I had been eyeing up the diagrams for this top on MyPicot for ages before finally picking up the courage to give it a shot! It seemed like rocket science with just the diagrams and pictures, without any idea of gauge, hook size, yarn weight, sizing or even of how to piece together the different sections. But I thought, what’s the worst that can happen? Frogging? Swearing? Tears? I’ve got to give it a go! There was indeed a fair amount of frogging (less swearing and no tears at all!) involved in making this top, but so worth it in the end! I’ve noted down my learnings and mods for future reference…
I used exactly one 200g ball of a fingering weight mercerised cotton yarn from Kampes (called 8/4 yarn in Sweden: 8 meters per gram, spun from 4 threads or plys) and used hooks ranging from 2.0mm to 3.0mm, mostly a 2.5mm.
My flower motifs were 12.5 cm in diameter and I needed to make six motifs to go round my waist.
I modified the motifs: the round where you’re supposed to work 11 ch followed by a dc, I only did 8 ch, as my motif wouldn’t lie flat otherwise.
There was something dodgy going on with the section below the motifs; compared to the diagram, I ended up with too many chain spaces in-between my flowers (10 instead of 8). Hence, I had to make the fans two rounds bigger in order to get them to meet.
Above the motifs, I worked 4 ch in-between each dc instead of 5. In the next round: sc, 3 dc, sc into each chain space (instead of sc, 4 dc, sc).
I had to decrease the whole section above the motifs by one third – you can hopefully see how in the photos below. When I followed the diagram exactly, this section flared out like an upside-down ballet skirt!
When working the ‘spiders’ for the chest and shoulders, I changed the ending to get a straight edge: instead of starting row 10 with 7 ch, work 2 slst and start with the row’s 2nd group of dcs (skip the 1st). Photo below – blue pen marks the straight edge you should end up with.
Based on the way the spiders section is attached to the little bows at the top of the middle section in the diagrams, I would have needed 16 spiders around my chest, but I needed 19 spiders to go round me, meaning I had to improvise slightly with the attachment of the spiders…
I frogged the little bows/shells at the top of the middle lace section and worked one round of dcs instead. I then counted the number of dcs (160) and divided this by the number of chain-spaces on the spiders section (39) = work into every 4th dc! See pic above.
With hindsight, I made the spiders section for each shoulder too long; I made 9 spiders, whereas 7 or even 6 would have sufficed as there’s a lot of stretch in the fabric.
For the flutter sleeves I worked into every 4th stitch in the first row (instead of every 3rd as in diagram) as they were curling.
Now that I actually know how to make it, question is, do I have the stamina for another one, perhaps in a different colour?? Well, maybe next summer…