When I consider a knitting pattern, there are some red flags, if you will, which immediately cause me to raise an eyebrow and turn the page of the knitting mag or pattern book. For example, if a knitted garment is described as a “stretchy, sheer, large-needle knit,” I say a resounding, “No thanks.” My dislike for such a pattern can only be intensified if the designer takes the time to state, “Note that the fabric is very stretchy when choosing size,” and then makes choosing a size impossible by writing the pattern to have finished chest dimensions of 25 1/2″ or 28 3/4″. Exactly how stretchy would this top have to be if 28″ is the chest measurement of a 10-year-old?
Of course I’m not making up this hypothetical scenario. The pattern in question is the ballet t-shirt by Teva Durham, which is available on her website, and in her new book Loop-d-Loop currently available at stores near you and on Amazon.com.
I love the simple look of this top. Wide neck, wide straps, not quite cap-sleeved, which can be unflattering on some bodies.
That’s where the love stops.
The shaping down the center of the sweater body is questionable – I’m just not sure what that will look like on a curvy-figured woman like me. The big, loose, stretchy stitches over any semblance of a bust are a huge no-no. The sweater’s length is for women with perfect abs, but that’s easy enough to fix…. the length of the sweater, that is, not the imperfect abs, hehe.
The bug hit me, though, the cuteness and simplicity were deeply implanted into my soul, so there was no choice but to fix this puppy up and call it my own.
Inspiration #1: Stash
When I was a young and naïve knitter, I bought some aran-weight cotton on a whim. I didn’t buy enough for a sweater, and it’s been lingering in my stash ever since.
Warning! Warning! Do not adjust your computer monitors! The yarn depicted is not red or burgundy or pink! In fact, it’s baby blue (with a tiny hint of green). The yarn is called Tivoli Santos Aran, and it knits at 19-20 sts/4 inches on my US 7 needles. You know how I feel about short-sleeved tops knit from heavy* yarns – ‘not happy’ is an understatement. Still, this is much more reasonable than the 10 sts/4 inches called for in the pattern. I don’t know what I’m thinking, but I want to use up this yarn, and I have enough for a top like this and not much more (*heavy, as far as summer knits are concerned, is anything heavier than thin t-shirt material).
This takes care of the “large needle knit” issue.
Hey, look at the clever darts on this sweater:
(I know Colleen “loves” this picture)
Making two columns of darts like this instead of one column down the center of the sweater would make it quite slimming and probably better-fitting.
This takes care of the funny shaping issue.
My wardrobe! I took measurements of a sweater knit in cotton of the same gauge, a ballet-top sweater, and a top shaped with two darts just like the Katia sweater. This allowed me to put some numbers to this insanity and took care of the “knit the 28″ chest size and hope it fits” issue.
Here’s what I’m thinking:
- wide neck and wide straps, reminiscent of Teva Durham’s original design
- knit in the round from the top down: no seaming, and ability to try on as you go!
- 2 bust and 2 back darts
- length appropriate for a real-sized woman
- a top that doesn’t have to stretch some unknown amount in order to fit
- Stash busting!
What do you think? Considering that this should be a quick knit, should I make it as soon as I’m done with the AV sweater, or should I make Fibo first? Maybe I should start even before the AV sweater is done because, man, AV has a way of disabling me for days.
Wait, don’t answer.
Certifiably insane. I have lost all self-control and have become one of those knitters who has 1,400 WIPs at any given time.
P.S. Today’s entry is brought to you by my fabulous new scanner, because using the camera to photograph doodles/writing sucks big time.