Friday, May 11, 2007

Pisces Camisole

Around this time last year, I was struggling with designing a child's tank dress, and when I encountered struggle with shaping the bodice, I gave up on the design, and morphed that piece into something else. In the past year of knitting, I have done some pattern modification, and eventually some designing, and have gained confidence in my ability to knit beyond the pattern. I took a giant leap as a knitter, and I credit blogging. Besides reading other blogs as an endless source of inspiration and information, this blog has forced me to be more thoughtful, more purposeful in my knitting, and my brain is engaged in my knitting more than ever.

I joined the CAL as a way of committing myself to successfully executing a design, and finishing the project, no matter the frustration or lack of initial success. I wanted to knit through the problems, and frog until I got it right. I wanted to further challenge myself and write up a sized pattern when it was done.

So it is with a little pride that can say that although it took several tries to get the bodice right, but I am finally satisfied with the denim tank.




Pattern: Pisces Camisole, designed by me
Yarn & Needles: Rowan Denim/Elann Den-im-nit - I noticed no discernible difference in the yarns, US 8 needle.

This camisole was conceived as a way to use up some oddballs in the stash. I have tons of leftover lightweight cotton yarns in the 250-350 yd range, perfect for summery tops for my little girl, including denim, one of the Create Along yarns.

My original intent was to come up with a basic tank recipe which I could easily modify in gauge or details, but I got inspired by the fishtail lace pattern and created with this lacy-but-rugged layering piece. It's no standard tank top recipe, but after knitting the bodice multiple times, I have a real sense of how to shape armholes and necklines without a pattern as a guide. I also know to consider edging details and bulk under the arms. So, I am satisfied that I have learned enough about tank construction to begin cranking out more little tops for Rosebud.

The neckline went through several iterations, including the blogged-about applied i-cord which I can only now call wishful thinking. It was a good idea, but in reality, it was way too bulky for the top, and it had no relation to the rest of the piece. I needed something simple, something that would mirror the scoop neck of most of her cotton tanks. The desired rounded look for the neckline of the tank was finally achieved through short-rows. The finish around the neckline was achieved with a simple, decorative bind off, and the armholes have a row of single crochet to flatten them a bit.

I did keep a lot of detailed notes as I made this camisole, hoping to further challenge myself and write up a sized pattern. However, I began to run out of steam (hence the wishful post about the i-cord) and the notetaking suffered at the end. The decreases around the straps are, um, improvised; those beads are not just for decoration.

I also made the i-cord straps extra long so it can be adjusted for growth...

Of course, I could swatch a bit or reknit just a bodice piece and carefully perfect the line of the tank. Sizing would be a piece of cake -- just add or subtract a lace repeat.

I think I'll just be satisfied with the tank as it is. An original design by me.

And the name? First, I used the Fishtail Lace pattern. And my Rosebud? She loves the water, and a Pisces, too.

x-post to CAL

20 comments:

Laurie (Moo!) said...

It's a very sweet top, Liz!

Unfortunately, I'm a bit big to wear one myself! LOL!

I hope you submit it to some of the knitting publications!

Mo said...

Love it, love it, love it.

anne marie in philly said...

rosebud looks VERY pretty in her new cami!

rock on, liz!

jody said...

oh it looks great! the denim will be hard-wearing and easy to care for. love it!

nova said...

I think it's adorable. I really like the fishtail pattern too. Good work!

Annie said...

That looks great! Congratulations on a great design!

Mintyfresh said...

It's totally adorable. The idea of doing a sized pattern intimidates me! What you have is great and unique--that's really awesome, too.

Specs said...

That is so sweet! (And sturdy lookin' too.)

I keep wanting to design something simple, but thinking about sizing always scares me away. Maybe this is the way to go -- adjustable straps, no sizing issue!

Alice said...

Gorgeous! That is one lucky little girl :)

pamela wynne said...

so, so cute!

Ann said...

Wow!!! It turned out fantastic!! Hurray! I'm sending you a big pat on the back for designing such a wonderful top!

Sally said...

That is really pretty Liz. I just love it! And Rosebud looks so darn cute in it; it fits her perfectly. It's definitely worth all the sweat and time you put into it.

Madge said...

Kudos for keeping with it and succeeding; Rosebud's cami is adorable.

Well done!

HPNY Knits said...

wonderful! perfect for the "job." and a great model!

tiennie said...

I love it! So sweet for her. Fantastic job on the design and execution!

Christie said...

That is so cute! Love it!

Ashley said...

ADORABLE on little Miss R. She'd better get at least 2 years of wear out if it ;)

Kristy said...

It's very cute! Great job :)

Julia (MindofWinter) said...

Liz! This came out wonderfully! I've been meaning to comment forever, but keep getting caught up in my knitting and work. Isn't it great to see a project like this to completion? What a wonderful piece for your daughter, who has the honor of being the muse for your first designs. May she wear it well!

carrie said...

i love it! i can see making this for some little girls in my life -- so submit it somewhere, on the double!