It works, and the fit is beautiful. Honestly, the fit is beautiful for everyone. I've never seen garments that fit so well on literally everyone as these ripples. And yes, ripples are just thick ribbing but I like that Jessie calls them ripples - makes me think of chips. And I also love chips!

My Little Secret Crop Top 4

I knit the size Large and I knit it an inch or so longer than called for because I'm a DD cup and I needed that extra inch. Also my gorgeous repro jewelry is from Bow & Crossbones and they deserve a linky because they make beautiful vintage reproduction things that you might also want to put on your body.

Now, on to the second course. I have been filled with anxiety and knitting these little ripple fantasies has been a soothing balm. For a good 8-9", you don't have to really think. You just knit knit knit on those ribs until you're getting *really* tired of knitting ribbing and then it's time for some shaping and it's done! So I needed more. 

Ripple Bralette DK 1

On to the Ripple Bralette in "DK." That gets quotes because this is knit in a really strange non-wool tweed yarn that has been in my stash for probably 10 years without a tag so I have no clue what it actually is. Here's another super appealing thing about these tops: they only take a few hundred yards of yarn (instead of a few thousand), so you can knit up all those weirdo yarns that you didn't buy *quite* enough of. In my defense, I think this one was gifted to me, but still. So I had this strange yarn, and I thought it should be a bralette and it started weird but it turned out GREAT.

Ripple Bralette DK 2

Mostly because I knit this one a size bigger than the last one. Jessie gives a ton of recommendations for sizing and she is smart so you should listen to her first, but secondly, you should listen to your yarn. If your yarn has no stretch, knit the size up. And if you start knitting the smaller size that you knit when you were knitting with wool, and then you go to try it on and realize you cannot pull it over your boobs.... rip it out and cast on again for the larger size. It's worth it and knitting these ripples (like chips) is meditative and that's not a bad thing. 

The size I settled on was the 5th size, however you want to call it, and yes, I once again added an inch or two to the body, since I wanted it to be more of a top and less of a bra. But FYI - the bottom ribbing is tight, as it's meant to be supportive. This works on my body because it hits on the smallest point of my waist, but could be uncomf for others. 

Ripple Bralette DK 3

So here she is. Weird stash (maybe cotton blend?) yarn into a comfy delightful summer top with a little bit of personality because who makes a non-wool tweed yarn? I sewed this skirt last year, it's just a gathered dirndl skirt, and although I didn't wear this ensemble for longer than it took to take some photos, I wish I had somewhere to wear this right now! I'm feeling the monochromatic look.

And... Jessie just released a new *mystery* pattern today, the Summer Secret Crop. No ripples, but I might have to give it a go after I finish my Beauty School Top. Ok, I'm off to eat some chips! 

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