Monday, June 20, 2011

A lightweight shell with some vintage details, a gorgeous color, AND the portrait neckline I've been dying to make for a few seasons worth of Madmen already. Once I saw the deep purple Silky Wool, I knew had to combine the retro feel of the shell with the modern color and texture of the light silk fiber.


It's knit from the top down, and the details are simple, yet flattering.

The cable in the center of the body creates an subtle empire line between the bust and the waist, and can be moved up or down to flatter your shape . Pleats and a simple lace detail below the cable bring the eye in for a centered, vertical line down the torso, and have the added bonus of hiding a little tummy. Pleats above the cable are a feminine detail drawing attention up to towards the bust, but the loose fit and the dramatic neckline balance the focus across the entire area, keeping it tasteful and flattering for any size of chest.

As always, there are instructions to change the length or width as you need. Notes on the cable placement will help you put the cross and pleats at the best spot for your shape. It's written to fit like you see here - enough room for a little drape, but still fitted enough to show waist shaping. Longer length could flatter a bigger bust, but I like it at the hip with the pencil skirt here.... and that's how I always pictured this photo shoot -- Channeling Christina Hendricks. Sorta.

I love the weight and drape of the Silky Wool for this, and the colors it comes in are amazing, but if you needed to sub yarn, I'd suggest a light mix with some silk or linen in it. Nothing too heavy, as the pull could affect the cable over time. A smoother yarn will give you a different look, but could also work . I suggest a solid color or you'd lose the lace detail below.

The pattern is available on Ravelry or on the sidebar to the left for $6.50.
Some specifics are below, and the rest of the information can be found here.

Yarn: Elesebeth Lavold Silky Wool, Color 63. 750(800,850,900,950,1000,1050,1100,1150,1200) yds

Sizes: 32-50

Gauge: 5.5 sts, 7.5 Rows in 1" in stockinette, on #6/4mm needles. Lightly blocked

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On the drink, there's a good reason I went with a Gibson this time, and it tied my sweater directly back to Joan Harris and the other office women of the 1960s, trying to keep up with the groping, drunken admen of their day! Often I try to find a drink that ties into the color or the mood of the sweater, but this time, it was the story that did it.


A Gibson Martini is a martini with cocktail onions on a toothpick, instead of the more popular olive or lemon zest. Seems it was a trick to order a Gibson from the bartender, and the glass would arrive full of water instead of gin or vodka and vermouth. But since the cocktail onions were a less common garnish, it was easy to tell which was yours. Nobody except the bartender knew you were pacing yoruself and you'd manage to stay sober while the rest of the office drank on without you!

A very important skill back then, I'm thinking.

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The pictures are courtesy of my friend Caro Sheridan (Copyright 2011 Splityarn), who's so good that she can even find the perfect spot with the perfect light in my bomb-hit-it-semi-packed house for a photo shoot! A little re-arranging of stuffed animals, curtains, and piles of boxes and it looks just like a studio, right?

6 comments:

Seanna Lea said...

This is awesome. I love the neckline (and I have a sick sick love of Silky Wool. It is a very affordable yarn to work with).

Vicki Knitorious said...

Oh my. I just saw this on one of your test knitters' sites -- so wonderful!!

Sara said...

Hey, are you a Winchester-ian yet?

janna said...

Very cute! And Caro's pictures are, as usual, great!

But -- in the paragraph right under the last picture, it should say that a gibson is a martini with cocktail ONIONS (not olives) -- just a typo, I know, but perhaps confusing for the non-drinkers who read your blog.

yodafatkitty said...

This is lovely. Love the color and the yarn. Into my queue it will go :)

Renee said...

gorgeous shell - absolutely adore the neckline!!!