Monday, May 16, 2011

Something for spring and summer this time.

I hinted at this project a few posts back, and it's finally done and ready to share. I wanted to play with lace - the kind of eyelet columns that used to adorn the skirt on my favorite Gunne Sax dress or the kind you'd find separating the sections on a loose flowy top that Ali McGraw would have worn with her flare jeans in 1976.

It had to be creamy and white, and it had to contain little flowers.

My final take on it became a bit less flowy as the project evolved, but I think the structure makes it a bit more wearable. I was loving the idea of the slipped stitch seams, and using them sealed the deal on the switch from free form to structured. Less 70s, but maybe more flattering.

I went with a fitted bodice and a looser "skirt" section, for a nice long A line shape that would be comfortable to wear on a summer day or evening.

The shell is knit from the bottom up, so it can be easily modified. I have added instructions for how to move the floral band up or down, how to change the length or width of the bottom section, exactly where to put the slipped stitch seams on your bust, and how to add add a bit of ease to the top for anyone with a larger chest.

The yarn is Blue Sky Alpacas Skinny Dyed Cotton; one of my favorite DK cottons out there. It's nice and soft, with a hint of rustic texture, and this Birch was the perfect cream color for the design. All the other details and such can be found here. The pattern is $6.50 US and can be bought on Ravelry or on the sidebar above.

A bit of info for those of you who like to have it here:

Sizes: 32-50
Yardage: 600-1050
Gauge: 5 st, 7 rows per1" on #5s, after a light blocking

Again, the photos are thanks to the ever patient and lovely Caro of Splityarn. It was ridiculously cold the day we shot this, and I had the bright idea that my girls would love an afternoon on the beach, so what you don't see in these shots are the freezing children huddled under a beach blanket, hiding from the wind and flying sand, begging us to leave since they'd already sat patiently through the Narragansett shoot and the bribery cookies were gone. You don't notice the goosebumps on my arms the size of small bats, and you can't tell I have my jeans and boots under the skirt, because there was no way in Hell I was taking them off.

But, that's me. On Reveah Beach in what? March?

You'd be wearing this on a beach or a porch on a beautiful warm day, sipping a lovely and refreshingly cold glass of White Sangria.

White Sangria

1 bottle of white wine (the cheap stuff in the big bottles for this. Anything BUT chardonnay)
2-3 cups of sprite or ginger ale
8 oz cointreau
1 cup apple juice or white grape juice
8 oz of vodka
cut up fruit: You can use almost anything - I like apples, pears, nectarines, peaches, cantaloupe, strawberries, other berries, pineapple.
a handful of mint leaves

Combine the wine, vodka, cointreau, and fruit in a bowl and let sit overnight.
When ready to serve, add the sprite or ginger ale. Taste and then add juice. If it seems sweet, add a bit of seltzer or soda water (or more wine) or leave off the juice.

Add ice cubes and mint leaves once you like the balance, and pour into a pretty pitcher.


And, in the spirit of full disclosure, I took this photo off the internet because I didn't win my punch bowl on Ebay and have packed all my glass pitchers away in boxes already!

But it looks just like the recipe I made this weekend in a red plastic beach cooler. Just Like It.


Vicki Knitorious said...

Oh, Gunne Sax!! I remember those days... 1976. ; )

This is really cute!

Chris said...

It's totally gorgeous, Thea!

Seanna Lea said...

The top is lovely.

I think you could have had the photo shoot today with the same effect. It is cold out there for May!

Local Egg said...

Oh, Thea! It looks even more awesome than I realized.

gleek said...

very cute top! i love all your summery beach photos :) also, white sangria is yum! i have a version that uses champagne and ... orange sunkist. omg.

Jody said...

Oh Thea, I love this - especially its versatility. I can see wearing it with a long skirt for the office, denim capris for the weekend, or dressed up for a night out.

Turtle said...

sweet! both items!

Shirley said...

Beautiful! This is going to the top of my must-knit list.

QuiltedSimple said...

Hahaha....I love it....and the thought of you wearing your jeans and boots under the skirt:) Unfortunately, it was a high of 48 way was I wearing this into the office...hopefully by the weekend/next week it will warm up and I can wear it. I did wear mine last week one evening for a couple hours....TOTALLY comfortable!

Dorothy said...

Cute pattern and yum to the recipe. You must knit like the wind! And move too?

Estella said... is LOVELY!!!

Hilary said...

Oooh! Love the lace and the band around the empire waist. Lovely design!

Amy said...

You know I love the tank! But the sangria looks so perfect and summery too, amazing! Perhaps a drink for a future knit-night gathering?

Kym said...

I love it! I had sworn off knitting summer sweaters this year. . . until I saw this one. Love it -- and now must knit it! :-)

yoel said...

This is gorgeous! And who doesn't love the slightly fermented fruity goodness that is sangria? Off to heart on Rav...

Bobbie in AK said...

Love it!
Another to add to my faves. Have to try the Sangria soon.

Renee said...

Adorable top!
Laughing myself silly - you're a real sport - freezing for the sake of giving us a great shot on the beach... in March!! :-)