This is the little top that didn’t get given to my sister.
The top in question is the Atlantic Waves Slipover by Anne Eunson from the excellent Shetland Wool Adventure Journal Volume 2 and the posts where I refer to knitting it, and the things I wasn’t so sure about as I went along, can be found here, here, here, and here. The last time I mentioned this project, the top was finished and I was sitting back feeling pleased with myself whilst it had a quick bath. It’s okay, I didn’t shrink it, but once it was dry, I knew that it wasn’t anywhere near good enough to give as a gift.
There are two elements in this version which, looking back at the photo, I really like. The first is the neckline and the second is the arrowhead lace I chose to work at the bottom of the piece. When I knit a version for myself, those are the things I’ll replicate. Oh, and I think I will replace the colourwork and do the Greek key pattern as a textured element in my own top.
Sad to say, there is one glaring problem with this garment which I just can’t ignore. I could put up with the fact that the gauge was too loose, or that the design had the shoulder seams sit a little bit down on the back of the shoulder rather than riding on the crest where nature intended them to be. The issue is that the fabric had the most dreadful bias, the stitches didn’t run straight up and down as they should, but sat at an angle which made the whole garment hang skew-whiff. Maybe you can see it in the close-up.
I’m not sure quite why this happened. I’m trying everso hard not to blame it all on the circular knitting, and to ask myself whether the yarn played into the problem. Certainly, it twizzled up on itself a lot whilst I was knitting which can indicate that your knitting style isn’t playing nicely with the tendencies of a particular yarn. The gauge was definitely an issue and although it matched the requirement for the pattern, it resulted in a fabric which felt slightly too loose. I think, as well, that my finishing around the armholes was a little slapdash and may have contributed to the way the garment hung. Perhaps I could have resolved the issues partly by vigorous blocking, but you can’t turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse.
So, what did my sister get for her birthday? Well, I gave her the second version of the top which I knit flat so that it had side seams to help with the structure, and I moved the shoulder seams to the right position. I knit it at a tighter gauge which suited the wool much better, though I noticed the re-make didn’t fly off my needles the way the original had. Those few extra stitches and rows really made a difference. I used the written pattern instructions for the lace panel at the bottom, but I still found this part a less than enjoyable experience and I had to grit my teeth a bit to get through it.
Once this second try had been washed, was dry, and then ironed, I was very happy with the result and I’m glad to say that when opened it was immediately tried on and deemed to be a very good fit indeed. I didn’t take any photos at all of this version. I think I was a little over it by the end, but also we didn’t have weather conducive with photography whilst I was at home. Take my word for it, though, it was an improvement on the original. And I will say the wool impressed me as it didn’t change much at all in washing. Some wools feel and look quite different after they have been washed, but this retained the rather crisp character that I enjoyed whilst I was knitting.
So with that project out of the way I’m on to the fun part – choosing exactly what I’m going to make for myself with this lovely bundle.