I used to be a winter knitter: I started in late fall making a cozy sweater only to finish it in spring when the weather got warmer and it was too late to wear it. And then to find that by next winter my taste had changed and I didn’t like it so much anymore. Or maybe I just learned to be honest about what I’d made and not try to convince myself that it turned out well :).
I’ve started to knit in summer too, now, but I’m still always a season behind. With this top I started in May, when we were still in Italy camping by a beautiful blue mountain lake. I suddenly got the idea, started collecting on Pinterest, messing around in Illustrator and making swatches because I knew exactly what I wanted and was too impatient to go look around for patterns that came close. I shifted the triangles around in Illustrator until I had a kind of random pattern, taking in account how many yards I had of each colour. I’m not a very experienced knitter but once you know the basics it’s really not that hard to improvise a bit. The only difficulty is that you can’t very well muslin your design because it just takes too much time. I do find that I’m much more patient when I knit, frogging it three times when you’re almost done doesn’t bother me half as much as ripping out the same seam three times.
I have to say I’m really smitten with the colours. I got them in Italy, the same town where I got lots of fabric. I was so happy to be staying near a town with a good fabric shop and a wool shop for 2,5 months! The pink was really out of the box for me, but I’m so pleased that I actually did well in choosing the colour combination. I picked these colours and another set, beige with mustard and forest green. They’re all a wool-acryl mix. I was looking for cotton because you know, summer top, but they didn’t have any.
Anyway, this top is a very simple design, two rectangles basically. I knitted bottom up, joined the front and back and shoulders with a mattress stitch and then knit tiny borders around the armholes. I used the intarsia technique because that’s really the only way you can make something like this. At least I think so, with my limited knitting knowledge :). So I made a swatch to see how many metres went into a triangle, and then made little balls of yarn for every triangle. I think at least 25% of the time it took to make this top was spent making little balls. This top still gives me flashbacks to our room in Slovenia, making little balls while watching Vikings with a glass of the delicious wine they made there.
You know, sometimes you make something and it turns out great, but for you it is always tied to all the mistakes you made in the process, things you’re still not happy with, doubts you have about the style or the fabric or whatever. And then you post it and other people who see it just see it as it is, and they love it because it’s not tied to anything. A lot of my sewing projects are like that, but with this top I just love it every time I see it. The triangles, the shape, the colours, I just love it. Even though I didn’t get to wear it except to make photos.
I do like it more with the border tucked in, it’s a bit boxy untucked like the pic above. I actually meant it to be longer but I didn’t have enough for another row of triangles. There was really no way I was going to frog this one, but now I think it’s better cropped. And it’s a great addition to my summer wardrobe! Yay! I can wear it with the grey shorts, the bug shorts and with the Gabriola. I think I’m all set for next summer, I can just skip summer sewing and get right to the fall season in March. And you know what? I’ve just knit myself a cozy cardigan and it isn’t even officially fall yet! Ha!