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Monday, April 30, 2012

Interweave Knits: Seaglass Shell

The hot topics for this summer are lace and showing off your back. :)

© Interweave Knits Summer 2012: Seaglass Shell
The design for this top was inspired by my memories of hiking in the mountains during the snow melt when you can admire beautiful waterfalls and creeks full of water rushing around rocks and boulders, tumbling towards the valley floor and then hurrying along to the sea...

Considering that I made my sketches for this design at the end of last year (winter) I must have already been looking forward to Spring, haha!

On the other hand, if I transport myself to summer, I can also totally see how Interweave's team came up with the name "Seaglass Shell" for this piece. Just imagine the boulders becoming glass pieces that are being rolled around by the waves (Rivulets) and becoming more and more rounded...  ah, yes, the beach! :)

I really like how the front of the top looks so deceptively simple (Stockinette stitch) with just a bit of lace peaking over the shoulders...
Lace peeking over the shoulder to the front (© Interweave)
...and then, the back has a little surprise in store: the top drops away into a low back line revealing a misty lace of rivulets and boulders - or sea-glass and waves. Perfect for the upcoming summer parties!

Rivulet and Boulder lace Interweave)
The lacy back panel is sandwiched and sewn together with the low cut back panel and the front piece at the side seams so that there are no peek-a-boo accidents. :)

Now, this lace is a bit more challenging as both lace patterns, the Rivulet and Boulder lace, are worked on RS AND WS rows so that you will have to pay a bit more attention when knitting. But then again, it's just for one panel and not a whole garment or a long scarf.

It makes for a great little project to try your hand in "Knitted Lace" (pattern worked on RS & WS rows) instead of just the RS rows (= "Lace Knitting").

And if you can get your hands on this Manos del Uruguay Serena (60% baby alpaca, 40% cotton, sport weight, distributed in the US by Fairmount Fibers) or similar yarn, you are going to feel like being in heaven! It is so buttery soft and a dream to work with that you don't want to let go. When you wear the shell, it's so misty light that you barely feel that you're wearing something. Better double-check before you step out of the house, haha! :)

And here is a little peak behind the scenes:

When a design is accepted by Interweave, you are usually required to size your pattern for 5 (!) sizes. Keep that in mind when you start working on your sample size model. I highly encourage you to think your design through before you knit a single stitch to ensure that your pattern can be naturally sized for the larger sizes.

You want to look at any areas that require shaping (e.g. waist, armholes, necklines) to make sure any patterns can flow nicely or are centered for ALL sizes.

In the case of this back lace panel, for example, I dreaded the waist shaping because I would have to figure out a nice degrading of the lace designs at the side seams...not fun...

That's when it hit me that it actually wouldn't be visible because it was underneath the Stockinette back panel! Then why bother? How about having a small strip of just Stockinette stitch run along the side seams that will absorb the decs and incs for the waist shaping and keep the lace going straight up? - Better make sure that it works out with the armhole shaping when it becomes visible again...

It was a good thing that I took a moment to think it through because it saved me a major headache and made the instructions for you that much simpler. :)

Sizing calculations for centering & placement of lace patterns on back panel
The pattern is currently only available by buying the Interweave Knits Summer 2012 issue. Down the road it will be added as a single pattern for purchase in the Interweave store and thereafter through my own website and Ravelry.

Happy Knitting!

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