starting my linen top, take two

Wisened up that I only have 900 meters I did a search for patterns people made with my yardage.

Ravelry has an advanced search query you can play with.
I chose to search for actual patterns people used for their projects, rather than just look at projects people made with this yardage. This way all the self designed tops are discarded and I don’t have to think as much once I start mine.

What I do is look at actual projects instead of patterns because then I know the yardage is correct. (patterns usually give a range, from the smallest size to the biggest and then I get them showing up in my search query and I get all happy but can’t knit it because my yardage only fits their size “garden gnome”)

once I find a project I like I look at the pattern that was used. I’ve already narrowed the search to free patterns so I’m sure I can get my hands on it if I like it.

I look at all the projects made from that pattern because this shows me how the pattern behaves when handled by real, normal people using normal yarn and normal bodies.
It tells me how well the pattern is written, how the shaping is and with a bit of luck I’ll see someone with a similar body shape like mine and I can see how this pattern would look on me.

Bonny by tincanknits is an example where the pattern picture is gorgeous:

but the projects tell me this would probably look a certain way on my body that would make me feel self conscious most of the time.

These are the patterns I picked up from my project search:
Bottoms Up by Alice Bell:

I really like this, for obvious Art Deco reasons. It also has some nice projects in linen so that would work well with that fibre. But twisted stitches hurt my shoulder. In the favourites-bin it goes. Maybe for another day.

This is Silken Straw Summer Sweater by Purl Soho:

An example where I would not have looked at the pattern if a certain project hadn’t looked so good:
 pic by deejw
I love those ridges. They are an add-on and are not in the original pattern. I don’t usually post individual projects but deejw’s take on the pattern is so much better than the official project photos

Gemini by Jane Richmond yields some impressive projects too. The pattern picture is allright:

It’s a dense fabric, I could get away with just a bra under it.

This is Petrie Shell by Beautia Dew:

I like the shaping, the play with formality.

This is Tulip Tank Top by Purl Soho:

gorgeous details but bare back at the precise point where I want coverage: adrenal region.

Gosh, the details are well done!

This is 107-8 top with lace pattern by DROPS design:

Using lace to keep linen in check. No need for neat plain stitches.
But more importantly: “is this top white or blue?! And that wall, is that white or gold?

and a paid-for pattern that I have in my library:
Linum Tee by Bristol Ivy

It’s difficult to see but the lattice work is asymmetrical at the front. The projects from this pattern show me that I would probably get a semi-sheer fabric and that neat stitches are to be preferred in the final look. can I produce neat stitches? it would demand a constant tension for all the stockinet stitch section… can I do that? No I cannot. I want some mindless knitting, not an exercise in execution. I need some designed tricks to lead the eye away from irregular knitting.

Once I’ve narrowed it down to a couple of patterns I look at the pattern specifics. Are they top down or not. Gauge. How accessible is the pattern (is it in a magazine or online. Is it a down load or do I need to sign up for a website)
For example, Silken Straw thingie from Purl Soho is from the website Purlbee.com. I had troubles navigating that site some years back. I need an extra carrot to go and check out whether it’s better now:
 pic by the Purl Bee: Bunny Hop Bunnies from Knitting at KNoon

Tulip Tank Top is such a carrot, with its beautiful details. Even though its lower back is bare. It’s also a purlbee pattern and would make me check out that web site again and dive into it a bit deeper than just browsing.
But first I take a closer look at the projects made from the pattern. Are people glad with the pattern or are there many frogs and complaints. And why.
Also: fit.
Hmm, looking at project pictures of Tank Top it would really be ill advised for me to make a garment with a bare lower back.

Achoo! Achoo! Achoo!

Next I look at all the projects from all the remaining patterns. I’m looking at fit, sheerness and how the knitters liked the pattern.
The DROPS pattern makes a feature of the sheerness that linen provides. That’s a fresh approach (to me).

Can’t find out if Linen Tee is top down or bottom up. Have to trawl projects for in progress pics. That’s one negative score for the pattern.
Ah, it’s bottom up.

Petrie had me a bit worried with its boat neck:

I like the back of my neck covered… The project pages show this to happen more often than not. Good.

Lots of happy Petrie knitters, I find myself reading more and more project notes.
I like the community feel these project pages gives.

This way I get to know the pattern better. I look at most helpful projects. At frogged projects.

This pattern has a prominent front neck line and people play with it. You can either make it dressier by having it a bit stiff. Or make it drapier. People play with it and share their modifications in their project notes. Ravelry has the feature that you can tag projects you find helpful, they are easily accessable from your own project page.
Even, at the bottom of the overview of projects of this pattern, there;s now a little message: “you’ve tagged 3 projects as helpful”. Ravelry is smart that way.

Gemini makes use of its raglans in the neck treatment:

Clever. But the project pages do not give me the same enthousiasm as the Petrie.

Between DROPS, Petri and Silken Straw I’m going with Petrie. It’s bottom up and seamed so I’ll have to keep to gauge.
I love deejw’s Silken Straw but the pattern itself is just a round yoke and a bit boring.
Drops is a drops pattern which are written super condensed. I don’t feel like reading that right now.
In Petrie someone mentions brainless knitting, that’s what I want.

It’s a Knitty.com pattern from Spring/Summer 2010. Free.



Oh. It’s for DK thickness!
The project that got me into it had the fingering weight held double.
Oops.

Now to chose: hold yarn double myself (yardage?!) or rework the numbers to fingering weight (bit of math)
Ha. Gauge is 20 st/10 cm. That’s what I get with fingering weight, no reworking required. Sigh of relief.

I’m having one more look at project pictures because of the two diagonal lines in the front. Don’t want them to become pointers towards my prominent features.
Nah, I’m good. The lines are not too visible in dark yarns and the neck line attracks the eye.

Some tips I found helpful:
– size should be chosen with 1 to 2″ of negative ease.
– Add waist shaping.
– Sew up with thread instead of yarn.
– Sew a piece of 1” grosgrain ribbon inside the front neck facing if you want it non collapsable.
I’m putting the pattern in my Ravelry queue and copy the tips in there too. When I cast on from the queue it will automatically revert to a project page and bring with it the notes and the yarn I chose.

Now I’m going to make some tea and think it over a bit more. Pet that linen some more. Read the pattern from beginning to end. And if it all feels good we’ll get this show on the road!

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2 thoughts on “starting my linen top, take two

  1. Wat een goeie manier van zoeken: op project ipv patroon. Ga ik ook eens proberen. Leuk om je afwegingen te volgen trouwens. Ben benieuwd of je de Petrie uiteindelijk gaat maken!

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