I am such a fast knitter (sarcasm alert), I started this top in August 2008 as part of the Ravelympics for the Beijing Olympics. Obviously, I had some problems getting it finished within the deadline. Some of those problems were of my own making – I decided that I would have it finished for the Nordic Knitting Conference in February 2009, and photocopied the pattern to take with me when I travelled (don’t worry all you copyright freaks, I bought the book, just didn’t want to take it travelling with me). When I photocopied the pattern, I conserved paper by using the reverse side of the page 1 for page 2 of the 3 page pattern.
Going to the Nordic Knitting Conference involved flying from Hong Kong to Taipei, and then to Seattle. I believe that I actually arrived in Seattle before I took off in Hong Kong, causing some massive jet lag. While jet lagged, I find most things more difficult, but anything involving visual spatial skills especially so. At that time, I had not followed a Zimmermann pattern for knitting a sweater seamlessly, and found the whole process of attaching the sleeves to the body, while continuing the lace pattern incredibly difficult. In retrospect there were 3 problems:
1. In my jet lagged fug, I tried to skip page 2 of the instructions completely. It took a while to realise my error, because the sentence flowed seamlessly from page 1 to page 3. Of course the meaning of the pattern did not flow seamlessly, and I eventually realised that I was missing page 2 of the pattern.
2. Unfortunately, when I photocopied the pattern, the repeat portion of the decrease chart did not show up at all well, and while I was trying to follow it, I failed to observe the six stitch repeat. In the original, the repeat is helpfully boxed in red, but I had photocopied in black and white. I only figured out this mistake after emailing Veronique Avery (the designer of the pattern). As a result of the exchange of emails, am pretty sure that she thinks that I am a copyright disrespecting moron.
3. The pattern doesn’t actually work as written in the size 41.25. Now, I was reluctant to reach this conclusion, especially because of the plethora of self-induced misadventures that I had previously had with the pattern. I am not sure if these comments apply to all sizes, or just the one that I knitted, but here goes. When shaping the armholes at Front and Back, I needed to delete the first and last stitch of the decrease chart to maintain the pattern (like this Raveller). As for the sleeve cap shaping, another Raveller has suggested that the whole sleeve should have been knitted on chart C (which seems like it would work – I wonder why I didn’t read that tip at the time?). Certainly, as written the sleeve cap shaping in the size 41.25 does not continue the previously established lace pattern. I ended up abandoning the decrease chart, and just did a decrease every plain row, and tried to maintain the established pattern.
I made plenty of unintentional alterations to this lace panel pattern – there are errors galore in it, but after a couple of times trying to undo the Kidsilk Haze, I decided that I could live with some creativity.
As for intentional alterations to the pattern, I made it a heap longer, maybe 6″. I measured a store bought vest that I wear a lot, and made the overtop the same length to the armholes. I also added waist shaping by dropping from a 4.00mm needles to 3.75mm, and the 3.50mm needles when it seemed a appropriate, and then reversed the process so that I was knitting on 4.00 mm again by the armholes.
Overall, the top is a success. I wore it our to lunch last week with a friend who is not a knitter, and she did not seem to notice that it was a homemade garment. The Kidsilk Haze is lovely to wear, even if a pain to knit (I don’t like inelastic yarns) and a nightmare to unpick.
Pattern: Skater’s Overtop (Ravelry link), by Veronique Avery. Certainly not a pattern for a beginning lace knitter – it requires lots of intuition about how the lace pattern should work. When I finished it, I certainly found the experience of knitting the Seamless Hybrid useful.
Needles: Knit Pro metal tips in sizes 4.00 mm, 3.75mm and 3.50mm with a 60 cm cable.
Yarn: Rowan Kidsilk Haze in 605 Smoke, 3 skeins. Purchased from Jannette’s Rare Yarns. I love the service from that shop. I have two balls left over (must have been feeling neurotic about running out) which I will destash on Ravelry soon.