Saturday, March 31, 2007

I'm Ready For Spring!

Hooray for finished knitting! I started this top back in the fall, using handspun cotton that I had left over from my lace cardigan. (I had to put it down in order to knit the wedding shawl in time, and just picked it up again when that was finished.) I had maybe 8 ounces left of the cotton yarn, and considering I had gotten a long lace cardy out of only about 9 ounces, I thought I had a shot at getting a small t-shirt type top out of the rest. The finished top weighs 7 1/2 ounces. Of course the cardigan covers a lot more area, but it's knit on considerable larger needles, and in a lace pattern, while the top is knit densely enough to be worn without needing a camisole underneath. We're looking at the difference between 4 1/2 sts/in and 6 3/8 st/in. The yarn for both was spun at about 34 wpi and a grist of about 2000 yrds/lb, depending on the skein. My spinning was a bit on the inconsistent side for this, as it is my first large quantity of handspun cotton. Also, I switched to the very fast flyer for my Lendrum wheel part way through the process, when it became clear that the fast flyer was just too slow for cotton. All in all, I'm quite pleased. I've put quite a bit of shaping into this top, so that it wouldn't be bulky and "sweatery" around the waist, but would fit more like the slightly lycra tee-shirt tops I like from Target. The top is shaped with "yoke" decreases, worked around the lace pattern in a pleasing manner so as not to skew it. I also used short rows to make what is, in essence, a bust dart. I've been putting about a 1" bust dart into any close fitting sweater I make for myself for a while now, ever since the first close fit sweater I made. That one didn't have a dart. The front of it fit just fine, but the back had a big droop right above the ribbing. I ended up shrinking that droop out as much as possible with the blocking--not the prettiest or most permanent solution. The reason for the dart is that for a moderately endowed woman with good posture, the distance from her shoulder down her front will often be longer than the same distance down her back, because, well, there's a breast there. This isn't the case for all buxom women. Many larger busted woman do not have upright posture, but rounded out backs, sometimes because of the weight of their bust and how it affects their posture, and sometime because they developed a large chest young, were embarrassed, and stood with their shoulders rolled forward and sort of slumped to hide their bust. It's very difficult to relearn this bad posture as an adult. I'm not huge busted, but a little larger than average for my body type, and have good posture, which makes my bust prominent. Similar actually to the dress form's posture, except I have squarer shoulders and stand just a bit sway backed. As you can see on the form, the bottom edge is even all around. Without the short row bust dart, it would be riding up a little in front, or hanging down a bit in back.

I was using the dress form to block the top. There was no point blocking it flat after all the effort I had put into shaping it to not be a rectangle, so I steamed it on a dress form that was close to my measurements and then left it on the form until it was completely cool and dry. Blocking isn't set until it had fully cooled and dried. If you move the garment before then, you'll lose some or all of the shape you were trying to set it in.

I'm thinking about writing out this pattern for multiple sizes and trying to sell it on the internet, maybe on etsy. What say you all? Is this something you think knitters would be interested in making themselves? Do you think enough people would be willing to use the yarn info from my handspun to either spin their own or chose a suitable commercial yarn? I'm not sure how many knitter are out there who only use the recommended yarn for any project.

This pattern wouldn't be ready for sale until probably the fall, after my wedding and after my summer job. My plan would be to write it out for more than just S, M, L because last I checked, there are a lot more sizes than that. I'd like to go up to at least a 48" chest and offer petite (which mine is), regular, and long. That's a fair amount of time calculating.

Please post in the comments whether you think this would be a worthwhile pattern to write up for other folks. I've been thinking about getting some patterns published for years, and this might be a good place to start.


Georgia said...

Hey knittica!- I think etsy is a good bet. Lace patterns are pretty hot right now among us advanced knitters. Finer knits are also good for those of us who need no bulking up. Georgia- by the 8th right?

. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...


Mags said...

Oh, it's fabulous! I especially like that it's loosely based on a Target fashion.

How about knitty? Or Interweave? People would definitely pay. It's just beautiful.