Sarah's received the swap package that I sent out this week, so it's safe to post pictures. First up is the Odessa hat. It's a light blue color with frosty white beads, but the color picture looks a bit funky (the yellow paint on the walls was making the hat look green) so I'm posting a B&W picture instead:
I used a cable cast-on for this hat, which I think worked beautifully. It's stretchy, yet more stable and and nicer-looking than other cast-ons I've used. I used a size US6 needle for the cast-on, then downsized to US4 for the ribbing.
Next up is the Bluebell version of the Perdita bracelet:
This pattern was super fun to make, and it was a great warm-weather knitting project - not wool and not big. I'm really happy with how this bracelet turned out and I'll definitely be making some more. I used blue Pearl Cotton that is very close in color to the Odessa hat. The pattern is different from every other lace pattern I've tried because it requires you to do lace-y stitches on both the right and wrong sides of the piece. If you compare the Bluebell chart to the other styles of Perdita bracelet you'll notice that the Bluebell chart has symbols on every line, while the other versions have symbols on every other line. What this means is that for the other versions you do all the fancy stitches (yarnovers and decreases) on the right (or knit) side of the piece and then simply purl every stitch on the wrong side. For the Bluebell bracelet you must do yarnovers and decreases on the both the knit and purl sides. This gives it a different look from other lace projects I've done and makes it a bit more of a challenge. I would recommend that beginning lace knitters (and people who aren't very fond of purling) start with one of the other styles of the Perdita pattern.
I blocked the bracelet before I attached the buttons and crocheted button holes. I soaked it in water for about 10 minutes, then pressed it between two terrycloth towels to remove excess water. Then I laid the bracelet out flat on a folded terrycloth towel. I used pins to secure the bracelet on the towel. I had to rearrange the pins a few time to make sure that the bracelet was evenly stretched. The bracelet took about 24 hours to dry completely.
I noticed after sewing the buttons on and crocheting the buttonholes that the edges of the bracelet had already started to curl. I think the bracelet may need to be re-blocked after a few wears to keep the edge flat, although I kinda like it a little bit curled. I don't think the other styles of the Perdita bracelet would curl quite so much.
One thing I learned on subsequent trips to the craft store is that DMC also makes a linen embroidery floss that looks to be roughly the same weight as the Pearl Cotton. The linen floss is stranded because it's meant to be separated, while the Pearl Cotton is not. I think the linen floss may be prone to splitting but it has potential to make a really great bracelet. It only comes in a limited number of what I would call antique-y colors, which is kind of a bummer. But I would like to give it a try anyway.