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the scalloped summer knit

Just a quick one from me today to show you the latest knit off the needles at casa del Joli House. I love it, I’m wearing it now, I shall be packing it in my suitcase to come on holiday, and I thought I’d pop up a quick blog post too. So yes, the pink frilly-but-not-actually-that-frilly sleeve knit. The scalloped sleeve knit? Who knows what to call it. As is often the case, my mum and I formed a little knitting team for this one: I drew out the sketch and worked out the numbers, she did the majority of the stocking stitch body whilst I revised for my exam, and I took over for the fiddly bits. We have a pretty streamlined process these days, you see.

Followers of my knitting posts and Instagram may have noticed I have a tendency to make tight, cropped tops, which is somewhat incompatible with living in England. I’ve always enjoyed the process of shaping knits to the body, working increases, decreases and short rows to create a 3D piece of fabric to hug a 3D body, so that’s the silhouette I’ve worked with most. Satisfying as figure hugging knits may be, I realised skin tight items aren’t necessarily what I wear the most, and simple, straight shapes might not be a bad idea to knit too. Hence the ridiculously simple bodice here that involves casting on, working a few rounds of moss stitch, then knitting around and around with no shaping whatsoever until the armholes. I resisted the urge to add waist shaping, because sometimes it just isn’t needed. In the end it’s still a fairly slim fitting garment overall, but the longer length and lack of shaping allows the fabric to drape nicely and I am a fan.

Sometimes my finished objects turn out exactly like my initial sketch, but that was not the case on this occasion. Can’t say it’s exactly as I’d envisioned, but that’s probably for the better! I’d originally thought the sleeves and neck would be more frilly, like a little ruffle, however it became apparent after swatching and trying a sleeve that that was not going to work. Maybe in laceweight it might, or in a yarn with more ‘body’, but this drapey cotton was not having it. The ‘ruffle’ just looked like I’d tried to squeeze in a piece of fabric that was too big to fit the armhole, so off that came. My original plan had been to pick up stitches around the armhole and work the sleeve ‘outwards’, to avoid any sewing in of sleeve caps (not my favourite task, and one I didn’t consider necessary). In theory, my idea worked, but in practice it didn’t make for a very pretty edge or sleeve shape. The cute scalloped edge was just not happening. So! I flipped it around and worked the sleeves separately from the ‘outside’ in with lace and short rows, then joined the whole thing together with a three needle bind off. Pretty sleeve and no seaming, sorted.

As for the neckline, I’d like to say my initial sketch looked exactly like this, but that would be a lie. It had a high neck and some kind of lace, but that’s about where the similarities end. After quite liking how the sleeves turned out I took a similar approach to the neckline – working the lace separately then 3 needle binding off the whole thing together – and I love how it turned out looking like double layered lace. Not the conventional way of working a neckband but I’m glad my original idea didn’t work tbh! I shall be using this method from now on.

Yarn: Rowan Summerlite 4 ply in shade 00440 Langoustine. Only just went into the 4th ball so this really didn’t use much yarn at all!

In my impatience I quickly photographed this one at home today, however it’s now packed in my suitcase ready to fly to Greece tomorrow to no doubt be snapped again against prettier backdrops. I’m more than ready for some real sun and a change of scenery, let me tell you. Naturally I’ve packed more than enough items of knitwear for 7 days and can’t wait to wear my summery makes to dinner looking over the beach. Just get me on that plane already. My intention is to write up the pattern for this one ASAP when I get home, so let me know if you fancy knitting a version yourself!

Lily Kate x

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