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September 20, 2005

Artificial cheese products

Kraft Mac & Cheese.

Cheez Whiz.

Filati tunic. (click for head-on shot)

Perhaps the way I feel about this sweater is not at all ambiguous :).

(Thanks, Betsy, Diana, and Michelle for a helpful discussion about which artificial cheese product most closely resembles the color of my sweater. Good times, good times.)

Pattern: despite what I’ve been calling it, the official name of this thing is Toccata Sweater from Filati magazine 27, subtitled, “The new trends: EXOTIC & EROTIC.”
Yarn: KnitPicks Shine in Apricot, 9 skeins.
Needles and gauge: US 4 Addis, 22 sts and 32 rows per 4” stockinette square after blocking.
Finishing: Other than the standard wet-blocking, I ironed the seams: high setting, high steam, through thin pillowcase - ever since I discovered the beauty of pressing seams to make them flat and the garment more streamlined, I have NOT been able to stop.
Finished size: 35” bust, 31” waist, 36” hip, 21.5” to shoulder.

Modifications and other thoughts: (a not-so-small rant, you’ve been warned)

I was so excited about this pattern when I first bought it – not only was it cute, but the finished dimensions of one of the sizes would work perfectly for me. At that time I was just parting ways with the Adrienne Vittadini sweater from hell, so I was looking forward to an easy knit.

But life doesn’t always work out simply, does it? The first pattern modification was made willingly and purposefully - waist shaping. But even a simple addition like that didn’t go smoothly since I failed to take into account that the lace at the hem was going to stretch like a mofo. Good thing Operation Orange Overload was a success and the fix wasn’t much of a hassle.

I was hoping the pattern would make the rest of my knitting experience simple by writing clear and accurate instructions, but I knew I was in trouble when the cast-on instructions didn’t correspond to the size of lace repeats. The rest of the pattern didn’t get any better, and a cursory glance would certainly lead one to believe that the writers were high on bunny crack when they published this nonsense. A perfect example is the sleeve instructions, which are SO wrong, you’ll make a tea cozy or a cabled children’s hat depending on how you interpret them. I ended up re-writing them.

And then we get to the neckline. Ah yes, the neckline. After all the pieces were knit, I proceeded to start seaming. With enough seaming completed to sort of “try on” the sweater, it became immediately obvious to me that the neckhole was incredibly wide. Like, “fall of my shoulders” wide, not, “cute boatneck” wide. I wish I had the patience to take a picture of that: it would make great blogging material – I looked ridiculous. And very angry.

In fact, I was so dumbfounded, shocked, and pissed off by what I saw in the mirror, that I tore off the half-completed sweater and started frogging before you could say, “Lifeline, crazyass Grumperina, lifeline!” There was much cursing, squinting, frogging, wishing for a lifeline, and referring to bunny crack. The fix took only (deep breath) knitting another 4 or 5 pattern rows after the whole thing was seamed (don’t even ask how I managed to do that), significantly decreasing the number of stitches in the front and back portions, changing the neckhole edging to be slightly more substantial, knitting the neckhole edging on smaller-sized needles (two rows on US 3, then two rows on US2), and a wee bit of a heart attack.

All along my yarn of choice wasn’t helping. I would describe KnitPicks Shine the same way I describe KnitPicks Merino Style - fragile; will never stand up to frogging and falls apart in your hands like cotton candy. But, damn, it’s soft and silky, and the stitches are crisp enough to knit by touch only. I think I’d use it again as long as I knew there’d be no chance of extensive frogging, and as long as the project was mainly stockinette – knitting the lace patterns using this yarn made my hands hurt.

And now I’m going to stop complaining because this thing is too damn cute and fits too perfectly to be pissed off any longer :-D. It was worth the headaches.

Posted by Kathy on September 20, 2005 12:07 AM


It *is* really cute on you.. and it does look like cheez whiz. lol..

I guess I'm crazy cause I frogged an entire cami that I made outa shine.. That same yarn became my Voli and it looks fine to me.. (still haven't worked out that whole stripey bleed thing.. but I may have to give up on it.)

Did you have lots of fluffy fuzz flying around while you were knitting? That stuff goes up my nose and it's really annoying. I think I ate some at a few points too..

Can't beat the price though and the end product is quite nice.. I even put a swatch in the washer and dryer and it came out even better than I thought.. (and SOFTER! if you can believe that!) but I didn't measure gauge on it so I don't know about that.

I should stop rambling at you now.. but to sum up:

It looks great, and like you said.. worth the headaches! (And tiny heart attack.) I wish you had taken the angry picture too.. but I know you well enough to have a pretty good imagination image of it.. heheh.

Looks great, girl!!
Shine is really delicious, but the pilling drives me crazy!! And sneezy too!
But really, those stitches are soooo neat, love 'em!!

Good to know so much more about Shine. The fit is perfect and the colour is delightful. If I were to knit this, I would choose a looser fit ... the fit you chose is just too revealing for my love handles! LOL!

mmmmm, cheeeese.

It looks great, as expected! I try to tell Omar I don't really love everything that's orange, but I think I am lying to myself--lest someone present me with spray-painted dog shit, or something.

Dude, I want to do a knit along for people who are knitting orange things. And then...lather, rinse, repeat.

I finally got my 32" addi 9s, so my own orange creation is off and running!

Note to self: perhaps "exotic and erotic" does not lead to well-written patterns.

It's beautiful. Really beautiful. Enjoy it -- the extra work you put in really shows. The fit is spot-on and there's not a bit of flashdance shoulder to be seen ;)

Boy, am I glad this has not only happened to me. My neckline is BIG too, but in my case I have not adjusted my body image to loosing 15 kg over the last 2 years and the whole thing is too big. So I will have to rip it completely. Toccata should rip nicely though, so that's not too bad. I love that yarn. But for now it's joining the pile of too large garments waiting to be ripped.


That's fabulous ! Well worth all the angst.

Cheez its! It's beautiful!

Beautiful. Such a perfect fit!

Perfection in every way, fit, color, style! Enjoy wearing it, you look stunning :)

Certainly worth the extra effort! It's gorgeous.

Looks amazing! I love the lace along the tops of the sleeves. And the waist shaping is a great improvement -- that sweater really should be fitted. I'm almost tempted to knit it myself -- but I think the pattern might make me insane if it's really that bad!

Fabulous! I think it looks the best on you...another one of your well fitted knits. Sorry to hear shine didn't frog well, I am sure I frogged it fine at some point. So glad it all worked out, you looks beautiful:)

It looks so great on you, I love it. You always amaze me with what you come up with when knitting, I would have frogged all of it and then hide in a corner to cry

That is the best-fitting sweater I have ever seen ever. I love the raglan lace pattern too. Great job!

Cheetos, in my opinion. Looks terrific.

Kathy, the sweater looks great - wonderful job with all of the mods. Your comments on yarn quality echo what I've heard elsewhere. It's too bad. KnitPicks seems to have great ideas, variety, and prices, but they have fallen short on quality. (I could tell, even from the closeups in their catalog pics, that the yarn would not wear well - too softly spun, unbalanced plying, etc.)

Indeed there is nothing more disappointing than, having made up your mind to do a mindless knit and let the designer do the work, realizing its back to the designing/problem solving game.

It does look cute on you and the fit is perfect.


Wow -- it's fantastic!

Exotic AND erotic. How can you go wrong with that combo? The sweater looks great, and it fits you so well.

I happen to like mac and cheese...
The sweater is very cute and not as long as I expected it to be. When you said "tunic" I imagined something that reached below your hips.

Well, despite all the effort, the sweater is so cute and fits you so well. I don't know how patterns get let out of the gate that screwed up.

Looks great!

Hmmm. Cheetos.

Lovely sweater, Kathy. Artificial cheese product never looked so good :-)

It's a good thing you have the know-how and determination to fix what I suspect is bad translation from the source language.

Kinda like pulling up a page in another language and having Google translate it to English. Just doesn't read right.

WOW. It fits you so well - you look extremely pleased with the finished prodcut - and who can blame you? It was certainly well worth the extra effort. It is BEAUTIFUL.

Your sweater is great! It fits you very well and your knitting looks so neat. It's always slightly painful to read about your trials and tribulations (we've all been there!) but, of course, you made it work in the end. Hip Hip Hooray!

Magnificent! An absolute triumph! You are a genius. But we already knew that. :)

wow, beautiful sweater! i absolutely love it! great job for working through all the pattern related obstacles, too.

In my best knitting dream I make a sweater that fits that well. Wow. It's perfect (despite that little neckline mishap) and I don't think it looks anything like cheese wiz!

Wow, your sweater is amazing!! It fits you perfectly and the color is so pretty. It almost looks like the original color too.

There is nothing worse than a bad pattern. I hate picking up a pattern and then having to second guess it.

But you're good enough that you can totally fix the bad pattern. Good job!

Also, thanks so much for the description of the yarn and your process of knitting with it. I will keep it in mind if I decide to knit with Shine.

The sweater looks great on you. Well done!

I'm sorry to hear that you encountered so many difficulties, but that top just looks SO good on you! Congrats on your FO.

It's not easy bein' cheesy!

LOVE the tunic/sweater/cheez whiz/mac n'chees/cheetos top!!!! It looks amazing and it really does fit you perfectly!!


Wow... how exotic AND erotic. What a crazy name for a knitting magazine! The sweater is beautiful, and you did a fantastic job on the lace. It was worth any headache it caused.

Totally worth the effort that you put into it!! And while it has been noted that "exotic & erotic" may not make for a good pattern, it certainly makes for a hell of a sweater!

What a CUTE sweater! It fits you amazingly well. Definitely worth the trouble!! I'm sad about all of the pattern problems, though, b/c I would love to make it, but don't think I could deal with that poorly written of a pattern. :-(

most excellent muy buen!

Ahh, that sweater is orange cheezy goodness! I turned out wonderfully and I love the modifications you made to the neckline. There's a fine line between elegant boatneck and Jennifer Beal wanna-be. Best of all, it looks fabulous on you!

Oh, and I also want an orange knit-along.

Thankfully, the finished product looks fantastic.

And I'd say it's "Mac and Cheese" orange.

It's a great color, on you.

Wow, it turned out quite well. The color kinda does remind me of velveeta too. Too bad it didn't have any red or green flecks in it then you could have said you were wearing queso. Ha! Sorry for the pun. I love the shine yarn but, it can be a bear to work with at times. The slinkiness of it is wonderful, isn't it?

This is awesome on you! Sorry that it got so painful for such a simple knit. And, just in case you were wondering, I've washed my shrug knit in Shine in my washing machine on delicate twice, and so far, so good. It actually looks better after washing. Go figure.

And, can I please request a picture tutorial sometime of how you press your seams? I have fear of irons. If it is too much of a hassle, feel free to ignore me.

Well worth the time and effort. It's beautiful and looks FABULOUS on you. I couldn't pull off that color without looking like a giant banana (or tube of velveeta)!

This is my first comment, but I've been reading for a while and think you're great. Keep up the good work.

Velveeta! Another beauty!

So very cute! And if it wouldn't be offensive, the ladies look good in this sweater. The alterations all turned out sooooo wonderful.


Question: if you had $40-60/60-80/80-100 what yarns would you have used? Or in general, lemme guess, it would have been DB Cathay instead of Shine? I heard Cathay knits up like a dream- but nothing about the frogging.

Success!! Wow!! It looks great ... you're an inspiration to us all. (I just throw my naughty projects into the UFO corner for a while.)

Fabulous! It fits perfectly, and is just precious! (In a "look at that lovely detail" kind of a way, not a "coochy-coochy-coo" kind of a way.

Beautiful sweater. The first thing I thought when I saw it was "I WANT IT!" It fits you perfectly and shows off your figure well. Great work.

You look delicious!

I love the lace. And shine feels so nice to work with (except I hated the way it shed on me). I'm glad now I didn't need to frog with it.

it looks absolutely awesome! Better than the booklet. Where are the armhole seams?

Fabulous fit, and wonderful work! It looks great on you, Grumperina ;)

WOW, that looks amazing!! I wasn't particularly taken by the pattern photo, but your version of it is so much better. And you finished it so quickly for something knit on size 4s, I'm jealous!!

The Filati tunic is beautiful - you did an incredible job in adjusting/fixing the pattern. Your time and efforts were well worth it - one picture says it all! Congratulations - you must be very pleased with the final results! You look asbolutely stunning!

Lovely sweater. It fits you like a glove. Thanks for the insight on KP Shine and KP Merino!

I vote for Cheetos.

What a great fit on you! The Filati top turned out so well and looks amazing on you.


Cheesy in the best way... what a success!

You look wonderful in the 'tunic'. That ain't no tunic. It was worth all the worry. It sort of makes me sorry I read about the problems, it should have gone on the list.

I love processed fake cheese, your sweater looks just as yummy!

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