Thursday, June 22, 2006


I realize, thanks to Charity, that I may have been overly cryptic about the origins of my most recent project. It was originally supposed to be this, from the current issue of VK: It was also supposed to be mostly in a variety of Louet Sales wools, (plus a bit of mohair and linen). I choose bamboo and cotton/viscose (as well as the mohair and linen): Pretty much the opposite end of the elasticity spectrum. I had my doubts about the pattern too, as it went along - the crocheted seams stick out quite a bit more than they seemed to in the photo, and to my eyes looked more lumpy and unfinished than fetching. I may be a purist, but I like the bumpy bits in my knitting to be stitchwork, like cables and such, not seams. If something is going to be patchwork, I prefer to pick up stitches along the edge to knit with, or at the very least graft an invisible join.

I persisted though, until I got to the bodice. Despite matching the weight of the recommended yarn, the pattern gauge had the bodice knit like armour.In retrospect, I think the printed gauge may have been wrong, because the bodice was also knitting up to be about right for a six year old. By that time, however, I was sick to death of the thing, and not the least bit motivated to do a bunch more swatching and calculating, so the bag went to the back of the stash and I moved on to happier things for a while.

Thing is, they are nice yarns, not overly cheap, and I still really wanted a sleeveless summer top from them. So I decided to design my own:

(Clearly, I have no training in fashion sketching, but you get the general drift). I chose a traditional Shetland lace pattern from Barbara Walker's first Treasury of Knitting Patterns and after playing with the swatch and the calculator for a while, worked out that I could start with the 18 stitch repeat as written, in the circumference of my hips, and by contracting the repeats down to 12 stitches, would attain my waist circumference. Like Eunny, I am presently fascinated with the idea of using stitch patterns to achieve seamless shaping.

And there you have it - I am presently working on the waist shaping. The bodice will be solid - probably plain stockinette, to contrast the busyness of the lace and to have the option of wearing it with just a bra on hot summer days.