Friday, May 17, 2013


See-through stockinette
Here is another finished object - it's a wispy knitted top.  It's made from 100% cotton yarn, 2 ply, quite slubby, lace weight.  In 150g of this (from ColourMart), there are 1,500 yards of yarn.  Needless to say, this little number barely made a dent in my two cones (3,000 yards) of this stuff, even though it took me about two months to knit it with tiny little 3mm needles.

Between the lace panels and the inherent thinness of the knitted fabric, this top is so airy as to hardly be there.

The pattern is from a free online knitting magazine, Knitty.  It's called "Etherial" (mis-spelled, yes).

As usual, I was incapable of slavishly following the pattern.  The designer had envisaged it in a lace weight alpaca, which would have a completely different character from my cotton.  The cotton is drapier and even though it is knit at the correct gauge (28 stitches and 42 rows per 10cm or 4"), so that the garment has the finished dimensions called for, it fits far more loosely.  Finished, it has about 4cm (1.5") of negative ease at the bust.

Knitty schematic
As I was knitting I was scheming how to change the way the design fits at the arm openings.  To the right is the schematic provided on the Knitty website.  You start at the hem, and continue in the round to knit a straight tube, which has a double panel of lace at each side.  The arm openings are created by simply splitting these two lace panels and decreasing.  I think it looks uncomfortable in the pattern photo on the Knitty page.

Knitty's version
Besides, in my looser fabric, the tightness below the arm would not look right with the relative looseness elsewhere.

Gusset - in progress
My solution was to insert a knitted gusset between the two side lace panels which allowed me to cast off a number of stitches below the arm, creating a looser, rounder opening.  As I added stitches under the arm, I decreased in the centre panels on the other side of the lace, keeping the stitch count the same.  This means the lace starts moving towards the centre more gradually, but it doesn't change the overall look of the top.

I made the back a little longer than the front, and a tiny bit wider, for fit.  I also firmed the finished arm edges up a little bit with an invisible edge of single crochet.  I think my modifications worked really well.

I'm going to love this top on the hottest days of summer, but it's kind of revealing.  While I'm waiting for the weather to really change, I've already started a coordinating cardigan, worked with the same yarn, but held double.  It's coming along nicely.

Check out my Ravelry project page for the top and cardigan.


  1. A beautiful summer top. I just checked out your Ravelry project page and you've done some incredible and lovely work. I admire your sewing and knitting skills.

  2. That is really beautiful. I'm jealous of your skill!

  3. What a gorgeous top! The more I see such lovely items being knit, the more I'm itching to progress in my knitting abilities to be able to knit something other than scarves in mile-long lengths. Some day!

  4. Absolutely gorgeous! I tried my hand at knitting, but just couldn't keep up with the geometry. I admire anyone who has the attention span to finish such a beautiful and involved project.

  5. Fabulous top, and brilliant mods :-)!

  6. Brilliant gusset. Nice alteration in keeping with improving this top for your summer.

  7. Totally love your modifications. We have a group working on this project together for a class right now. I already made changes to the yarn, stitch count, and weight in mine and I love your underarm gusset. I might have to work that in, too! Thank you for sharing. It looks great in the cotton and so crisp. I wasn't sure how that would block but it is amazing on you. =)