slowly twisting, in the wind

The Twist-Front Top by Adrienne Vittadini is complete! I decided the Met would be the best spot for my photo shoot. It went great, but right as I was finishing up I was informed that if you want to use a tripod at the Met, even one as small as my Gorillapod, you have to check in with Security and get a permission slip. Apparently it’s easy to get permission, but you must seek it. Security guard who told me this? Crabby. No need to get snippy, lady.

twist-front top (by mintyfreshflavor)

I’m thrilled with this knit. Especially after having wanted to make it for more than two years, it’s particularly satisfying to have had it come out just right. Fits perfectly, flattering shaping, great color–what more can I say? I’ll let a bunch of photos tell the story. It was hazy up there on the Roof Garden–ah, October days in the 80s. Oppressive.

back (by mintyfreshflavor)

side, coquettish (by mintyfreshflavor)

looks great under blazer, too (by mintyfreshflavor)

I think this top will be great for the winter/late fall under this blazer. The wool of the tank and the necessary camisole underneath (I made a special shopping trip yesterday to get one) actually made me quite warm–it wasn’t just the crazy hot weather. Which means this is a tank top that isn’t just for summer!

Twist-Front Top by Adrienne Vittadini, Spring 2005
Yarn: Brooks Farm Acero, purchased at Maryland Sheep & Wool
Skeins: 2, but I still have quite a bit of the second skein left
Needles: US 3 and US 4, Addi Turbos
Started: Thursday, September 27
Finished: Saturday, October 6
Notes: I did not get the prescribed gauge, but I liked the way the Brooks Farm knit up in this stitch pattern, so I did some math and chose to work the largest size of the pattern. Even with this, I was accounting for a decent amount of negative ease–crucial since this is a lace-based stitch pattern. (Ravelry reviews support this, too.) And the Acero really blossomed when it was washed–grew a decent amount in length and opened up nicely. I think because of the laciness you have a lot of leeway for sizing down. It’s kind of a fluke that mine turned out so very very perfect.

The pattern is definitely for an experienced knitter. This is not to say that anything about knitting this was actually difficult or tricky, but the pattern expects you as an experienced knitter to understand the knitting thoroughly enough that you can accurately process the directions. Let me explain. The decreases that happen along the miter will eventually smack into the lacework. You have to know enough about the lace pattern and the decrease to ensure that you are actually decreasing on those rows (that is, know when to take out a yo). There were some other pattern oddities: When you’re working the two fronts at the same time, they expect you to imagine the work as a continuous piece. So when they say “at the beginning of the next two rows” they really mean “at the armhole edge.” If you decided to work the sides separately (I think it goes faster when you do), you can get very screwed up. While you’re knitting, it’s pretty obvious, but it’s potentially confusing.

twist-front top up close (by mintyfreshflavor)

The armhole finishing, which I really like the look of, has you pick up stitches, purl back, then immediately cast off. But I think it called for too few stitches be picked up. For the size I knit, it said to pick up 92 stitches, and it felt pinched. I took it out and picked up what seemed like a natural number of stitches, not really counting but aiming to have the same amount on the front and back, and I ultimately picked up about 104.

If I were to do it all over again: I’m very tempted to knit another version in plain stockinette, so that the twist at the front is the focal point and doesn’t get lost in the pattern. If I were to knit this again, either using the pattern or in stockinette, I would:

  1. Add a selvedge stitch on both sides. Seaming this up was a little bit of a stab in the dark without them.
  2. Start the miter lower and decrease slower, so that the bottom edge of the miter really comes up under the bust. They have all sizes begin the miter 6 inches from the bottom–I’m not sure if that’s really the best way to go.
  3. Maybe leave the edges of the miter “live” and use short rows instead of decreases at the edge, so that when you pick up for the left and right fronts, you get a more seamless edge (this wouldn’t work with the lace pattern as written, but would be nice in stockinette, I think).

twist-front top detail (by mintyfreshflavor)

Recommendation: Do yourself a favor and purchase an undergarment that is DARK, not light, to produce flattering results. A light one will produce too-high contrast. Skin tone undergarments are a bad idea when the pattern is this open, too; you look like you’re naked. I got a brown V-neck camisole at Express for $7.99 on sale. Perfect.

PS: Rachel, I like to think this is another example of, to use your words, “Minty Makes Somewhat Questionable Knitting Patterns Look Hot” (look at some of the comments and–cough–photos on Ravelry and you might see what I mean).

60 Responses to slowly twisting, in the wind

  1. Kelly says:

    Wow, Minty! This tank is awesome. You are right – great fit, great color, great piece overall. And I still can’t believe you knit this up so quickly.

  2. Haley says:

    This turned out wonderfully. It fits perfectly and the lace/yarn combo is beautiful. So impressed this turned out so incredibly. Hope you will enjoy wearing it.

  3. kodachrome says:

    Fantastic! It looks great on you, and what a beautiful color it is. I’d be interested in seeing “the second version” as well–with the stockinette so that, as you said, the twist stands out a bit more. But really, this tank is fabulous!

  4. whitney says:

    Wow! It’s really gorgeous, and it looks great on you. I see what you mean about the twist, though…I didn’t really even notice it at first with all the pretty lace and cable action going on.

  5. Lynne E. says:

    That is breathtakingly beautiful. And I hated the pattern when I looked it up earlier! Always it’s great to see a finished object that turns out to be much, much prettier than the original model. You look gorgeous! Great photography, too.

  6. Ashley says:

    It really looks awesome on you. Although I am sad to have determined from the ravelry photos that this is not a knit for the pear-shaped among us, because I love it. But I will not be knitting it.

  7. Annie says:

    I am so in love with the color of that yarn. It came out very well indeed, that tank of yours. (How’s that for an odd sentence? A little tweak to it and I could be mistaken for Yoda.) Anyhoo, lovely work!

  8. Lolly says:

    Damn girl. That is hoTT. It looks so great on you. Amazing fit and shaping. That yarn is a great match for the pattern too – and a wonderful color for your skin tone too. This is a great photo shoot as well – you are so cosmopolitan ;P

  9. Karma says:

    Fantastic! Such a beautiful color. The texture and shape are amazing as well. Seems like a perfect piece for layering as the weather changes, or wearing as you are in the warmer weather… year round knits, woot!

  10. abby says:

    It looks so great! And you had plenty of yarn leftover! A stockinette version would really flatter the twist in the front – it’s such a great detail. I like the homage to TMBG, too.

  11. Kristy says:

    Very pretty top! And thanks for your comments about the Acero, too! I was thinking about using some for a top (instead of socks), and I was curious about how it would work out.

  12. kelp! says:

    Awesome! Really, I wish my sweaters turned out that fabulous. And that’s Acero? I would never have guessed that – I bought some at MDSW too, and I never considered knitting a sweater with it. Hmmm…

  13. connie says:

    Lovely top! This Vittadini tank caught my eye too, but it looked too complicated. Glad it worked out so well for you and that you’re pleased. And thanks for all the notes about it.

  14. courtney says:

    Hello, I’ve lurked for a while, but wanted to come out of the wood works. I love the top, it’s very flattering on you.
    Glad to hear that you weren’t hauled off to taking-photos-in-public-buildings-jail. :)

  15. Monica says:

    I hadn’t seen this sweater before either, but it’s just a beautiful tank top!!! You did a great job too!! It’s really great that you can wear it year round.

  16. Liz K says:

    I am having a total love affair with Brooks Farm and am considering making the trip to Rhinebeck just to get some more. It looks great in a tank, and the tank looks hot. Not just because it is too freakin’ hot in October. Perhaps an Acero vest? There I go with the vests again!

  17. Rachel says:

    If I weren’t so busy hating you for cranking out such a pretty, wearable, flattering garment in about a week, I’d be validating that you made this questionable pattern look extremely hot indeed.

    And I must say that the cringing Venus (or whatever that statue is) juxtaposed with your bosom totally cracks me up. It’s like she realizes how great you look in your pretty tank and feels embarrassed that she only has a bland, insufficient sackcloth to wear.

  18. Laura says:

    The top looks great! I like where the slope-y bits fall on your version. The other versions I saw on Ravelry (and the original) have the slope-y parts falling farther down. Not nearly as flattering as what you made. Or maybe yours just fits much, much better.

    I find your descriptions of the challenges with this pattern very exciting and intriguing. Does that make me sick?

    Thanks for the fashion tip. I think I always choose the wrong color undergarment. Now I know better.

  19. Specs says:

    That is such a flattering design! And thanks for the heads-up about the pattern. I was really loving the twisted bust-area detail, but I definitely do not feel like knitting anything challenging right now.

  20. knittingphilistine says:

    It’s true, everything you say. It’s perfect and fabulous! And I totally love the Met photo shoot. Mmmmm, Met. Must visit the Assyrian reliefs… I am totally doing my next FO shoot with the Assyrian reliefs…

  21. Katie says:

    Great job! As others have said, this top does indeed look very flattering on you. I went ahead and added it to my queue just because I’m so impressed! You should certainly be proud of this one.

  22. Elinor says:

    Ooooh, what a pretty tank!! I would never think of knitting myself a tank for fall but paired with that coat, it looks great!!! You should be proud of this one – both that you finally sat down and knit it and that it’s a beauty!

  23. Sue says:

    Minty that is one piece of beautiful knitting. I cant believe that you have to get a permission slip too to use your camera. How weird. Love the color too, it reminds me of the ocean.

  24. Chelsea says:

    This is so beautiful! I just love the pattern. Great choice in colorway, too. It’s perfect for this time of year. The color reminds me of the color of the sky during the fall. Beautiful!

  25. meg says:

    At least if they’d hauled you in to the lock-up for suspicious use of a tripod, you would have been looking FABULOUS in your mug shot!
    Thanks for showing us a beautiful knit. I always love that you go the extra mile to take photos of your work in interesting places.

  26. pamela wynne says:

    You DO make questionable knitting patterns look hot!! What IS that??

    This is totally, totally fabulous. It looks great under the blazer, but it would also be awesome with a circle skirt in the spring.

    Have fun at Stitches!

  27. Jen says:

    Nice tank!
    I have one of those gorillapods too. They’re awesome. That’s pretty ridiculous that you need a permit to use one though. My only concern is someone will walk off with it while I’m waiting for the flash to go off!

  28. casey says:

    That tank is gorgeous! I, too, have been wanting to knit it for years. Thanks for all your comments on it. I’ll try to remember them if, I mean when, I make it!

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