Brace yourselves because starting from this post, a lot of custom order related projects are coming. These are the projects that have kept me from much delayed design work, but provided me with the opportunity to work with new design concepts and ideas.
First up, is a chevron lace top I made for a friend. She likes to spend a lot of time browsing through pictures on Pinterest, and when she found this simple but cute chevron lace top, she asked if I could make it. (since there is no shop in our city selling this item or anything similar)
Upon seeing this, my first thought was: “Hm, I think I have seen something similar on Ravelry”. Clicking through the pin led me to a dead end, so my next action was to search for patterns of lacy tops. Finding a pattern would mean that I would be able to support the designer that came up with this design, and also help speed up the process of knitting, as I wouldn’t have to make any size calculations, or stitch pattern charting. (and since this is commission work, time is money)
My search didn’t yield any results, so I sat down and started to work on my calculations. Having the picture as a guide, I deciphered the stitch pattern – a simple chevron lace worked in yarn overs and 3 types of decreases and charted it out in the Stitchmastery Knitting Chart Editor (It is very helpful to try out different versions on the editor before swatching). I took the bust and torso measurements of my friend and made my swatch. Based on that, I worked all the numbers I needed: stitch counts and pattern repeats.
My friend wanted a loose fit (meaning positive ease) and something lightweight, as this was a summer top, so I chose to work with Yarnart’s Summer fingering yarn. This is a cotton and rayon blend that creates a nice lightweight and a little bit shiny result. The rayon becomes splitty at times, but the look and feel of the knitted result is pretty good. This is my first time working with this yarn, and since it’s affordable and with generous yardage, I am seriously considering using it again in the future. It also has a wide range of colors available, so that’s another plus!
As you can also see from the pictures, there are several design differences of the finished result and the picture. First, I changed the ribbing from 1X1 to 1X3. The ribbing at the sleeve edges is so minimal, that it is almost invisible. I kept the Stockinette square panel at the front, but omitted it from the back. I could only guess what the back looked like, but in any case, a Stockinette back for a lacy summer top didn’t make much sense to me, so I skipped it. Instead of working flat and then seaming, I worked in the round.
Another major change is the neck opening. Firstly, I personally didn’t like the combination of a round crew neck with a pointy chevron pattern. Secondly, I really could not understand who would wear(or make!) a summer top that is a) lacy but b) has a neck opening so close to the neck .ie suitable for winter sweaters. So I changed it to a generous V-neck. I even made the back V deeper, so my friend could just turn the top around and wear an even sexier version! 😉 (Luckily, she has the boobs to pull that off!)
Since the whole thing was in fingering, it took me a while to make, but not too much. My perception of time spent also was slightly biased, because as always, I thoroughly enjoyed the reverse engineering process. When at the end I saw it fit my friend like a glove, I was so happy! Size and drape were absolutely perfect. Thank you math! <3
Normally, the story behind the project would end here. This top is an exception, because following it’s completion, there were some unexpected discoveries.
The whole “Here, look what I found! Can you make this?” to swatching and casting on situation happened at the end of April 2016. Around the same time, the Spring/Summer 2016 Twist Collective issue came out. And in that issue, there is the design Cedri:
I don’t remember if I had checked the release of the issue right away (prior to request). I usually receive an email or see a Facebook update and go to have a quick look at the issue – and return back when I have more time. I think I may have done this, as this must be what gave me the sense of familiarity with the first picture. But as you can understand, I couldn’t remember anything specific, or source for that matter. It is also weird that I didn’t find it in my Ravelry search, but that could very possibly be, that the design was not listed yet when I searched. So this discovery happened a lot while after I had finished the top, when I revisited the issue.
The Pinterest picture appears only on Pinterest, and as much as I have searched I couldn’t find any source for it – who made it, basically. Judging from the picture, it looks like a store-bought top. But of course, no such conclusion can be made without definite evidence. Not much can be said about how long this picture exists on Pinterest either.
In any case, the resemblance of the Pinterest picture with Cedri is uncanny. The whole thing is exactly the same, except for a small difference in the chevron pattern (there is one stitch instead of two between the yarn over lines). So, what gives?
All in all, I have to admit, the coincidence of having your friend request a top the same month it is released as a pattern, but from a different source is quite scary. xD The internet is not that small of a place, right?