A couple of months ago, while looking at patterns on Ravelry, I stumbled upon a German knitting magazine, Verena Stricken. Most of the designs I saw did not really catch my attention, until the Summer 2016 issue. I did not just really like 1 or 2, but 3 designs! Luckily I was able to easily purchase an electronic copy and in a few minutes, my project planning procrastination begun!
The designs are Lulani, Rosalba and Koko. There are also other interesting ones, such as Amal, but these three stood out to me a lot more.
For several days I was thinking for different yarn combinations I would use; at that moment, I didn’t have access to the yarns each design called for. In the end, I decided to do a partial de-stash and stash enhancement wherever it was needed. Due to a move to a new country, I didn’t have enough time to knit all three this summer, I managed to make only Rosalba.
For this project, I used a combination of Sheepjes Catona and Lane Cervinia Sicilia. The two yarns have the same weight, fiber composition (100% Cotton) and texture. When looked side-by-side without labels, they are almost indistinguishable. Which is very helpful in this case, as I had already stashed some Sicilia and given some peculiar circumstances, I could not supplement with more in the same yarn. So the intarsia in this project went along very well.
When it comes to the design, as per usual, I made several changes. First and foremost, I changed the back piece entirely. I did not like the stripes and thought that a continuing the front design would suit the top better. Therefore, I knitted a supplementary piece that continued the middle stripe and shape.
Then, I worked the front neckline a bit differently. I increased the rate of the decreases, in order to make the upper part shorter. This modification solved another issue I had with the top: it was a bit too long.
I also changed the straps, worked i-cords and sewed them in place in the back piece. I added some slip-stitch reinforcement with a crochet hook for the small triangle opening in the front and added a simple crochet edging at the bottom hem to prevent curling. The design as written does not include any edging/ribbing and that is frustrating, because stockinette does not tend to stay flat.
I made the largest size for positive ease and the top turned out quite comfortable. The upper edge of the back piece shags/curls a little and I am thinking of adding some elastic thread to keep it in place. Otherwise, the back part of my bra shows and that bothers me a little.
Now, you might be wandering why I am calling this project The Fifth Element. Ever since I finished the front piece and looked at it, I was instantly reminded of the 1997 movie The Fifth Element. It is a weird connection, and it may have to do with the combination of colors and shapes. Any movie I have watched and liked in my childhood tends to turn up in such weird and unexpected ways! Does this happen to you to?