Hi there! Thanks for taking a peek -- I designed this myself:
Aah, life with a toddler... not a bad pic considering... ;-)
This is knit with super-cheap Red Heart 1-lb ball of acrylic... bite your toungue! ;-)
It was originally supposed to be a sleeveless turtleneck, but the turtleneck just looked all wrong, so I ended up holding my breath while I did my first ever steek, based on a quick explanation how to do it from my LYS lady. But then I didn't know how many stitches to pick up along the neckline, so I just fiddled around with crochet until I got something that worked out alright. I think it's okay, but I'm not really thrilled. For one thing, it's a little small. I wanted it to be very fitted in the top, but I think I would have wanted it longer in the top. And I'm not sure what I think of the ribbon bow at the front, but I don't know what else to do -- I tried tying it off to one side and at the back, but I didn't like that. I'd like to avoid the bow, but it needs to be pulled in tight somehow in order to keep the knitting stretched down so the empire waist is where it should lie.
I also find that the shoulders are too narrow... I guess there's not much to be done about that at this point. I'm thinking that my best bet is to give it to a smaller friend, or put it in my "sell at a craft show" pile.
If I make another bigger one, how do you think I could change it to make it better? I'm looking for advice on shoulders, sleeves, neckline, etc.
Golly, everybody, you make me feel so proud (that's what I was counting on!)... okay, here's the pattern, more or less... I've never written a pattern for other people before! THis is exciting... message me if you don't understand it! (if you use it, PLEASE post your pics here, and include instructions for any variations you might make -- and don't be mean and sell the pattern or evil bunnies will haunt your dreams forever, and it would hurt my feelings, besides! I use a lot of free patterns, so feel it is my duty to provide one for free, even if I could maybe sell it instead and make a buck. Share and share alike -- that's what the 'net is for!)
1. big ol' ball o' yarn (the stuff I used was what I call "heavy worsted") see above for more. I didn't use the whole ball... it looks to me like I have enough left to make a pair of mittens, at least!
2. knitting needles. I think I used 4mm?? 4.5mm?? I dunno. I made this a pretty tight fabric. If you want a bigger top, use a bigger needle. I'm sure it will work well unless you're WAAAY bigger than me. Because my fabric is tight tight tight, I dont' think I could knit it with a smaller needle to size down. You skinny people will have to figure out your own thing (heh heh heh... revenge of the curvacious!)
3. tapestry needle, crochet hook, ribbon, etc.
on mine, 16 stitches and 27 rows = 4 inches. (I'm not convinced it has to be exactly this for this pattern, a there aren't any sleeves to line up, not a lot of shaping, and you're gong to be knitting to length mostly anyhow!) Feel free to use a different sized needle to change sizes.
To fit: ummmm... well, me. I'm about 33 inches under the boobs and 38 around the boobs with a sports bra on. definitely use your bra wearing measurements if you plan to wear a bra! My top is quite tight across the boobs and looser in the skirt part (my waist is about 32 inches). My finished measurement: about 33 inches around in the top part. see? fits tight.
Okay. so here's whatcha do:
longtail CO 72 (you've got 70 stitches plus a selvedge stitch on either end)
purl one row.
work some lace for 8 inches (you can use any lace pattern you like, but make sure the repeat is 7 or 10 or 9 or 3 or 5 -- multiples of 70, here, folks!):
row 1 and all odd rows: k1, *k1, yo, k2, k2tog, ssk, k2, yo, k1 repeat from * to last sitch, k1. (you can use any lace pattern you like, but make sure the repeat is 7 or 10 or 9 or 3 or 5 -- multiples of 70, here, folks!)
row 2 and all even rows: purl.
after 8 inches, work 2 more rows stockinette.
eyelet row: k1 *k1, yo, k2tog repeat from * to last stitch, k1.
work in stockinette 5 inches (if you're a buxom beauty like me, you'll probably want to make this 5.5 or maybe even 6 inches... I'll make it 6 for sure if I make this again!), ending with a pulr row.
shape armholes: follow the instructions here to make your decreases one stitch in and you'll get an edge that won't have to be finished!
BO (Bind Off) 4 stitches at the beginning of each of the next 2 rows (64 sts).
dec 1 st at each end of every right side/knit row 6 times (62 sts): k1, k2 tog, k to end.
mark the end of that bit.
work in stockinette for 4.5 inches from marker, ending wiht a purl row.
BO 4 sts at beginning of each of next 2 rows: k1, k2 tog, knit to end.
BO 3 sts at beginning of each of next 4 rows (29 sts left): k1, k2tog, knit to end
BO remaining sts (or put them on a holder if you want to use them for a collar! I didn't, because I did crochet around to finish)
work as for back. if you're clever at it, put in a v-neck when you start the armhole shaping or a little before and tell us all how to do it. If you're not so clever, you're gong to steek it like I did (remember this was originally going to be a turtleneck... you can make it a turtle: make the front the same as the back, sew the seams, then put all the neck stitches on a small circ or dpns and knit the collar from there).
To make the v-neck:
1. find and mark the centre of the front, level with the bottom of the desired v-neck (mine is level with the beginning of the armhole shaping.)
2. use a ruler and a marker to draw lines from the centre front point you just marked to the edges of the left-over stitches (the 29 that would have gone on waste yarn to make a turtleneck). You've just drawn your neckline.
3. drag out your sewing machine, and sew a zig-zag stitch along the line you drew. Don't worry about matching the thread, because it won't show. I went over my stitching a second time jsut to be sure.
4. cut out the v-neck -- make sure you don't cut your sewing off! The stitching will still be part of the sweater front, not part of the triangle you have cut out!
sew the shoulder and side seams.
with a crochet hook, work 2 rounds single crochet (that's double crochet for you Brits out there! -- the one where you go through the fabric, yo, draw a loop through, yo again and draw through both loops on the hook) evenly around the neckline -- decrease at the tip of the V on your second round! I had 82 stitches when I was done.
do another 2 rounds of single crochet around the bottom of the lace part.
Weave a ribbon through the row of eyelets -- Leave it long enough to tie in a bow, or cut it shorter: I love the idea somebody posted to tie it on the inside or to put snaps or a hook and eye on the end of the ribbon once cut to your chest measurement. Opinions on how the bow looks vary. Use your own crafty judgement!
Finally, take a picture of yourself in your nice new top and post it here for all to see!
There you go, folks! Enjoy... and let me know if there are any problems...