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.
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.
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.
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:
- Add a selvedge stitch on both sides. Seaming this up was a little bit of a stab in the dark without them.
- 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.
- 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).
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).